Humbled

A few years ago I undertook a conscious journey, one of trying out something new, out of the norm.  It was my way of breaking away from my complacent self.  It gave me a push, a reason to strive for something beyond who I was.  Such a journey began for me with meditation.  I have, what one can perfectly define as the “Monkey brain” – I know how to effortlessly jump from one topic to another in my head with no external input.  My brain would concoct scenarios that didn’t exist, but could potentially exist.  I have even been called a hypochondriac! Much to my own dismay, I have lived up to that reputation several times.  However, when I undertook that journey of commitment to silence, I started out with “Oh Gosh,  What a failure I am?  My body hurts. I need to stretch.  Did I pay that bill? What is that annoying noise I am hearing? This isn’t meant for me.”  You could name a lot more and I fit every single of those categories. 

However, I stayed committed to it.  I insisted on going to conferences and I connected with people from far and wide.   I noticed a change in me.  I went from being unable to sit for 5 mins at a stretch, to being lost in that world of nothing for an hour and a half.  Needless to say, my outer world began reflecting my inner stability.  The more I persevered, the less resistance I felt and the more peace I experienced.  I have been living more and more in the present moment for a short while now.  My emotional energy levels have been skyrocketing and I have been doing things I am not known to do.   Every focussed effort hasn’t been just about my own upliftment, but a contribution to greater communal good.

About a year and a half ago, In Seattle, at one meditation conference, I happened to meet a stranger, who seemed to connect with me at a core level.   His simplicity, his modesty, his honesty and simply his being who he was, truly amazed me.  We became very good friends.  Every single conversation of our revolved around our spiritual growth.  We lived in two different cities and met only once, since our first meeting in Seattle.  Our telephone conversations revolved around how to reach deeper levels of meditations and what worked and what didn’t.  While on the one hand I was so grounded, on the other hand, a part of me craved very different experience in life – ones that I don’t often get to experience. I craved experiences that I haven’t had before and of course, I started manifesting them.  I am the living proof of the biblical saying, “Ask and it shall be granted”. 

Three and half months ago he called me to say how his abdominal pain was diagnosed with advanced stage pancreatic cancer that has spread to lungs and liver.  I was overcome by shock but for some bizarre reason not sadness.  Over the weeks, I learned that the prognosis wasn’t good.  And I decided to do something I have never done before  – to visit a dying friend – not to tell him all will be good, but to tell him to give up on his disease-ridden body and move into another realm.  It was the first time that I was facing the death of someone I deeply care about, without an emotion of pain or angst or questions for the divine and its choice to inflict this upon my friend.  It was a total surrender moment.  As I walked into the hospice, I had no clue if he was still dead or alive.  And the nurses told me, “Oh, you are the one he has been waiting for. He is ready for you. He woke up and freshened up knowing you are coming.”

When I met him, words flowed.  I had no clue I was capable of speaking with such calmness.  I told him how his body wasn’t capable of handling his beautiful energy and hence his soul wishes to find another home.  I sat by his bedside, holding his hand with a smile on my face.  My smile truly reflected my inner peace with what was happening to him and me.  To my own surprise, I had no angst, no sadness, no fear. On the other hand, I was humbled by the experience.  When I asked him what he wanted most, he said, “I want to see the light” and without a thought, I responded, “You ARE the light, Tim”.  He smiled and managed to whisper, “That was really profound. Thank you” and retreated into his world of oblivion.

Now in real life, I would celebrate a friend moving from one home to another. I would lend a helping hand in the move, depending on what the need of the hour is.  And that is exactly what I did. My message to him is one of absolute clarity,  His compassion, his love and his commitment to the work of being a better being had to continue in a new body, a new time and in a new life. 

Tim passed away two days after I visited him, exactly seven weeks from his diagnosis.  “Welcome Tim, welcome back soon.” 

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Inward journey, interesting results

A recent three day retreat of inward journey was exhilarating, joyful, calming and exhausting, all at once.  The physical body  rebelled at the 2:45 am wake up calls.  Monkey mind tortured the body, as the body chose to sit still.  There were intense moments of energy surges. A ton of pent up emotions flowed in the name of tears and energies were exchanged through hugs.  The room reverberated with deafening silence.  The sounds of sobs became a common occurrence in a room filled with almost 450 people.  After three days of listening to profoundly wonderful and transforming lectures, combined with long periods of sitting still, I emerged, a somewhat transformed human being (or so it seems). What surprised me was the inner chaotic voice settled and surprised my outer experience in my everyday world.  And I seem to be experiencing some interesting results.

The seeming disappearance (temporary ?) of the sock thief : In the physical world, I know for a fact that I have only two children, however, I am reasonably sure that as I delivered them, I also delivered an invisible sock thief, for it is only after their birth that single socks have begun to disappear.  Regardless of how few loads of laundry I do, I have always land up with single socks.  I commend my two children who, instead of cringing at my parental sock-neglectfulness, have now become proud wearers of different socks.  Since my return from my retreat, I have found all pairs of matching socks.  The sock thief has perhaps ended his sojourn with us. Amen!

Order in a chaotic home : As I trotted back into my home, I was welcomed to a rather regular sight, that surprisingly did not perturb me. Piled up loads of laundry in every nook that I could see.  Household chores, grocery shopping, dirty car, work-related issues and much more.  I could barely believe myself when I smiled my way through washing and folding, what seemed like 40 loads of laundry.  I hopped over toys like a joyous bunny in the spring time.  A trip to the grocery store on a grey day seemed like a picnic on a bright summer day.  Work-related emails seemed to take quarter of the time that it would before.  And I know that what has distinctly changed is indeed my attitude towards the issues that once used to be irritants.

The idiot box takes the brunt : Since my return from the retreat, the need to engage in my inner world is so powerful that my favourite sitcoms have suffered a major blow.  Some of the characters must feel bereft of an ardent fan.  My family has lost a sitcom companion and the TRP has dropped by one and thus having a domino effect on all the missed opportunities for commercials selling products that were seemingly important to buy and hoard.  I have been robbed of the “knowledge” that I could have gained by watching commercials about those pharmaceutical products that cause distress in the undistressed.

Sedated monkey mind : It has been over a week since I have returned from the trip.  What surprised me was the sense of calmness that prevails since – a true appreciation for life, joy in the littlest of things,  non-judgmental peaceful days, a heartfelt gratitude for all setbacks, a deeper sense of community, a profound sense of compassion, a rather wonderful understanding of the macro and the dissipating importance of the micro. It most definitely seems like the a powerful sedation of the monkey mind. And a passionate desire to continue to do what was once seemingly difficult to do – practicing silence every single day.

 

 

PS : Thank you Google images for the image.

Struggles of an incessant thinker

I work with children and I am amazed by their ability to completely be absorbed in that moment that they are in, whether a tantrum or a smile or the act of devouring food. It is indeed a spectacular sight.  It also makes me very envious of them because I work hard at my meditations to re-learn what I knew as a child.

I consider myself a seasoned beginner, (yeah I know – complete oxymoron) as far as meditation is concerned. It means I have been at it for a while now and I make conscious efforts to meditate every day and even if I don’t, I bring about my awareness to the moment several times in the day, often savouring the moment.  However, I am appalled by my mind’s ability to follow a chain of thought and wander off like Hansel and Gretel and often, I do leave myself bread crumbs in order to find my way back to the original thought that led me to go off on a forbidden trail.  However, the struggle remains.  Hence, I came up with my version of solutions. While some of you might find my thoughts downright crazy, I hope some others can find humour in my solutions.  In this day and age, it is all about technology and with absolutely no knowledge of inner workings of any gadget, I present the following ingenius implant gadgets. The size and implant mechanism shall be discussed on a separate blog.

Thought-gps : This device will track every thought and its vibrational frequency.  The in-built warning system will beep in three variable sounds – low, medium and loud, depending on how negative the thought is.  The device will also maintain data that can be used to analyse the patterns of these thoughts.

Thought-anchor : This device can be activated at the time when a positive thought arises.  The device will ensure that this thought stays anchored in the present state for as long as the person chooses to have it anchored.  The timer option gives the person multiple levels of time to keep the thought. The upgraded version, scheduled for phase 2 development, will offer a high memory capacity to store these anchors for future references.

Thought-sensitizer : This works best in conjunction with the Thought-anchor.  Every positive thought that the Thought-anchor catches on to, the Thought-sensitizer will give power to.  A reminder will be sent to the person to start the deep breathing exercises that will power up the sensitizer, adding electro-magnetic field to the thought.

At the moment, the three gadgets are in R&D stage.  Wonder if the banks will fund me and in the meantime the business plan is being written up for it.  Until then, I shall continue to slog with my ever-active brain to calm down the brain waves through sitting still during my meditations.  A friend of mine that heard me talk about these gadgets seemed to have a simpler solution for me, “You need to be put down!”