Monday, March 18, 2013
You catch me, talking to the birds...
Don’t mean I am bird brain,
That, I drink the rainbow, with mine eyes...
and think not about the pot of gold...
Don’t mean I am funny,
Sometimes, clouds string my imagination
and a smile plays on my lips....
Don’t mean, I am fleeting by nature,
You speak the language of the living
How come I understand not at all,
would you call me DEAD?
For sprites I see, so often
Sitting, playing, swinging...
While you cross by with unseeing eyes.
Does that make you, blind, deaf and dumb?
This room is dark, small and musty
It spins me a tale of love and all things dusty,
The organ stands dark and full of mystery
In the corner that I call lusty,
There's a bird nested on a ming vase justly
Atop the cupboard slim and shapely,
Next to a painting that imitates a waterfall dutifully
Wooden dragons carve a place here aesthetically,
A bed lies in the middle of here quite happily
Sheets black and white imitates an Oreo crisply,
No one sees the tinted glasses watching in-obtrusively
Stories of loneliness and fear displayed on
beaded Marijuana curtain quite colorfully,
Smoke curtains and stain the bathroom willy nilly
I say living here is suicide done willfully,
Especially since it became only a room
and its here I complete my homily.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
WHAT IS YOGA
When it comes to conscious living, nothing beats the practice of Yoga and the art of connecting your body with your mind leading to universal soul consciousness – meditation.
The one and only specific practice that anyone requires for tuning to the higher self and the universal energies is ‘Meditation’. This is the true yoga. Every form of yoga is but a culmination to this one goal ‘ being one with the Higher Self’ and this can be done only with meditation. For a yogi or yogini that is true yoga. The only yoga.
Meditation is the perfect tool for healing your mind and body. And you can never do it too often. Twice a daily is ideal. But there is
one problem... Where do you find the time to do yoga? When can you meditate? I cannot concentrate. These are questions for the lay man, for those who are willing, there will always be time. Twenty-four hours in a day should be more than enough … why can’t you remove one hour for it?
While we address such issues, how can you learn? Let it be a non- issue and then you will progress.
Yoga is an ancient science dealing with many different systems for increasing the speed of human evolution. It predates all of the world’s existing religions and provides the esoteric basis on which many of these religions were later based upon. Yoga, provides practical techniques that can be used by anyone – man or woman, of any temperament or spiritual level. This is a spiritual practice which in yogic parlance is called sadhana.
For, here the focus is not just the elevation of body, mind or the spirit. It is about bringing all aspects of your-self to a completeness or rediscovering the I AM, which is the Godhead. Like worship in any temple of God, there is and will always be a ritual. The body being your temple will also have to follow one.
The ritual starts with a dedication, purpose and love. If any of these things are missing, than whatever you do will be half baked. Think of it as the ritual of making the perfect fettucini at home made healthy, delicious and fresh. If the fettucini were to be cooked without the right ingredients, the right flour, fresh eggs, love and dedication to perfecting it, all would be lost. And do, the ritual of yoga and meditation is to be experienced like that… like the wonder of a taste that cannot be generalized or pointed out, but it makes the meal fulfilling. So, the simile is that yoga and you make for the right ingredients and with meditation it becomes food for the soul.
I as a yogini would rather feed the soul first. It is imperative. Rituals asides, we have to understand why we need to center ourselves through these age old methods of yoga and meditation. Why do we need to make time for such practices? The answer is simple.
In this world that we live in, we have become too involved with material gains and losses, with this being the state very few people realize that the soul or spirit of individuality is being lost in the haze we call maya or illusion. The only way we can rectify this without making it into any kind of a religious aspiration is through yoga and meditation. That is why I call it centering ourselves – to know who we are before all else.
To know the essence of who we are, to realize ourselves through yoga or meditation or any other ancient science is not an easy process. Like children we have to have someone guide us, lead us by hand and teach us. For something as illuminating as learning how to self centre through yog or sadhana; we have to have the true master or Guru.
It will be through the Guru that you will perfect your yoga and self- realization thereof. You will understand that the yog (this word combines both yoga and meditation= sadhana) is not just about folding your legs and sitting in a relaxed position, happily breathing or even having your thoughts manipulated. It’s a way of life. We call it evolving through the direct process of ‘monitoring thought waves with a master teacher or Guru’.
With the Guru, your spirit will reach the dimension we call God, which is your true nature; the purpose which is equaled to creating your own destiny. This is what sadhana is all about – discovering your true nature. It is not enough to repeat that the process requires discipline, focus and determination.
Let me guide you to its true nature and yours. Meanwhile, promises can be broken, the task can be hard, because it is simpler to make excuses. And for those who are ready for the practice of meditation, and even those who have thought about meditation versus going through the entire routine of a yoga practice and then meditation. That can be done, doing just yoga or meditation. But, let’s not take the easy route. Let’s choose one form of yoga that is really the easiest and the best – Surya Namaskar
Everyone can do the Surya Namaskar or the Sun yoga, a 12 process asanas of this particular yoga; this yoga is all about prostrations to the life force we call the Sun energy. It is practiced at the early hours of the morning, when it is dawn. It is the use of twelve steps of yogic exercises using breath control, activating relevant energy centers or chakras in our body.
For those who already practice it, we will now proceed with stages of meditation. After the Surya Namaskars, one has to go ahead with the meditation to complete the process of yoga. Yoga is the mind.
Remember, meditation or centering oneself is not easy. No one can do it at one shot. This too is a routine and a practice.
Stages of Meditation
The first stage of meditation involves only the physical body and its normal functions. Here you will learn every inch of your body and yourself. You will practice how to understand each language of your body parts – to know that it is the house of God. That it’s a temple for the spirit that lives within you. As the adage goes ‘ a healthy mind lives in a healthy body’ and so, meditation in its initial stage will be about preparation, understanding and practicing readiness of your outer shell for the inner experience.
The second stage will deal with the knowing and understanding of your conscious mind that will always rationalize against your true self – as the spirit. Some even call it the conscience explaining motives and reasoning thereof for every action. Here you will learn how to control argumentative thoughts that arise from your conscious mind until that part of you becomes silent. Once silence can be achieved, the next level can evolve.
The third stage will deal with attuning and realizing your sub conscious mind where all memory of your emotional and mental experiences of this life can be stored for self- examination. Careful monitoring and study will make you understand all the negative and positive attributes you have created … thereby your joys and sorrows. It is when all this is finally assimilated in to your deep consciousness, can the fourth stage evolve.
The fourth stage will allow you to attune to your deep sub-conscious mind or the spirit or Super Ego as we call it. Here your true self can be revealed. Once that is achieved there will be balance within you, a total surrender and acceptance of your body, mind, emotions and spirit, all will come together as one. That done, you will finally be able to choose your personal path of growth. The path that will bring peace, success and creativity in your life.
Once you have gone through the processes and achieved the fourth stage, then you can go ahead and practice self- realization, for you will have by now understood your innate nature or God nature as well call it. Some would call it insight. I would call it identifying the nature of mind.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
I recently self published my first book, it was an offering of quotes and poems, a first of its kind - the publishers bracketed it as a Self Help genre book. I had nothing of that in my mind, I was just wanting to let the world read my thoughts as they meandered and found meaning in everyday life and living.
I realise poetry comes easy to me, the blank verse is my language where it falls freely drifting like the snowflakes and blanketing emotions ... sometimes warmly with an inner view that's totally my picture of situations of the mind, place, emotion and experience of others. Its maddeningly easy for me objectify and subject issues that plague each one of us and make it mine. Like the poem that I have Archana, the other face of Ma - I bring to depiction, the woman Archana rather than her role as a prostitute or a mother or Ma. I first met her in my line of doing a story of Sex Trafficking ... she shocked me out of my stupor of thinking (like everyone else I presume) that she was just a sex worker.
Every time she preened and spoke ... I think I bled. To know, that at age 34 she was dying of cancer and all she was being given was a pain killer and an aspirin, even though death seemed a better option than her life, but she wanted to live. Live with the knowledge that she had been child bride kidnapped sold and prostituted all by the tender age of six, when twelve she had escaped back home, beaten to death almost by her in-laws who thought she had whored herself and come back home. Life still carried on and by age sixteen she was a mother of a boy and then soon after a widow. Now being a widow is worse than death in parts of India ... even though her husband was a sickly boy of 17 and had died naturally ... she was blamed, cursed and then sent back to prostitution. This time she was not kidnapped ... but sold by her in-laws, who did not want to take care of her, but they took her baby and told her that if he was to be fed and given a better life, she needed to earn bread and in a hurry.
As a woman, she did it all ... as a mother she did it all ... and today, she stands a mother and a whore. The son comes to her to get money, he is married and lives decently and makes sure no one knows she is his mother. She is however proud that he is doing so well. I don't know how I can still write about her and not die a little inside. But every time I think of her, I remember her saying "
‘I once was as fair
as this piece of
unlined white paper
my hair a string of
mogra, that swung men
to passion and shame...’
She had then continued on to say :
'i have now cancer
you know of
the breast and
tears pour out
how many lovers had
I have no idea if she is dead or alive now ... but I have made her and her type immortal with my poem. I hope I have. I love her, her spirit and though I was laughing when she described herself as being paper white ( the Indian obsession with fair skin colouring) for she was all ebony and unless had the discolouration like that of Michael Jackson, she could never have been that white. And so for me she stands as a woman first because she was conscious about looking beautiful whether in the past or present. Most of all, she had the inherent beauty of being selfless and being a mother at all times, through hardship and not once feeling empty that all her loved ones did her wrong, the thought never arising in her mind. She minded not that her son came to see her only for money ... and yet, all she spoke about was that ' He is in a society ... he is married ... he is not suffering like me'.