Art, Commerce and Science of Relentless Traveling

Exploring traveling as an effective tool for self exploration, if applied with the right intention.

01

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Traveling is rarely about rest and relaxation, especially if one does not know how to rest and relax, while not traveling. It does give an illusion when we’re in a rut, that traveling to some exotic location, will take off some steam and bring unending pleasantness. And it does, for a short time, which may even end before the first day of holidaying is over, and I’ve been with some people and heard from many, the confirmation to this hypothesis, that they’re unable to stick to the pleasantness they had anticipated by taking up the travels, to a far off place which looked beautiful and serene, and could’ve provided relief to their distress. The mind seeks constant stupor and provides various illusions on how things can be different somewhere else. And the irony of holidaying for most of us is, we end up either stressing more – while leaving, after first few hours or days of reaching the dream location, and definitely after we come back to the rut. I’m sure there are many rational reasons for such behaviors which most of us will avoid digging into.

After all, providing fuel to the mind’s incessant ability to wander and create stupor is a full time activity for all of us, we’re trained and come preprogrammed for such a compulsively engrossing task.
Although, I’ve never had this problem, whether I’m traveling or otherwise, but again, I’ve been with people or heard from them, about how they needlessly wonder about their work while on holidays, and dream about a perfect holiday while at work. Its quite amusing for me as an outsider, but I’m sure, for the people exhibiting such behaviors, it can be heavily taxing on their system, since most of the conserved energy is getting frivolously spent in active hallucinating and thus possibly leaving one exhausted and confused.

02

I think, I would have considered myself very fortunate, if I would have ever had the pleasure of meeting Mark Twain, when he was around, either in his hometown, or while he was traveling on the Mississippi, in San Fransisco or the Indian subcontinent. It would be indeterminate whether his experience in meeting me would be equivalent. I obviously like his style of writing, and consider his work solid, witty and revealing. But beyond the general praises, I like the insights I get whenever I read his elaborate work or the numerous quotations which float around on the internet under his name. He was certainly well traveled, and observed the various facets of life and lifestyle very closely, while smoking his favorite cigars. Traveling during his times, definitely was risky, and not returning back to where you started from, was a possible uncertainty. With my current lifestyle, I find myself traveling for about four to five months in a year. It might be due to actual holidaying, visiting friends and family, or sometimes working. My current work requires me to think more than act, when it comes to how I actually use my energies. Having said that, over the years, I’m realizing how it is extremely important to know “How to think” versus knowing only “What to think”. 

Thinking is subtle action and a precursor to visible action, while visible action is a consequence of subtle thinking.
I’m beginning to realize the significance of this correlation, and it would be probably incorrect to assert that the two activities are actually separate or distinct. Analogically, they’re kind of like the beginning and ending rungs of a ladder or beginning and ending frequencies of a light spectrum etc., and it would be certainly unwise to categorically consider thinking and acting as two separate phenomena. They’re not, but in general parlance, we make the mistake of looking at them separately, and finding ourselves helplessly struggling with creating life situations in any elegant manner. The amount of energy which gets wasted, literally, in not knowing or not being alert of this fact, leads to an exhausting and confused life, where we remain clueless as to how things are occurring around us.

05

On the current travel schedule, which is part of my 4 month gig for 2018, requiring crossing couple of continents and oceans, I’m traveling without the missus. Traveling with or without one’s significant or insignificant other, has its own repercussions, after having clarified my initial take on traveling, not necessarily being an act for rest and relaxation.

As individual human beings, we are largely in a state of flux, and conceptualizing us within a framework of how we are or should be, is simply an expensive mistake, often done, rarely inspected and one has to pay a hefty price for such uncanny generalizations.
The biggest advantage of traveling together, assuming a relationship where both partners are actively willing to learn about their own idiosyncrasies and limitedness, is you grow as an individual and your affection and love for each other scales up non-linearly, in some form of quantum leaps, perhaps, equivalent to Einstein, Bohr or Bose’s findings about the random quantum leaps of electrons within matter. The key in this kind of processes is the aforementioned observation: “assuming a relationship where both partners are actively willing to learn about their own idiosyncrasies and limitedness”. If this willingness is missing, good luck in traveling with any partner who is close to you, either physically, mentally, emotionally or in business. It doesn’t work well for the simple reason, we as humans are not a concept, we don’t function based on recorded observations from the past, or theological assertions from books, or any forced moral values imposed by society, parents or teachers.

It is my contention that, humans are uniquely organic, they cannot be predicted, just like ‘em electrons, and if one expects traveling with such humans will automatically and always bring the serenity for which you spent the thousand dollar tickets or ten thousand dollars excursions, good luck with that line of thinking. Disappointment will be the least of the worries, and coming back being emotionally wrecked or physically exhausted will probably be a distinct certainty.
But, if the partners consider growth and togetherness as important, not as a derived benefit of the other’s changing attitude, but in wanting to dig within themselves actively, to investigate the nuances and compulsions of our own behaviors and attitudes, traveling can become a phenomenal tool for self exploration – defeating our ignorance and freeing us from regular stupidity. Having said all this, traveling is probably a good thing, regardless of one’s individual or combined goals of growth or compatibility, because it provides the opportunity to come in contact with an exposure to difference on the outside and indifference on the inside. The experience of traveling, on the other hand, will certainly depend upon one’s wanting to mature and that fact cannot be altered, because the core nature of traveling is to be amongst the anomalies of change and variations.

Whenever fate or sponsored tickets brings me to America, after the initial fright at the immigration counter, and pretend exchange of pleasantries with the officer, I like to seek out and immerse with the land and water of this beautiful country. America is known for its consumerism, prolific research in advance technologies, magnificent buildings of prosperous megacities, channelized transportation, flourishing commerce  and extraordinary display and affording of comfort, convenience and luxury.

I don’t have any particular opinion about the economy of this country, or the freedom the constitution is supposed to provide which the denizens are supposed to enjoy, the excessive dependency on market economy to create wellbeing for the individual, the almost mandatory need for insurances of all types to be substituting the individual’s need to be living responsibly, the categorically challenging atmosphere created by wanting to live extravagantly, considering it as a wise choice and only eventually realizing that it takes off 35 to 50 years of adult life to build such a lifestyle, hinging on borrowed resources, while the average life expectancy is still only a tad bit over 75 years.
So, obviously, I don’t have any issues with any of these observations, which I insist is not an opinion, but I think every thought, action, compulsion and concept over which we build our life, has an innate consequence, and it is my general observation, most of us are not familiar, nor are willing to read into the consequence of our actions based on a long term view of a fleeting life, which actually could end abruptly, accidentally or to bring some sense of relief, eventually. Anyways, the point I was trying to make is simple, whenever I visit America, the first thing I want to do over here, is go and walk in the beautiful and underutilized state parks, amongst nature, which still has 50 to 100 years old trees, creeks, flowing rivers etc. It brings me immense joy and a sense of freedom to be doing that, which is unparalleled and usually unavailable in other developing countries. I like to walk the trails, sit by the water body, take photos, write about the experiences, be with the silence of the sky and simply immerse with the elements, which are so present and bountifully wanting to involve.

To me, traveling is another tool to come closer to myself. It exposes me to the different cultures and milieu of the human species. It also exposes me to my inherent biases and reluctance to accept diversity. It shows me the compulsive need to be constantly forming opinions about other people and places, compare them with my own ideas about how life should be, and most importantly, traveling offers me an unique opportunity to scale myself up as a human being, who is profoundly waiting to evolve, wanting to seek dimensions beyond his own opinions and beliefs.
Traveling is a simple tool for all this. But, so is silence and sitting quietly without moving much, and allowing the madness of the mind to settle on its own accord, by not reacting for its need to move. Obviously, these are two very different methods for self exploration and I personally like to apply both of them simultaneously, since I’m only married to the missus, not any methods, and hence I see no particular issue with applying both styles, in trying to figure out some existential answers to the elusive manners of the mind wanting to create constant stupor, while the obvious manners of the body, takes me straight to the grave in a matter of time.

In my opinion, and this is an opinion, because it pertains to my own outlook of life, these are not small or insignificant matters, which can be avoided in pursuit of happiness, as written in the US constitution. These are significant matters, which requires one to question the incessant stupor of the mind and movement of the body, in perennially wanting to create a world of our own liking, while simultaneously with time, both the faculties of mind and body, take upon a diminishing curve of efficacy, leading to their eventual collapse into oblivion, upon the arrival of death. I personally attach significant importance, to such quests and inquiries, and find that because of this attitude, the engaging travels or the still silence, which I partake, has a beauty of its own, as for most part, I disallow – stress, aggressiveness or compulsive rushing – to dilute my experience of them.

Thanks for reading, until next time, Ciao!

Bearded Guides

Some bearded guides come unannounced, to knock you down, and one should consider it their fortune!

Bearded Guides

Took me 33 years of toil and set the sail

Took him 90 minutes to foil and take the reign

Took him for a guide hoping to sail shores

Only to begin a journey towards a vague core

His eyes revealed a sort of compassion

Only to realize it was silent dispassion

First bearded guide rescued me from plights

Only to drop me in the lap of unknown flights

Second bearded guide seemed on a mission

Only to realize he was out to kill false vision

Everything happened fast and felt like a dream

With only me left to hear my scream

I felt worried could I be missing out on life

Only to realize I was hooked on to strife

Its futile to resist and dream of other place

When I could be at ease and miss the rat race

They showered their blessings and showed the way

Without giving a chance to bow down and pray

I know bearded guides don’t care for any praise

Still sharing this poem and song in honor of their abundant grace

🎼Song Credit🎼
Nasrat Fateh Ali Khan & Tanishk Bagchi

Friendships

The aggregate bounty of involving friendships and uninvolving acquaintances.

Friends 2

#Friendships #Sowing #Involvement #OldSchool #Vulnerable

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’ve always been fond of growing amongst friends, and be unbothered with what we do together. We may end up doing something – play board games when bored, sing or listen to songs, read comic books, play outdoor games, chat, go for walks, watch TV etc. – or simply do nothing.

The choices of “doing” something together is endless, but simply “being” together is priceless.

There is a purposeless transaction which manifests, when friends come together regularly, want to be with each other aimlessly, and create a sort of merging, where words are meaningless, actions futile, and an existential alignment occurs where the hidden divinity of being human finds expression, unbeknownst to its recipients.

 

 

Usually, I ain’t shy of expressing my fears, confusions and vulnerability to selective friends, not because I trust them, or they are my best friends, or I am loyal to them etc., but just because, I feel they’re my friend and I want to share. It never bugs me that they can’t solve my problems, or guide me in any particular direction. I am usually overjoyed and overwhelmed that they are simply available to listen and pay attention. To me, attention is intrinsically more valuable, than any sordid ideas we exchange, in the name of helping.

I never really care for answers from my friends, instead, feel very comfortable that we can reach out unplanned, make ourselves available, and be willing to listen – that’s enough involvement!

 

 

Friends 0

Lately, friendships seem to have taken a strange turn, “we feel connected with each other, only to the extent we need each other“. Its a rigged affair, where we think our affairs should be towards gaining something, for ourselves, from others, else it is useless partaking it. Well, times are changing fast, and over the years, I’ve met many, who come near, but are unable to come close.

Something is different, people are frightened and burnt, unreasonably busy and stressed, and expressing vulnerability is considered an embarrassing sign of weakness. Hardly anyone listens, most want to talk, and everyone takes selfies. Distances seem shortening, friendships seem broadening, and social media allows friends to be made in frenzy. We seem to only talk about our problems with work, people, spouses, children, bosses, employees, employers, staff, shopping etc., and turn our involved friendships into uninvolved acquaintances.

We only consider coming together, if there is something to do, somewhere to go, or something to buy. Beholding, genuinely asking “how are you?”, engaging in silence without interference of words or action, is considered useless and waste of time, while only hanging out, catching up and binging is considered exciting and useful.

 

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I must be old school, who values vulnerability over confidence, silence over boisterous, listening over talking, feeling over discussing, beholding over binging, and although considered old fashioned and naive, I don’t mind, as the values I seek in friendships, allow me to offer myself, connect purposelessly, involve intelligently, indulge consciously, speak diligently, advice hesitatingly, avoid frivolousness, encourage intimacy and thus experience friendships based on real lessons from life versus pseudo ideologies.

Arguably, I feel friendships need sowing, involvement and tender caring which goes beyond the “addictive need” to be hanging out, catching up, doing things or binging somewhere. It is an inclusion of energies over ideas, effervescence over effort and patience over preponderance.

 

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Although times have changed, and we live in an era of assumed advancements, relentless activities, impatient communications, narcissist attitudes, prejudiced opinions, it doesn’t seem wise to destroy certain core values so sporadically and drastically. Nature offers few free tips and immediate methods to retrace ourselves when lost, and involved friendships is one of the easiest method to bring back our sanity and balance.

I like to think that, involved friendships, stemming from vulnerability and not usefulness, assists in dealing with the animal within, brings forth our humanity, provides emotional stability, protects from ignorance, keeps us grounded to identify and indulge with real opportunities of growth, in a world of rampantly diminishing intimate values, where there is an inherent confusion between well being and ill being.

 

 

Friends 1

I don’t hesitate or feel ashamed of being vulnerable, seek vulnerability, exhibit involvement, avoid the uninvolved, distance from the toxic and thus invariably have fewer friends, even on Facebook, no Twitter account, and seldom responded WhatsApp messages, yet I remain reasonably confident that the next time we pick that phone impromptu, to seek for advice, rant or pleasantries, it will be enthusiastically answered, and the voice on the other end will be tender, attentive and knowing the purpose of calling, without having to text first or subjecting to an uninvolved or hurried response much later. And, of course, it would be blasphemous to write anything about actually meeting in person, impromptu 🙂

Welldone Pond

An immediate indulgence with nature is an opportunity to merge with the real, the pristine, on a non-causal basis!

Surprisingly, leaving a hectic city lifestyle, and trading it with a lifestyle which offers many pauses, opportunities for randomness in daily routines, and extensive possibilities of remaining silent, needs a lot of work upon oneself. It took me a while to realize, that the human in the human being is severely conditioned, usually restless, and regardless of where he lives or what he leaves, simply being ain’t easy, and unless, he puts in considerable effort to realize his conditioning and compulsions, its all the same, as far as his experiences of life is concerned.
 
There’s a nice pond nearby, seldom visited by anyone, where I cycle sometimes in the evening, where I’ve been casually accosted by a goat, snake, few lovely birds, frogs, dogs and peacocks.

The surprising visit by the 5 feet long snake, some three feet away, was startling, although I managed to stay calm after the initial burst of fear, to enjoy his wiggly movements and casually passing away, uninterested in any of my ongoing stories in the head. 
 
I’ve always admired Thoreau’s experiments at the Walden Pond, and have visited the site where he chose to remain a recluse for over two years, and have wondered many times if I had that kind of strength or will to stay away from everything, procure my own food, build my own home etc. I doubt if I’ll ever actually take up such an experiment, but this nearby pond, has been attractive and serves the purpose of visiting alone every once in a while, be with myself and my thoughts, see the lovely sunset over the hills, accost some beautiful species and of course, get that 11 km exercise, either after an idle or hectic day, perhaps immersed in books, banking, bantering, bickering or bending.
 
Affectionately, in memory of Thoreau, and his courageous experiments, I’ve named this water body, Welldone Pond, and would love to take anyone who would like to visit, in a heartbeat. I’ve asked many, but rarely found anyone taking an interest in such a local outing, which doesn’t require an airline ticket or hotel accommodation, and wonder if traveling far has some special significance or a rhetoric which I don’t understand.

I like to think, a simple & immediate indulgence with nature, is a choice which cannot fail, because it offers an opportunity to merge with the real, the pristine, on a non-causal basis! 
 
It would be my honor to take you to Welldone Pond, infrequently visited by any, and available for immediate indulgence with nature! Do take me up on this offer sometime, it will be my sheer pleasure to introduce you to Welldone! 🙂 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Tilted World

Spring Equinox, one more opportunity to align with natural existential processes of our solar system!

Earth's Tilt
[SPRING EQUINOX]

A single tilt decides the fate of everything that happens on Planet Earth. Perhaps, a single tilt can also decide the fate of everything that happens to a human being.

 

Traveling approximately at 1000 km/hr, our planet spins around its own axis, while simultaneously taking an elliptical orbit around the sun, in the vastness of the solar system. Its quite a speed to travel at, roughly equivalent to a Boeing Dreamliner (950 km/hr) or an Airbus A380 (1020 km/hr), and not to mention that it is also spinning around the sun at approximately 100,000 km/hr, for it to finish one year in roughly 365 days. So much movement seems to be happening with the planet, in a very still manner, designed in a brilliant way, and we earthlings enjoy the benefits of it, primarily the various seasons it brings us. The most interesting part of the design is that the planet rotates and wobbles on a tilted axis, and oscillates between the tilted angles of 22.1° and 24.5°, to give an average tilt of 23.4°, and this tilt is the primary reason, we experience the variation of solar energy absorbed by the planet, which in turn brings about the various seasons.

A slight tilt, a little wobble, jet speed, and the planet still manages its orbit around the sun, on time, every time, to bring organic life on earth. There is no reason for us humans to assume we are anything but organic life and keep on orchestrating an organized life instead. Quite a precise design with some allowance for margin of error and imprecision.

 

Its another spring equinox, and the position of the planet during its orbit around the sun, distributes equal amount of solar energy to both hemispheres, to bring balance and freshness to all organic life on the planet.

 

As hard as we try to believe, we are separate and can live whichever way we like, this is another periodic reminder and boost, by the planet, for us to get aligned, so as to enjoy the free booty of life, and that a simple tilt of axis can bring about a phenomenal twist of fate for us earthlings.

 

The planet never stops reminding us of our ultimate fate, as seasons and years roll by, and the body in essence will be taken back after a few for some or several for many, trips around the sun. Just like an enjoyable rollercoaster ride, its fun to go around in circles, get the giggles, but the ride for sure, ends. A wise mind always learns to enjoy the rollercoaster ride, but remains aware and guides his curiosity towards wanting to know, what is beyond the enjoyable rides. A curious mind too, never stops seeking answers to existential realities, and attempts to align to the grandeur of existential processes over the more frequent psychological processes, to understand their relevance to our existing, inside the cocoon of the solar system, and perhaps humble ourselves towards being more focused on simply living and withering away, into this fleeting offering of life in a tilted world.

Unraveling Death

#Sadhguru #Euthanasia #Death #Decision
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Poet, lyricist and screenwriter Prasoon Joshi, probes Sadhguru, on a topic which is common, yet unexplored and quickly swept under the rug. As usual, Sadhguru, with the depth of his insights, expounds on this topic, and may have some very interesting points for all of us new-age folks, who cleverly avoid seeking answers to such topic.
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The entire video (1 hr, 54 mins), titled “Unraveling Death: An Insider’s View” is a must watch, and the HD version of the conversation can be downloaded, by naming your own fair price, & clicking on the following link: https://www.ishashoppe.com/downloads/portfolio/unraveling-death-insiders-view-english-video/
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Baba Bulleh Shah

Bollywood song “Bulleya” paying an awesome tribute to Baba Bulleh Shah.

#BullehShah #मुर्शिद मेरा
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Any creative endeavor around the 17th century mystic, Baba Bulleh Shah, is usually magic, and the song “Bulleya” from the arguably lackluster movie “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” is no exception. Bulleya (Baba Bulleh Shah) must have been an extraordinary mystic during the Mughal era, to be still remembered & providing relentless intensity to any Sufi-style music.
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AAPS (Amitabh Bhattacharya – lyrics, Amit Mishra – singer, Pritam – composer, Shilpa Rao – singer) have created an amazing song in Bulleya, where the lone seeker eventually, helplessly seeks for his disguised lover to be his guru (guide), and in a defying moment of abandonment, the seeker realizes that not everything worthwhile is attainable by effort, anything subliminal, needs surrendering into ease, and this leaves us suddenly submerged in Bulleya’s gentle presence in an undulating manner.
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It’s fascinating how the composer mixes the traditional & modern instruments to create a “heavy style” of music, in contrast, revealing the surrendering emphasis of the lyricist, and appropriately adulating Baba Bulleh Shah with much reverence.
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Hats off to 28 years young Lucknowi, Amit Mishra, for pouring his heart & talent, all over this deep, intense, soul-searching  song.
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मेरी रूह का परींदा फड़फडाये, लेकिन सुकून का जज़ीरा मिल न पाए, इक बार को तजल्ली तो दिखा दे, झूठी सही मगर तसल्ली तो दिला दे, मुर्शिद मेरा,मुर्शिद मेरा|

The Translucent Breath

 

Breathe
#Tantrum #Aggression #Violence #War #Words #Breath #Yoga #Platform #Science #Invest #Technology

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The trouble with words is, they are merely words, their significance is only relevant, in the way they will be received, and there is no assurance, they’ll be received, in the manner it was intended, when sent.

The art of communication is complex, and perhaps, using words or thoughts, as the only vehicle for communicating, may not be the wisest or the wickedest approach. Most of us find that out only in hindsight!

We’ve reduced our communication skills only to the oratory or vocabulary, and seem to have convinced and trained ourselves to believe, the combinational science and art of communication ends there. Beyond the oratory and vocabulary, communication perhaps requires, the single-most important element of “silence” as part of its repertoire, of a foundational nature, for it to be effective and delivered as intended. Silence, not of the grave or eerie, but of a light, emptiness, nothingness kind, a kind which silently observes, doesn’t get excited nor dejected – a motivated, energetic yet passive silence, like our breath, which remains present all our living life, except that, it remains absent from most of us, all our living life!
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When nation’s fight, and declare war, for variety of reasons, it is considered an act of aggression, and it is clear that since many lives are going to be lost, natural and manmade resources destroyed, it is a certain act of violence, which is fabricated and designed, to support some idea of a better good for the nation, their people, or mankind in general. But, it is still clear to everyone, it is an act of aggression and violence, even though it is for a benevolent cause.
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When individual’s fight, argue, throw tantrums, blow fists, use abuse, connive tactics, rhetorics etc. to get their point across, either to dominate their ideas over somebody else’s, or to get their way, to feel fulfilled or accomplished, to feel consequential, or many such things, it is not very obvious that, all these represent a subtler, yet certain dimension of aggression and violence, in which many lives are still lost in a manner of speaking, since these attempts, usually compulsive, don’t allow an individual to explore and seek out their inherently dormant potential or genius. These compulsive behavior of tantrums and aggression, also become an unconscious method of reinforcing the wiring of the brain, to behave, perceive and act in the same manner, to varying stimulus, every time, making it a conditioned and repetitive reaction. This then, becomes the basis of our lack of freedom, and constant feeling of being incomplete and unfulfilled. Freedom when compromised through such compulsions, is a heavy price to pay for an individual, who is always seeking on the other side, wanting to be free from compulsiveness and moving towards consciousness. It perhaps requires a different set of eyes to get this point right and realize the nature of the problem at hand.
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Our breath is the most significant part of our existence, yet, it remains the most underestimated and unexplored faculty in the  human system. Generally, with the advent of agriculture and modern ways of procuring food from the super organized supply-chain methods, from the manufacturers to the retailers, we have started attributing our intellect, as the most significant part of our existence. It used to be our physical ability to work and create, when agriculture and the supporting supply chain for procuring our food wasn’t as organized. Over time, things evolved, we became complacent and assured of getting food, albeit its quality is arguable, on a daily basis, without having to physically flex too much of them muscles, except a trip to the local supermarket. Naturally, the intellect became significant and the need to express our views, feel good about our feelings, wanting to feel good about our existing, started occupying our lives. It is obvious from the phenomenal rise of the cosmetic, service, social media, entertainment industries, how much importance we’ve given to our intellect and the dominance of our ability to think and create has taken over.
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The correlation of the breath to our ability to think, feel, act and most importantly solve our problems, has perhaps been the most underrated and unexplored aspect of human explorations, amongst the many lofty ones, like exploring the cosmos, landing on the Moon, wanting to land on Mars, and wanting to secure some living space, in space.

The way we react, feel, think, act, plan and solve our problems, affects the way we breathe. The reverse is equally true, where the way we breathe, affects the way we feel, think, act, plan and solve our problems. This second approach remains hugely unexplored and unrealized, and can be the future method for creating sensible and effervescent human beings. The human system is designed in a manner, that a calm, rhythmic, silent and gentle breathe, does not allow the individual to throw tantrums or act aggressively. Its a scientific fact and can be easily experimented and verified. The science of Yoga, which is an applied science, makes use of this fact, and individual’s can easily vouch for its efficacy, based on applying simple daily yogic practices and the benefits derived by it application.
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We’ve not been trained by any faculty to be sensible and live gently. On the contrary, it is considered a taboo to not be aggressive and violent, to get one’s way, and the extended outcome of such a poor training and following, results in individual tantrums and damaging wars.

Our breath has a much bigger role to play in our and everyone else’s well-being, much bigger than we might have explored, and it is time to invest in the breath, its nuances, its efficiencies, calmness, silence and subtlety.

Yoga is the platform for such experimentation, and the benefits are far too outreaching, to be ignored or neglected anymore, especially in today’s world where everyone is connected, figuratively speaking, while the individual finds himself completely disconnected from everyone, particularly from himself, amongst the rampant cacophony, in an ongoing world which doesn’t pay attention to their breath, but is overtly hung up with their words, thoughts and feelings, hoping to desperately find some meaning to their lives, without first exploring the basis of their being alive, the translucent breath!
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Words are significant, only if they stem out of a serene silence! Our thoughts, feelings and actions are significant, only if they stem out of a blossoming breath.

Investing in the right technologies is important, and Yoga as an applied science to explore the depth and dimension of our existing, is the most relevant scientific platform, available for us to bring back our lost sanity and natural ways of living! Just like rooting for peace, in the form of organized protests, is ironic, and gives a pseudo hope for a solution, so does war, tantrum, aggression and violence, give a pseudo hope for a solution, to an individual, nation or humanity, seeped in ignorance. A much better and effective approach might be to invest in the inward technologies, like yoga, to empower the human system, to create a peaceful and sensible human being, who demand a peaceful and sensible society, nation and world – distanced from the noise of their meaningful but superficial words, thoughts  feelings, and deeply rooted into their being, aware of their breath, silence and beauty.
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Linga Bhairavi Devi Yantra

An esoteric science needs an open mind, without falling for preconceived biases. Linga Bhairavi is a blessed opportunity not worth missing!

 

#Yantra #Devotion #Intelligence #Seeking #Devi
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It’s hard to understand a science we don’t fathom, easy to speculate a science we don’t understand, but simply appropriate to share the experiences of applying that science, as it becomes a reality in one’s life!
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Linga Bhairavi Devi, came into our lives on December 11, 2015, unplanned and forcibly. It wasn’t that we weren’t inclined to her grace, since her creation in January 2010, but we were totally swept off our feet, by her unusual entry, in the form of Linga Bhairavi Yantra, initiated together as a couple, on that fateful new moon night in the winter of 2015. In retrospect, her sudden move felt natural, as if a formidable presence, rightfully forced her way, without bothering for permission, and showering immediate and abundant blessings, by aligning our lives towards taking responsibility for creating wellbeing and rubbing it off on anyone who allowed contact.
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A logical mind looks for easy or complex explanations for the happenings of life. If it can’t find one, it imagines one, thus avoiding an immediate feeling of stupidity or helplessness.

It seems easy that way, but is hallucinatory! Its not easy to gauge the simplicity of allowing a ritual and devotion to invoke one’s intelligence in living life, amongst the amalgamated complexities of human distress. Learning to surrender to the simple daily ritual instructed for performing the process with Devi, has very easily catapulted the experience of life, from constant “hamstering”, to a smooth, effective and lubricated way of living. Its not that suddenly all the challenges of an unaligned body, improperly applied mind, incongruous life energies, disappeared in a jiffy, but, the sweetness of slowly learning to surrender one’s ignorance, allowing the initiated presence of a Linga to be imbibed, observing the fallacies and limitedness of one’s knowledge, recognizing the restlessness towards the uncertainties of living, slowly learning to accept the pride and prejudices we love to cling on, becomes radiantly visible with her association, and it serendipitously leaves us in a space of eased seeking, gentle strides and gleeful demeanor.
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Needless to say, we feel her benediction, as we learn to conduct the affairs of our lives, sometimes smoothly, other times, passing the necessary tribulations, but the guided presence of Devi, remains an obvious blessing beyond normal recognition. A yantra seems to be a simple tool, calibrated towards creating wellbeing, under the aegis of the energies of the form, created by someone who understands this esoteric science!

We may be city slickers, trained to be suspicious of tradition, lest we get jipped, but we are also city slickers, who recognize the value of a tool/device/machine/yantra, which helps lubricating the sophisticated human system, and stumbling upon one, are bound to unlock its value, by applying it in our daily lives, lest we forget how fragile we are!

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Garfield unhesitatingly expounded: “Hard work never killed anyone; but why take a chance!” We’ve learnt not to take a chance, and seek out the blessing & grace of Devi, in guiding our daily lives, without any excitement, passion or faith!
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Go Slow

 

#GoSlow #Calvin&Hobbes #Meditation #Flipism #Randomness #Decisions
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It would be a mistake to think that comic strips are meant for amusement and entertainment only. It would also be a mistake to think that our lives are much more than a comic strip. Calvin & Hobbes epitomizes the conflicting nature of confusion and enthusiasm within us human beings. “Flipism” was philosophized by Donald Duck in which he retorts, all decisions in life are made by flipping a coin, and are considered effective due to randomness being an active ingredient of life. While this seems radical, its the duck’s way of sharing wisdom and indicating that, we may be giving much more credit to our decision making ability, than it truly counts for. Alas, not all Donald’s are wise, some come with vice!
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Charlie Munger, the genius billionaire and partner of Warren Buffett, of Berkshire Hathaway fame, has been known to repeatedly ascertain: “It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”
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Naseem Taleb has written books on Randomness, and has titled his amazing trilogy, “Fooled by Randomness”, “The Black Swan’ and “Antifragility”.
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Osho, incessantly reminds us: “Life is not a problem to be solved, it’s a mystery to be lived.”

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While identifying with our thoughts seem to be the only way of perceiving reality, and asserting that our decisions are the only reason for our success or failure, there’s a side to this whole perceiving business, which remains unexplored, to the fatal unawareness on how consciously were we making those decisions. While it is easy to say and see, that my ability to think, be rational, logical, analytical and present is the basis of my decision making, it is not very easy to realize that simply thinking may not be sufficient to be making conscious decisions and at the end of the day, how conscious we are, decides the fate and quality of our decisions, over simply exemplifying the ability to think.
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Much to our chagrin, we might have erroneously empowered ourselves, with the help of our teachers, parents, friends and solace-laden quotations which we worship, in relying upon our instant ability to be making decisions using thoughts as a supreme vehicle.

A random peek at truly successful beings, indicate a rather opposing view on how they never make instant decisions, knowing well that their first level thinking is heavily conditioned and usually lacking deeper insights. Delaying, yet paying significant attention, is the method employed by them, where they deliberately pause and enable extra sensory attention towards their personal biases and activate a second level thinking to go deeper into their decision making ability. They delay, not to stall, but to bring clarity by being conscious.

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Matters of real significance, have hidden layers of buried impressions, which are not easily visible to the naked eyes. It requires careful and unhurried attention to see those layers, and be able to attribute the connectivity between the outcome and the roles these hidden layers play in their manifestations. Pausing, consciously delaying, adapting to second level thinking, waiting to be more informed, not jumping to immediate conclusions based on our conditioned thoughts etc. are all creative habits we need to cultivate, they aren’t taught. Not adapting these valuable habits, should be seen as the primary reason for a disgruntled world and our desperate attempts at fulfilling our lives. When everyone is in a rush to make things happen, burdened by the instincts of self preservation, seeking immediate attention, wanting instant gratification — the outcome of such rushing, cannot be beautiful or fulfilling. It can only be an endless loop of recurring dramas and furthering of futile attempts at desperately creating beauty. It is easy to see these outside of us, but it takes a pause, a delay, a moment of steadiness, to see it happening within us, to our own lives, and realizing that, we are the mess, we claim to be seeing in the world.
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Its worth keeping a check on the way we make decisions. Its worth being more conscious. Its worth enabling second level thinking, investing in quietude, equanimity and being attentive yet lazy, and acting only upon real opportunities which does not create hindrance.

#GoSlow should not only be a mantra, but a trick to keep our psychological rushing at bay.
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Flipism is not necessary, its risky, enjoyable by a duck within a comic book, but realizing the probability of randomness in life, enabling conscious attentiveness and second level thinking, adopting meditation as an active tool to invite deliberate slowness to our psychological rushing — are real, effective and essential acts needed today, which can prevent us from falling, and provide us a platform for rising beyond the compulsions of improper habits we’ve succumbed to. After all, “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.”
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Can thought resolve our problems?

J. KRISHNAMURTI
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By thinking over the problem, have you resolved it? Any kind of problem – economic, social, religious – has it ever been really solved by thinking? In your daily life, the more you think about a problem, the more complex, the more irresolute, the more uncertain it becomes. Is that not so in our actual, daily life? You may, in thinking out certain facets of the problem, see more clearly another person’s point of view, but thought cannot see the completeness and fullness of the problem; it can only see partially, and a partial answer is not a complete answer, therefore it is not a solution. The more we think over a problem, the more we investigate, analyze, and discuss it, the more complex it becomes. So, is it possible to look at the problem comprehensively, wholly? How is this possible? Because that, it seems to me, is our major difficulty. Our problems are being multiplied, there is imminent danger of war, there is every kind of disturbance in our relationships, and how can we understand all that comprehensively, as a whole? Obviously, it can be solved only when we can look at it as a whole -not in compartments, not divided. When is that possible? Surely, it is only possible when the process of thinking which has its source in the ‘me’, the self, in the background of tradition, of conditioning, of prejudice, of hope, of despair, has come to an end. Can we understand this self, not by analyzing, but by seeing the thing as it is, being aware of it as a fact and not as a theory -not seeking to dissolve the self in order to achieve a result but seeing the activity of the self, the ‘me’, constantly in action? Can we look at it, without any movement to destroy or to encourage? That is the problem, is it not? If, in each one of us, the center of the ‘me’ is non-existent, with its desire for power, position, authority, continuance, self-preservation, surely our problems will come to an end. The self is a problem that thought cannot resolve. There must be an awareness which is not of thought. To be aware, without condemnation or justification, of the activities of the self, just to be aware, is sufficient.
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J. KRISHNAMURTI

Nelliyampathy

 

#Nelliyampathy #Diwali2017
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Diwali is the festival of lights, on the darkest night of the year! The darker the night, the closer the possibility of light. While the country tweeted & trolled over whether fire crackers should be banned, firing nonsecular trolls via the latest platforms of communication, the social media, we decided to skip the noise about crackers, with a Diwali getaway to the Nelliyampathy Hill Station, part of the Nelliyampathy Forest Reserve (Western Ghats) in Kerela.
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At an average height of 900 meters, cultivated during the British Raj, there’s abundance of tea & coffee plantations, with few resorts, and we were delighted to be encountering the Nilgiri Langurs, a Barking Deer, Malabar Giant Squirrels, leeches, parakeets, a snake, on a 2-day nature visit, in an otherwise serene locale. Needless to say, the temperatures were pleasant, the meals delicious, stay cozy, company enchanting, drive curvy, as the entire green forest, compassionately spread its vast embrace, in anticipation of a few sapiens, escaping the 2017 Diwali fervor.
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We inadvertently started a few kilometers walk at dusk, and it turned out to be the most beautiful experience on the darkest night, without torch lights, the eyes gradually adapting to the darkness, while the earth rotates away from the sun to bring forth the Diwali night, suddenly exposing the hidden screen of the mind where our drama endlessly projects, on a pleasantly cool Amavasya night! It is quite fascinating, once the fear subsides, mind calms down, senses predominate, how the eyes start attuning to the light of the darkness and one suddenly becomes attuned to the oneness of nature, calmness of the being, moistness of the elements, caress of the breeze, drumming of the heartbeat, smoothness of the breath, only to find a few bloody leech bites after reaching the lighted rental home.
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Nature teaches in prolific ways, if we call upon it for learning. Fear can keep lingering in our life, to become the darkest experience & darkness can keep freeing us to our life, to become an enlightening experience!
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