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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Among the clouds


Parasailing on Rotorua lake ....




Jetboating on Rotorua Lake .....



~~~

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas for Mystics


A great post by Marianne Williamson about the true meaning of Christmas.

Read Christmas for Mystics here

"We're preparing for the birth of our possible selves, the event with which we have been psychologically pregnant all our lives." - Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wedding Night


MAWLANA JALAL AL-DIN AL-RUMI passed away on Dec 17, 1273. This date is known as Sheb-i Arus (Wedding Night). Every year the 17th of December is celebrated as the night of Rumi's reunion with his Beloved.





When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world

don’t shed any tears
don’t lament or
feel sorry
I’m not falling
into a monster’s abyss

when you see
my corpse is being carried
don’t cry for my leaving
i’m not leaving
i’m arriving at eternal love

when you leave me
in the grave
don’t say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind

you’ll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down

it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed

have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human

have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well

when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time.

~ Rumi

Saturday, December 15, 2012

In Praise of Sparklets


In Praise of Sparklets – My book of poems on Amazon (Kindle). 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The sure-fire life purpose


If I had the chance
I’d be a dessert spoon
the bringer of delight

Imagine,
tucking into delectation
every time

brain to hand
sending frantic messages
hurry hurry hurry

mouth closing in
tongue in rapture
lips in melting caress

imagine,
transporting pleasure
every time

how could you go wrong
with a life purpose
such as that?

(written for the Bentlily prompt - write a poem about an appliance you love or love to be)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Enchantment







Found this flower blooming in our garden today. I was totally enchanted by its unusual pattern and of course, it's unique beauty!


Sunday, December 09, 2012

Pain - haiku


some aches can be seen
others eat up the insides
just the shell remains

~~~

let me feast on joy
as pain slinks ‘neath the table
awaiting its turn

~~~

bruised purplish-black
amidst bright yellows and pinks
warp and weft of life

~~~

Haiku Heights / Pain


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Rain cloud Mother


I felt it the moment
I let you go
bursting my birth sac

and you rushing headlong
to meet that other mother
that steadfast one

singing as you fell
black-slapping
racing each other

like little sperms intent
on meeting those seeds
waiting for your embrace

that sweetness of release
for I, the surrogate
had only held you for her

~~~

(written for the Bentlily prompt - Rain -from the perspective of the clouds)

Storm - haiku


in the aftermath
among the deadened rubble
little shoots spring forth

~~~

heart lacerated
night in the grip of a storm
ends in glorious morn

~~~

my muse brews a storm
of words, plot-lines, characters
a novel is born

~~~

The Modern Da Vinci's 5 rules of success


A fascinating read! Mind-blowingly inspirational!

The Modern Da Vinci's 5 rules of success

Monday, December 03, 2012

Just being


There is great happiness in not wanting, in not being something, in not going somewhere.
The mind is not tranquil as long as it is traveling in order to arrive.

 ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

Saturday, December 01, 2012

NaNoWriMo


November was National Novel Writing Month at nanowrimo.org A site where every November novelists and would-be novelists congregate and write a novel of 50,000 words or more in a single month.

I found out about this around the 3rd of the month and decided to give it a try. The first few days went swimmingly well and I even wrote a couple of thousand words. And then I hit a road-block. The plot just wasn’t going anywhere. It wouldn’t even move. It had turned into a cul-de-sac. I fretted and fumed, but to no avail.

Then finally around the 22st of the month, it all fell into place all at once and I was faced with the prospect of writing around 45000 words in about 8-9 days. What followed was frenetic writing, sometimes belting out almost 8000 words per day.

And, I’m happy to say that yesterday, just before midnight, with a few minutes to spare, I crossed the 50000 mark and also completed the novel. So, now I have on my hands a first draft. 

I must admit, writing a novel is like being caught in a tempest. Thoughts, words, plot lines, characters, they all churn up within you demanding to be written. It begins to live inside you, all the time. It blots out everything else. Its characters living and moving and scrambling over each other, talking, fighting, falling. And you, like a shepherd, have to herd them, align them, put them in place, and make sense out of it all. Quite an exhausting experience and even more so, quite an exhilarating one.

And to add to the fun, I got it into my head to design the cover as well. And so, precious hours were spent designing, editing and creating a cover.

The novel, of course needs a lot of work, plots have to be straightened, characters have to be fleshed out, emotions, motives, explanations all have to given. It might change, might morph into some thing else. Who knows? Even the cover might change, but here it is the cover of the first draft of my first novel - Dharma.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The human house


This being human is a guest-house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably.
Who may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My stuff on Stuff

I sent a couple of stories to the web version of the newspaper and unknown to me they were getting published. I found out finally :)

Lessons from seagulls

Zen and the art of driving in India

:)

 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Says Hafiz


"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of you own being."

-Hafiz 

Monday, November 19, 2012

AEDM - 19 Tender was the day


Photo for today - Art Everyday Month



Tender leaves at the tip of the tree ...

Truly an inspiration


The inspiring Sunitha Krishnan giving a talk at INK

Sunitha Krishnan's INK Talk


My story published


I forgot to mention that my story was published on the website dailylove.net on 15th Nov. Had meant to announce it but it kind of slipped by unnoticed.

Anyway, it can be found in their archives - An Afternoon Requiem

 ~~~

Saturday, November 17, 2012

AEDM - 17 / The Lantern

Photo for today - Art Every Day Month.



The lantern flower (dunno what it's really called :))

AEDM - 17

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

AEDM - 14 / All lit up

Photo for today - Art Every Day Month




Rhododendron flowers lit up by sunlight ....




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Silence - haiku


bee-buzz and birdsong
in deep silence of forest
God listens to Self

~~~

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meaningless - haiku


Sometimes it feels like
there is no reason to life
but to be alive



(my predominant feeling these last few days ....)


AEDM - 12

Sunday, November 11, 2012

AEDM - 11

Photo for today - Art Every Day Month
This iris had just bloomed and after the rain had acquired this jewelled look...




Saturday, November 10, 2012

AEDM - 10

Photo for today - Art Every Day Month

The daisies are from my garden. I tried to give it an oil painting look in GIMP with a canvas overlay. Was trying to go for an Impressionist feeling. :)



Friday, November 09, 2012

November is Art Every Day month


Ok, so I joined the November is Art Every Day Month Movement at http://creativeeveryday.com/ We are expected to create some art everyday and post it on our blog.

I know  I am 9 days late, but I decided not to let such minor matters deter me from participating.

The photo below was taken on my cell phone and so is not the best of photos. I am still being mule-headed about not taking my camera with me when I go on my walks. I feel my walk then turns into a photography expedition and I cannot enjoy my walk as an experience in itself. At some point, I'll have to make a compromise because I'm missing out on too many great photo ops because of this.

Even though it's past midnight and it is now the 10th, I'm entering this for the 9th because it took me too long to write up 3 sentences. So here goes (finally) ....



Tuesday, November 06, 2012

15 ways to mindfuck yourself

Some interesting reading -

Go to 15 ways to mindfuck yourself page

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Journey


Over the past few months the name Mary Oliver has been jumping out at me from blogs, websites and even Facebook and a little voice inside kept saying ‘read her, come on, read her poems’ and I, stubbornly, kept putting it off. Until today, I found a poem of hers whose first two lines so resonated with me and with my present state, it was like I had put on an old pair of shoes that fits ever so comfortably, wrapping its knowingness around my heart that I just had to read further and needless to say, I am hooked :) Well, simply because the whole poem is so simple and so incredibly wise and gets straight to the heart of the matter, what could I do, but just nod and nod and swallow the lump in my throat and share it. Maybe, I’ll also get down on my knees and thank the Universe ....


The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Saturday, November 03, 2012

A life less NORMAL

"The pursuit of normality is the ultimate sacrifice of potential.”  Faith Jegede

Faith Jedege talks about what I've learned from my autistic brothers


Thursday, November 01, 2012

THE MONKEY TRAP


By VIKRAM KARVE


“And what are we doing tomorrow?” I asked my uncle.

“Let’s catch some monkeys,” he said.

“Monkeys?” I asked excitedly.

“Yes,” my uncle said and smiled,” And if you catch one you can take him home as a pet.”

“A monkey! As a pet?” I asked in astonishment.

“Why not?” my uncle said.

“But monkeys? Aren’t they dangerous?” I asked.

“The monkeys here are quite small and very cute. And once you train them, they become very friendly and obedient – ideal pets.”

And so, next morning, at the crack of dawn we sailed off from Haddo Wharf in Port Blair in a large motorboat. Soon we were crossing the Duncan Passage, moving due south; the densely forested Little Andaman Island to our right, the sea calm like a mirror.

I began to feel seasick, so I stood on the foc’sle deck, right at the front end sea-sick, enjoying the refreshing sea-spray, occasionally tasting my salty lips.

I looked in admiration, almost in awe, at uncle who stood rock-steady on the bridge, truly a majestic figure. He signaled to me and I rushed up to the bridge.

“Vijay, it’s time to prepare the Monkey Traps,” he said.

“Monkey-Traps?” I asked confused.

“Tito will show you,” he said. “You must learn to make them yourself.”

Tito, my uncle’s odd-job-man, was sitting on the deck, seaman’s knife in hand, amidst a heap of green coconuts. He punctured a coconut, put it to his lips, drank the coconut water, and then began scooping out a small hollow. I took out my seaman’s knife and joined in enthusiastically with the other coconuts. The coconut water tasted sweet.

“Keep the hole small,” my uncle shouted over my shoulder, “and hollow the coconut well.”

“But how will we catch monkeys with this?” I asked.

“You will see in the evening,” he said. “Now get on with the job.”

We reached a densely forested island at five in the evening.

It was almost dark. The sun sets early in these eastern longitudes.

And soon we set up our monkey-traps.

Each hollowed-out coconut was filled with a mixture of boiled rice and jaggery (gur) through the small hole. Then the coconut was chained to a stake, which was driven firmly into the ground.

And then we hid in the bushes in pin-drop silence.

Suddenly there was rattling sound. My uncle switched on his torch.

A monkey was struggling, one hand trapped inside the coconut. In an instant, Tito threw a gunny-bag over the monkey and within minutes we had the monkey nicely secured inside.

By the time we lit the campfire on the cool soft sands of the beach, we had captured three monkeys.

My uncle put his arm around my shoulder and, “Vijay, you know why the monkey gets trapped? The monkey gets trapped because of its greed.”

He picked up a hollowed-out coconut and said, “Look at this hole. It is just big enough so that the monkey’s hand can go in, but too small for full fist filled with rice to come out. Because his greed won’t allow him to let go of the rice and take out his hand, the monkey remains trapped, a victim of his own greed, until he is captured; forever a captive of his greed.”

“The monkey cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable that capture with it!” he said.

My uncle looked at Tito and commanded: “Free the monkeys.”

And, one by one, the monkeys jumped out of their gunny bags and started running, with one hand still stuck in a coconut. It was a really funny sight.

“There is a lesson for us to learn from this,” my uncle said. “That’s why I brought you here to show you all this.”

I looked at my uncle. His name was Ranjit Singh. And true to his name he was indeed a magnificent man! Over six feet tall, well-built, redoubtable; a truly striking personality! He stood erect in his khaki uniform, stroking his handsome beard with his left hand, his right hand gripping a swagger stick, which he gently tapped on his thigh.

As he surveyed the scenic surroundings - the moonlight sea, the swaying Causarina trees, the silver sands of the beach in between - he looked majestic, like a king cherishing his domain. Indeed he was like a king here – after all he was the Chief Forest Officer, in-charge of the entire islands – and this was his domain.

Uncle Ranjit was an exception in our family—the odd-man out. My father always said that he was the most intelligent of all brothers. But whereas all of them were busy achieving success and earning money in Mumbai and Delhi, uncle Ranjit had chosen to be different.

To the surprise of everybody else, uncle Ranjit had joined the Forest Service when he could have easily become an engineer, doctor or even a business executive, for he had always topped all examinations – first class first in merit, whether it be the school or the university.

“So, Vijay, you like it here?” he asked.

“It’s lovely, uncle,” I answered. “And thank you so much for the lovely holiday, spending so much time with me. In Mumbai no one has any time for me. I feel so lonely.”

“Why?” he asked, with curiosity.

“Mummy and Daddy both come late from office. Then there are parties, business dinners, and tours. And on Sundays they sleep, exhausted, unless there is a business-meeting in the club or golf with the boss.”

Uncle Ranjit laughed, “Ha. Ha. The Monkey Trap. They are all caught in monkey traps of their own making. Slaves of their greed! Trapped by their desires,caught in the rat race, wallowing in their golden cages, rattling their jewellery, their golden chains – monkey-trapped, all of them, isn’t it?”

As I thought over Ranjit uncle’s words I realized how right he was. Most of the people I knew in Mumbai were just like that – trapped by their greed, chasing rainbows, in search of an ever elusive happiness.

“Happiness is to like what you do as well as to do what you like,” uncle Ranjit said, as if he were reading my thoughts. “Happiness is not a station which never arrives, but the manner you travel in life.”

He paused, and asked me, “Tell me Vijay, tell me, what do you want to do in life?”

“I don’t know.”

“Come on, Vijay. You are fifteen now. By next year you have to decide, tell me what your plans are.”

“It depends on my percentage,” I said truthfully.

“I am sure you will get around ninety percent marks in your board exams,” he said. “Assume you top the exams. Secure a place in the merit list. Then what will you do?”

“I’ll go in for Engineering. Computers, Software, IT,” I said.

“Computers? Software? IT? Why? Why not something more interesting – like Arts, Literature, Philosophy, History, Humanities?” he asked.

“Job prospects,” I answered.

“Oh!”  He exclaimed. “And then?”

“Management...an MBA... Or I may even go abroad for higher studies.”

“Why?”

“Qualifications.”

“And why do you want so many qualifications?”

“To get the best job,” I answered.

“And earn a lot of money?” uncle Ranjit prompted.

“Of course,” I said. “I want to earn plenty of money so that I can enjoy life.”

Uncle Ranjit laughed, “My dear Vijay. Aren’t you enjoying life right now, at this very moment? What about me? Am I am not enjoying life? Remember - if you do not find happiness as you are, where you are, you will never find it.”

He smiled and asked me,” Vijay, you know what Maxim Gorky once said...?

“What?”

“When work is a pleasure, life is a joy. When work is a duty, life is slavery"

“Slavery!” I exclaimed, understanding the message he was trying to give me.

“Slavery to one’s elusive material desires, one’s greed, slavery to the rat race, chasing rainbows. And then live a life perpetually trapped in a Monkey Trap of your own making.”

“The Monkey Trap!” we both said in unison, in chorus.

It was the defining moment in my life – my Minerva Moment...!

And so, I decided that I will choose a career I loved, do something I liked, and experience an inner freedom.

And guess what I am today?

Well, I am a teacher. I teach philosophy.

And let me tell you I enjoy every moment of it. It’s a life of sheer joy and delight – being with my students, their respect and adulation, my innate quest for knowledge and a sense of achievement that I am contributing my bit to society.

I shall never forget Uncle Ranjit and that crucial visit to the forests of the Andamans, the turning point, or indeed the defining moment, of my life.


~~~ 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A prayer


to roam the sky and steal the stars
on my heart to emblazon
the full sun
let the light shine out bright
through a heart broken
fill my soul with effulgence
become radiance


This is written in the 7-line stanza as devised by Paul Laurence Dunbar, who used it in his poem  Melancholia.

For the Sunday Mini Challenge at the site Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Monday, October 29, 2012

Witch - haiku


reviled stoned condemned
burnt alive at the stake, yet
wise strong powerful

hands that know magic
heart that understands mysteries
soul, ever gentle

beautiful goddess
that witch in every woman
divine feminine

~~~



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just love


“It matters not who you love,
where you love, why you love,
when you love or how you love.
It only matters that you love.”

~John Lennon

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Haiku - Conscious



pain presses pulsates
through muscle sinew and bone
mind flickers through night

dawn comes sniveling
bruised red and torn yellow
like blooms after rain

light prises open
the carapace of shadows
sentience at last

~~~



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The water-colour sky


Through the windscreen
the sky looks
like a water-colour
azure seeping into cerulean
grey smudging into nothing

trees silhouetted
like sky-gazing spectators

streetlights sweeping by
like light-sabred sentinels
bravely fending off the night

I struggle
to keep my eyes on the road
the spectacle above
so tantalising
so simple
so compelling

I wonder if night sprites
are contriving to carry me off
to their dusky realm

the realm of mystery
the universe of wonder
the magical world
that lies all around us
right under our eyes

if only we would look

~~~

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Home - haiku


our floating first home
close to heart-beat pumping love
our mother’s warm womb

~~~

earnest and zestful
I prepared your homecoming
but your coffin came

~~~

fragile miracle
carrying us from womb to grave
this body our home

~~~

yet freedom at last
unanchored and unfettered
my spirit wings home

~~~

Haiku Heights / # 190 / Home

Thursday, October 04, 2012

You are not your body


A mind-blowingly inspirational talk -

Watch talk here


All lit up : a photo-haiku




Wednesday, October 03, 2012

a clash of sounds


I should be doing things
cranking up my portfolio
dusting furniture
cooking

instead

I get distracted
by the raucous crowing
of a hen
sawing at the still air

and

Nature
as though wanting
to keep the balance
drops dulcet droplets
of birdsong
into the gaps

the wind
plucks on leafy strings
trying out new tunes

but

through it all
the clock delivers
the sound
of chopped-up time
to my unwilling ears

tinny and thankless
it accumulates
in a growing heap
on my mind
and grows heavy
with guilt

~~~

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Battlefield - haiku


in the war of wills
your smile melts my defense
sweet is surrender

~~~

one more one more chip
until packet lies empty
battle lost again

~~~

battlefield of mind
good wages war with evil
does not always win

~~~



Friday, September 28, 2012

Tying yourself to the bedpost



Excerpt from a delanceypost article ------

The five stages of sleep:
  
"Until the middle of the twentieth century, scientists thought that sleep was an unchanging condition dur­ing which time the brain was quiet. The discovery of rapid eye movements in the 1950s upended that. Researchers then real­ized that sleep is made up of five distinct stages that the body cycles through over roughly ninety-minute periods. The first is so light that if you wake up from it, you might not realize that you have been sleeping. The second is marked by the appear­ance of sleep-specific brain waves that last only a few seconds at a time. If you reach this point in the cycle, you will know you have been sleeping when you wake up. This stage marks the last stop before your brain takes a long ride away from conscious­ness.  

"Stages three and four are considered deep sleep. In three, the brain sends out long, rhythmic bursts called delta waves. Stage four is known as slow-wave sleep for the speed of its accompanying brain waves. The deepest form of sleep, this is the farthest that your brain travels from conscious thought. If you are woken up while in stage four, you will be disoriented, unable to answer basic questions, and want nothing more than to go back to sleep, a condition that researchers call sleep drunkenness. The final stage is REM sleep, so named because of the rapid movements of your eyes dancing against your eye­lids. In this type of sleep, the brain is as active as it is when it is awake. This is when most dreams occur.

"Your body prepares for REM sleep by sending out hormones to effectively paralyze itself so that your arms and legs don't act out the storyline you are creating in your head. This attempt at self-protection doesn't always work perfectly, and when that happens, what follows is far from pleasant. Sometimes, it is the brain that doesn't get the message. This can lead to waking up in the middle of the night with the frightening sensation that you can't move your limbs. In the Middle Ages, this was thought to be a sign that a demon called an incubus was perched on the chest. Instead, this condition is simply a flaw in the sleep cycle, a wrong-footed step in the choreography of the brain's func­tions that allows a person to become conscious when the body thinks the brain is still dreaming.  

"At other times, the body doesn't fully paralyze itself like it is supposed to. This is the root of a series of problems called parasomnias, of which sleep­walking ... is by far the most mild. Patients with REM sleep disorder, for instance, sometimes jump out of a window or tackle their nightstand while they are acting out a dream. Some patients I spoke with who have this disorder have resorted to literally tying themselves to the bedpost each night out of the fear that they will accidentally commit suicide."

--------------------- end of excerpt ----------------------------


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Footprint - haiku


footprints in the woods
getting fewer and fewer
as species vanish

~~~

footprints on my mind
some I keep some I wipe off
memory spring clean

~~~

footprints on the grass
flowers smiling up at me
even after death





Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paper boat - haiku


little chubby hands
set boats sailing on puddle
joy dancing on face

~~~

kites, blue, red, yellow
like sky-sailing paper boats
kissing bashful clouds

~~~

I wish my thoughts could
paper boat across the world
dropping peace parcels

~~~

(image : internet)





Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sleep - haiku



the summer paints dreams
on eyelids shut to the world
sun-baked somnolence

~~~

sleep-walking through life
we arrive at death’s doorstep
begging one more chance
 
~~~



Monday, September 24, 2012

Paradox - haiku


sorrow with joy walks
relentless we pursue joy
sorrow dogs our steps

~~~

soft eloquent eyes
tender hearted Collosus
a gentle giant

(this refers to Michael Clarke Duncan)

~~~

Haiku Heights / September Heights / day24 / Paradox


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hummingbird - haiku


busy blur of blue
nature’s little acrobat
held aloft by air

~~~



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Creation - haiku


can you hear that voice
that says ‘create’ ‘create’
heed divine command

~~~



Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The dirty secret truth about talent


A behind the scene look at talent and how to master anything...

Read Justine Musk's masterful article here

The pebble


I stand at the window
the trees unmoving
the clouds still
only a gull flies
cutting through the sunlight
in white-arched flight.

I wonder
about that pebble
lying in the sun.

Does it long to skim
across surfaces of lakes
and then, not landing,
take off, like that gull
piercing through
that blue curtain of the sky
sail through the heavens
like it once had.

Or is it content
to just lie there
kissing the earth
caressed by the rain
nurturing crawly things
under its stony presence
like fatherhood.

On bright nights
when the stars beckon
with their glittering light
does it turn instead
its gaze inward
to the dance of its atoms
the galaxies of molecules
the songs of the seasons
ringing in its silent being.

Smiling
knowing
that flight is possible
even when still.

~~~

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Story of India

A fascinating series by BBC -

Part 1


Part 2



Part 3
Part 4

Part 5

Part 6 is missing

Part 7


Friday, August 31, 2012

Infancy and childhood

by Jean Houston

I am beginning to write a new online course on the recovery of the capacities that we lose at each stage of our development. Here is what I have to say about infancy and childhood:

We are given as our birthright a Stradivarius, and we come to play it like a plastic fiddle. Consider the Stradivarius. Consider the child—the star brighter than any star man's mind can create conception of, this Godstuff rendered freely as spillover of an abundance of which we are largely unaware. This nuclear divinity, which radiates an unnameable glory when it comes, is in fact a creation of such inestimable worth that, were a cosmic scales to be employed, the infant child placed on one tray and all the precious jewels on the other, there would be no possibility of outweighing the child.

Talents to last a million years are the mother lode of its molecules. Its body is celled of mysteries that are incomprehensible, yet existent and responsive to all that is, and therefore is the container and active channeler of all that is. There is no need here to speak of Evolution to come. All the future tunings and turnings are already here, latent givens in the once and future child.

Its arms and legs enter into conversation with the bright of mornings. In perfect diaphany it knows the shapes of nature for its own. Sunbeams shaping grasses, trees parting skies, waters rushing over rock, these are the mirrors and progenitors of all its movings, the visible likeness of its earth-partnered life.

Comes then society's teaching time. The child is ushered into the presence of the Guidepost to the relevant life. And this post, assigned the teaching task, begins the process of informing the child of its smallness in relation to the far larger, its ignorance measured against great intelligences, its ineptitudes contrasted to vast skills, its lacks opposed to fullnesses, its basic inconsequentiality within the context of "things that matter."

Knowledge of its own divine origins begins to be quite systematically removed from its consciousness. First, the fullness of nature is removed. The trees are taken out of its arms, the rushing waters out of its blood. Body and brain are hunched; gates are built in its muscles; its brain becomes a fortress against all vastness, guarding against the remembrance of who it is and where it came from. This done, the child is deemed acceptable.

But it is not yet over. The internal world must be put to rout. At one point, a serious point, the child will be taught that what is imagined is unreal, and an arterial siphon will draw from near its heart that much strength of impulse which was necessary to keep up its commitment to the inner realms. What is imagined, what has a reality of ponderables that simply doesn't lend itself to physically calibrated scales, this is said to be not real, and the child is halved, so to speak.

If the heart siphon is not wholly effective, another siphon is put into the veins of the inner elbow and all that society thinks impractical is drawn from the elbow's crook. Put the various other siphons into alcoved places, the armpits, the groin, the bend of the knee, the arched chamber of the eye-socket.

Tell the little child that the world out there is only this, or only that, or perhaps phrase it merely, make less than worthy the notice of it. Only a tree, and all the trees are cut down; merely a small lake, and the deeps have lost their mystery; only this and merely that, and the magnificences of nature are made into shoddy stage sets. The siphon has drawn nerves of vision from under the roofed brain, taken the full life of seeing from the eyes.

Belittle another human being, categorize him with a label having to do with his color, his race, his lack or surfeit of academic training, his societal affiliations, pin him like a butterfly specimen for the child to inspect minus all his full lifeness, his essential human-divineness, his proper dimensionality; and you've siphoned out generative power that reaches deep into the groin that could have meant the reseeding of the world.

~~~ taken from her FB page

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The last shot


On a bare mattress he lay
blood splattered half naked
Colonel Gaddafi
of Libya quite dead

the photo barked at me
wrenched me in the gut
an unspectacular end
to a pompous life

made me wonder
at the one chance he had
the one shot at life
to uplift to create

these holders of power
yet niggardly of spirit
the beggars of light
who not finding any

proceed to escape
the approaching darkness
by snuffing out the light
in other people’s lives

~~~

Friday, August 17, 2012

The hiatus of evening

hanging between wakefulness
and sleep
is a hiatus

like the golden hour

when the day pauses
looking over her shoulder
reluctant to leave
at the night at her heels

the tender moment
of their meeting
so full of mystery
and magic

that birds fall silent
leaves rustle in whispers
shadows settle soft-footed
into everything

and you slide
into the awaiting darkness
of oblivion

and the stars come out
as dreams

~~~

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A race of hands


scramble sprint run
it’s always a race
to keep ahead of time

I know from the start
I have no chance of winning
yet my hands propel me forward

as if it is a race of hands
mine against the clock’s
it always wins hands down

yet tomorrow I know
I shall try again
using the tricks I learnt today

I imagine someday lying cold
and timeless in my grave
I would have won the race

but no, I only pass the baton
to another pair of hands
running a futile race


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

6 things you need to know about your inner creative badass


A simply, clearly and wonderfully written post about our inner creative genius.

Read the post here

Time to get connected folks and listen up :)


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Slow cooker


Many years ago, when I was haunted by the pain of childlessness, I had gone to visit a psychic with one burning question, ‘Will I ever be a mother?” And she had said, “No, in this life you have chosen a different path, you have decided that it will be about yourself, about finding who you are, and evolving to your highest potential”. It had sounded grand at that time and even lofty but I had still wanted a child and had come away disappointed.

Now, all these years later, with the pain gone and having eased into the situation, I can look back and see that she was right. I can see that not only about that situation but all the situations, circumstances, events, people who have entered my life and left or stayed behind, were all pushing, forcing, cajoling me to turn away from the world and look within to find answers to all my quests. To put away acquired knowledge and rely on my own inner knowing, that timeless wisdom we are all born with.

I doubt if this would have happened if I was busy raising a family with nary a moment to spare to spend in contemplation. All the dark nights of the soul that ended in clarity on glorious mornings, all the veering into despair that made me push away from darkness into the light, all the hours spent in raging questioning, in quiet introspection, in the letting go of resistance to circumstances have slowly allowed clarity to emerge from the murky depths of confusion.

I can now see that each experience, no matter how unpleasant it had seemed at that time, had contributed, like a piece of a puzzle, to making my life whole. To helping me evolve. To making me go towards my inner self. I can now see that life is a slow cooker, ingredients are getting added to the broth all the time as and when needed, some bitter, some tangy, some sweet but all necessary and nutritious and are all going towards the making of a whole and tasty me :)

Monday, August 06, 2012

The New Colossus

by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
'Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!' cries she
With silent lips. 'Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'

This sonnet was written in 1883 and, in 1903, was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

5 most common regrets of the dying

------- excerpted from the http://www.highexistence.com --------


Bronnie Ware spent her life working with elderly people who were close to death. In this thought-provoking piece, she pieces together the most common regrets of the hundreds of people she stayed with until the end. The implications of these insights are incredibly vast and sobering.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Read the original article here




The egg


an afternoon snapshot


the birds are still
the trees are still
the air rests among
the blades of grass

only the clock pours out
in staccato spurts
a litany of tick-tocks
a river of time segments

in which I’m halfway drowned
sometimes just swept away
bullied and cornered by
an illusion called time

the air and grass don’t care
the birds they don’t know this
certainly not the trees
therefore they are in bliss

~~~

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

To An Early Primrose


 by H. Kirke White


Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire!
Whose modest form, so delicately fine,
                  Was nursed in whirling storms
                  And cradled in the winds.

Thee, when young Spring first questioned Winter’s way,
And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight,
                  Thee on this bank he threw
                  To mark his victory.

In this low vale, the promise of the year,
Serene, thou openest to the nipping gale,
                  Unnoticed and alone,
                  Thy tender elegance.

So virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms
Of chill adversity; in some lone walk
                  Of life she rears her head,
                  Obscure and unobserved;

While every bleaching breeze that on her blows,
Chastens her spotless purity of breast,
                  And hardens her to bear
                  Serene the ills of life.

 ~ H. Kirke White


Sunday, July 29, 2012

A place I call home


Among the folds of the hills nestled
on the valley floor spread
a sparkling jewel, a gleaming gem
is a place I lovingly call home

‘Where is Middle Hutt’ I was once asked
‘this is Middle Earth’ I had said
should have said ‘A slice of heaven
about which stories are written’

Where my spirit sings to the drumbeat of rain
on the roof, and stands in awe to the sound
of the wind wailing against the walls.
and laughs as the Hutt river does

as it skips through meadow, hill
and vale singing a silver-tongued melody,
of mad longing to merge with the sea.
Where my spirit soars to the twinkling stars

And the moon rises laughing behind the hills.
Where my spirit rests in the hollow of the valley
Nestling among verdant hills lit up with the laughter
Of a hundred, babbling, sparkling brooks.

~~~

Today was National Poetry Day, so the local library had organised a poetry reading session, where poetry based on our city or location was read out. So I had my first public poetry reading with the above poem :)

 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

May


The calendar 
I find today
sits on May when
it’s almost August

maybe it’s telling me
through all the days of
May and non-May
that I May let myself

take the lid off
my box of dreams
and believe in
their coming true

ease into life
let go of fear
trust my wisdom
go with the flow

unravel unspool
bring down walls
love like crazy
find myself again

~~~

Friday, July 27, 2012

The dance of housework


household chores to
music performed
becomes a dance

so play that CD
or befriend the
radio and

sweep away
cobwebs to
the sweep of song

stir in stirring
symphonies into
sumptuous lunches

trap-zap that dust
to the hip-swing
of rock-n-roll

let the lilt of
low litanies
lighten your load

let the rhythm
sweep and dissolve
the drudgery

let the music
your pulse enter
let the fun flow

~~~

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Love After Love

by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

~ Derek Walcott

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What to remember when waking


A mind-blowing poem by David Whyte

WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN WAKING

In that first
hardly noticed
moment
to which you wake,
coming back
to this life
from the other
more secret,
moveable
and frighteningly
honest
world
where everything
began,
there is a small
opening
into the new day
which closes
the moment
you begin
your plans.

What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.

What you can live
wholeheartedly
will make plans
enough
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others.

To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.

You are not
a troubled guest
on this earth,
you are not
an accident
amidst other accidents
you were invited
from another and greater
night
than the one
from which
you have just emerged.

Now, looking through
the slanting light
of the morning
window toward
the mountain
presence
of everything
that can be,
what urgency
calls you to your
one love?  What shape
waits in the seed
of you to grow
and spread
its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting
in the fertile sea?
In the trees
beyond the house?
In the life
you can imagine
for yourself?
In the open
and lovely
white page
on the waiting desk?

~ David Whyte ~
(The House of Belonging)

Rainmaker


I love this for reasons I cannot even begin to explain!


Brings on tears everytime ....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The poetry that lies in fingertips


you face, your face
it’s always your face
I fingertip touch
in poetic trails

of heartbreaking joy
tearful tenderness
that trembles where
skin meets with skin

singing pulsating
symphonies of love
laughing exulting
rivulets of joy

that must be when
soul flows into soul
dissolves into God
surrenders in bliss

~~~

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The world


The world is our escape
our chosen opium
we slide behind shape
hide behind form

We abandon luminosity
for mere glitter
forsake audacity
embrace cowardice

We give up our knowingness
in exchange for knowledge

We have traded our kingdom
for a few pieces of shininess
sold our soul
in exchange for the world

But at times the world slips
the curtain parts
and we are given glimpses
of eternity

We are never ever
the same again

We realise the void
we are trying to fill
cannot be filled
with the things of the world

Sweet is the bliss
of the awakening soul
the angels rejoice
at the homecoming

~~~

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Follow your bliss


“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”

 – Joseph Campbell

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Words


“Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being, between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.” 

~ Thomas Merton 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The dam

An avalanche waits
gathering fury
within heart walls

It’s only fear
that holds it in
of destruction

The dam bursts
debris washed away
new beginnings


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Unripe


a blank page waits
words like seeds packed
the pod not ready to burst


Saturday, July 07, 2012

It is strange

It is strange how
some people can talk and talk
and still not say anything
as if the words were
mere empty husks
falling to the ground
seedless, impotent
incapable of growth

It is strange how
some people can be silent
and you understand everything
as if the very silence
spoke in tongues
scattered seeds
that fell into your heart
and blossomed

~~~
 

Friday, July 06, 2012

The meeting


it must have been the rain
falling soft-petalled on the roof
the clouds in flower festivity
raining down their laughter

or the solitary bird
singing a single note after note
pulling in the reluctant evening
like a relentless oarsman

that my clouds of thoughts parted
and memories flooded in
and there you were
sandal-scented and smiling

your voice as you said my name
husky with tenderness
and I had simply melted
dissolved into pure joy

the world had ceased to be
time was irrelevant
there was no you or even I
just the lightness of being

Thursday, July 05, 2012

One step to bliss


I surrender
in Your arms.
I cease to be.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Ego

Ego is the absence of true knowledge of who we really are, together with its result: a doomed clutching on, at all costs, to a cobbled together and makeshift image of ourselves, an inevitably chameleon charlatan self that keeps changing, and has to, to keep alive the fiction of its existence.

In Tibetan, ego is called dakdzin , which means “grasping to a self.”
Ego is then defined as incessant movements of grasping at a delusory notion of “I” and “mine,” self and other, and all the concepts, ideas, desires, and activities that will sustain that false construction.

Such grasping is futile from the start and condemned to frustration, for there is no basis or truth in it, and what we are grasping at is by its very nature ungraspable.
The fact that we need to grasp at all and to go on grasping shows that in the depths of our being we know that the self doesn’t inherently exist.
From this secret, unnerving knowledge spring all our fundamental insecurities and fears.

~ Sogyal Rinpoche, from Glimpse of the day