I was all set and excited to go to the Sahyadri Study centre..
I would enjoy the peace and quiet reflection time. Reading, writing, simply being. Nourishing myself.
I may even get to meet my daughter, Sufii, my dearest angel and spend time with her.
And who knows, I might even get the opportunity to meet the principal and explore possibilities of contribution to Sahyadri.
I had come back from Blore in a hurry after two half day review sessions for two teams of Yahoo! … letting go of the delicious opportunity to meet many friends. And revel in conversation, togetherness and marveling at life.
All packed, I went to spend a little time with a very dear friend just before taking off. Flowing in conversation with her, something that she said, shook me deeply. She observed that I was avoiding often entering into the pain of separation from Sufi. There had been so much tenderness before we went and dropped her at Sahyadri. I had wept a few times. And then after I came back also. However, she observed that I had quickly ‘bounced back’ not allowing myself the pain to soak in and break me. Wow! I could see the truth of that.
She said, “I think you should not go to Sahyadri. Sit with the reality and make peace with the separation. You don’t allow the enormity of the situation to enter you. Go somewhere else if you must to be alone.” I could also see that my churning perhaps was also causing Sufi to churn. There is a deep connection.
I felt the tiredness, perhaps not only of this current situation. But of many many times when I had run away from reality and pain. The accumulated sadness. Not sure but leaning towards not going I drifted off into an uneasy sleep. After some time I woke up from this half-sleep and made some tea and sat in a conversation with this dear friend. I reflected, thinking aloud, only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. Is it ever possible for another to know what is right or good for a friend, a brother, a fellow-traveler? I was taken back to the time when my family just could not understand why I was not ‘standing up’ during my separation- and giving away the flat esp. when she was (according to them) walking out to be with a rich man. I found it difficult to explain that she was not walking out. We were both walking out. And that, for me, the relationship was so much more significant than any money/asset. I was in fact, ‘standing up’ for what seemed right to me in the circumstances. The question was what was right for me in this circumstance. And that can ONLY be seen by the person himself.
I left her place to go and stay with the whole situation and maybe speak to some other really dear wise confidantes, uncertain how life would unfold. While driving I called a very dear young friend who is in the process of awakening to truth, freedom and love in a profound way. He was riding his scooter on the way to a Satsang. And said if it was urgent he could talk for a few minutes since he had a hands free. I shared with him the situation and asked him to be a mirror. What was he seeing that I was not? It was not about advising but about seeing together. What wanted to emerge. He said what he saw was that it was not about the outer situation. But whether, as I was going thru the outer, was I facing the whole thing internally. I asked him, how do you face something? He said, what I do is invoke the situation and let whatever comes up with it have its day. The thoughts, feelings, intensities, fears, anger, sadness.. the whole circus. He felt it was okay for me to go since there was a need for nourishment. But to face the whole thing inside.
And then I decided to go. On the way, the doubting mind raised its head again. Crazy thing this, I can tell you. And I took the car to the side on a busy road to think and see. After a while, I decided to take the car ahead and found another place where I could park and speak to another wise friend. He had something simple to say which was also profound. “Keep going with the moment and enjoy the flow. When the time comes the moment will reveal to you what is right. Why go into an imagined future and try to sort it out?” Wow! I started the car again. And then we spoke about what he was up to and what I was. He is starting a program on Sufi story telling and writing and sharing. Stories make the mind active and so he said along with that mindfulness practices required to balance. I told him I was at a place to drop all stories, ideas concepts.. maybe it would not be right for me to participate in this. Though in the last program that he conducted I had seen that whatever the appearance, his work had a song of freedom, of reality, of love which is who he was. And that is what I felt like going for.
I had also called a fourth friend , would you believe it? I have this immense blessing of such wise friends and I simply reach out.. seeing the seamless intimacy of life.. of experience. Of the whole. Unencumbered by the narrative that I must figure out myself. Who is this I? Aren’t my heart-friends all a part of the ‘I’ that are weaving the story of life together with me?
She had not picked up the phone. But as I was approaching Sahyadri, she sent a whatsapp message .. Anything urgent? I said no it was cool. It was urgent when I had called but now it was sorted out. Something made her call me nevertheless. And that was the finale. The dessert after such a delicious meal that life had served me. I had served to life 😉 Is there a difference between life and me? And we got talking. She asked me a great question after I shared what had happened, ‘What is the prime motivation? What is the real feeling? Any vested interest here?’ To which I said, genuinely I want to meet Sufi and that is primary but also going for a retreat and having a chat with the principal to explore how I could serve is sincerely there.
It is 842am. In the small sit out outside my room no 6 at the Sahyadri Study centre, I watch the flourishing green foliage as the gentle incessant drizzle of the rain bathes trees and the grass, the cobbled stone pathway. The braches of a tall tree move with the tender breeze and all is well. In this moment it seems there is nowhere to go. The drizzle becomes quicker. The breeze faster. A silence is palpable.
A thought appears.. I must get up and complete a bit of Yoga that I often postpone due to some attraction or distraction, some seduction of experience. Am reminded of a piece I posted on facebook recently:
Till we are wanting something from the mind we will get it but it will be false. A lot of the ‘Law of Attraction’ enthusiasts operate from here and also get what they want.. or rather what the mind wants.
When the want is one with life, the whole movement is very different. And what results has a freshness that is born of the creative urge of life itself.
JK puts this beautifully:
“To find out what is real, the mind must cease to demand any experience. So long as you are craving experience, you will have it, but it will not be real -real in the sense of the timeless, the immeasurable; it will not have the perfume of reality. It will all be an illusion, the product of a mind that is frustrated, that is seeking a thrill, an emotion, a feeling of vitality. That is why you follow leaders. They are always promising something new, a utopia, always sacrificing the present for the future, and you foolishly follow them because it is exciting.
You have had that experience in this country, and you ought to know better than anyone else the miseries, the brutality of it all. Most of us demand the same kind of experience, the same kind of sensation, only at another level. That is why we take various drugs, or perform ceremonies, or practice some exercise that acts as a stimulant. These things all have significance in the sense that their use indicates that one is still craving experience; therefore, the mind is everlastingly agitated. And the mind that is agitated, that is craving experience, can never find out what is true.Truth is always new, totally unknown, and unknowable.
The mind must come to it without any demand, without any knowledge, without any wish; it must be empty, completely naked. Then only truth may happen. But you cannot invite it.”
– J. Krishnamurti in Hamburg 1956
Now for Yoga. 😉 And to see if I can meet Sufi.
The Yoga happened. And then, I got to meet Sufii. And it was beautiful.
The welcome hug
The heart’s tug
The hurried sharing
Of friends, events and joys
Which eased and relaxed ..
“Paapa, my friends keep saying
You look like Mamma, you look like Paapa,
You look like a chinese, a Japanese..
I got fed up and told them..
‘I am who I am’
She went and pulled out
the ‘tuck tuck’ …
woven with wool
into friendship bands
and for the hair plaits.
Take this for Mamma.
Deck time, we sing and we dance
Sometimes with my bath robe
YJHD- Yeh Jawani hai Diwani
Even the Ghagara song, Paapa. 😉
I tell her I saw the movie 4 times
We really enjoy at night, she said.
We get Bournvita every day.
I ask, “Did you adjust to the Indian loo, beta?
She casually, nonchalantly says, “Yessss”
Bharat Natyam teacher is very strict
So I don’t want to do.
I am doing Vocal singing.
We will be doing pottery, painting, batik, weaving
Every month different.
Dorm hike to turtle hill was lovely
We walked 20 km
And found real crystals, Paapa
Fresher’s hike it was raining so much
We got fully wet.
Now we will go for Class hike.
In the morning was a Nature Walk.
With Prabhat Sir, At 615am.
We saw fig trees, snails, grasshopper
Tadpoles in the study centre Lotus pond
And a lot else.
Where were you?
Beta, If I had known you were coming,
I would have been there.
Tomorrow is Yoga.
Madhavi Akka is a good teacher
But very strict.
I like her. She explains well.
The Piano teacher we don’t like,
He looks slyly at us. We have told Anjali akka
And Mira akka also.
In culture class, we saw Krishnamurti
In a film talking to children.
She makes me meet many of her teachers,
Handwork, Marathi, Art, House Parent…
I don’t cry so much but I cried when I lost
Your letter. Why do people chorofy Papa?
My polo got chorofied. (stolen, ‘chor’ is thief in Hindi)
I only tell Pia my combination lock no.
If others ask I tell them the wrong no.
Then we both climbed a tree and sat and
Continued to chat.
There was so much to share and listen.
I read to her a Mulla Nasruddin story.
Paapa, send me some Funny books
And all colors wool, Black also.
What are you writing Paapa?
I am writing all that you are telling me beta.
I kept taking notes, so as to be able to share
with Prativa and others.
I am missing Aji and Bhai.
He came in a dream Paapa,
He was here at school and met all my friends
Siddha, Pia, Mira, Tisha, Krishu
Paapa, my pet name is Su.
Anjali akka gave all of us pet names.
Back to the narrative of how life held me. And got me to meet Sufi. Contact my own truth.. listening to many perspectives.. wise, aware, real. I asked the last friend I spoke to .. “How do I discern between the voice of the heart, intuition and the voice of the mind” .. and she said, simply, the intuitive voice is quiet and peaceful, unhurried and sees that it is ok either way and yet there is an intimation of what is coherent, the volume and strength is there – that voice is not loud, It does not have an emotional charge. No ‘push’ to act. It invites a spontaneous action without thought.
How life held me and led me.. as I rested in its lap.
Am reminded of the Kabir lines I have heard Shabnam Virmani sing:
“Toh Kabir bahut bhatkiya, aur mann le vishay viraam
Dhundat dhundat jag mua, aur tilake ote raam
Toh mala japoon na kar japoon, aur mukh se kahun na raam
Raam hamara hamein jape, hum paayo bisaram”
Kyun bhatake bahir kyun bhatake..
(Kabir has wandered a lot, searching, seeking. I refuse to pray any longer, or recite the name of God (Rama). Ram sings in me now, I have found the resting place.)
30 June 2013