Monday, July 31, 2017

A Balancing Act

There is much to be discovered about life, perhaps even more so about the unknown echelons of the mind to which we pay scant attention. Any discovery adds to the knowledge bank of human civilization. Directly or indirectly, we are dependent on the intelligence and persistence of scientists in various fields. They are the visible hands of the divine in our lives. It is through their persistent efforts that modern day life has become one with great potential for comfort and happiness. For these comforts to percolate down to everyone and become a universal reality, the world would need to come together as one big family. Although technological advances have given us a great deal of comfort, it has brought in its wake unintended consequences. We are now more sensitive to the maintenance and upkeep of machines and gadgets than to the needs of our fellow human beings. Although the far corners of the world are getting more closely networked through the internet, a great gulf remains to be bridged between people’s hearts. Technology may be thought of as a glue that binds the mind. But old fashioned feelings and emotions which cannot be replicated by machines, is what truly unites the hearts of people from all parts of the world. When we forget the bridge that exists between the “ancient” heart and the “modern” mind we confine ourselves to the island of individuality or “I”, and operate chiefly through the mind. Within the confines of the mind, the resources available to us are relatively limited. Once we cross the bridge from the mind into the heart, we open ourselves to the greater instruments of expansive awareness.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Exercise in charity

Physical exercise is generally about the individual self, where the “I” factor predominates. Some of the reasons people exercise include” feeling and looking good, staying healthy, relieving personal stress etc.” Each of those is prefaced by “I desire…”. There is no doubt that regular physical exercise has great benefits, but it can turn into a selfish action when the focus is purely on the body. Physical activity may be transformed into an act of giving when undertaken as a platform for raising money for a cause, such as running, biking or walking for charity. This however, is more of a ceremonial activity as it is generally not done as a daily routine. Exercising, like breathing cannot be done away with, and must be practiced regularly to keep the bodily engine humming in optimal condition. By changing our mental attitude towards physical activity, we can use it to reshape the “I” into a bigger or smaller version of its current state.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Expansion and dissolution

Expansion and dissolution are certainties of human life, which hangs in the balance between these two phenomena. Equity between the two is rarely, if ever achieved from the perspective of our limited, individual existence. An imbalance between the contrasting forces of expansion and dissolution, especially in the mind, is more common and is a major cause of stress in day to day life. At the physical level, these forces crest and fall, processes we call growth and ageing. The first half of life is a period of growth and expansion of the physical frame. Once this process peaks, the forces of dissolution gradually set in. In the mind, there is a more rapid turnover of these two processes. They happen in every thought. Desires result in expansion of the mind. Along with this there is dissolution of the awareness of our inner reality. Most people spend their lives moderating an ever-expanding mind full of desires. What little happiness that is obtained comes only through the fulfillment of a small fraction of a large bank of desires. When there is complete dissolution of the mind and awareness is set free, immense bliss floods in. Dissolution is the great leveler, especially when it comes to the human body. However, when applied to the mind, something which is rarely done, it can expand our awareness.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Opening the eye of meditation

It may seem surprising, but the biggest barrier to achieving a state of meditation are the eyes. The power of sight is the major portal through which we interact with the world, so it is reasonable to think that by closing them we can enter meditation. Unwittingly we have turned these small and delicate structures into a de facto boundary between the world within and without. Light falling on our eyes and creating images in the mind offers a convenient distraction that keeps our awareness locked onto the phenomenal world which is constantly changing. Thoughts are ever present, and this thought stream goes into overdrive the moment we close our eyes even for a few seconds. The sensory experiences that the eyes provide are invaluable to our mental wellbeing. Just imagine how restless we would be if we were made to sit in a dark room for even an hour or two with nothing to do. Although it is said that the eyes provide a window to the soul, what is more immediately apparent from the eyes is the state of mind. When the mind is tired, the natural response is to close the eyes; In a state of boredom, they are kept open for business hoping for a change in the inner scenery. Sometimes the thought of meditating comes when the mind is troubled, especially so when we are under a constant barrage of stressful situations.  When the mind is joyful, we don’t usually think of meditation. However, it would be highly advantageous to meditate when we are joyful rather than making it an escape from a mind fatigued from stress of daily life. Meditation isn’t an escape from the world. It is a transition to who we are, being one with the world. As a gatekeeper to the mind, the act of closing our eyes has become a metaphor for meditation. However, achieving and maintaining a state of meditation is not dependent on whether the eyes are open or closed.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The concept of 'The Guru'

A Guru-disciple connection is one of the most sacrosanct relationships, especially in the Eastern traditions, going back thousands of years. Every religion has this concept, such as the Prophets in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions. A Guru literally means ‘dispeller of darkness’. Traditionally a Guru is a person, but it need not be so. A Guru can also be in the form of right guidance that emanates from within, what is also called the voice of our conscience. However, it is easier to relate to a Guru in person, as the chatter of the mind drowns out the subtle suggestions of the conscience or the inner Guru. Furthermore, any message from the inner Guru is spoken only once. If we are not alert, the message is easily missed. It then ricochets through the mind and we hear several different versions colored by our logic, reasoning power and thoughts. A Guru in physical form embodies virtues such as patience and compassion and repeats his or her message till we get it. It then becomes a battle between the Guru’s message and our mind. When it comes to the mind, there are only two ways it can go. Either it comes under our control or we are under the control of the mind. Desires are the vehicles through which our self-mastery is ceded to the mind. Desires and the pursuit of them creates a veil of darkness through which we can neither see inwards nor see the pristine beauty of the world. Our awareness then becomes centered on the dark patches of unfulfilled desires in the mind.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Birthday: A day of gratitude

Birthdays are a rite of passage for all of us. Although that special day means something different to everyone at each stage of life, there is one thing in common. We would not be here to celebrate birthdays were it not for our parents. In addition to separate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, would it not be great if our birthdays would also be celebrated as Parent’s Day? That day would turn into a day of togetherness, day of giving and not getting.
Expectation builds as we approach every birthday, from “Who will send me wishes?” to “Who will buy me gifts and what will they be?” These expectations are also ingrained into our children. Instead, we ought make it a day on which we thank our biological parents for bringing us into the world, our teachers and mentors for shepherding us through school and college and last, but not the least to an unseen divine energy that pervades all life including ours. Without the gift of breath and life we would not be celebrating a birthday, whether ours or others.

Learning patience from a spider

Meditation is all about patience. A spider patiently builds a cobweb to trap insect, its food. In meditation, we work on taking down the cobweb called the mind in which are trapped remnants of all the food we have eaten through the senses. So we are no different from a spider in this sense. However, a spider is better than us in many ways. It builds a web but is unattached to the place where it is built. If someone intentionally or accidentally takes down a web that has taken hours for a spider to put up, it does not harm or bite the person. The spider retreats and starts over again. The silence is never disturbed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

TANTRA: The Path of Enjoyment and Liberation

Historically, there has been a perception that the Tantra is a very esoteric and secretive practice and only a select few are able to partake in that knowledge. But that is far from the truth. It is as applicable to a busy householder as it is to renunciant monks living in remote mountain caves. Probably the greatest barrier preventing widespread acceptance and practice of Tantra is the perceived difficult nature of the subject, stubborn conditioned thinking and preconceived notions. A major shift occurs within when the philosophy of Tantra takes root. Change begins when we start with the fundamental question of who we are. This seemingly simple question when persisted with, quickly takes us out of our comfort zone of our current persona, with which were identified. Through rigorous mental conditioning it appears as real as daylight. This question of who we are, serves as a spark than burns down the illusory self we have come to accept as real. Depending on the level of our receptivity, the spark can result in a slow burning smouldering flame that takes years to bring about lasting transformation within us, or it can burn away all our misconceptions in a flash revealing the ultimate truth.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sacred geometry

In the triangle of life, the equidistant point’s hard to reach
There is a way in, through a sonic key
Divined by bygone maestros, who serenaded the heavens
There’s room at that center point, it’s empty as the blue sky

We are kept waiting, by the colloquial circle
That keeps us in a race that’s yet to be called
Checkered flags go up all the time
We escape only through our civilized gasps

Looking glass

Tinged with the color of fame
By thoughts that seek to fit the frame
The focal length constantly changes
As does the entertainment

Balanced on a slippery slope
Held on by wrinkled furrows
Dividing our sight, into sweet and sour
When they go dark, there’s relief indeed


Clouds, they see it all
Changing dregs and desires
Of civilizations that come and go
And the beauty of nature’s seasonal outfits

Painted by brush strokes of wind and air
Every cloud is a new piece, of nature’s art
Missed by eyes that are soaked in logic
Which can’t explain the mind, eternally clouded in reason

Monday, April 10, 2017

Everything in nothing

The crucible of emptiness, effaced from sight
A graceful host or the womb of creation?
To which the stars and galaxies return
The apparition turns holy, when emptiness touches infinity

Safely lost in that cloud, sun and earth
The distance constant, held taut by strings of gravity
That gel of the universe, it gives and takes
Keeping us in place, like darts on a dartboard


If shadows could be eaten
They would not mate with light
Long or short, they welcome attention
Blurring lines, between rich and poor

They aren’t vain as mirrors
None can escape their pursuit
They don’t leave a stain
Either on the sky, or the ground


Footsteps reflect this orb’s many moods
From hardened stone, to swampy softness
Whether we tread heavy or light
Only fossilized footprints may last

The weight of our aura
A leady burden, or feathery freedom
It’s tears invisible, smile unseeable
Tethered to the old faithful, two bony feet

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Enhancing goal oriented productivity

The amount of geothermal energy within the earth’s crust is several thousand times that of accessible fossil fuel reserves. The energy from the sun’s rays is even greater. These forms of energy such as wind, solar and geothermal, although relatively expensive to use compared to fossil fuels, are inexhaustible. Despite this abundance, wars are have been fought over access to the known reserves of “cheap” but polluting fossil fuel to meet the world’s ever growing needs. However, as we further develop technologies to power our energy grids with renewable energy, the earth would be cleaner and tensions over ever diminishing finite resources we currently depend upon will end. The mind may be thought of as a microcosmic reflection of an inexhaustible source of energy such as the sun. Our daily struggles would be a forgotten thing of the past if we become skilled at harnessing the mind’s immense potential. Even without tapping into the depths of the mind, if the surface current is better organized and channeled, our day to day lives would  dramatically change for the better. We mostly use the mind to generate misery for ourselves and for others. That can easily be turned around and the same power may be directed towards uncovering inexhaustible wells of happiness within ourselves. There isn’t enough resources in the material world to make everyone happy, but with self generated happiness, there is more than enough capacity within every individual to share with the entire world.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Consciousness: It can't be limited to words

If the material universe could be described in one word, it would be electromagnetism. This fundamental universal force, one of four, operates everywhere and its range is infinite from the smallest particle to the largest cosmic entity. Electromagnetic interactions give “life” to even matter that appears inert. In reality, everything is a dance of atoms in a vast electromagnetic field. This force is relevant not just in the macro universe that astronomers probe with powerful radio telescopes, but it is also the basis of our modern day “micro” universe of the internet powered by microchips. Computers have now become the lifeblood of our civilization. It is hard to imagine even one portion of our lives that is not directly or indirectly influenced by computers. In fact our waking consciousness is now getting more and more “computerized”; most people likely fall asleep with a screen in front of their eyes and wake up with one that may have the latest news or a social media posting waiting to be read. Bodily functions such as sight and hearing use a very small portion of the electromagnetic energy spectrum. The mind has potentially no limitations, it is also a form of energy. The body and the mind are linked through energy. There is an invisible transformer that converts mental energy into physical energy and vice versa.  The concept of consciousness may therefore be explored as energy.   

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A stich, in time... (Part 2/2)

Journeying through life is like riding on a magic carpet. Life magically happens without us asking or seeking it. All we can aim for and work towards is a pattern of weave that makes life a uniquely rewarding experience. Our innate tendencies determine how we keep that carpet; clean, dirty, protected, careless, well worn or unused. That carpet is nothing but the human body and the weave is the mind. A “mass produced life” in which we lock steps with the rest and follow the dictates of sensory experiences may give us a pleasant existence; but if we look deep within, there will be a silent longing for something more from life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Our flag: A hidden dimension that unites

In just a few days, there is going to be a customary and orderly change of guard at the highest echelons of power not just for the United States but for all practical purposes the entire world. It may be seen as seismic and generational for some or it may be just another day at the office for others. Furthermore, it also offers renewed hope and optimism for many others. No matter where we are on the spectrum, our flag is the common ground on which we can come together. A flag has the power to make all eyes converge on one point. It is a symbol of unity that can be seen from all four directions. Nothing need be said and without outer prompting, patriotic fervor can easily well up in its presence. If we understand the higher dimension that a flag of a nation represents, it goes from being only a symbol of a country to something greater. It can become an active tool for change, guiding us on singular purpose of bringing about peace and prosperity not just in our respective countries but also the world at large. Peace may be compared to one’s right hand and prosperity to one’s left hand. When both hands meet in the middle it is a prayerful symbol. When peace and prosperity go hand in hand, it fulfills a deep seated desire in everyone’s mind regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion etc.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A stich, in time... (Part 1)

Since the invention of the sewing machine in the late 17th century, little has changed in how seams on our everyday clothing are held together. Thread continues to be the standard even today. Driven by a tiny needle, fabric of different shapes, sizes, colors are brought together thread by thread. Without the help of mechanized sewing, it would be hard to imagine manually stitching clothes for billions of people. Even with modern day machinery, a sewing needle is the focal point around which all other elements come together in creating a garment, as was the case in the very first sewing machines ever made. The imprint of a sewing needle is in every single stitch, and one needle can create so many different pieces of clothing. Consciousness may be compared to a sewing needle. Our lives are stitched together by its hidden hand, and it is reflected in every thought that comes across our mind space, in the words we utter and the actions we undertake. In every individual, the visible component of consciousness is evident in the body and the invisible part may be experienced as the mind and its various components.