The Art of Giving Form to Your Content

The truth that gives your words

Their power and beauty

Abides in the heart

And therefore

If you must speak

Speak your heart

And never your mind.

 

The heart is immersed in silence

While the mind rides

On the waves of sound

Speak your silence

Therein lies the mystery

The truth of which

All men yearn to see manifest.

 

It’s not the art of speech

That makes a man eloquent

It’s his mastery

Over the art of silence…

Chisel your words such

That you leave around it

A meaningful silence.

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Look Ahead. March On.

How do I look beyond

What I see at present?

Is that seeing a matter

Of imagination, or faith?

What must I presuppose?

What must I know?

 

The present will cease

To overwhelm you

If you understand that it is

Only an event

In the expanse of a larger destiny

That awaits you.

Don’t cling to it

Don’t linger on it

For too long…

If the moment is over

Leave it behind

Knowing fully well

That you are on your way forward

And that if time hasn’t stopped

You have to continue walking…

You have other promises to keep.

 

Do You Want To Know What Love Is?

That we feel love- is a unanimous fact. But how it prompts us to act and react seems to be individually determined. My state of mind determines whether I perceive love as a need, as an attachment or as pleasurable affection.  Does everything good, pleasing and gratifying indicate the presence of love and all that is painful, difficult and demanding- its absence? Why do we forge relationships out of love’s will and end them on ours? And then, why is every love story- with fiery, passionate beginnings- fated for an eventual separation, either physically or emotionally? Does a long-standing relationship indicate love’s blessing and a short-lived one its curse? And when our ‘affairs’ end, what changes mark our new beginnings?

How disintegrated and complex is the adult human heart! And in true inverse proportion how simple and effortless are the ways of children! Why is it so easy to love a child and so difficult to love an adult?

Children make no ‘conditions’ by which they shall ‘trade’ love. They don’t set out to make its laws; neither do they contemplate them; they simply follow them. Adults, on the other hand, have developed a mind and the mind as such, is characterized by memories, ideas, needs, desires and attachments. To love another adult requires a constant examination and purification of one’s emotions. As adults, we feel loved when we are understood, respected, trusted, attended to, wanted and desired. Love- if we allow it to have its way- will eventually re-acquaint and align us with our own hearts.

Love’s fulfillment lies in two becoming one whole and then eventually, one whole realizing that it always was, is and will always be- All.  For the individual, love fulfils the needs- not of the ego, but of the soul. Love, in the adult human mind, begins as a furtherance, an extending out of your self; and is experienced as a fuller presence. In wanting to repeat and recall the experience of that fuller presence, we embark on a journey marked with rejections, trials and antagonisms. In and through those experiences, through every changing emotion, through every triumph of the spirit, we stand re-acquainted and fully aware of our essence. Love extracts out of you your full worth.

Which is why, sometimes even after a relationship has ended, your new beginning is marked- not with a sense of loss, but with a sense of gain. You sense a growth, re-discover your self-esteem, develop greater self-reliance, become more responsible, realize your faith and cultivate the ability to endure, tolerate and be patient. You plumb your depths and find within you unbelievable strength and courage. Love’s path is an upward path. Falling in love is a weakness of the human heart and rising in it- its strength. Love begins as affection and is fulfilled with realization of the Self. When you discover and realize within you- self-confidence, courage, faith, independence, tolerance and patience- then only do you gain a full awareness of love within you. Love then, ceases to be a thirst and becomes the fountainhead of every action that flows out of you. Simply put, it transforms from being the problem to now being the solution.

NOW

I suspect that

There’s no other time

Apart from NOW.

 

Your memories and

Your dreams

Live only in the NOW.

 

You can’t be better than

Or more prepared than

You already are…NOW.

 

How you will be tomorrow

Is how you are

Today…in this moment…NOW.

 

The most important people

Exist in your life

Right here, right NOW.

 

To wait in hope

Is to hold your breath

Inhale and exhale…NOW.

 

To grow is not a future plan

It is to fill up

The space of NOW.

 

 

 

 

 

Wait. Watch. Listen.

The mind is a cheat. And it will cheat, if it is left to its own devices. It will suck you into a spiral of thoughts, trick you into believing their baseless ‘knowledge’ and completely hijack your attention to act on their ‘plans and desires’.

How are habits of thinking formed? How are memories reinforced and strengthened? What lies beyond this mind with its memories and desires and fears? Why is it that one feels imprisoned and bound in that which gives one the greatest feeling of safety and security? Which one of us hasn’t felt confined within and limited by our own minds? Why does a freedom beyond our safe and secure prisons beckon us?

The substance of all that is the mind (memories et al) is accumulated knowledge- a medley of remembered experiences, reinforced by our continuous expression of it through language. The mind remembers everything that seems significant and meaningful to the ego- that part of our selves that is interested in stringing together a story about itself or in ‘arriving’ somewhere.  Our knowledge of language with its words and their commonly understood meanings is very often a handicap rather than an advantage. Having reduced language to a mere code whose meanings can be sought in a dictionary, we end up with a corrupted and stereotyped understanding of the one thing that shapes and structures our mind-and that is our unique experiences. Knowledge can be so impressive and seductive that we find ourselves unable and unwilling to feel anything other than what our knowledge of words and their meanings allows us to feel. ‘A mere verbal understanding of something’, noted J Krishnamurti, ‘is no understanding at all.’

Instead of communicating that which our senses perceive and feel, we’ve used language to educate our senses. We try to fashion our senses by overstating or embellishing what we truly feel. Without knowledge, without the means to name and identify, we seem to be diminished in our eloquence and consequently in our ability to impress another with our story. We draw sustenance and nourishment from being acknowledged by others and we’ll end up doing anything for such nourishment- including impressing others with more than what we actually feel.

Riding secure in our knowledge of words and what they generally mean, we may draw great comfort from their common, shared perceptions, but we’re also prone to feel great disappointment when our  ‘reality’ does not conform to the general interpretations of it. For example, you may be in a relationship with another, but it may not at all live up to the ‘standards’ of a typical relationship. Your ideas (shaped and structured by language), of love and trust may often create conflicting states in your relationship. If you enter a relationship with ideas of how it should be (being completely blind and disinclined to appreciate how it is), chances are before you know it, conflicts will begin to gnaw your mind.

Words and their community- language- have given us a false sense of knowledge and understanding. For most, knowing the language basically is enough. We don’t acutely feel the need to transcend it, when in fact we must. Language and words after all, are merely symbols of feeling and insight. We’ve grabbed the words and discarded the ability to feel deeply. In watching out for how we feel, in trusting the intelligence of our senses, we summon up and gather all our attention to simply being present to the ‘now’ and watching. It’s in the silent watching and in the vigilant application of our attention, that understanding comes to us. The noise and clamor of ideas is absent and the prison gates of the mind are thrown open, becoming that window of understanding we’re all so graciously and divinely blessed with. Knowing that such a window exists is the first step in throwing your mental space open to a breath of fresh air that can drive out the stale air of recycled knowledge. That window must be a window by which you can wait, watch and listen.

The Purpose of Purposefulness

Two hours into a circular discussion on action/ karma and destiny, I realized that one of my friends had been unusually silent. Curious, I asked about her thoughts to loop her back into the conversation. ‘This whole discussion is annoying me,’ she said. ‘I mean, what is the purpose behind this? How does it matter if you know or not, what destiny has in store for you? How would it help? Just act. Do whatever it is that you’re doing and if you suffer the consequences, learn and move on. What is the point of this questioning? What are we hoping to achieve? After all, we all know that we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.’

Without really knowing or intending to, this friend had administered a final blow and hit the nail on the head. So, while we had been ‘discussing’ our need for what is true, purposeful action, she was actually experiencing it!

Her annoyance over the seemingly purposeless action of questioning and discussing was no different from a similar annoyance we all feel when so many of our actions make no sense or seem like a total waste of time. Yes, just as my friend was irritated by what she felt was totally lacking in purpose, so too, do we all feel the need to question when we find ourselves feeling rudderless and acting routinely, habitually and without conscious reason.

We question our actions, our motives, our ideas and our beliefs because we want to discover their source. Generally speaking, our actions proceed from desire and hope, or anxiety for the future or from a set of beliefs and values. It is through our questioning that we can see this fact. Also weighing on our minds and aborting conscious, awakened action is that vast body of second-hand knowledge, which we have acquired in a bid to substitute our ignorance. This mindless accumulation of knowledge too, hasn’t given us clarity. Not only has our ignorance not disappeared, it has been further compounded by knowledge we our selves know nothing about.

But contemplation and reflection are such strange and unusual pastimes. Do they serve any purpose? Do they achieve anything for us that we can parade around as an accomplishment?

Must questions only provide answers? Are only those questions valid, that ‘have’ answers? In a similar vein, is only that action good that can achieve something?

I feel that because we sense a purpose to our existence, we wish to act purposefully.

But, we tend to confuse individual desires with purpose, thinking all the while that our individual destiny is all that matters. If we argue that life is intrinsically intelligent and everything within it seems to by default, fulfill a purpose; and by virtue of such an observation we can be certain that we are anyway fulfilling our purpose, then why is it, that in spite of us being conscious beings, we are not conscious of it?

We act, driven by our desires and we suffer the consequences of such actions time and again. Yet, we refuse to learn from such suffering and see that there is something fundamentally wrong with such desire-motivated action. It’s almost always destined for failure. We do not even want to explore the possibility that there may be other ways to motivate action.

J Krishnamurti’s beautiful and elegant elucidation on suffering is that ‘it is nothing but the poverty of a limited consciousness.’ Through questioning, we’re hoping to expand our consciousness. We’re wondering if we can act in a more awakened state- not out of reaction, compulsion, or fear or to fight or for flight, or desire for personal success and glory. The question is, is there another way to act?

Where does action proceed from? When it proceeds from desire or fear or anxiety, you can be certain that it proceeds from a limited, individual consciousness. If my thoughts, my beliefs, my values, my concerns are centered around me and only me, my actions are also going to be self-serving and limited. If however, my actions were to proceed from an expanded consciousness something that went beyond me and mine, I would slowly sieve out and separate individual desires from purpose and perhaps see –with an awakened mind- what in truth is my reason to be.