Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I find 10 minutes to sit and meditate. The clock's ticking fast, it's almost 9 and i've to hurry to office. But still i try to forget the busyness and hurried pace of life and close my eyes. Soon i'm drawn in into the calm and soothing inner world. It's like a womb i left long ago, i don't want to step out of it, i'd give anything to stay there forever....

Sometime back, i wrote a small piece on introversion here. I also linked to an article published in Atlantic online. Strangely, many bloggers had written about this same article, at around the same time. And as it happens sometimes,the responses and comments that were written by others were more interesting than the main post (It happens with me. Nick writes good comments to my posts, so does val.) I found a very interesting comment(by Nishant ramachandran) on extroverts and introverts in this place, which was almost like a commentary on human behaviour. I wanted to link to it earlier but am doing it now. It's worth reading over and over and contemplating. Whoever trivialises blogging should read this.

I'm in the company of death, once again. A close friend's mother passes away two days back. He stays quite far away, and i can't bring myself to call him up and console him( how's it done--i'm horrible at it). I rationalise that he could be in sorrow and not in a mood to talk, or that he's busy with all the duties, etc, but archana urges me to just call up and talk anything. I ring him up this morning, and after an awkward silence, ask him, how are things at home and how it all happened. He opens up, talks at length about his mom's ailment, how he wished for a painless death for her, how his dad's feeling lost now, etc. I just listen. He continues to speak. I remember an idea i picked up in some book( Must be 'Healing words'). It says, the first and last thing you do in such a situation is to keep quite and listen. Become an ear. That's enough. I follow it. After 10 minutes i keep down the phone knowing well that he's a little less burdened now. Stangely i also feel unburdened and light.

You can't have enough of time, isn't it? My usual complaint is that i don't have time for important things in my life, and all my time is spent in earning my bread or doing trivial things. It's strange where you find the antidote to your troubles. Overheard this as i was drinking tender coconut juice by the roadside this morning:- ' if you want to do something, just do it NOW. Make up your mind and you'll automatically find time to do it. You'll not find leisure time to pursue all of those dreams--you need to squeeze time in between all the routine works and schedules and start pursuing your goals. Otherwise, one day you'll be on your deathbed, and all these dreams will still be on paper. Do it now, or just shut up.'

Well said. Will try to follow it.


  1. I find it difficult to find the time to meditate. At one time I had a scheduled time and place; yet I somehow lost track of both. It would that now—living alone—I could manage my time better. Yet something—perhaps my own feelings of loneliness—creates dysfunction within me. And when I am dysfunctional, the first things that go are always the ones that are most important: meditation and prayer.

    Thanks for the link to introversion/extroversion. By nature I am an introvert; however, having to deal with people in every profession I have had has forced me toward the extroversion side of the scale.

    Your story of calling your friend after of his mother reflects a great truth. Dealing with people who are grieving, most people are either silent or try to avoid the subject of the death. There is often a formality during a funeral, but afterwards life has to go on, except it will never go on the same because of the absence of one that was loved. It’s at that time that one needs to empty himself of the words. You did a great service for your friend by allowing him to have the opportunity to speak.

    Your last paragraph speaks to my first paragraph. Thank you.

  2. A lot of people have urged me to meditate.I don't think I know even how to.I do however think its awesome when people can shut their mind and enter oblivion.I do think that takes a lot of discipline.
    You have talked of 2 very what shall I call them, sore topics, for me.I never know what to say when some one has lost thier near/dear ones.I am always at the loss of words.I do think its more out of my own insecurities rather than actually not knowing of what to do.I know I have been escaping reality for the longest time, don't know when I will be put to the spot.
    Time,never complained for it,never had enough of it either.But my mum always tells me..the more you have to do, the more you can do.I wonder if that makes sense..It does to me.Now more so.

  3. Edu...My understanding of meditation is this....it's a tool that leads you back to your true nature. Although it appears simple(and is sometimes oversimplified), it's a great gift to mankind. For me, its something that cuts through all the falsehood and insecurities that i recognise myself with and reveals the calm, unshakeable strength hidden within. I'm always composed and centered after meditation---trying to extend this composure to non-meditative hours. And yeah, Meditation is also a doorway to the unknown, a path that takes one beyond the mundane that we generally experience. It's a very subjective experience, maybe we don't have the right tools to generalise it and prove the results in a scientific way. One has to meditate to know it, i believe.
    Your mom could be absolutely right---busy people have more time always. Am trying this.

    Nick.....My nature is similar--introverted, but have to be outbound. Maybe we all are a mix of these natures.
    It is very difficult to talk to someone like my friend. We may say a thousand things but when it comes to the actual situation, you're tongue tied. Death is one of the great mysteries that God has left here to break Man's ego. It shatters you and shows you how puny and helpless you are.
    Good to know that tiffany is fine.

  4. Some time back, I use to meditate on a regular basis, back when i was in my early teens. I carried on my spirituality for years and years, also doing forms of Chi Kung(I think this is natural cuz i use to do this stuff when i was like 4 or 5, not knowing what it was) but some time after I met Jassen, my focus changed.

    So, now, almost 2 years after this, I am realizing the pieces of myself that i dropped by the wayside and I'm working myself back to me(whatever that is);-p

    In meditation, I use to feel a calmness unlike nothing else in the world, like it was a world outside of the everyday. I crave to crawl back into that womb, that universe, but yes....time might be the greatest excuse.;-)

    There is something that I have learned from my dad. The greatest gifts in the world are:


    If you have these things, don't toss them to the side. Use them wisely.

    I'm venting in your comment blog, and I hope that doesnt seem so self-centered of me.:-/ I have the tendency to blab myself all over the place, but Im just trying to reach some understanding.

    Has there ever been any time in your life when you have felt not like yourself, depressed, knowingly egocentric, and off centered? If so, how do you change from that prospective?

    Is it just a matter of keeping yourself busy?
    reaching for your dreams in the now?

    Anywho...hugs to your friend for his mom's passing. It definitely hurts when you lose someone you love, but I believe they are around.:-)

  5. Jen... Meditation is for me, the chicken soup of my soul. Rather, it's one opportunity where i get to realise that i'm not just this body, or these rambling thoughts or these wavering moods---I have an existence beyond all these! How does it happen? It's more of an experiential thing--something like hunger or joy(ever tried to express these in words?). When i try to think of Meditation or spirituality and make an effort to express it, i realise the poverty of words and language we have.
    Any form of meditation helps, as long as it's not a cult or religious organization that's propagating it. Good to know that you'd want to continue it. I practised for over a year in mid-90s, then left it for 3 years before coming back. Now, it's a part of me.

    Keeping busy in the now and pretending that the problem somehow vanishes is one of the greatest blunders that i've done. The problem only gets stronger and difficult to penetrate. When you try to analyse what's gnawing at you, most of the time it turns out to be no more than a fearful shadow. Our non-acknowledging it gives it all the strength. This is not to trivialise the seriousness of real problems but in most cases, just becoming totally aware of the situation and trying to find a way out gives us the answers.

    Regarding the question you've raised----Before coming to my spiritual path, i'd find refuge in books or in supportive friends during my times of confusion. I was fairly successful. Once i discovered meditation and consciously made efforts, such frustrating times became rarer--of course, gradually. I've not taken very great strides in spiritualiy so, even now i come across situations that shake me to my roots and leave me pondering and confused. One thing that i do is to sit and meditate and calm down. Meditation not only makes me focussed and decisive(As recent research has proved), it also activates certain processes unknown to us( which can be explained only in mystical terms). These processes somehow work towards bringing you back to your normal self--out of disharmony and ego-centeredness. Sounds far-fetched? Well, it's my experience and i wish all of us would give this a try and practice any form of meditation in stressful times instead of looking for other short-term alternatives.
    I also understand that most of the upheaval we experience is due to our wrong attitude and lack of emotional maturity. While meditation certainly helps one to overcome these, slowing down one's breath consciously reduces the stress and gives one the focus required in such situations.
    Apart from these, i take the help of my mentor and master who has taught me not only meditation but also a new way of looking at life. And as he often says, when the disciple is ready the master appears. The master may come not only in the form of a human but also as an idea, as a thought, as an expression picked up in a book, as an overheard conversation. God can reach us in million ways but we need to keep ourselves open to recieve him.
    Above everything, i find life as a fascinating experience inspite of all the situations that we categorise as problems and worries. When i look back at some of my struggling moments, they appear so trivial but at that time, it would've been a life and death equation. We are cared for and looked upon by unknown forces in this universe, and our job here is to experience all that is handed out to us---fully and in great love. And yeah, we also need to crack the mystery of this life and all along enjoy that process, individually. For me, it all leads back to two important things---Sincere meditations and a happy postive attitude towards life.

    Take care.

  6. if you want to do something, just do it NOW. Make up your mind and you'll automatically find time to do it.

    that's very very true....
    but more that making up our minds, if we have a keen interest in something, we would do it automatically, it just happens..as a routine...and we never think of it as a burden or a duty or a liability till maybe the the favourites folder is deleted by a virus or an external force.....

    i hate to say that i dont have the time to do something, as i know very well that i do and i don't want to do it for some reason or the other.....

    similar is a case when one is a near perfectionist and has an irresposnsible soul near .......

    meditation if is is concentration on one aspect or part u mean, comes easily to me...touch wood...i dont hear when somebody calls me when i am too invovled in work be of any kind...the senses are switched off for some time....

    death i dont know how to deal with it too..........but time will tell

    u echoe some of my thoughts....

  7. Ash....I liked your interpretation---If we have a keen interest in something, we do it automatically. Yup, very true.
    A saying comes to mind---"Talent creates its own opportunities but Passion creates its own talents as well."

    Regarding meditations, My thoughts are expressed in my response to Jen. That's what i've learnt about meditation. Maybe it's far beyond concentration, as I understand.

    How're things with ya? Back to blogging in full force? Yeah, a happy vishu to you. Hope you're having a nice time and enjoying life.