Enlightened Activism

This came just as I was redoing this website, creating Conscious Child Project , and as I was trying to re-define what exactly is it that I do. What is the role of an individual on a spiritual path when it comes to the world. I love this article on Enlightened Activism by Byron Katie, a truly awesome spiritual teacher.

Some of the parts I connected with strongly are:-

  • The desperate, the hopeless, are unenlightened cells of my own body. It’s my own body I’m talking about — the body of the world is my body. Would I let myself drown in water that doesn’t exist? Would I let myself die in an imagined torture chamber?

This probably describes what I feel best and why I love to do personal sessions for people and started Conscious Child Project.

  • People are perfect just the way they are, however deeply they’re suffering, but they don’t realize that yet. So when I meet someone who’s suffering, I don’t say, “Oh, there’s no problem; everything is perfect.” Though I can see that there’s never a problem, and I’m available to help him see that, telling him what I see would be unkind.

A very important reminder for healers.

  • If you have a problem with people or with the state of the world, I invite you to put your stressful thoughts on paper and question them, and to do it for the love of truth, not in order to save the world. Turn it around: save your own world. Isn’t that why you want to save the world in the first place? So that you can be happy?

This is the truth as simply told. A need to change the world, is simply a reflection of what you think is right or wrong, nice or not. Any change in that external situation brings one so-called-peace and that is why there is a desire to change things.

  • I don’t try to change the world — not ever. The world changes by itself, and I’m a part of that change. I’m absolutely, totally, a lover of what is. When people ask me for help, I say yes.

This is one of the toughest thing for anyone. To desist being the “I knower” and to operate from a space of pure love without trying to alter anything. Focusing on you and not the “wrong” in someone.  But this is perhaps the best message in it. Be a lover of what is…

Wasting my day

The first thing that someone usually asks when they meet you is, how are you? This is usually followed by – what are you doing lately ? Increasingly, I find that this is a difficult question to respond to. Questions such as why are you so busy and what do you do for a living also fall under this category. Because the truth is by the standards of the world I have been doing nothing. Why? Because almost all my days (with the exception of a few) fall under the non-remunerative slot. And so in today’s times when we have spent so much time, money, and sometimes effort, on gaining socially valuable education degrees, the very act of not earning or not working seems like a bad choice for many. So in response I am forced to either say that I am a writer (because I still do write) or that I am a housewife. But the former immediately makes people view me as someone special and the latter gets me looks of such pity or disgust that I have refrained from using it lately. The thing I have understood is that – if you are not doing something that earns you money people quickly dismiss you and assume you are wasting your day.

Wasting your day… How many of us live our life filled with the need to make every moment worthwhile; make every moment momentous, and every second move towards a purpose or a goal. Our culture promotes the notion of
work = worth. And most of us have absorbed this as a truth. I know friends who are scared at the idea of leaving work because 1. they believe money is needed and 2. They have studied so much that they believe they need to work.

But lately after walking on the path, I have changed quite a few notions related to this. I have chosen to no longer work for a living. I have chosen to have a life instead, and do work whenever it pleases me. It dawned on me, last week, that it had been 4 years since I quit active journalism and I have absolutely no regrets. The year before I quit was the best year of my career and yet it brought me the greatest amount of stress and emptiness than ever. Why? Because I had not wasted my time. I was too busy trying to capture it and frame it with my accolades of success.

And so I decided to change my life and do the very things that bring me peace instead. Music, dance, reading, lying down staring at the sky- the things the people usually associate with wasting time, I realized are the very things that bring you joy. As human beings deep down we all pursue only one thing- happiness, and work rarely equals to happiness for most. And so off-late all I do is waste my time doing what feeds my soul and I find that the universe plans my life is such a way that my stomach is fed too.

I waste my time in photography, gardening, reading, learning new energy healing techniques, practicing what I learn, playing with my son, creating art, cooking and keeping home. And I find, I am leading a fuller, more meaningful life than many, many people I know. After all we have such less time on earth and what better thing can I do with it than make it flow in a way that adds joy to my life.

This is not to say that I advocate people make the choices I have or quit their jobs. But I do hope that someday people will be able to stop, breathe a little deeper and let go of their need to dam, race against, or defeat time. What we believe is wasting our time may in the end just save our lives instead. So whenever someone asks me what I do, I have decided to just smile and say nothing. Another seeker on the path recently posted this on his blog, “when someone asks me what I do, I say – Nothing. I stay at ‘om’.” And that is exactly what I do off-late 🙂

Leaving myself

I fall
a flower on its way to god’s feet
empty of desires
devoid of defenses
willing to be adorned
or trodden over

The mind is shedding its person
leaving behind a being
at once nothing and all-encompassing

Where there was once fear
now lives joy waiting to play in light
bask in the glow of the present moment,
in this lifetime that is a blink of the universe’s eye

Unfocus

Since last Sunday’s session with GD, my spiritual teacher, I have found a cue-word to re-connect with awareness and reset the mind. The word is Unfocus. At the session we spoke about how the things we view as pleasure are the very things that create our pain. Then we spoke about awareness and staying in the space of consciousness. But for me the highlight of the session, was a simple lesson from GD.

When we choose to intently focus on something we end up creating pain. When we are unfocused, the pain disappears.

This simple statement affected me profoundly.  Isn’t it true that only when we focus on people’s words or actions, then speculate about their intent, judge their emotions, make assumptions about their motives, that a conflict arises which then generates a pain response in our body and mind. But when you are unfocused none of this matters. Like the times you are truly happy, walking around with a smile and don’t even notice other people’s negativity.

Watching anything from a distance helps keep things unfocused. If someone sounds irritated, Unfocus; instead of choosing to feel they are irritated with you and responding with irritation or anger. When someone provokes you, Unfocus and you will find that you respond with words and not emotions.

We live our lives searching for some deeper meaning in all that we do. Do we even realize how much of our life is about focusing? We have been taught to focus on what we do, what we must do, so that is it done well. And when work, relationships or even hobbies are not focused on and something goes wrong there, we end up feeling pain. But the truth is that we are all here just playing out our dramas. Our minds and emotions add so much fuel to our imaginations that we begin to take ourselves and others too seriously, letting not just sparks fly but fires rage.

Being unfocused can produce better results. It has. I have written more, been more relaxed, fought less, laughed more and been happier in the past 3 days. Being unfocused seems to be be creating a life around me that is at ease with itself and hence more productive.  When I feel the anger well up, judgements take over or tiredness creep, all I need to remind myself is to unfocus. And I see the larger picture- everything is meaningless unless I choose to give it a particular meaning.

 

 

Building our own pyramids

I wrote this sometime in August, saved it as a draft and forgot about it. Then in the ensuing three months, I went on to bury myself inside a pyramid and let myself suffocate. Today reading this, I realized that most of us are wise to our weaknesses and yet, we choose to indulge it, forgetting out strengths in the process.

…..

It begins in the childhood. A slight by someone, when parents unintentionally compare you to someone else, when a success is ignored, when you are berated by your own family, an eve-teasing incident, a friend who turns foe, wrong choices that are rubbed in your face constantly, a dream you weren’t given the chance to chase, when people form cliques you are not included in, when your goodness is thought of as a front- you begin to build your pyramid. Stacking high all the disappointments, rejections, unfulfilled expectations, unheard requests, pain, shame, sorrow, dejection, fear one by one into a pyramid.

After some years you end up building one so high that inside love suffocates. In the airless room with no outlet to soar high, the mind becomes delusional and the heart irrational. Soon everything seems like an event to make you feel more worthless than you are, every word seems like a bullet that is out to wound you, every person seems like the missionary sent to convert you from a joyous soul into an inverted maniac.

Inadvertently many of us end up building our own mausoleum even as we are still alive. We set a trap for ourselves and then spend our lifetime wondering how to escape this place.