Friday, December 21, 2012

The Hikes in Life

It was a chill yet bright Sunday morning. I had re-fueled my soul with a long sudarshan kriya, but returned home with a head ache (all the accumulated stress and depression surfacing to leave me).

For hike lovers (I don't call hikers as they are a few notches serious compared to 'hike lovers'), a non-rainy weekend is an opportunity, so two of my friends decided we go hiking. Even though I wanted to stay back home and rest out my headache (and more so be with my sadness), they forced me along with them. I was in that state where I refused a couple of times, after which you don't have the energy to even refuse. So I tagged along.

I was short of breath even before we started the hike. That's how low in energy I was, even though I had recently run a marathon and maintained a fairly active lifestyle. That's what a broken heart, and being so tied to one's own emotions can do.

The hike kept getting worse as I took each step up the steep mountain. It was as if my mind, thoughts, their weight, and the heaviness in the heart were all coming down at me, making each step as hard as lifting a rock!

I decided to take a break after I saw the first bench on the trail at a 1.7 mile mark. My friends were just warmed up, so I asked them to continue with the tempo. Had they stayed any longer with me, I would have pulled them down with my energy. So they went ahead and I placed this heavy rock (myself) on the bench.

As I sat there, not alone, but accompanied with flashes from the past, emotions, pain, and multitude of thoughts, I observed them all, and soon before I realized I started meditating and fell 'asleep', so I thought. Woke up after about 30-40 minutes of wandering away in trance, nothingness, emptiness, don't know, can't put a word to it. Magically I regained strength and decided to start climbing again.

Each patch of up-hill felt like the challenges in my Life. As I hiked past each one of them, slowly, steadily, at times stopping to catch up on breath and strength, I couldn't help but think of how similar this was to hiking past all obstacles in Life.

I came across other people hiking up the same mountain. Some breezing past me across the up-hills, clearly having trained themselves for it for long now; some of them matching my pace; and some much slower than me. But all trying to get past the up-hills and get up there...

After reaching the top, it was beautiful and peaceful. I could see the view from top, and the uphills vanished. They didn't look like uphills any more and I smiled. The silence filled up everything, it completed everything. I sat there for good 20 minutes. And then it was time to head back. You can't stay on top forever, can't hold onto any moment forever. They all have to pass. You are what remains same through all those moments.

As I was hopping, skipping, running down-hill, happy with myself, it occurred to me that I could never experience the peace and silence at the top and the wind breezing through me while coming downhill, if I hadn't endured the up-hills. They became my strength. No matter how long I took, how slowly I climbed past them, what mattered is I didn't give up.

Oh and yes, I came across my two friends as I was on my way up. They were making their way back down. They were so happy to see me there. One of them decided to re-climb the last patch with me to the top. God always knows when we need help and sends strength.

The high times in Life are a blessing, the low times are a greater blessing! They break you to recreate you - a You with refined knowledge and strength, ready to climb the next uphill.

Situations and People in our Life that are not as we desire, are nothing but an uphill to help increase our strength, a blessing, giving us an opportunity to refine ourselves. Knowledge resides in us when we experience it. Meditation lets us tap into our infinite potential, awakens our consciousness, and we act then with awareness. Knowledge of the unchanging Truth, Friends, Love, and a Smile on the face makes you sail through Life.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Meditation - A journey from me to my Self

Everyone needs some meditation

Who doesn't want good health and no sickness?
Who doesn't want beauty inside out?
Who doesn't want pleasures and no pain?
Who doesn't want love and no longing?
Who doesn't want happiness and no misery?
Who doesn't want peace of mind and no stress?
Who doesn't want rest and no restlessness?
Who doesn't want enthusiasm and no boredom?

Who doesn't want never-ending Joy and un-distorted Love?
Who wants the party to end?

Life is such, a sinusoidal wave of duality, of opposites.

Day and Night, Sun and Moon, Summer and Winter, Spring and Fall, Water and Ice, Music and Noise, Man and Woman, Love and Longing, Pleasure and Pain, Highs and Lows, Crests and Troughs, Crowds and Solace, Life and Death

Each one complements it's opposite. It's these opposites that make Life full of life, exciting, surprising, adventurous, worth exploring, worth living. And they co-exist, but usually we only see and perceive one at a time.

When the sinusoidal wave of opposites cease to exist, and become a flat line, that's symbol of death, stagnant, decay. But we don't want to wait for death to end this sinusoid. We want to be the infinite unwavering center amidst the sinusoid.

How do we rise above the opposites to watch these opposites as they happen and remain unaffected by them?

Alcohol, drugs? Sure they take you to a high, subdue your lows, loosen you up, your confidence gets a boost, you have fun (without awareness, without consciousness). What happens when it wears down? Does the Joy last or it also wears down? Does the joy from it have a lasting effect (positive) through the rest of your day? Does it leave you fresh and recharged? Does anything change within you? And still somehow most consider it as a logically reasoned out fact, or must I say 'faith', that it's THE way to have fun, a medicine to relieve pain.


Meditation is not about experiencing lights, flying birds, blue skies, beautiful mountains, sun sets, music (although all this may happen). Most people associate meditation with Buddhism or a religious, cultish practice. All religions have a way to meditate. And why do you want to associate it with a religion, and give it yet another form, concept? We are so quick and open-minded when it comes to trying out new activities, cuisines, clubs, bars, beers, etc? Think of meditation as a technique to reduce stress, clear the mind, increase productivity, peace, enthusiasm, energy.

Meditation is the art of doing nothing that effortlessly leads one to a state of nothingness. That's why many people leave it when they try it for the first few times, because of the gazillion thoughts that come up in the mind.
Hello?? These thoughts have always been there. They are always coming every second. It's only in meditation that you are actually taking time to observe them, as thoughts, and realize that they are simply thoughts, transient thoughts, that we usually mistake for as ourselves and others. We are not our transient thoughts, emotions, feelings, opinions.

But if you keenly observe, there is a space between thoughts, even though it's infinitesimally small. That space is peace.

With proper meditation techniques and practice, one learns how to increase that space between thoughts. Can you learn to play the guitar in one day? Can you learn driving in one day? Can you write a software in one day? Even Rome was not built in a day! Just like that you can't have that long space, peace, nothingness, in one day.

Meditation makes you travel through your thoughts, memories from the past, thoughts about future, judgements, opinions, experiences to silence......If you have experienced meditation, you know that you don't realize where time flew by. Meditation takes you from times (past, present, future) to timelessness.
And when you come out of it, there is a sense of peace, love, joy. Because you just experienced your true Self - infinite and timeless Joy, Love, Peace!

Meditation is a journey from the head to the heart; from chaos to silence; from time to timelessness.

Meditation is a journey from me to my Self.

Sounds too good to be true? (Having a Doubt? Realize that Doubt is also just yet another thought). Want to remove your Doubt (now there is war going on between you and your ego). But once you have become aware that it's just a doubt, and are ready to go past your ego, to resolve your doubt, try the Art of Meditation.