What to do in Meditation :-)

Last Friday I was having the customary drink at the bar with a friend who wanted to discuss his start up idea with me. It’s like a game we play may be once a few months. He gets his ideas and I get mine and we create companies  and close them as drinks keep pouring in. By the time we are done a UBER or an Air BNB or a Spotify has breathed it’s last 😊

At some point in the discussion my friend told me that he has this rush of ideas and emotions all the time. The urge to do something, to make something happen and when he is not “doing” something he feels restless. Almost like he is wasting his time or He is not getting anywhere in life. Intuitively, I said – You should meditate. To this he asked a question which I thought was amusing but coming from someone who is totally un initiated it was a genuine enquiry. He asked me”What do you do in Meditation?”. I was so tempted to tell him that it’s meditation not medication that you have to pop a pill and things will be all right. But I restrained my thought and told him:

” Well, you do nothing”

“But how can you do nothing !”

I was in no mood to drag the discussion on a serious subject like this after 2 glasses of Jacob’s Creek inside me. So I just said “You need to practice. I will tell you how.” We let the discussion end there.

Today morning while practising Zazen at Cubbon Park something remarkable happened. Sitting gently and quietly on a bench I could see a number of people of all shapes,forms and sizes walk past me. Once I finished the session I decided to make a small two minute video of what I had been observing. I think it will make it very easy for me to explain to my friend what one should Do in Meditation.

Most people think that meditation is all about closing your eyes and relaxing. But that is exactly what it is not ! When introduced to the technique by many teachers who themselves have little idea the immediate reaction of someone trying to meditate the first time is – Wow it was so relaxing. Of course, it was relaxing because you were dozing off :-)and the effect is the same as a power nap. The real meditation which is Concentration Meditation where you focus on an imagery for long periods in time is actually quite exhausting. Also, the constant fight to remove thoughts from barging in so you can achieve a thoughtless state can be quite challenging. Although, that is the wrong way to approach the practice. So what exactly should a beginner do ? The answer is just sit and observe what is happening around you. Now watch this video as if you were watching your thoughts. Imagine each passer by to be a thought. Let’s start :

  1. A group of thoughts
  2. No thought for a second and then one thought rushes on a bicycle
  3. No thought and then one lonely thought and then another
  4. Thought of you as a kid on a bicycle followed by some more random thoughts
  5. Some more random thoughts then a green thought filled with envy rushes past
  6. A thought of you with a friend then a healthy 🙂 thought
  7. Some more thoughts then a thought of a girl
  8. A moment of thoughtlessness and then a lot of thoughts( constant chatter of crows too)

Now if you keep observing for half an hour, you will find that a pattern will emerge. It’s the same as what you will see above from point #1 to point# 8. This is the nature of our mind. Cubbon Park may be a good place to do this exercise from 8-9 AM because slowly the morning crowd starts thinning and at around 9 AM you will find the number of thoughts aka people are half of what they were before. Imagine they shut out the entry and then there is no one. You are all alone- peaceful, easy, no rush to go or come, no one to bother you. At this point you may get a feeling that I have the entire park to myself. This is your first glimpse of ecstasy. Of enlightenment.

On the other hand suppose you start calling out to passers by. Start to talk or engage with them in some manner or the other what do you think will happen? You will talk to one person for some time and then the other one and then the other and so on. Let’s say you find someone quite interesting and you ask him for a cup of coffee or breakfast together. You will go “with” them and will no longer be present. You may take the opportunity to know the person(thought) quite well and then drop the idea of any further relationship. This is again a good way to meditate. Take that one thought and follow it till the end. Watch it threadbare. Where did it come from ? What do I want from it? Am I feeling good or bad about it? who is thinking this thought? If the thought is not me then who am I ? If I am the thought then how can I drop myself?

You will realise with practise that like waves in the ocean thoughts do not have any existence of their own. They rise and fall ipon the infinite sub stratum of our consciousness. Consciousness by itself is pure like the surface of lake in which we can see everything very clearly -as it is, when it is calm and still but as soon as there is some disturbance ripples arise the picture gets distorted. This is the illusion of maya.

Ok enough gyan for today. I will leave you with this beautiful song that incidentally started playing on my headphones after I finished the meditation session. I think the nature rewarded me with something that reflected my state of mind and it was just beautiful. Irshad Kamil has penned such beautiful lyrics. Listen in :

 

रंग बिरंगे वहमों में मैं उड़ता फिरूं..

 

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Tum Ek Gorakh Dhandha Ho – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

कभी यहाँ तुम्हें ढूँढा, कभी वहाँ पहुँचा,

तुम्हारी दीद की खातिर कहाँ कहाँ पहुँचा,

ग़रीब मिट गये, पा-माल हो गये लेकिन,

किसी तलक ना तेरा आज तक निशाँ पहुँचा

हो भी नही और हर जा हो,

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[ दीद = vision, पा-माल = Trodden under foot, Ruined, गोरखधंधा = puzzle, enigma]

 

हर ज़र्रे में किस शान से तू जलवानुमा है,

हैरान है मगर अक़ल, के कैसा है तू क्या है?

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[ज़र्रे = grain/speck of dust, जलवानुमा = magical/divine, अक़ल = mind/Thought]

तुझे दैर-ओ-हरम मे मैने ढूँढा तू नही मिलता,

मगर तशरीफ़ फर्मा तुझको अपने दिल में देखा है

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[दैर-ओ-हरम = temple & mosque; तशरीफ़ फर्मा = to take position ]

 

जब बजुज़ तेरे कोई दूसरा मौजूद नही,

फिर समझ में नही आता तेरा परदा करना

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[बजुज़ = except]

 

जो उलफत में तुम्हारी खो गया है,

उसी खोए हुए को कुछ मिला है,

ना बुतखाने, ना काबे में मिला है,

मगर टूटे हुए दिल में मिला है,

अदम बन कर कहीं तू छुप गया है,

कहीं तू हस्त बुन कर आ गया है,

नही है तू तो फिर इनकार कैसा ?

नफी भी तेरे होने का पता है ,

मैं जिस को कह रहा हूँ अपनी हस्ती,

अगर वो तू नही तो और क्या है ?

नही आया ख़यालों में अगर तू,

तो फिर मैं कैसे समझा तू खुदा है ?

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[उलफत = love/enamored; अदम = lifeless; हस्त = life; नफी = precious; हस्ती = life/existence ]

 

हैरान हूँ इस बात पे, तुम कौन हो , क्या हो?

हाथ आओ तो बुत, हाथ ना आओ तो खुदा हो

अक़्ल में जो घिर गया, ला-इंतिहा क्यूँ कर हुआ?

जो समझ में आ गया फिर वो खुदा क्यूँ कर हुआ?

फलसफ़ी को बहस क अंदर खुदा मिलता नही,

डोर को सुलझा रहा है और सिरा मिलता नही

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[बुत = idol; अक़्ल = mind/Thought; ला-इंतिहा = boundless; फलसफ़ी = philosopher; बहस=debate]

 

छुपते नही हो, सामने आते नही हो तुम,

जलवा दिखा के जलवा दिखाते नही हो तुम,

दैर-ओ-हरम के झगड़े मिटाते नही हो तुम,

जो असल बात है वो बताते नही तो तुम

हैरान हूँ मैरे दिल में समाये हो किस तरह,

हाँलाके दो जहाँ में समाते नही तो तुम,

ये माबद-ओ-हरम, ये कालीसा-ओ-दैर क्यूँ,

हरजाई हो जॅभी तो बताते नही तो तुम

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[ माबद-ओ-हरम = temple & moseque; कालीसा-ओ-दैर = church & temple ]

 

दिल पे हैरत ने अजब रंग जमा रखा है,

एक उलझी हुई तस्वीर बना रखा है,

कुछ समझ में नही आता के ये चक्कर क्या है?

खेल क्या तुम ने अजल से रचा रखा है?

रूह को जिस्म के पिंजड़े का बना कर क़ैदी,

उस पे फिर मौत का पहरा भी बिठा रखा है

दे के तदबीर के पंछी को उड़ाने तूने,

दाम-ए-तक़दीर भी हर सिम्त बिछा रखा है

कर के आरैश-ए-क़ौनाईन की बरसों तूने,

ख़तम करने का भी मंसूबा बना रखा है,

ला-मकानी का बहरहाल है दावा भी तुम्हें,

नहन-ओ-अक़लाब का भी पैगाम सुना रखा है

ये बुराई, वो भलाई, ये जहन्नुम, वो बहिश्त,

इस उलट फेर में फर्माओ तो क्या रखा है ?

जुर्म आदम ने किया और सज़ा बेटों को,

अदल-ओ-इंसाफ़ का मेआर भी क्या रखा है?

दे के इंसान को दुनिया में खलाफत अपनी,

इक तमाशा सा ज़माने में बना रखा है

अपनी पहचान की खातिर है बनाया सब को,

सब की नज़रों से मगर खुद को छुपा रखा है

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[हैरत = confusion; अजल = time immemorial; रूह=soul; जिस्म =body; तदबीर = action/diligent दाम-ए-तक़दीर=trick of luck; सिम्त = direction; आरैश-ए-क़ौनाईन = decoration of both world ला-मकानी = homeless; नहन-ओ-अक़लाब = place for praying; अदल-ओ-इंसाफ़ = justice and equity मेआर = benchmark; खलाफत = kingdom]

 

नित नये नक़्श बनाते हो, मिटा देते हो,

जाने किस ज़ुर्म-ए-तमन्ना की सज़ा देते हो?

कभी कंकड़ को बना देते हो हीरे की कनी ,

कभी हीरों को भी मिट्टी में मिला देते हो

ज़िंदगी कितने ही मुर्दों को अदा की जिसने,

वो मसीहा भी सलीबों पे सज़ा देते हो

ख्वाइश-ए-दीद जो कर बैठे सर-ए-तूर कोई,

तूर ही बर्क- ए- तजल्ली से जला देते हो

नार-ए-नमरूद में डळवाते हो खुद अपना ख़लील,

खुद ही फिर नार को गुलज़ार बना देते हो

चाह-ए-किनान में फैंको कभी माह-ए-किनान,

नूर याक़ूब की आँखों का बुझा देते हो

दे के युसुफ को कभी मिस्र के बाज़ारों में,

आख़िरकार शाह-ए-मिस्र बना देते हो

जज़्ब -ओ- मस्ती की जो मंज़िल पे पहुचता है कोई,

बैठ कर दिल में अनलहक़ की सज़ा देते हो ,

खुद ही लगवाते हो फिर कुफ्र के फ़तवे उस पर,

खुद ही मंसूर को सूली पे चढ़ा देते हो

अपनी हस्ती भी वो इक रोज़ गॉवा बैठता है,

अपने दर्शन की लॅगन जिस को लगा देते हो

कोई रांझा जो कभी खोज में निकले तेरी,

तुम उसे झन्ग के बेले में रुला देते हो

ज़ुस्त्जु ले के तुम्हारी जो चले कैश कोई,

उस को मजनू किसी लैला का बना देते हो

जोत सस्सी के अगर मन में तुम्हारी जागे,

तुम उसे तपते हुए तल में जला देते हो

सोहनी गर तुम को महिवाल तसवउर कर ले,

उस को बिखरी हुई लहरों में बहा देते हो

खुद जो चाहो तो सर-ए-अर्श बुला कर महबूब,

एक ही रात में मेराज करा देते हो

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[नित = everyday, नक़्श = copy/model; ज़ुर्म-ए-तमन्ना = crime of desire; सलीबों = cross; ख्वाइश-ए-दीद = desire for divine vison; सर-ए-तूर = one with a halo/Saint/prophet; बर्क- ए- तजल्ली = blessing of divine menifestation; नार-ए-नमरूद = Furnace of King Nimrod;ख़लील = friend;गुलज़ार = garden;नूर= light शाह-ए-मिस्र= king of Egypt; अनलहक़ = I am the Truth/I am the God; कुफ्र = apostasy; फ़तवे= religious decree तल = desert; तसवउर = think; सर-ए-अर्श = In heaven; मेराज = exaltation]

 

जो कहता हूँ माना तुम्हें लगता है बुरा सा,

फिर भी है मुझे तुम से बहरहाल गिला सा,

चुप चाप रहे देखते तुम अर्श-ए-बरीन पर,

तपते हुए करबल में मोहम्मद का नवासा,

किस तरह पिलाता था लहू अपना वफ़ा को,

खुद तीन दिनो से वो अगरचे था प्यासा

दुश्मन तो बहर तौर थे दुश्मन मगर अफ़सोस,

तुम ने भी फराहम ना किया पानी ज़रा सा

हर ज़ुल्म की तौफ़ीक़ है ज़ालिम की विरासत,

मज़लूम के हिस्से में तसल्ली ना दिलासा

कल ताज सजा देखा था जिस शक़्स के सिर पर,

है आज उसी शक़्स क हाथों में ही कासा,

यह क्या है अगर पूछूँ तो कहते हो जवाबन,

इस राज़ से हो सकता नही कोई शनसा

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[अर्श-ए-बरीन = from heaven; नवासा = son of one’s daughter; फराहम = offer,तौफ़ीक़=consent/support]

 

आह-ए-तहकीक में हर गाम पे उलझन देखूं,

वही हालत-ओ-ख़यालात में अनबन देखूं,

बन के रह जाता हूँ तस्वीर परेशानी की,

गौर से जब भी कभी दुनिया का दर्पण देखूं

एक ही खाक से फ़ितरत के तzआदत इतने,

कितने हिस्सों में बटा एक ही आँगन देखूं,

कहीं ज़हमत की सुलगती हुई पतझड़ का सामान ,

कहीं रहमत के बरसते हुए सावन देखूं ,

कहीं फुन्कारते दरया, कहीं खामोश पहाड़ ,

कहीं जंगल, कहीं सेहरा, कहीं गुलशन देखूं ,

खून रुलाता है यह तक्सीम का अंदाज़ मुझे ,

कोई धनवान यहाँ पर कोई निर्धन देखूं ,

दिन के हाथों में फक़त एक सुलगता सूरज ,

रात की माँग सितारों से मज़्ज़यन देखूं ,

कहीं मुरझाए हुए फूल हैं सचाई के ,

और कहीं झूट के काँटों पे भी जोबन देखूं ,

रात क्या शै है, सवेरा क्या है ?

यह उजाला यह अंधेरा क्या है ?

मैं भी नाइब हूँ तुम्हारा आख़िर,

क्यों यह कहते हो के तेरा क्या है ?

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[आह-ए-तहकीक = desire to inquire; गाम = step, उलझन = confusion; हालत-ओ-ख़यालात = reality & thought; फ़ितरत= Nature/Characteristic; तzआदत=division/Contradiction/Lie; ज़हमत = Inconvenience

English Version:

You Are A Puzzle:

Sometimes I looked for you here, and some times there
To have your sight I’ve been ruined and I’ve everywhere
The dear ones vanished, but No one got a lead to you

You are not, yet you are at every place,
You are a puzzle

With what splendor you can be seen in every speck
But the mind is puzzled what you look like and what you are
You are a puzzle

I looked for you in the houses of worship, but couldn’t find you
Yet I found you residing in my heart,
You are a puzzle

I couldn’t find you anywhere
But the spectacle is that You are there, where we are
You are a puzzle

If there is none but you
Then I cannot understand why veil Yourself
You are a puzzle

You manifest-in the houses of worship
Your light is resplendent in these places
You are a puzzle

He who is lost in your love, He is rewarded
You could not be found either in a temple or Ka’bah
But you could be found in a broken heart
Sometimes you are hidden as non-existence and somewhere you appear as existence
If you are not then why deny?
Even the negation confirms your existence
The one I call my Existence who is that if not you?
If you didn’t come in my thoughts
Then how did I learn you are God?
You are a puzzle

What puzzles me is who and what are You
You’re an idol when You come by and if not then You are God
You are a puzzle

How did the one who entered wisdom could become Everlasting? How did one who comes into mind’s grasp become God
The philosopher doesn’t find God in an argument
He is trying to untangle the cord but cannot find the top
You tell all You are homeless
But surprisingly You dwell in a broken heart
You are a puzzle

If there is none but You 0 God,
Then what is all this commotion about?
You are a puzzle

You don’t hide, You don’t show Yourself
You show the manifestation but don’t show Yourself
You don’t remove the conflicts of the manner of worship
You don’t reveal the exact things
I’m surprised how You accommodated in my heart?
When the two worlds are not enough for You
You are in the houses of worship
You are faithless for not showing Your countenance
You are a puzzle

The puzzle taken strange possession of my heart
A confused picture it’s drawn within it
I do not understand what all this puzzle is
What is this game You’ve been playing since the beginning of time
You made the soul the prisoner of the body’s cage and then put the guard of death on it
You make the bird of contrivance fly ‘ yet you’ve spread the net of fate everywhere
For years you adorned the world and hereafter yet you have also made the plan of destruction
Though you claim to be homeless
Yet you preached about home, kith and kin
This is bad, this good, this is hell, this is heaven
Please tell me what is in this perplexity?
For Adam’s crime you punish his children
Is that the standard of your justice?
By giving the earthly vicegerency to the man,
You have made it into a spectacle
For Your own recognition you created all
But you hide yourself from all
You are a puzzle

You draw and erase yourself
I don’t know which crime of desire you punish us
Sometimes you’ll turn a pebble into a diamond
Other times you’ll turn a diamond into dust
The one who revived many dead
You made him to adorn the crucifix
The one that longed to have your sight on the Mount Sinai
You reduced the Mount to ashes with the Lightning of your Manifestation
You wished Abraham to be thrown into Nimrud’s Fire
Then you turned that fire into flowers yourself
Sometimes you throw a Canaanite into the well of Canaanites
And then deprive Jacob of his sight
You make Joseph to be put into the slave-mart of Egypt
And then you also make him the king of Egypt
When someone reaches to the destination of higher spirituality
You make him to voice: I’m the Truth
Then allow the verdicts of infidelity against Him
You send yourself Mansoor to the crucifix
One day he too loses his life
Whom You make to see Your sight
If a Ranjha goes in Your quest
You make him in the charity of Jhang
If some Majnun goes in Your quest
You make him a beloved of some Laila
If Your love awakens in Sassi’s heart
You scorch her in a burning desert
If Sohni imagined you as her Mahinval
You drowned her into the ragging currents
You do as You wish by summoning to the Heaven
And in a single night You can make the Prophet’s Accession to Heaven
You are a puzzle

You’re Your Veil
You are a puzzle

I accept what I say You mind it a little
But still I’ve a little complaint to make
You sat quiet on your Throne and watched Muhammad’s grandson the scorching desert of Karbala
How he was giving his blood for Your Love though he was thirsty for three days
His enemies were after all enemies, but it’s sad even you didn’t provide him with a little Water
Every favour of oppression is the inheritance of the oppressor
But the oppressed is neither consoled nor comforted
Yesterday he who had a crown on his head
Today I see him with a begging bowl
What is this? If I ask, your answer is
That no one can get acquainted with this secret
You are a puzzle

You are a world of astonishment
You are a puzzle

You are Omnipresent but I do not know where
I have heard your name but I do not know your location
You are a puzzle

Once the heart’s wish is fulfilled it glows
And when eyes are gratified they are filled With tears

When a person is lost in spiritual love
He is elevated and becomes like Bahu the poet
No one comes to harm under a dagger
But the arrow in an infant’s throat becomes the scale of justice
You are a puzzle

How carefree you are.
A long story you are
You are a puzzle

Inquiring about you cause confusion at Every step
I see discord between the circumstances and Ideas
I become a picture of distress
Whenever I see in the mirror of the world
I see so many contradictions in a single eye
I see one place divided into so many parts
Somewhere I see the autumnal smoke of hardship and somewhere I see the monsoon showers of blessing
H
ere I see hissing rivers and there silent Mountains
Here I see a forest, there I see a desert and somewhere else I see a garden
This style of division writhes me
I see some rich and some poor here
In Day’s share, I see only one sun shinning
While the night is bedecked with millions of stars
Here I see the withered flowers of truth
There I see the thorns of lies abloom
Somewhere I see Shamas skinned alive
Somewhere I see Sarmad’s head severed
What is night? What is morning?
What is light? What is darkness?
After all I’m also your deputy, why You say “what is yours?”
You are a puzzle

What would a person see of you?
You are veiled in every way
You are a puzzle

These mosques, temples and taverns
Some believe in this and some believe in that
All are your abodes dear,
Some believe in this and some believe in that
We are convinced of your Oneness
Someone leans towards negation
But You know the truth
Someone believes in this and someone believes in that
One includes him with the creation
The other stays aloof from all
Both are Your devotees
Some believe in this and some believe in that
If all are the devotees of your name
Then why the conflict of your names?
You are a puzzle

You are in every house of worship
You are in both the worlds wherever one is
You are there for him
In everywhere You are Unique
You are a puzzle

You are the center of our quest, the world of colour and scent
You manifest all the time, You are Omnipresent
In Bahu’s surrounds there is only You
You are the beloved, very Handsome
You are the Glory and Honour of the Heavens
You are the gain of longings of the two worlds
You gave eyes and makes us perform ablution with the tears
Now give us a flask of your manifestation
Come out of the veil before me
For a short meeting and a conversation
Naaz will tell his beads place to place, street to street
Allah is one, He has no partner
Allahu, Allahu, Allahu………………….

LSD – looking at life with a 25 X zoom…

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience ……

The term LSD(Lysergic Acid Dyethylamide) or Acid as it is popularly known has come back into debate since Steve Jobs claimed in his autobiography that taking LSD was one of the most profound experiences of his life. This is not the first time that creative people or those who have changed the world around us have used Psychedelics as a means of expanding their consciousness. Google founders Sergey Berin and Larry page visited ‘The burning Man’ festival before they founded Google as a company. The decision to hire Eric Schmidt was also influenced by the fact that he had been to the ‘burning man’ while others had not. Whether any of them used psychedelics while at the burning man is not documented. We all know the penchant of artists and musicians for psychotropic substances so I will just take it for granted.

While the name LSD instils wonder and mystery may be even fear in most of us in India it has been used for over 40 years in the west as a street drug for so called ‘trips’ and even for exploring its various medical uses. It seems that the scientists are all for it but the governments across the world stand on the opposite side of the fence.The inventor of LSD Albert Hoffman argued that his invention if used improperly could make one go crazy but it used correctly it has the power to make us what we are supposed to be. The fact that he died a perfectly healthy man at the ripe old age of 102 testifies the claim the physical side effects of LSD use are negligible. A year before his death in 2008 Hoffamn had reached out to Steve for funding of his research.While nothing concrete came out of the half hour chat Steve summed up saying ‘ Lets just put it in the tap water and get everybody turned on’.

There are several documentaries on You tube that you can browse to know more about the subject. I am embedding one from the National Geographic channel in case you don’t want to waste your time.

Now that brings me to the larger question that if such a potent means of experiencing your self, dissolving the ego and raising your level of awareness/consciousness exists why put so much time and effort to get realized as per Hindu or Buddhist philosophy. The answer comes in the form of an anecdote shared by Ram Dass ( born Richard Alpert and raised to be Harvard professor of sociology who inspired Steve to visit India as a backpacker in the early 1970’s)  in which he says that one day his Guru Baba Neem Karori told him that he wanted to have LSD. While Ram Dass was surprised he knew that there is no point in trying to hide anything from his Guru who knew everything about everything. He got his bag of pills and wanted to offer just one thinking that it would be enough for the old man. Baba on the other hand selected several of them and popped them into his mouth.To his great surprise nothing seemed to happen to his Guru who just kept looking at him in a a very transparent way as if saying – It is all within you !

Now this is easier said than done to the point of being cliched. You see a guru on one of the religious channels giving gyan and you think to yourself – Oh Yeah, really. We are conditioned to believe stuff that we can see and experience ourselves not something which is surrogate and second hand.It’s like someone trying to tell you that the chocolate was just sooooo good but you want to know how good and the other person can’t really explain it to you. Now in the case of a chocolate you have the freedom to break the bar and take a piece to share the experience but what about self realization ? You don’t even know what it is supposed to be and even more whether the Guru telling you about it has experienced anything by themselves. That’s when faith becomes blind or you start drifting apart into the so called material world which is at least real and genuine to your five senses.

Trying to delve deeper into the subject I have tried to understand the phenomenon of the ‘trip’ and what it does to us I have come to an understanding that the LSD probably helps us to break down the barriers hat we have built around around our mind and spirit. Our sense of being emerges in a self image that results in an ego or what we think we are while in reality this is just a hoax created by our conditioning and orientation, even a sense of insecurity to hold on to what I love to call the gathered past.As soon as the magic molecule fits in the right place in the cortex our ego starts to melt and with it goes away our self image and sense of being. We start to have ‘ a beginners mind’ as per the Zen philosophy ready to look at the world around us in a new light, in a fresh way. Creativity becomes the obvious by product of this process. We are like the child who experienced the world for the very first time. To put it into perspective how magical it is when you fall in love for the first time, how sensuous to make love for the first time, how wonderful to be with friends and discover but then you get into the ‘loop’ mode and the experiences cease to have the novelty they did before boring your mind and making life mechanical and uninteresting. Again as you grow bad experiences such as death, disease and decay stare you in the face and cause another kind of conditioning that aims to block your reaction to these as far as possible. You continuously struggle to break free but you don’t know how and even from what ?? LSD and other such stuff helps you to become a child again roaming about in the wonderland of new experiences,breaking down the barriers of conditioning that does not allow you to see things as Aldous Huxley says ‘They Are’.

LSD does not actually alter the reality it just makes it more ‘real’ by enhancing our brains capacity to process sensory information. In a state of expanded consciousness you tend to see things as they happen not depending upon your data bank of past knowledge supporting the vision by assuming what would have happened.

Now you must be thinking about the obvious question – what about me ? Well I will let the fact that whether I have had LSD or not remain a mystery in your mind I will tell you that I do know the ‘high’ that lets the red become really red and when the flower looks more beautiful than it used to. The pupils get dilated and you get goose bumps for nothing. You are just plain amused and the happiness stems from nothing but just pure existence.

I have looked at life with a 25 X zoom ….. and there is no other way but my method and my tools are different. I am convinced that my orange bus might be slow and needs more maintainance but the destination its going to take me will be real and final.

Meanwhile I am just enjoying the ‘trip’ …….

Time Pass

It was a lazy sunday morning and I was a bit free from the daily routine of the week days.My son Anant who had taken his own sweet time to get up was now lounging on the bean bag playing with his Nintendo DS. In a casual tone I admonished him ” your exams are starting monday and here you are wasting time.” Without bothering to turn back he replied” I am not wasting time I am doing time pass”  I said “what do you mean?” He said ” Papa if I am not doing anything then I am wasting time but if I am playing then I am doing time pass”

I thought to myself – Anu( my wife) must have been reading Emmanuel Kant when this guy was in the womb. My fatherly instincts took over so I snatched the Video game and asked Anant to leave immediately and be seen with his books.He looked at me as a philosopher will at some ignorant fool but I put up a brave face nonetheless.

The video game was now in my hands so I started fiddling with it. It was a game called plants and Zombies wherein the target was to save the house with the help of plants who had special powers to destroy the Zombies who kept barging in from one end trying to reach the other end unless stopped by the plant. The catch was that all Zombies were not the same and so were the plants.Some were more stronger than the others and some had special characterstics so they could b destroyed only with the special features that only some of the plants had. I thought I will give it a try…..

After playing for about half an hour I realized that the game was not as simple as it seemed to be. The moment you reached to the next higher level the frequency and speed of the Zombies increased making it almost impossible for at least someone like me to check their misadventure. I could barely reach the level 2 but was quite pleased with my performance until I exited the game to see that the top performers led by Anant Kumar were all at least above the Level 5, a feat I could perhaps never achieve!!

I put the game aside and started thinking about the original quote by the Guru (Anant). Perhaps the not so obvious meaning in his morning discourse had to be decoded to understand the true depth of the statement. The difference between wasting time and passing time solicited closer scrutiny. Wasting time as per Anant was when you are doing absolutely nothing and passing time was when you were doing something which had no material value but was done solely for the purpose of self gratification  or you may even say for the sole purpose of Soul entertainment. Now here’s where the catch lay….my education in Vedanta and subsequent studies on meditative techniques defined meditation as the state of ‘nothingness’ or ‘Shunyta’ where the mind is absolutely free from any agitations – a thoughtless, speechless, non sensory condition in which you felt one with the silence and nothingness of the universe to realize that you are the part of the same whole and therefore limitless and free.

But on the contrary when you look at the interplay of the Jeev and the Atman as prescribed in the same Vedantic texts the Jeev is supposed to have been separated from the Atman and due to its ignorance cannot realize its true nature which is sat chit anand i.e all pervading,all knowing and ever blissful. The creation of the world for Gods happiness or playfulness is also explained  with the help of above phenomenon. It is said that the God created the whole Universe and everything within it for his own happiness as there is nothing else which could have forced him upon this endeavour , after all he doesn’t have annual appraisals !

So if we look at God creating the entire Universe and everything in it for the sole purpose of soul entertainment which is nothing but time pass then Anant’s time pass theory is well justified.  But if we consider man’s not doing anything an act of meditation leading to self realization then there is probably more value in wasting time than in passing time.

Now if I take the same argument to Anant I know what his answer would be – do you consider God to be superior or Man to be superior. I would say God Of course ! and he will therefore win the argument saying that since he was indulging in a ‘godly act’ of time pass and I had committed a serious error of judgement by breaking his concentration. To which my only humanly response could be that wasting time which qualifies as meditation is the right thing to do for us Jeev’s to meet with the Atman but then Anant might lose the argument but stop doing anything.

The above put me to a larger question of human existence – if we do something for the purpose of pleasing the spirit do we come closer to being God or if we strive towards non action in thought and deed do justify the purpose of our being.

Whatever might be the answer I don’t see the place for work in any of the two positions. And I think this is one thing that Anant will completely agree with me…..