Thursday, June 16, 2005

You are this close...

You are watching a bee repeatedly bang its head against the half-closed glass window, wanting to get out. You can see the open window is just inches away.

You wish you could tell the persevering bee, "You are so close. You're just inches away from freedom."

This advice isn't about ego. It's compassion.

Whodunnit

According to what deeds are done
Do their resulting consequences come to be
Yet the doer has no existence:
This is the Buddha's teaching.

– Garland Sutra : 10

Wake up

Buddha was asked:
Are you God? Are you angel? Are you saint?

Buddha replied: I am awake.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Coincidence?!

You are holding a book edgeways. You see an ant begin to walk towards the centre. Then you see another ant walking towards the centre from the opposite end. When the ants meet, they exclaim, "Oh, what a coincidence!"

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Monkey of The Mind

There are two things in our experience that are the epitome of restlessness.

The first is the monkey. Have you ever seen a monkey that isn’t restless? If a monkey is happily perched on a branch, will it sit still? No way. It will scratch furiously, or jump from branch to branch or prance around wondering what to do next.

Now take the mind. Here this moment, there the next. Restless, working itself into a frenzy with What Was or What Could Be. Dipping into the past, projecting into the future.

Both, the monkey and the mind, share one problem: they cannot remain in the What Is.

There is one more aspect in existence that is by nature as restless. The Wind. Here this moment, there the next.

In Hindu mythology, the monkey is the symbol of the thinking mind.

Now do you understand why the “Monkey God” Hanuman is significantly the son of the Wind God? His very name reveals it all. Hanu (subtle)-Man (mind) is that unique "monkey" (mind) that has become calm, non-restless, ever settled in the What Is.

A rare phenomenon indeed, worthy of worship.

Tera tujh ko arpan…

To thee, what is yours

They said Bhakti is surrender
Advaita is acceptance.

They said ‘Insha’Allah’ and
‘Thy Will Be Done.’

They read out the Commandments
They held out the threats
Of the after-life.

They talked of karmic bank balance
And the rebirth penalty of overdraft.

They debated Atma, Paramatma
Awareness, Consciousness
Noumenon, Phenomenon
Choice, Volition
Free Will, Responsibility.

They raised their voices
They chased their tails
They defended forts
They themselves had claimed a while ago
To be Maya.

Meanwhile
Amidst all the churning
The Heart stood still
Anchored in peace
And the song it hummed was serene:

Hoyee hai woh jo Ram rachi raakha
Ko kar tark bhadawey shaakha?!
*

- shunyayogi

* A postscript on the concluding verse:

This is a couplet from the Hindu epic Ramayana by the sage Tulsidas.

The first line is direct, to the point, having the unambiguous authority of an axiom: All that happens is already written.

The second line is a compassionate adjunct.

The thinking mind is akin to a tree: each branch (shakha) branching into branches, each of which branching again into other branches, ad nauseam. Basically, the thinking mind can debate, doubt and question endlessly.

So the second line says: Knowing that all that happens is already written, why do you pointlessly proliferate branches of your thinking mind by your endless debating (tark)?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

When senses go out to graze

The deer is trapped by the sound of music and bells and the male elephant by the proximity of the female. The fish gets caught by the sense of taste. The moth destroys itself by being attracted by the sight of the flame. The bee, attracted by the perfume of the flower, gets trapped in it and dies. Each of them perish because of only one craving, but you have subjected yourself to all of the five temptations. How can you possibly find true happiness?

— Ramesh S. Balsekar in The Final Truth

It’s all there is

They said:
Worship
The stone, the tree
The cow, the monkey
The river, the sea
The living, the dead
The sun, the moon, the planets

They hoped
May be, just may be
One day
At some point
By some grace
You’ll begin to sense
Divinity
In every single thing.

Time isn’t linear

This is what happens when Neo meets the Oracle in The Matrix:

ORACLE
I'd ask you to sit down, but you're not going to anyway. And don't worry about the vase.

NEO
What vase?

He turns to look around and his elbow knocks a VASE from the table. It BREAKS against the linoleum floor.

ORACLE
That vase.

NEO
Shit, I'm sorry.

She pulls out a tray of chocolate chip cookies and turns. She is an older woman, wearing big oven mitts, comfortable slacks and a print blouse. She looks like someone's grandma.

ORACLE
I said don't worry about it. I'll get one of my kids to fix it.

NEO
How did you know...?

She sets the cookie tray on a wooden hot pad.

ORACLE
What's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything.


- From the film The Matrix

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pavlovian device

Ivan Pavlov is best known for his work on “conditioned reflex”, typified by what is called the Pavlov’s Dog experiment.

What Pavlov did was very simple. He put a dog alone in a room and, whenever it was meal time, he would first ring a bell and then give the dog his food. The procedure was repeated day after day. Finally a point came when the dog would start drooling at the mere sound of the bell.

Now see how the wise men, of every hue, deployed this as a device.

The moment you light a candle or a lamp, the moment the aroma of incense sticks impacts your nose, the moment you lay down your meditation mat, the moment the sound of church and temple bells strikes your ears… some minds become ready for prayer.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Seven Questions

Answer these seven questions calmly and honestly:

1. Did you decide when you will be born?

2. Did you decide to whom you will be born?

3. Did you decide your hardware?

[Did you decide what your DNA will be? What your body type will be? Scientists concur the DNA decides 85% of your life - even things like, will you be gay, a pscychopath, obese...]

4. Did you decide your software?

[Did you decide the ‘programming’ you would get? Your mom told you taking someone’s pencil was stealing, your dad taught you killing for sport was sin, your teacher told you the finest way to judge right and wrong was to step into the other person’s shoes…]

5. Can you decide the precise moment of your death?

[You may decide to take a cyanide pill at 11:05 hours but there may be an earthquake, a sneeze, a doorbell; you may decide to jump off the roof but you may break a leg and survive…]

6. Do you have any control over what may impact which of your senses at any given time?

[The sound of car brakes, a whiff of the neighbour’s cooking, the sight of a falling star, the roughness of the escalator handrail…]

7. Can you stop a thought from arising?

[Once it arises, you may be able to slam it down, but can you prevent it from arising?]


Now think about it:

You have no control over the beginning and the end.

You have no control over your hardware and your software.

You have no control over the inputs.

And you seriously think you can have absolute control over the output? You still think you are the doer of your actions?