Saturday, August 27, 2005

Consumed by Cleverness?

The problem with being clever all the time is you have no time left for anything else.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Here and Now

When the wind blows through the scattered bamboos, they do not hold its sound after it has gone. When the wild geese fly over a cold lake, it does not retain their shadows after they have passed. So the mind of the superior man begins to work only when an event occurs; and it becomes void again when the matter ends.

- Hung Tzu-ch'eng in Discourses on Vegetable Roots

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Patience and Spontaneity

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

- Lao-Tzu in the Tao-te-Ching

Monday, August 15, 2005

Time's up?

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you are alive, it isn’t.

- Richard Bach

Friday, August 12, 2005

Meditation is the art of losing the meditator

The closest definition of Meditation I have come to is, Meditation is open-ended concentration.

Remember, “open-ended”. Meditation is not an exercise in concentration, or of rigid straight backs for that matter.

The mind has this habit of either dwelling on the past or jumping to the future. It hates staying in the present moment. It normally revels in the gamut of “could”, “would” and “should”. It hates being in the What Is.

Simply put, Meditation is what gets the mind to stay in the What Is. In the beginning there is a meditator who is doing the meditation to achieve an objective. As the meditation progresses, there is no meditator, no objective…just the meditating.

Two things more to contemplate upon.

First, do you remember the geometry theorem we all learnt in school? “The smallest arc of a circle is a straight line.” The present moment is the smallest arc of this circle of life. If this present moment can be perfect, and the next moment, then the moment after that…life becomes a straight line in contrast to the violently rocking boat it is right now. This is what meditation facilitates.

Second, think about this. The body feeds on food, but what does the mind feed on? The mind feeds on “mind stuff” – what the Buddha would refer to as vikars, the knots formed by the mind because of its cravings and aversions, because of its habit of ceaselessly judging the past and restlessly extrapolating into the future, most often at the cost of the present moment.

What happens when the body fasts? The body accesses stored food (fat) to survive. And what would happen if the mind were to “fast” – i.e. stay strictly in the present moment? It begins to dig up and voraciously feed on stored “knots” of mind food. No wonder, after a stint of meditation meditators report feeling “lighter”, “cleaner”.

In the final analysis, the ultimate purpose of meditation is to discover just one answer: Who is it that meditates?

Monday, August 08, 2005


Believe in miracles but don’t rely on them.

- sign outside church at Amboli, Mumbai

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Stream of (Un)Consciousness

This is where the mind wandered whilst I was busy chanting this morning in the autorickshaw to work:

… [seen: flooded road] God, when will the waters clear?! Wonder how they get into the shops by the road? …

… [seen: drug store sign] I need to buy some Laviest. All those antibiotics have screwed up my system …

… [bending to bow as the Krishna Temple is seen approaching] I really like this, the way they light up the deity with diyas instead of those ghastly light bulbs …

… [heard: a sharp horn and a shriek of brakes] F***k! That was close! He was just inches away. Ass****!

… [seen: a roadside cart with pineapples] They look so fresh. But look at that filthy plastic on the cut slices. So many flies! Eat this and you’ll shit to death! …

… [leaning forward to check out the ATM] Thank God, it’s working again after the floods. I don’t have to go to the one three blocks away …

… [seen: a cropped view through the auto’s hood of a tight rainbow-coloured tanktop on a very slim girl] Must be anorexic. What do these girls eat these days? You've to pay a price for all extremes …

… [seen: a fork in the road revealing the spot where an old man was crushed under a bus last week] Don’t look there! Can’t forget the white Gandhi cap amidst the thick dark pool of blood …

The chanting ended soon after.

The Deluge

As Mumbai recovers from the deluge, one is reminded of this delightful story:

The flood waters were rising fast and the villagers were evacuating and they told the rabbi, “Rabbi, let’s go. We have organized a bus for all of us. The water’s already up to the knees and rising really fast.” The wise old rabbi shook his head and smiled benignly: “The good Lord shall take care of me.”

A while later the flood waters reached the waist. The remaining villagers came in a boat to pick up the rabbi. The rabbi’s faith was strong and he refused to leave, saying: “The good Lord shall take care of me.”

Two hours later the water was touching the chin and a helicopter droned in above the rabbi’s head. The last of the villagers dropped down a ladder: “Rabbi, climb on. You are the only one left. The waters will be above your head in no time.” The rabbi waved them off. “The good Lord shall take care of me.”

The rabbi drowned and when he faced the good Lord, he grumbled bitterly: “You let me down! I trusted you so completely!”

The Lord protested: “I did my best by you. I sent you a bus, then I sent you a boat and finally I sent you a helicopter… but gosh you were so stubborn! You just wouldn’t heed!”

Why? Why not?

There is only one reason why you do not find any posting here from June 16.

The writing did not happen.