Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Meditative thoughts

 Why do we think?

Why do we constantly resort to thinking the same thoughts in an infinity loop? Is "chewing the cud" our mind's resting bitch face perhaps? 

I sat in meditation today after a couple days gap and those days are always difficult as thoughts pervade every second and the millisecond in between. I tried to will myself into thoughtlessness and of course that never works beyond a millisecond. And so I gave in, and let the thoughts take over, and hoped my physiology changes with focusing on my breathing would reduce the density of thought streams zigzagging in my mind. 

What is interesting is that on good days, even when I have no cohesive thought in my mind, I have silhouettes of thought streams, almost like a flash of a water print floating across. and then when I use the vagueness of the flash to push me into emptying my mind, it is almost like a different part of my head (not sure where it is, but it seems to approximately originate in the head area, so lets call it the 'silent mind') takes over. But the thought mind and the silent mind part are so seamlessly meshed together, that it is almost impossible for me to separate the two and subscribe to one over the other. Its like there is an involuntary muscle spasm that keeps flitting across the two realms in my head and I have no control over where it lands. And the irony is, just when I have a thought that I have mastered control over that annoying muscle, I know I also have lost control over it, as witnessed by the appearance of that thought in the first place! And the drama continues!

What I have found practical and useful when my mind goes back to chewing the cud, is to push my thought mind into thinking about activities and tasks rather than situations and people. I find that it pushes my personal self, from the center of the drama in my mind to a corner, a doer rather than a dreamer. And when I find it slipping, I push into it again with renewed vigor. Practice definitely helps. It is like any muscle that you train. 

Another way of pushing my person to the corner of my mind's drama is by following an aspect of "mindfulness" that has become so popular now in all leadership and centering discussions. It is to let your mind just be, and not be overly concerned about where it goes. Observe without judgement, as a silent (and a little amused) bystander. Impossible as that sounds, it successfully objectifies a thought. When you are not the center of a thought, it is a weightless thought, almost like a feather. You could have a sack load of such feathers and you will find that it does not weigh you down, unlike a single thought with you in the center, where things 'happen to you' almost like you are living a parallel life within your mind. Those thoughts weigh like hammers, and imagine having a sack load of hammers on your back - a sure shot way to weigh you down! 

So the real or practical journey is to move from hammer thoughts to feather thoughts! And by then we would have exercised our will power to an extent where we can start working towards thoughtlessness!

Monday, September 7, 2015

A breath of fresh air...

Sometimes it might be lying right in front of our faces and we may fail to recognize it. When life throws certain episodes at us, our visual range gets selective and most often, cynical and dismissive. In these cases, humungous evidence from the farthest quadrant to our presumptions can sometimes fall short to widen our horizons.
I was given such a chance when I started life as a collegiate for the second time. A weather worn, street smart (as I would like to think) and world wise professional, looking for a break from the cares of corporate life. And unexpectedly, life threw such goodness and innocence at me that I was almost not prepared for it. We get so used to question and suspect ulterior motives when so much obvious goodness hits us on the face. And that’s exactly what I was tempted to do when this girl came into my life. Because at her age, with her qualities, there is no reason for someone to be as unsure, insecure and shy as she turned out to be. It was a misplaced sense of less than par self worth. For someone like her to be able to trust and believe in someone like me with that much tenacity was a boon. A boon that acted as a slow balm to wounds that were age old and that helped me to trust the good in this world and to be na├»ve again.
Sometimes I think she is Lucifer personified due to her astuteness in gauging the deepest desires of people. I wish for her sake and for mine that life doesn’t trick her out of her goodness and naivete that providence has allowed her to nurture all these years. They say goodness lies in not only being able to identify it in others but also in trusting that goodness to stand the test of time. I hope we are able to find that space in which we can be there for each other through years of evolution and growth!
God Bless!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Queen of hearts

You have me clutching at straws,
blinded by confusion, totally at a loss,
In frustration and anger, I hold you responsible
for all the things that could have been,
that I could have had.

You have me lusting at meagerly portions,
of even little somethings  that is peanuts to others.
Holding that righteous envy as my sole purpose,
I allege it to be from your misplaced judgement,
Of what I could and could not have.

You have me plundering my own soul,
from self pity and loss of esteem, I grovel
at empty nothings, plummeting into darkness,
I question you to make sense of it all,
of why I couldn't have, that which I could have had.

In wrath,  distress and oblivion, I'm dazed,
by your power over me, your hold over my soul.
What is this power you hold, why does the grip never loosen?
With effort I relinquish control of my heart,
and it runs back to you for solace, your hand for comfort!

What if not perverse and  twisted is this code,
that you ask me for my trust, and then you crush my heart.
What if not warped and wanton is my heart's response,
As it rushes to submit, as if to say,
"This is gut wrenching, but bliss full.  In limbo...but at home !"

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Weight of vulnerability

The above are quotes from the widely acclaimed TED talk of Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability.  Armed with her research of over six years, she claims with feeling that to lead a wholesome life, one needs to led down their armor and embrace all aspects of who they are, which would in turn makes it easier for them to be vulnerable to others. Counter intuitive though it seems, vulnerability is the greatest step towards showing courage and being truthful to oneself and to others. This would enable an individual to experience both the  hurt as well as the happiness that comes with being vulnerable.....

I found myself wide eyed and nodding my head along with her as she spoke on. While a lot of what she has to say is indeed inspired and eye opening, there was one aspect that created some  cognitive dissonance within me and I proceeded to do some soul searching myself!
To be vulnerable is to let ourself be seen for who we are without any armor. But we are not born armored. In fact, we are pretty much armor less in the beginning. Our armors are something that we put up after years of friction and struggle.
 Our armors are put up based on our understanding of what works...... and what the world wants.

For someone to be worthy of being privy to the person behind that armor, that someone should also take the effort of tearing down the armor. Piece by piece. And gently too without breaking the heart within the armor.

In fact, this evolutionary process is what gives strength and tenacity to our relationships. It cannot happen overnight and it certainly cannot happen with premature 'vulnerability'. If we are going to be vulnerable with someone who does not value the fact that we are being vulnerable with them, one person's precious vulnerability is just soulless babble to another. Because without a proper foundation in the relationship, the weight of your vulnerability, will fall into a bowl of feathers. And if I don't value my vulnerability enough to place it into the right bowl, can I blame the other person for handing me a bowl of feathers??

That, dear reader, is my question and confusion. What do you think?

Monday, April 27, 2015


A little something that has eluded me from the moment I started seeking it, is this specific trait of Conviction!
Incidentally, all the people I really admire in my life are people with a strong will power and conviction to carry through their thoughts into actions. As they say, traits that you do not possess awaken a heightened sense of admiration as they seem to require more effort or natural ability than they really do.
Lawrence of Arabia, Steve Jobs, my boss, my brother all seem to have this specific trait exponentially higher than what I posses.

My friend and I were discussing the reasons why sometimes providence seems to favor certain personalities who are dis likable to the point of being repellant at times when it comes to communicating their opinions. These people are individuals who are selfish, opinionated ( if you didn't get that already!) and do not have a second thought before drowning out a resistant voice. However, they are the ones who are capable of pushing through all obstacles and challenging opinions to achieve the final goals that might seem elusive and even impossible to most people.
Where does this strength of will power come from?  Could it be fed from some seeds of thought that I have seen in and around me...such as a merciless disregard for others/selfishness, thirst for knowledge, power and ambition, devotion to a higher power, or, today's fashionable answer to all of life's macro issues - love?

However, I think this is one such trait that cannot be explained away with love. Love alone is not enough to have conviction. it needs something , dare I say, more spiritual. It is a quality that enables one to believe themselves to be grander than what they are. Or what others perceive them to be. The ability to believe that their verse in the world's prose could actually make it (an) epic! The belief that while one's time here is limited, one's potential to carve through slabs of space and time never is! It is that which gives one the strength and authority to challenge the rational and embrace the seemingly irrational! An ability to see the end goal as a living breathing form and working towards it with all that you've got! It is that which drives Kevin spacey as he masterminds his way to the white house. Stephen hawking could not have clobbered on if not aided with a fierce conviction in himself and in the existence of 'the theory of everything'.

Interestingly, every larger than life figure that we remember today, that has stood the test of time, are those who have had truckloads of conviction in their cause or in themselves. Mother Teresa's conviction that the world can be changed through love and kindness, Albert Einstein's conviction that he could find the ultimate hidden truth of the universe and Lance Armstrong;s conviction that he had it in  himself to challenge death and pedal his way to the final lap of the tour-de-france. Almost makes me question today's inclination towards a line of inquiry directed largely towards 'love' rather than 'conviction'. It is almost like the universal thought is cushioning towards a more feel good philosophy rather than an empirical one, and this, even as the world endorses critical thinking as a key aspect of modernism! Question that requires deep thought and a lot of 'conviction' (not love) to bring about a change!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The silhouette of love

Your love is like a silhouette, Oh! Blossom.
I felt like I had a hang of things,
but when you smiled and waved, my heart concaved,
and I knew it was the best of beginnings!

Those days were like the warm hue of sunrise.
I felt your caresses like a pillow of feathers,
So much carefree solace in your loving embrace,
and your streaks of love, my most precious treasures.

But, now its like the dusky fog of a winter sunset.
your smiles and words have become lesser each day
I cannot feel you close, but then again I suppose,
Its not the blossom's fault that the dew drop fades away...

Now, its like the last rays of darkness holding on into Sunrise.
I want to see the light, feel your benign kiss on my forehead,
A dew drop can complain, its attempts to hold on but in vain,
Will the dawn not make a way for it to fall on the blossom again?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Khashaf......a recent inspiration!

I don't really remember how I chanced upon "Zindagi Gulzar Hai", a Pakistani drama that has completely stolen my heart and captured my imagination, of all that's inspiring and admirable.
When I grazed through the first few episodes to get the feel of the series, what I surely was not expecting, was to be hit with a character that would steal my awe and run away with it!

Khashaf is a character that is every girl's dream destination. Confident. Unapologetic. Inexpressive. Intelligent. Unintentionally funny. Rebellious. Giving. Affectionate. And very very real.

She is certainly not the person to go to if you need false indulgence. But if you want an honest opinion about something and are brave enough to take the truth, she would happily indulge you. She will put you in your place with a smile that basically shows her intelligent insight into what she knows you will feel when she hits you with it. She has no facade. She understands the world and its twirks and is in no humor to humor anyone for it. For someone who lives life in her own terms, she surprises when it comes to her patience in her commitments, and she is ready to compromise to keep up her end of the bargain. She has self pity, embarrassment, tears, anger, jealousy and all other negative emotions as well, but in moderation. She is human, but believably so. Not dramatic, but mysterious. And most importantly, she is never apologetic about who she is. She is more of a challenge to men who think they can handle feminism. For her feminism is not even an issue. Life is. and as she tries to make her mark in life, her individuality and her intelligence win her the trophy for feminism before she even begins to fight that battle.

More than half of the series moves with the male lead constantly trying to figure her out but failing abysmally. Which leads one to understand that the part of her that she shares with the world is not even a fourth of all that she  is. This ironically, leads people to believe her to be  much more than she could ever be. In a different way, she gains respect without ever asking for it, as she keeps people in awe of her seen and unseen self.

While she faces various troubles, she puts forth one face constantly - that of dignity, with a touch of elegance.  She is like that rare flower in a deserted garden. You never expect to find it, and once you do, its hard to get over it!