05 November, 2010
19 August, 2009
The term we call life is a unidirectional journey into the flux of space-time. Few years back, we were somewhere, now we are in different situations. Strictly speaking it is not matter of years or days, we are continuously being shifted in new coordinate with each moment. There is a famous Zen proverb A river can not be crossed twice. On contrary and still fascinating, The same person can not cross the river again.
Who are the Companions?
It is impossible and meaningless in a journey alone. It is designed with two companion; the body and mind. Body is the platform where the journey is realized and the mind sets the direction. In this sense the body is the vehicle and the mind is the driver. Now think what happen if these fellows turnout out to be unhelpful and malfunctioning.
Body is an obedient fellow and functions well until its parts are ok and unless it is in urgency. A blind person can not command his eyes to see, and a runner can not control his heart-bit while running. If we can forgive these exceptions, body is always available us as a dutiful by-stander. However, the case with mind is different; It is a ruthless master and a wonderful servant. Unfortunately 99.9% of time, it is at the role of master. If you listen the voice inside your head, it is simply a chatterbox, engaging all the time on the same stuff again and again. You don’t know its course in the next moments. If you are in family vacation, you think about the job left undone, remember the chat with your friends in the last night and so on except that you are there in family vacation and enjoying it fully. When you are in job, the mind is thinking about the vacation.
Only few days back, I was in a park and found a man there walking and talking with himself loud. He was completely oblivious to the present situation and was somewhere in the imaginative world. What has happened to him! certainly a morning walk is not for such unconsciousness. It is to feel the fresh air touching the body, hearing the music of chirping bird around. Now i am fooled by my own mind and it engages in thinking him, a silent monologue. Certainly my morning walk was, also, not to be lost in thinking about the person. If we close the eye and try to concentrate on a thing only for 10 seconds, then we know what sort chattering is going on there.
Mind seldom learn from the past
Another nature of mind is that it is illogical, sort-sighted and stupid fellow. In the morning, It promise to do something, to be someone different and more meaningful. In afternoon it messed with the same silly things, repeats same mistakes, and in the evening it wrapped up with same regrets for being not able to live the day perfectly. It suggests to do something at first, only after few moments it is enticed with something completely different what it has suggested earlier. This becomes the story of every day (for everybody). Until moments back, the person X was the good friend, you have full trust on him. After few moments later, with no apparent reason, he becomes too suspicious and untruthful. If we replace our mind with an behavioral advisor, we would have fired him within a single day. If it were our spouse, we would have divorced soon. Alas! this adamant fellow clings to us refusing the common mean of getting rid of . On contrary, more we desire to get rid of, more possessed we become.
Taming the mind
Fortunately our predecessor had seriously contemplated over this issue and discovered gyan-yoga to come out from the vicious circle. Yoga is more than the body health as is advertised in today’s main-stream media. It certainly does keep the physically fit, but importantly, quiets the chattering mind. To quiet the mind meant to withdraw the energy that we have been continuously feeding it. This is possible by silently listening the voice inside the chatterbox. Once we get used to observe it, it creates subject-object relationship between the thinker and the thoughts. In that process, we can catch the glimpses of the consciousness which exists even if there is no thoughts. Let us find our time to experiment this game.
We are not our mind, it is our companion!
15 July, 2009
Many people believe that there are wake-up calls in everybody’s life, shaking us from top to bottom, sometimes shattering our whole believe systems, or provoking to rethink where we are leading. These calls, however, vary in forms. For Mahatma Gandhi, a witnessing moments of abuse to the black people during his journey to south Africa, happened to be the call. For Ramakrishna, while wandering in one morning, a hearing of a woman having her son waken from the late morning sleep,” Ram awake! how long will you sleep?”, turn out be the call. For Lao stu, when he was just woke up from a usual siesta under a tree, a wandering leaf detached from the branch, shook his whole being. For other less sensitive people there are still other ways. They can be of accidents, warning from someone, feeling synchronicity while reading inspiring books and so on. Fortunate are those who could accept the message of change, jump to the journey of transformation, and allow the shift in paradigms likely being taken place.
I found myself bibliophile since the earlier school days. In those days and environment, extracurricular reading materials were hardly available. Neither was I aware of reading culture nor were there library and bookstall in the vicinity. There was no choice of books, whatever available from the friends and senior were assumed great stuffs and were hidden under the pillow or books, lest parents would know the waste of valuable time of doing homework. In retrospect, only few were suitable books for the teenage psychology. Other simply happened to be cheap novels and the junk stuffs.
The thirst of reading remained same, however, the taste and connoisseur within changed by and by. The post high school and pre university days were the golden days for exploring the type and the quality of books around the world. I voraciously read Russian classics ( like Tolstoy, Gorki, Dostoevsky) western classics (like Russell, Bernard Shaw, Khalil Gibran) Indian classics (like Tagore, Sharadchandra Chattopadhaya, Bandhopadhyaya, Prem Chand, Guru Dutta), Nepalese literatures ( like Devkota, Balkrishna Sam, Danush Chandra Gautam, Daulat Bikram Bista). Those reading moments were very satisfying, fantasying and thrilling, but after the pass out of the aftereffect, the same void, boring and emptiness would appear, what next? Go for the next book, like a obsession. I could not grasp the gems from them which could prove to practical, wake up or transforming to me.
During my second half of the university days, I encountered with some books or which were ‘waiting’ for me. Then I knew the meaning of some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, & some few to be chewed and digested. I also realized that among the books to be chewed and digested, (i) some are for wake up call, inspiring to rekindle the dream convincing that development is possible and luring that transformation is awaiting (ii) other are for the map of the journey, since the motivation is not sufficient. Once the dream is fixed, the roadmap is necessary. And (iii) few are like mirror helping to understand where we are. I like to share few books which have influenced me and in some way proved to be wake-up call, guide and mirror.
Wake up Call
- Oshodhyan Yog. For me it was the first wake up call describing in simple way what is missing our life and how to achieve. It is encyclopedia of meditation and the meditation techniques being practiced around the world since the time unknown.
- The Alchemist: This is a fiction from the Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo who introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids and goes for it. Along the way he meets many spiritual message in mysterious ways. he meets The alchemist who not only could transform the lead into gold but also purify the heart.
"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.”
- The Jonathan Livingstone seagull: It is also a fable in novella from about a seagull learning about life and flight, and finally a journey of self-perfection. This small book of 28 pages remained the New York times bestseller list for 38 weeks (wekipedia).
- Conversation with God: This is also interesting books where a frustrated man sat down one day asking god the tough questions in his heart. As he wrote his questions to God, he realized that God was answering them... directly... through his pen..where he finds answer of personal life which we dare to ask if we were contact with god.
- Seven Habit of Highly effective people: Although these category of books are specific depending upon the type of the goals being met. This book is practical guide among self-help series incorporating personal, professional and inter-personal aspects.
- The Book of Secrets: From Osho, also available in audio form, this book is best for to those who are interested in the meditation practice.
- Odyssey to Enlightenment: This is biography of a western seeker who continuously felt the emptiness within whatever success he got in professional life. Spurred on by an unquenchable yearning for truth, one day he resigns from his job, sells everything he had and his odyssey takes him to remote parts of India where he met many Enlightened mystics. This book contains the dialogue with these mystics on the way of his journey. Though his teacher declared him enlightened one. his journey continued until there is no more quest.
These books are essence of the sankhya yoga suitable for the those who already entered into the inner journey and help to measure their progress.
- Mahageeta a commentary by Osho on Ashtabakra (available in audio form also)also falls under the category.
I love to hear from you if you have encountered any such books and love to recommend!