Managing in a Diverse Global Environment

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I am a Chinese from Chengdu capital in the Southwestern parts of Sichuan province. Moving to America to pursue my education as created cultural and social differences starting from the cuisines to language. Even with the early civilization in my region, our mode of communication is still the Yi language; it was a challenge to adapt to the fast English speaking peers and tutors. By engrossing in books, constant interactions with peers, watching of movies and hiring of an interpreter, I have fully adapted to the language as it’s the general mode of communication.

Used to my ethnic Chinese cuisines which are always fresh, hot and spicy and prepared at home, it’s been great to get other diverse cuisines e.g. Italian, Mexican and Indian. It’s of great interest to just walk into a restaurant and order Italian take out, a myth in my province. This has greatly helped me to know more about the varied foods in other countries across the world. The only thing that puts us all on the same levels in terms of food is the MacDonald’s take out a restaurant that makes almost the same types of food here and back home. I had never seen a Mexican restaurant nor eaten Chile rellenos before. The change as opened me to the world, to experience the varied life styles that come with it and am taking in as much as I can.

In my cultural setting, greeting is done formally starting with the oldest person, where we look towards the ground when greeting others. The adjusting to hugging and close intervention of personal space has always been a challenge.  I am getting used to being close to people, accepting a hug and not bowing for the tutor when he walks to the lecture hall. Whistling and the constant snapping of fingers are some of the habits have picked from my peers in here its considered rude and abusive back home but when here am allowed to be rebellious a bit culturally.  Recently when back home, I noted the looks I was being given without realizing the unconscious whistling I was doing to a song; it shows the diversified cultural influences that have I have acquired.  Our tutors at times compliment a person for work well done, it’s always been a weird to me since I have never been complimented or heard a compliment in back home. I like the complimenting culture here; it shows open appreciation for effort and a motivator for even more effort.

In our group discussions, conversations have always been held in a round table setting where peers stare at each other directly in the eye while talking. Initially I found the gestures rude, like folding of legs and putting hands in the pocket when someone was talking to me. Since peers are used to doing that, I have come to acknowledge the easy lay back cultural doctrines. In my first lecture day, learnt with horror that there’s no standing to offer greeting to …

Different realms in the Universe

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Satyaloka

This is the abode of Lord Brahma, the progenitor of this material universe. Here, there are some types of air-planes controlled by mantra, not by any mechanical means. The residents have mind and intelligence, but no material gross bodies. They feel compassion for those suffering in the lower regions, but do not suffer from fear, old age, or death. At the time of final dissolution of the material planets, the residents here transform their subtle bodies into spiritual bodies and enter the eternal Vaikuntha region or plane. Great yogis finally reach this highest plant through the Milky Way, which is the ”highway” to this most elevated planet, where the duration of life is calculated as 15,480,000,000,000 Years.

Tapaloka

This is the abode of the four Kumaras named Sanat, Sanaka, Sanandana, and Sanatana. In this port of the universe, many great sages also reside due to their advancement through spiritual austerity. The enjoyment available to the residents is inconceivable to us, as it is beyond anything within our experience. When there is annihilation of the material universe, the residents here also transform their subtle bodies to spiritual and enter the spiritual world.

Janaloka

This planet, sill above the heavenly realms, is another abode of great saints and sages. This region is populated by mystics, who move to higher levels, and eventually transform their subtle bodies to spiritual, when the fire of devastation consumes the material possessions. These residents can move between any region within the material universe as mystic “spacemen” at speeds unthinkable to us.

Maharloka

When fully purified from material desire and contamination through sacrifice, penance, and charity, one can reach the heavenly planes, and if advance further can pass through the higher orbits to reach Maharloka. The greatest of sages, such as Bhrigu Muni, live in this place. It is situated beyond the “Sisumara”, which is the pivotal point for the turning of the universe. Advanced yogis reach this region and live here for 4,300,000,000 solar years. When the fire of devastation almost reached this region, the residents transport themselves to Satyaloka where they live further before this highest plateau of region is destroyed. They then transform their subtle bodies to spiritual and enter the spiritual realms.

Dhruvaloka

In every material universe is one Vaikuntha region with an ocean of milk where Lord Vishnu resides on an island called Svetadvipa. This region is Dhruvaloka. Living here are personalities completely pure. In our universe, this planet is seen as the polestar and is situated above the planes of the Seven Rishis. As it is a spiritual body, it is eternal and therefore remains when all other planes within the material universes are destroyed. It is said that this region is the pivot for the orbits of all material stars and planets. All planets travel at high speeds in orbit, including the sun, which travels 16,000 miles per second in its orbit around Dhruvaloka. The planets of the seven sages are stars just below this plane that also orbit Dhruvaloka. …