Sunday, November 27, 2011

Letting go

In a time long past, Maitreya was in his incarnation as a laughing, big-bellied monk with a sack perpetually on his back.

He used to travel about the countryside seeking alms and sharing them with whomever happened to be nearby.

He would customarily sit under a tree, surrounded by young children, to whom he would tell stories to illustrate Buddhist teachings.

Seeing this, an elder monk became annoyed at what he perceived as untoward conduct on the part of Maitreya.

One day, he cornered Maitreya and tried to test him with the following question: "Old monk, pray tell me, just what do you think is the essence of the Buddha's teachings?"

Maitreya stopped for a moment, looked him in the eye, and just let his sack fall to the ground.

As the puzzled monk wondered what to make of this singular action, Maitreya bent down, picked up his sack and walked away.

Dropping the sack, "letting go", forgive and forget -- that is the teaching of Maitreya, the Buddha of the future.

Source : internet.


aaj yuunhi anjaane mein
hum ek baar phir bichade

kehne ko bahut tha lekin
pankh kate the alfaaz ke

na udh paye, na gaa paye
bas laut aaye kuch khamosh se

dafn kiya jab saari baatein
tab jaana badi der se

awaaz-e-dil bayan hoti hai
iss gehri khamoshi mein


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our very first goal-post

I learned something new today, that there is something called the breast-crawl. It happens naturally in the animal world. Mammals in the wild, unlike humans, have unassisted births. So after the baby is born, it not only has to find its feet and stand up, it also has to find its way to the mother's nipple, all by itself. Else, it would just starve and die then and there. So, nature has hardwired into all mammal babies the know-how to crawl towards its food supply.

So this is how it happens in the human world. After the baby is born, the placenta severed and the baby cleaned of all adhering fluids, it is placed face down on the mother's tummy. And left there with a little support on its back by the mother to ensure that it does not fall off. The baby at this point is quiet and fully alert. The best state of mind for learning. It is fast and furiously picking up cues from the environment and before long it starts moving. It blinks, moves its head and hands and even starts kicking. This gentle kicking motion on the mother's tummy stimulates the uterus to contract and dispel the placenta. Once it has got the hang of the kicking motion, it starts to crawl upwards. It is said that the nipples emanate a scent that is close to that of the amniotic fluid, so that must be a strong attraction for the baby and maybe it crawls towards this smell. This smell perhaps also sets off some trigger in the baby's body because it starts to salivate. Slowly, inch by inch, it crawls on its mother's body until its mouth finds the nipple. Somehow it knows that the food supply has been reached because it then starts suckling. 

Amazing, isn't it, how nature has provided the baby with all the information to do this, like some pre-loaded software. :) This little crawl that the little one does also creates a bond between mother and baby, supports and comforts the newborn one and familiarises it with the mother's (and if present, the father's) voice. Sadly, medicated births where the mother has taken or has been injected with painkillers dulls the baby's senses and it fails to do the crawl and has to be directly led to the breast.

Babies are not always ready for feeding as soon as they are born. Sometimes, when it is taken directly to the nipple, if it is not ready, it does not feed. Then the latching-on at a later stage becomes difficult. On the other hand, if the baby is left to crawl, by the time it crawls and reaches the nipple, it is ready for feeding. This whole process is deeply instinctive. Unfortunately, modern practices are so invasive and anti-instinct, that this beautiful mechanism that has been provided by nature is largely overlooked.

So that was it, our first little sprint to the goal-post - in the shape of a sweet-smelling nipple, crawled over the softest, smoothest turf in the world, supported by loving hands, all done on our own, on infant hands and legs. And didn't we deserve the prize :)))

Watch the amazing event here

And do share this, so that more babies can crawl and bond and be healthy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I had to post this because it's so well-written and reminded me of some old times ...


Now, when the weather turns hot and still, making the wisp that is the Bombay winter a faint memory and the decision to buy a top floor house feel like a mistake, I head for Aarey.

I have robust friends, hardy hearties who said they walked in Aarey everyday. This I put down to wholesome extremism. As far as I knew Aarey Milk Colony (what was it anyway? A toy town made of bulging milk packets?) was somewhere in the wilds. Old people used to go there for that arcane entertainment – picnics. Going so far to take a walk? Why not pool in for a community treadmill?

Then I discovered the word pagdandi – the mud path near Fantasy Land which led to a broken wall – when you slipped through it you were…where were you? What was this place where the temperature dropped by a couple degrees and there was nothing but creepers, trees and the odd lazy dog (no, not me, a real dog)?

I approached Aarey gingerly, walking along the edges, keeping the distant line of buildings always in sight, unlike my friends who “walked till New Zealand”, which I assumed was some esoteric walkers metaphor. The roads sloped up and down, lined by prehistorically dense thickets, a moist and mysterious green. There were carpets of yellow summer flowers on the path, orange rashes of gulmohars in the sky. Supposedly, there was a lake somewhere, a cafĂ© on the hill to the right but I was ok not adventuring that far in.

Soon the silence and the beauty seduced me. The criss-cross lanes, the abandoned buildings, the regular walkers with their fractional nods of acknowledgment became familiar, reassured me into going deeper till I reached New Zealand – the New Zealand Hostel for students of something dairy. It marked a sort of mid-point. Past that you were heading to Goregaon.

Aarey was a huge pool at the heart of the pavementless suburbs, us on one bank, our Sai Baba complex friends on the other. A big apple you could take chunky bites of at will, roaming randomly on a different route each day.

For a while the less intrepid stopped going, because we were scared of panthers. But perhaps the panthers and us need to fear the same people.

Now Aarey has a busy arterial road and a film studio so we have to enjoy it in sections like an orange. Febrile developers nibble illegally at its edges. Some ministers would like to make a meal of it – sell the whole lot off to solve the city’s fiscal problems.

While we can, we trudge through this secret wonderland, this enchanted wood which softens the city summer, quiets the troubled city heart.

The link is at -


I oscillate between
hope and hopelessness,
I wish the pendulum would fall
and be a guillotine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Do you have an 'I' infection?

Symptoms are similar to narcissism; obsessively talking about oneself, ignoring other people when they talk with you, thinking about what you are going to say next instead of actively hearing what the other person is saying, failing to ask meaningful questions, verbal vomiting on your friends, sending people emails asking them to join your business or like your fan page without asking them about their life or interests.

Treatment involves being Interested vs. Interesting. Try getting to know your friends and prospects first! Then if they ask about what you do - share a little...

We've all met them, some simply do not recognize them because they are so lost to themselves they have chosen to live vicariously through those others. Look for a dominance of "I" words and a lack of "we" or "you" words...

~ Jack Ricci

Monday, November 21, 2011

Elections 2011

It’s election time here and this weekend the country will go to the pools to elect a new government. In the run-up to that, TV channels have been telecasting debates and today I happened to watch the debate between the two leaders - the incumbent Prime Minister and the leader of the major opposition party. First off, what impressed me was the manner of the interviewer / mediator. No fuss, no bum-kissing, no sucking up. In true journalistic style, he introduced the participants and left them to do the talking and interjected only to cut short rambling speeches, ask pertinent questions, and call for breaks.

The two contestants were perfectly gentlemanly in their behavior. Each of them, with obvious pleasure, proceeded to point out the defects of the other party’s policies, shred to pieces their track records, and even pinpoint and highlight the gaffes and muddles the other has delivered in the past. And all this without raising their voice. For me, who grew up on the theatrics of that spectacle - the Indian Parliament, it was amazing. I sat there paying only scant attention as they discussed matters of national importance, just waiting for the drama to begin.

In the Indian equivalent, in a similar situation, the contestants would have been shouting down each other, papers, mikes, maybe even shoes would have been flying, and expletives would have to be silenced by the TV crew. It was such a great relief to have witnessed a debate with tempers kept in check, no drama worth reporting and matters conducted in the most civilised manner. It was a relief and an education.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The visuals are stunning and the words are simply divine.....

Watch the video here

And please take the time to ponder ....

Friday, November 18, 2011

A different way of seeing

Sitting here in my lounge on a balmy late spring afternoon, listening to my favourite music and watching the roses outside nodding their heads in the breeze, I cannot help think how simple are the things that make life beautiful. And almost free. The sun pouring down on the trees, grass, leaves and making the flowers light up with an incandescence does not demand a fee. Neither does the breeze, though not visible, indicates its movement by leafing its fingers through everything that comes in its way. And yet, how easy it would be to miss all this, the simple, yet profound beauty of it. If the TV had been switched on, or if my mind had been pre-occupied with the mundane details of life, all this would have been passed over as if they didn’t exist at all. I guess, that’s what happens with every moment, if we see things merely with the physical eye, just recording and then going over to the next experience, we miss the beauty which is inherent in every moment.

Every moment that we are given is perfect as it is, it is our minds that interprets it as being good or bad. If the expectation is met of how the moment should turn out to be, we are pleased, if not, then we react with disappointment. But if we do not meet any moment with expectation but meet it with just a open-hearted welcome, then events will lose their power to disappoint us. Each moment will be fresh and new to our experience. And if we begin to see with the eye of the soul rather than just with the mental eye, then the hidden beauty in all is revealed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"Each situation has to become an opportunity to meditate. What is meditation? Becoming aware of what you are doing, becoming aware of what is happening to you.

Somebody insults you: become aware. What is happening to you when the insult reaches you? Meditate over it; this is changing the whole gestalt. When somebody insults you, you concentrate on the person— "Why is he insulting me? Who does he think he is? How can I take revenge?" If he is very powerful you surrender, you start wagging your tail. If he is not very powerful and you see that he is weak, you pounce on him. But you forget yourself completely in all this; the other becomes the focus.

This is missing an opportunity for meditation. When somebody insults you, meditate.

Gurdjieff has said, "When my father was dying, I was only nine. He called me close to his bed and whispered in my ear, 'My son, I am not leaving much to you, not in worldly things, but I have one thing to tell you that was told to me by my father on his deathbed. It has helped me tremendously; it has been my treasure. You are not very grown up yet, you may not understand what I am saying, but keep it, remember it. One day you will be grown up and then you may understand. This is a key: it unlocks the doors of great treasures.'"

Of course Gurdjieff could not understand it at that moment, but it was the thing that changed his whole life. And his father said a very simple thing. He said, "Whenever somebody insults you, my son, tell him you will meditate over it for twenty-four hours and then you will come and answer him."

Gurdjieff could not believe that this was such a great key. He could not believe that "This is something so valuable that I have to remember it." And we can forgive a young child of nine years old. But because this was something said by his dying father who had loved him tremendously, and immediately after saying it he breathed his last, it became imprinted on him; he could not forget it.
Whenever he remembered his father, he would remember the saying.

Without truly understanding, he started practicing it. If somebody insulted him he would say, "Sir, for twenty-four hours I have to meditate over it — that's what my father told me. And he is here no more, and I cannot disobey a dead old man. He loved me tremendously, and I loved him tremendously, and now there is no way to disobey him. You can disobey your father when he is alive, but when your father is dead how can you disobey him? So please forgive me, I will come after twenty-four hours and answer you."

And he says, "Meditating on it for twenty-four hours has given me the greatest insights into my being. Sometimes I found that the insult was right, that that's how I am. So I would go to the person and say, 'Sir, thank you, you were right. It was not an insult, it was simply a statement of fact. You called me stupid; I am.'

"Or sometimes it happened that meditating for twenty-four hours, I would come to know that it was an absolute lie. But when something is a lie, why be offended by it? So I would not even go to tell him that it was a lie. A lie is a lie, why be bothered by it?"

But watching, meditating, slowly slowly he became more and more aware of his reactions, rather than the actions of others."

— OSHO, The Book of Wisdom Chapter #5

"Once Buddha was very much insulted by a few people. They abused him badly. He listened silently and then he said, "Have you anything more to say? — because I have to reach the other village in time. People must be waiting there. If you still have something else to say, when I come back I will be coming by the same route and I will inform you and I will keep a special time for you, so you can come and say whatsoever you like."

Those people were very much puzzled. They said, "We are not saying something, we are insulting you!"

Buddha laughed. He said, "For that you have come a little late. You should have come at least ten years ago. Now I am not so foolish. You can insult, that is your freedom, but whether to take it or not that is my freedom. I am not taking it."

And he said to them, "In the other village which I just passed before yours, people came with sweets to offer me. I thanked them. I said, 'I don't need sweets and I don't eat sweets.' What do you think they must have done with the sweets?"

Somebody from the crowd said, "They must have taken them back home."

Buddha said, "Now what will you do? You will have to take your insults back home. I don't take your insults — there is no other way, you have to take them back."

When you feel insulted you have participated with the person. But you are not conscious, so anybody can push your buttons. You function like a machine: push the button and you are on; push the button and you are off. Anybody can enrage you, anybody can make you smile and laugh, anybody can make you cry and weep. Anybody, any stupid fellow can do that! One just needs to know where the buttons are — and almost always they are in the same places.  It is very rare to find a person whose buttons are in different places.

Once it happened in Baroda: I was talking to a big crowd. Somebody sitting just in the front row became so disturbed by what I was saying, he became so disturbed by it he went out of control, he lost his senses. He threw one of his shoes at me. At that moment I remembered that I used to play volleyball when I was a student, so I caught hold of his shoe in the middle and asked him for the other one. He was at a loss.

I said, "You throw the other one too! What am I going to do with one? If you want to present something...." He waited. I said, "Why are you waiting? Throw the other one too, because this way neither will I be able to use the shoe nor will you be able to use it. And I am not going to return it, because evil should not be returned for evil! So you please give the other one too."

But he was so shocked because he could not believe it... first, what he had done he could not believe — he was a very good man, a scholar, a well-known Sanskrit scholar, a pundit. He was not expected to behave like that, but it had happened — people are so unconscious. If I had acted the way he was unconsciously expecting, then everything would have been okay. But I asked for the other shoe, and that shocked him very much. He was dazed.

I told somebody who was sitting by his side, "You pull off his other shoe. I am not letting him off, I want both the shoes. In fact, I was thinking of purchasing some shoes, and this man seems to be so generous!" And the shoe was really new.

The man came in the night, fell at my feet, and asked to be forgiven. I said, "You forget all about it, there is no question... I was not angry, so why should I forgive you? To forgive, one first has to be angry. I was not angry, I enjoyed the scene. In fact, it was something so beautiful that many people who had fallen asleep were suddenly awakened! I was thinking on the way that it is a good idea, that I should plant a few of my followers, so once in a while they can throw a shoe so all the sleepers wake up. At least for a few moments they will remain alert because something is happening! I am thankful to you."

For years he went on writing to me, "Please forgive me! Unless you forgive me I will go on writing."

But I told him, "First I have to be angry. Forgiving you simply means that I accept that I was angry. How can I forgive you? You forgive me, because I am unable to be angry with you, unable to forgive you — you forgive me!"

I don't know whether he has forgiven me or not, but he has forgotten me. Now he writes no more."

— OSHO, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 11 Chapter #9

Monday, November 14, 2011

Being and experience

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.
When the human experience is done with I will still remain a spiritual being.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

sunday special :)

looking out of my lounge on this bright Sunday afternoon ...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I am pride

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
I cheat you of your God-given destiny... because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment... because you "deserve better than this."
I cheat you of knowledge ... because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing ... Because you're too full of me to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness... because you refuse to admit when you're wrong.
I cheat you of vision... because you'd rather look in the mirror than out a window. 
I cheat you of genuine friendship ... because nobody's going to know the real you. 
I cheat you of love... because real romance demands sacrifice. 
I cheat you of greatness in heaven... because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth. 
I cheat you of God's glory... because I convince you to seek your own. 
My name is Pride. I am a cheater. You like me because you think I'm always looking out for you. Untrue. I'm looking to make a fool of you. 
God has so much for you, I admit, but don't worry... If you stick with me, You'll never know.

Source : Facebook

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Dilemma, revisited

buried land mines
in my heartscape.
how do I reach you?

love knows the way,
takes my hand.
old wounds throb.

my steps, petrified,
our meeting, doomed.
I smile, wintery.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

How to photograph lampposts :)

Evening. I am out on my walk. Bright sunlight. After a while I realise that the nature of the light has changed, has become filtered, surreal, like as if God had turned on the special-effects button. I look up at the sky. The sun was inching slowly towards the horizon but was hidden behind huge masses of clouds which looked like a cotton mattress had burst its seams and floated up into the sky. Out comes my mobile. No, I don’t have a hotline to the sun and neither to the clouds. But I do have a rather good camera on it. Point and click. Unfortunately, the sun was too much in my eyes and the viewfinder was in total shadow for me to see what I was clicking. The result is the picture seen above. Not a bad picture really, the glory of the light and the clouds has all been captured, except for the lamppost sticking out, like a sore thumb, into the celestial scene.

Looking at it one would think that the lamppost was the celebrity being photographed.  But no, I have made a photographical blooper here. Even though the viewfinder was in shadow, the real live scene was right in front of me, then how come I didn’t see the lamppost. Because I was too focused on the scene being played far in the distance to see what was in the near vicinity. I took it too much for granted. This happens all the time in life. We look high and low, far and wide for something and all the time it is right there, under our nose, staring up at us. All it takes is a slight shift in our perception to see that which we fail to notice.

Awareness is all about focus. We become aware of what we turn our attention towards. That is like stating the obvious. But have you noticed that our very lives consists of what is filling our awareness. The quality of our lives is entirely dependent on what we are focussing on. Let’s look at another scene. My garden. This is one place that is an endless source of joy, wonderment and peace for me. I experience the sight, touch, sounds, smells of the plants, trees, flowers, weeds, birds, insects and get transported into raptures of delight. But once in a while, I enter this same garden wearing a gardener’s hat. Hardy-gloved and armed with sundry gardening equipment, I potter around, digging and weeding and pruning, casting a critical eye at the health and well-being of its inhabitants. At such times, my focus is of an entirely different nature. And even though it can be argued that it is for the welfare of the flora, the practicality of my focus renders me almost entirely incapable of seeing the beauty of the scene and reveling in it.

So, I guess, it stands to reason, that we can change the quality of our lives by changing our attention. By changing, as it were, the nature of the seer.