Category Archives: Life

BUT REALLY, NEED IT BE LIKE THAT?

I think we would all agree that whatever we do in life, it is simply because we want to be happy.

Be it a desire for money, success, fame, knowledge, love or anything else that might be THE thing that we covet or crave for ourselves or for our loved ones. Bottom line: we want it because we feel it will make us happy. And inevitably there are times when we don’t get what we want or desire. Consequence: We are unhappy and experience pain. This is the story of the human existence since the beginning. And not much has changed since.

BUDDHA PICBut really, need it be like that?
Most of our pain results from resistance to what IS. We do not get what we so badly want and we think it’s so unjust to not get what we want or think we deserve. And sometimes we get what we don’t want and believe we don’t deserve: Loss, illness, poverty, a lack of success, violence and abuse. The list is endless. And ironically sometimes, we DO get what we want and find that we are still not happy! For we never expected the consequences of getting what we wanted. Or that the goal post has changed and expectations have increased. And we are back to square one. Still unhappy.

None of us are immune to the ravages of life. Life can be painful but I also believe that we aggravate our pain exponentially by resisting it. By telling ourselves stories about it. About how dreadful it is. We wallow in it and grow more attached to our pain. As if we were unique and the only ones to suffer. How arrogant!

Once we accept that that no one is immune, we lose the self-pity and stop resisting. And once we start accepting the IS, I think we have a real chance of happiness. Because then we can start focussing on what we DO have. This is nothing new, this simple concept of the glass: half full or half empty. It has been around I think, from the time humans began to question their existence. I for one know that I can’t remind myself enough of it. There is great practical benefit in reminding oneself of all the things one DOES have and be grateful for it. It makes for a great sense of happiness in life. As a sense of entitlement can actually become the cause of a great deal of grief.

Life is so much like a game of Billiards.
We aim and cannon the cue ball hoping that it will net the Red ball and score. But the aim might be wrong, the balls scattered and the end result completely beyond comprehension. Unless of course, we develop such a consummate skill and such an innate capacity in understanding the workings of the universe that we know precisely which ball to hit and where it will go. Perhaps thats why we are here in the first place. To learn to hit the ball so that we net the happiness. But then again, equating happiness with ‘getting’ something is itself the cause of unhappiness! A contradiction.

Often when I look back on my life, I realise that all the little things that I thought went ‘wrong’ or didn’t ‘get’ actually formed a choreography of events that eventually led to all the ‘Right’ things. The ‘Right’ was not even what I wanted or expected. But it was still RIGHT at that precise moment. Whether I liked it or not. And acceptance of THAT made me lighter and happier as a person.

When I talk of acceptance, I certainly do not mean passivity or lack of positive action. I simply mean the mental state of equanimity, no matter what the externals are at that point, whether positive or negative. Ultimately even those are perceptions. It is only time that reveals whether what was, was really positive and in our best interest. Or Not.

The specifics of what we want don’t really matter that much. They are simply heavy and unnecessary baggage that we lug around day in and day out. Letting go of the baggage of desires and expectations is actually letting go of unnecessary burden. What a relief that is!  Creating space for life to unfold as it naturally would without our constant Egoic interference, feels as natural as breathing.

In the scheme of the universe, in the cosmic lifetime, our life is simply a blink. Before we know it, it’s over. So let’s just play the Game of Billiards and enjoy it without getting too involved in the ideas of Winning or Losing!

24 Comments

April 5, 2015 · 6:31 pm

BREAKING DOWN WALLS

A wonderful blogger recently asked me to share my thoughts and views Religion and spirituality.

My response was as follows:

I have never identified myself with labels, whether nationalistic, religious or otherwise. The more I have seen the world the more I see the unity as opposed to differences, which are so very superficial. The joys and sorrows, the pain and happiness that govern a human life are fundamentally the same no matter, which country, religion, race or culture they belong to. Parents feel same joys and sorrows for their children, lovers the same love – what might differ is the external expression of those things. The expression being deemed as acceptable or not depending on the cultural conditioning. Ultimately everything that we tend to identify ourselves by is nothing but conditioning. Even nationalistic feeling, though considered to be a good thing can ultimately be detrimental when compared to the unity of the human experience – as it tends to separate man from man and woman from woman.

Tree picture ashramAnything that comes in the way of the unified human experience of love, which takes us away from basic fundamental human emotions and experiences of empathy, compassion – cannot be close to divinity. All spiritual paths, whatever names they go by, ultimately lead to the same destination. To claim that only one is true and the rest not so – is ludicrous. HE, SHE or IT that is all pervasive and has created the entire universe – how can such an intelligent presence differentiate between the very things it has created? That is pure indoctrination of the human mind by the human mind for nothing but control and power. How can love for God exist where no love for his creation exists!

Inner experience shows – that the more one advances, the more the labels fall off, the less is the insistence on a specific self limiting identity. How can that which is infinite be defined in finite terms? This is what i feel. The more one grows, the freer one is from small, narrow limitations; the more the walls break down. The more is the expansion of love. Not only does that love extend towards ones near or dear ones but it expands in ever widening concentric circles to include all societies, all nations, the world and ultimately the universe. It all exists within us.

The creator and the created are identical, the same holiness pervades all creation.

15 Comments

Filed under Humanity, Life, Meditation, Mindfulness, Peace, Philosophy, Pictures, Religion, Spirituality, ZEN

WEBS!

photo(20)

It grows and grows,

an endless spidery web,

of wants and desires,

Life – caught in silvery,

gossamer trappings,

taken over, engulfed, drowned,

not knowing that it’s even happening.

Enamored by the Golden cage,

forever on a hamster’s wheel,

spinning, spinning, spinning!

Breathe – I say to myself,

Let it go, let it go, let it All go!

Lighter, freer, oh to float,

to open the cage and get off the wheel – what bliss!

But –

More is Gold – the world howls!

Bigger is better – it screams!

Climb and claw, fight to get it All – it preaches,

buy more and get more

you are worth it – it entices!

For without it All – you are Nothing- it hisses!

You are only the things you own – it proclaims!

Oh, how we curdle in fear, how we buy into the lie.

What a web!

What an enticing illusion,

No more, no more, no more –

I will be caught no more.

I fly with glee, my mind will be free.

I begin the untangling,

the unraveling

Free to simply Be.

20 Comments

February 9, 2015 · 10:41 am

BRIDGES

Bridge pictureAll I see –
A world filled with
Chasms and trenches
Differences and distances
Murder and mayhem
Ego and anger
And I feel –
Isn’t it time
to take a mirror to oneself?
Isn’t it time
To acknowledge the pain?
Isn’t it time
To wipe off the tears
And stop the madness?
Isn’t it time to
build bridges?
Of understanding and acceptance
Of sympathy and empathy
Of generosity and gratitude
And above all –
Of love and compassion…

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

MAY IT BE FILLED WITH JOY AND PEACE!

24 Comments

January 12, 2015 · 4:45 am

SWORDS AND ROSES

There nestled two villages –

on opposite sides of

a majestic mountain

but never had the twain –

seen each other.

 

There nestled two villages –

idyllic and as pretty as could be

heady with the fragrance of roses but –

Red in one and White in the other.

 

There nestled two villages –

with beauteous women and men

that strutted with chests puffed and swords –

that gleamed and glistened.

 

And then one day, there arose a rumour –

skies darkened and lightning struck

and blood thirsty cries rose  –

in a thunderous and murderous chorus.

 

“How can Roses be Red?”

“How can Roses be White!”

“How can that possibly be true?”

“Kill those liars! Kill for ’tis definitely untrue!”

 

And so, they disbelieved each other and cried –

 “Sharpen your swords! Get on your horses!”

“Kill those liars! And save your souls!”

“For our truth is the only Truth!”

“For it cannot  –

otherwise be!”

 

And so they clawed and clambered

to the top of the majestic mountain

and fought and fought and fought

and their children and their children –

too fought.

 

And killed and killed and killed

For their truths –

Roses could only be Red!

Roses could only be White!

How could it possibly be otherwise!

 

And they continue to disbelieve each other –

And continue to fight

their bloody and brutal fight

and trample upon Roses both –

Red and White

And now there are Roses –

No more.

 

And now there are children –

no more.

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Filed under Life, Meditation, Mindfulness, Peace, People Portraits, Philosophy, Poetry, Religion, Spirituality, War

THE MASKED

photo 5

Men and women in masks
Marionettes that dance
Fake smiles in bright lights
Brittle and brazen in fights
With holes in their souls
How do they get by
With hideous grasping
Greedy and grabbing
Stripping the world bare
With an ugly stare
Beautiful carcasses
Designed to deceive
In shadows they live
Without masks
They cannot breathe
Such is the world
A stage –
of masked
Strangers.

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Filed under Life, People Portraits, Pictures, Poetry

WINTER’S NEST

      090

Drizzling eyes

heavy skies

      sighing shadows

      lengthening nights

      Unspoken words

      spoken silences

     empty spaces

     empty nests

birds in flight

distantly destined.

 

6 Comments

November 17, 2014 · 1:22 pm

AN UNTOLD STORY

For a moment our eyes met
and a million questions arose
behind a veil, a story peeked
and waited to be told.
So many faces, so many stories
so many worlds colliding with
each other for moments to unfold.

Every moment that collided,
intersected and intertwined
drew a venn diagram of life
an intersection of separate lives
lived intensely and infinitely
as one, only to have to go on
living in separate worlds.

And our story
had no beginning and so no end
just for a moment had our eyes met
and so for now, my story and yours
will have to wait
to unfold.

16 Comments

Filed under Life, People Portraits, Poetry

CHASING AFTER SMILES

There’s a smile playing hide-n-seek

I just need to find it…

Sometimes it disguises itself

as a little unexpected raindrop

that falls with a very big splosh!

Sometimes I chase after it

riding on big red buses

and just about manage to catch it

on the corners of little gift shops

and in the sweet stolen kisses on lovers’ lips…

Sometimes it stays in hiding

no matter how I hard I try to find it

But I know I could find it in a friend’s

warm hug on a rainy Sunday or

spot it  streaming out

of a steaming cup of tea

on a cold winter’s day…

And sometimes when the day ends

and twilight descends

and the moon begins to play

hide-n-seek with silvery stars

it slips through the chinks

when I am not even looking for it

and winks out of a funny bed-time poem

and settles on my lips

catching me unawares…

13 Comments

Filed under Life, Poetry

THE LOST

(My work brings me in contact with people who have suffered devastating tragedies in some way in their life. This poem is ‘inspired’ – am not sure that’s an appropriate word – by one such tragedy.)

 

He stood shivering

wet skin and dry eyes;

He jingled

jangled tunes

breaking through

torn pocket

wounds.

 

He lived rough

and pretended to be

oh so tough;

Meagre possessions

in a broken cart

a blanket, cigarettes

and a burnt out heart.

 

Where will he

sleep tonight?

Underneath the

plastic sheet

behind the

garbage bin

fiddlin’ with

her frayed picture

he’d gambled

with life

 

And

didn’t win.

 

14 Comments

Filed under Life, People Portraits, Poetry