Whom will you hang out with today?

A couple of days ago, I chanced upon the video of Oprah talking to Adyashanti, on her Super Soul Sunday show. The way Adyashanti was talking about living life connected with me. The word ‘dignity’ popped into my head. I thought about GD and how he lives. I thought about a few more people I know on the path and how they live their lives.

Be it spiritual masters or students on the path, everyone has to participate in daily activities and experience situations that do not fit the ‘spiritual’ tag. But what struck me about them and what I have not yet managed to learn, is how I go about my life. I am still stuck between wanting to live a simpler, ‘less affected by social norms’ life vs having deep attachments to family, clothes, and dark chocolates! And so I am automatically critical about myself. Perfection is a virus that seems to have deeply infected my system and I am extremely critical about “where I assume I am on the path,” pull myself down for not doing enough, and beat myself up for still having desires and attachments.

As I thought about the journey of those who I now admire, I realized everyone has gone through this graph. But the difference between them and me seemed to be the dignity with which they went about their lives. They gave no importance to anything that has happened and did not categorize it as spiritual or un-spiritual. They simply kept learning, putting into practice what they were learning and letting go of anything that came between them and God. When I look at their lives, I see humility, acceptance and compassion towards everyone including themselves. The base of their existence seems to be a silence, an observation of what happens, and a pause before they respond. All this is based not just on their mind or intelligence, but on their connection with the silence, with the Divine.

I thought what my life lacked was dignity. But as I explore this, it is apparent to me that dignity is another ego goal; what I can see in them and what I believe is lacking is serenity. I yearn for serenity. That still space, unaffected by life around it. And this is where my learning lies. I realize not only am I tough on myself and others, but most often I am not even aware of what I am doing. Life seems to be based on judging myself, feeling afraid, rejecting my own thoughts, feeling small and silly, and reacting to all this. And yet I can see, this is normal for most minds. It is the space the mind keeps returning to. When GD reminded me on Sunday that I am obsessed with myself, this is what he had meant. A life spent listening to the mind results in a hurried, stressful life. From the kiddo’s school project to the husband busy at work, everything seems to be a conspiracy against you – a poor helpless soul.

But as a student on the path, I know this much. I have a choice. I know a life with the mind, minus the Divine, is a small, petty, un-glorious life. It seems to be a life spent in self-glorification, protection, defense, confusion or indulgence. On the other hand, a life with the Divine seems to be one of stillness, serenity and peace. And I have experienced many moments of this connection.

So I ask myself today, who do I want to hang out with? My mind ( so that I can beat myself up a bit more) or with God ( unexpected, unknown day but serene).

I know I will choose God. Who will you choose?

 

 

 

 

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Discovering who I truly am

I have known for years that the spiritual path leads to the discovery of “Who I am.” Honestly, I had no clue what that really means. My mind has always assumed that the discovery of who-I-am would mean a series of mind-blowing, earth-shaking, soul uplifting experiences. Today as I sat transcribing one of my conversations with GD in which he helped me see how afraid I am of him, it came to me slowly… a tiny nudge on my shoulder, a tap-tapping on my brain, a gentle dawn… that as I acknowledge the games played by my mind, as I willingly let go of thoughts, beliefs, and a carefully constructed personality, I am moving closer towards discovering “who I truly am.”

Like most people the thought of “discover who you truly are” left me with esoteric goals of seeing light bodies and other dimensions. While those are probably part of the learning, I never realized how these conversations with GD were resulting in a deeper connect with my real self.

The ways of the mind are not pleasant to acknowledge and accept. Initially, every time I saw something that needs to be released, it would send me into a tizzy with even more stories so that I could avoid the truth that had just been revealed to me. But I can see now, that knowing “who I am” has to do with learning to consistently choose truth, honesty, clarity and integrity. However hard it may seem. I have realized that the sooner I accept and work on what is being revealed, the lighter I feel. Trying to escape only leads to chaos, guilt and pain. It is far more sensible, if you truly are a student on the path, to work on clearing these from your system.

Our beliefs, fears, thoughts and habits are not meant to be carried on and on for years. It is in their undoing, in the undoing of the mind, ego and personality, that lies the discovery of who we truly are.  If I remember this, then the time spent in being a victim throwing pity parties for myself, denial, anger and confusion, gets shorter and shorter as I progress on the path.

I have invested years in building my personality, intelligence and knowledge. It had left me with a void, with not knowing what I truly wanted, what made me happy or who I was. With GD, as I shed one thought, one belief, one fear after the other, I know I am walking closer to knowing the truth.

The less of the world there is on me, the more space I am opening up to God. The more I shed my mind, the lighter I feel. The more silence inside, the higher the possibility of hearing God. I am discovering that knowing “who-you-truly-are” is not really spiritual. It is not just another experience. It is not just another event. It really is the journey itself.

The quest for perfection

For a few days now, I have been restless about judging my dad for something. Spirituality brings with it the awareness that judgements we have about others is usually something we judge ourselves for. But it is never easy to look at the things that make you uncomfortable, and so, for a few days now I have been avoiding doing some clearing work on this.

But as I prayed today morning, I felt ready to release this judgement. I am learning to honour guidance and started tapping. I usually use a combination of EFT, Clearing questions and forgiveness when I work on something. I find it works really well for me.

Aware that I needed to be honest and non-judgemental, I acknowledged all the judgements I had about my dad. It was tough to vocalize or say what I really feel, but as I tapped, I was able to release all these judgements. Remembering that these were just thoughts in the head and to not engage in guilt, made it easier to be honest.

As I tapped it the thoughts turned from the judgements about dad to judgements about other family members. Events and incidents of the past came up and led to memories of feeling judged when I was younger. As I tapped, I was also able to acknowledge hidden anger at him and others.

Interestingly, as it was ending it led to the quest for perfection, competing with God (who I believe is perfect), guilt for choosing separation from God and living as a “I”, and mostly about never really feeling perfect, good enough, or worthy. I ended it by doing forgiveness. Forgiving my dad, forgiving family, asking for forgiveness for judging them, forgiveness for indulging in this useless quest for perfection, and for believing in something called perfection.

All my life I have seen people around me struggle with their thoughts and beliefs about perfection. I have seen my mom live a life which would receive the approval of all and I in turn grew up believing that I had to be perfect too. I had to cook perfectly, be the perfect mom, daughter, wife, daughter-in-law, friend, acquaintance. As I tapped today, I experienced immense anger at how I have been believing in the wrong word and its wrong meaning all my life.

I want my dad to be a perfect dad, family wanted me to behave in a way they felt perfect, others in turn had the same expectation from those family members. It turns out the whole world is trying to live up to either their notion or someone’s notion of being perfect! This led me to question – if everyone wanted perfection, then is the meaning of perfect the same for everyone? No! For someone being perfect could mean giving more importance to helping others than cleaning their home, for others being perfect could mean choosing family over helping neighbours… And yet, we spend lifetimes in this quest for perfection.

As I tapped, it became clear to me that in my eyes God is perfect. That it is only God whom I can associate the word perfect with. But that didn’t meant that God had a standardized behavior. Because each of us has our own unique relationship with God. Then what does perfect mean!

If God meant perfection, it means perfection is allowance. Perfection is being accepting of differences, perfection is being flexible, perfection is being forgiving. Perfection means allowing others to be fragile, foolish, fearful. But most of all perfection is forgiving.

As I ended the clearing, I felt lighter because I had my own flexible definition of perfection. We all need to find our own definitions sometimes, because when we attribute inflexible meanings to words, we are limiting ourselves and others. And what I still need to remember is this is still not about finding the right meaning. There is no right and no wrong. Just remembering that allows me to be human as I look for the Divine.

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 🙂

You think any of this is real?

This is not a year-end review. Walking on a path to discover myself, move closer to myself and my true nature, one thing has become evident. To be bound by time is silly. This is an endless, timeless process of movement, and to mark or measure it against the end of the calendar year is silly. And so this is just a reminder and a record of where I am on the path right now. This blog started off as a personal journal. Over time it became my way of passing on my insights, lessons and observations to the world. Now as I move inside, it matters not if anyone reads this. But if someone does, I hope it helps them live their lives more meaningfully and mysteriously. I hope that you look beyond the things that make you sad or happy; I hope you look closely at yourself. Who are you is more important that who you are being right now. But in the end even that is just a story. You are a story, I am a story, Life is a story…But something is not. And that is what I am searching for now.

It has been almost two years since GD came into my life. I was not looking for a Guru or teacher, I was looking to connect with myself. And probably that is why at first I resisted visiting GD. I knew my life wouls change the moment I met him. All my lies and dramas would have be to shed and I was not ready for it. But apparently I was because I did choose one day to finally go meet the man, whose words were changing my life. In the year and half since, life has become an exploration, as adventure. Not the intimidating, fear and anxiety inducing, stressful, frustrating, challenging journey it was. All the triggers which caused this remain, but the responses have changed for good. Life is a dot. A tiny blimp in the cosmos and yet it is the very thing that created life, this universe, what we can see and all that our human mind can’t see.

I have come unstuck and I find that I am floating through whatever life brings my way. I cry, I ache, I laugh, I smile, I worry and it all ends. Because GD laughs in my ear, “you think any of this is real?” I look for God inside everyone. I rein in my judgements when I find I am listening to them and instead peer inside me for what it is inside me that I find reflected in this person ahead. And I find the answers more often than not. Oh yes, I still feel guilt and blame and all those useless emotions piled on me since lifetimes. I have not yet broken their bond, but I find that I am watching myself and understanding myself more than I ever did. If I get emotional or angry, instead of letting them flow senselessly, I can look at the cause and work on it quickly. I allow my tears to flow and my stupid jokes to bore. I am more comfortable being myself.

I find that this journey inside began with and is directly connected to my relationship with my body. I know when something I do is going to cause some reaction in my body. Sometimes when I lose touch with myself as it often happens), I find a response in my body. Sickness now makes me look inside me to see what is it that I am suppressing or ignoring, and this I have seen results in a quicker recovery.

I am trying to remove my bonds from everyone around and setting them free. And oh my God, how hard it is! But when you consciously interact with others and look at them as part of you, relating does become the focus and not trying to control them or prove yourself or let your insecurities dictate the conversation. This I have found is the hardest part of the journey- letting go of people and your expectations of them and their real/imagined expectations of you.

I always believed in God. But instead of expecting someone above to make my life better- living with greater awareness, understanding that I am not just this body-mind, chasing spiritual goals instead of material ones, has set me off in the right direction. I am moving towards light, I am living hand-in-hand with my teacher. Today I don’t know why but I feel the need to send a prayer from my heart out to everyone alive on earth. May you find your teacher, may you find your guide. It is such a blessing to have a teacher; I wish this blessing on everyone today.

Thank You, GD. Always and Ever.

Rebirth

Rebirth

I sit in this chair
Surrounded by a few plants
Breathing in the discussions of the motley birds
watching the overgrown bamboo bend under its own weight

I have been cowed down by my own inaction
with simple inabilities to persevere
looking back at all I didn’t do
I feel no remorse no guilt

I shed my own skin
and then scrape off some more layers
to watch this redness emerge
a hypersensitivity that feels old though new

I bow to the divine inside me and around
cowed down by no words or wisdom
to live with this constant simplicity
to live conscious of choice

I emerge unscathed and stronger
from a vortex of constant doubt
fed by stories from birth till now
of how things are to be and not

This rebirth is from the womb of a teacher
from the mind of a student ardent to learn
irrepressible and yet willing to surrender it all
I type simply as a conscious life form.

And

Walking ahead

I have not given this year credit enough for being an important year of my life. In so many ways I am still stuck to the memories of my year in Boston and how wonderful it was. How it expanded my horizons, how it gave me friends who have become an important part of my life, how I got to know and understand people from different countries, continents and cultures, how I got to follow my passion for dance, etc.,etc. And in this process I have completely only blamed this year for being as hard as it has been health-wise. But the issues have also brought in a completely new wisdom about my body, what it can do and it can’t, what it can bear and it can’t, how I should treat it and how I can harm it. With that awareness has some a movement, a regular reminder of what my soul truly needs to be happy and free.
Keep walking is my theme for this year. Every step taken is a small success. Every time you move ahead do it with awareness. And that awareness is to be as simple as can be, live as simply as I can and to continually be in a space that brings me peace. This has been so much more easier and harder than I imagined. Imaging a path is the stuff dreams are made off. But walking the path of trust, knowing that life is giving me all that I need at that moment, believing the universe is sending me the very energies I need, allowing myself to love myself with my imperfections and most of all accepting that not money but it is the simple act of helping others and healing others gives me joy, these are the very things I have imagined doing and never allowed myself the time for.
I have renounced perfection and remind myself everyday to give up on perfection which I imagine others expect. I have accepted that I am doing my best each moment and even when I fail, there is a lesson to be learned. This faith is what keeps me alive and has kept me in a cocoon of trust. Everytime I or someone I love falls, the universe holds us and brings us back to our feet. All I need to do is keep walking ahead.