Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ran Prieur summarized it beautifully...say a year ago

....and I posted it on social media. And also scribbled it somewhere, but it's too precious, too important, not to make a note of, here, in my blog. So here it goes...

An accomplished guitar player says

To master any truly difficult skill it's not enough to just want it; you have to be obsessed. If you have to force yourself to pick it up you're screwed; if you have to force yourself to put it down you know you're on the right track.

You told me that the only thing you've ever had to force yourself to stop was video games. Ask yourself: why exactly are video games so addictive? Of course it's because of the constant reward system. Every thirty seconds you get a reward of some kind. The next question is: how can I duplicate this experience in other areas?

When I was learning to play, I always broke any challenge down into it's smallest possible chunks. And these chunks were easy to accomplish and showed immediate results.

By doing it this way, I was creating a lot of very small, quick successes for myself. If you set yourself a goal and you succeed in just a few minutes, the flush of success releases endorphins in the brain. If you continue to duplicate that experience every few minutes you get addicted to practicing.

And I have consistently found that students who listen to me and practice as I described above will progress ten times faster than anyone else. These are the students who become obsessed to the art...and they become obsessed because they practice this way!

Break your practice into a series of tiny goals, so they always get a feeling of reward

 Things are transitory, and you'll be gone in a 'whoosh' while the world will continue as it is without a problem, so stop being such a self-important's all a play, so chill and do what feels right and good and fulfilling without worry. That's one viewpoint, and it gives hope when there's struggle and you're facing bewildering dead-ends.

 The other view is equally appealing. It's a play alrighty, but are you here just to play and disintegrate into dust one day? Or is there a mystery, a design that you're itching to crack open, and that's why you've descended into this dream, blanketting yourself with a thick unawareness of your own roots and sources, to make things a bit tough and interesting? What's the mystery? What purpose awaits you? Or what purpose do you want to dig up for yourself and pursue joyfully while enjoying the fruits that this existence offers?

 I swing between both of these viewpoints..that is, while not wasting away 99 percent of my time in inertia and day-dreams where I'm a hero and everything is hunky doryish :D

Monday, July 17, 2017

 28 pursuits that feed my soul. I realize that I've started out on 3 of them even before they became a part of this list. Will I have to accomplish great heights in all of them? Not necessarily. Will I start out on all of these in this lifetime? Of course I will. What's the point of this list? Why spread out my energy into so many channels?

This list is a reminder of things that excite me, pursuits that bring me alive, activities that strike a deep chord within. I'll not just sip and taste from each of these springs and move on. Like tasting from every small dish spread out on a plantain leaf in a traditional wedding ceremony. No!!! I will dive deep into each and every one of them. I'll make lusty passionate love with the essence that stands at the core of each of these adventures. Drink from the depths, recieve nourishment, and add something of value to each of them. Embrace the mystique of these worlds and leave them richer, colorful, and loved.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hero and heroine make love in the rains, unmindful of the director yelling "cut" repeatedly. The scene comes out extremely well and realistic in the movie, and there are gossip mills which say that they actually "did it", it wasn't just acting after all, etc., but who cares, the movie matters. The comic relief in the movie is actually dating the heroine, but she is getting bored of him off late, so to spite him, she gets close to the hero, a bashful handsome young man who's actually had to sleep with both the producer and the director, both men, in order to bag this role. The movie is a spy thriller plus a tender love story set in World War 2 Germany, and there's lots of action, melodrama, romance, death and resurrection, but in the's just a bloody movie. Everybody goes home.

 Not very different from real life. Except that, I don't realise deep enough that THIS TOO is a movie. My day-to-day life, the people, situations, conflicts, goals, obstacles, realisations and revelations---all are a part of a plot, a part of a drama that I'm too closely involved with. The truth of the 'movieness' of life ---it strikes suddenly like a lightning at times, but is gone in a flash before I allow it to sink in deep. And then, out of the blue, it strikes again. And again.

I want to take it deep...right there...into my bones, marrow, cells, atom, and the fucking empty space that encompasses the atoms. I want this truth to come blazing out from those depths! And I shall see to it that it does!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sounds of gentle rains
splattering outside the window
Hot tea burning its way past the throat
A soothing aroma from the pages
of this book,
and the ideas it holds
which are knocking on worn doors
 and opening new brain cells

What's missing?


Monday, July 10, 2017

 Most of the days you are fresh and active with minimal work and stress. Some days are stressful and tiring but still you're fine. Even an occasional long drive for the whole day leaves you with a few aches in your ankles and wrists, nothing more.

Then there are days you wake up with a heavy head and disturbed dreams. Half of the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You simply want to lie down and waste away, do nothing else. Your body is signalling to rest and relax although you haven't exerted much. Push a bit and a headache begins to throb. Like today.

If it's energies and churning and stuff, I can't feel it as yet. Of course there's a desire, an intense craving to look beyond this dimension, and surf the waves of my complete existence. Not to be bound by anything, but to be a master of self. To overcome inertia that holds one down, and fly the vast skies on the wings of freedom and joy.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

There is no magic in this world. It’s a particular individual with a magical quality who makes something magical. And sometimes, the magic is in your eyes, in the way you look at things. Something extremely mundane and ordinary can become extraordinary and beautiful when it comes in touch with certain individuals, or when looked through with a certain mindset.

There’s a beautiful place that was close to my heart but which looks a bit dull now. Now I realise, the place came alive because of someone associated with it. And also because of the way I related to things back then. Remove a key element, and the extraordinary returns to being ordinary. Change your attitude, and everything changes. Quantum physics in action.

There’s no meaning in life, no purpose other than the meaning and purpose YOU bring to it.

Friday, July 07, 2017

 There was a time when I would write down my dreams, very regularly, in my amatuer writing days. With an aim of becoming a published writer and making my living out of words, I would soak up any writing advice, from anyone. One book said, write down your dreams and visit them later, you'll find story ideas in them, so I began scribbling. Extremely funny dreams would get written down which would otherwise be quickly forgotten. One dream had me hanging upside down from a ceiling while a fully grown hungry Lion approaches me. In another dream I was flying from one building to another, like a bird. Many dreams would fill me with acute embarrassment and dread, where I would be sitting in the open answering Nature's call, with familiar people walking around with a disgusted look. Inner fears, unresolved issues, anxieties and hopes maybe, finding expression through dreams.

 Last night's dream was interesting. We're about to be attacked by a gang of dacoits but there are two rifles in the cupboard, and I'm supposed to load them and be ready. But the gang arrives before time, and the leader, a ferocious looking hulk is at the door. As he orders people around I pick up the rifle and load them with two heavy cartridges, the ones used to kill elephants. A lot of fumbling around, trying to hide it from him, picking up the wrong rifle, his outbursts..all that drama, but I'm cool as fuck. His work done he begins to dance and I take aim, with his head moving in and out of the cross hairs. Finger on the trigger, everyone's expecting me to pull it and blow away his head to hell, and as I'm about to pull it....absolutely calm, no nerves, no tension...and I woke up, with a heavy pounding heart threatening to spill out of my mouth.

What to make of this dream?

On one hand there's a sense of ease, excitement, and settledness. As if everything is falling into place beautifully. As if the awareness is getting ready to zoom into single pointed stillness, and then escape out and expand magnificently into various dimensions. As if the flowers are getting ready to shower.

Then there is suffocation. Of feeling stuck and unable to move an inch. A dread of purposelessness. Tremendous inertia and fatigue. Severe resignation.

Wild pendulum swings. Interesting to hear and read about. Soul crushing when you're tossed into it.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

The C word...

It was a few years ago when I was deeply fascinated by collapse and end-of-civilization scenarios. Lots of reading, downloading, discussing with friends etc. There was this wonderful book (which I could find only in parts) about someone who had lived through a severe economic collapse in Argentina, and then wrote how he survived there with his family, the ordeals they had to face, the hacks they developed, how they navigated tricky situations, etc. Pretty adventurous stuff. We were hoping similar things to happen in India and across the world--especially with the 2012 scenario and doomsday predictions.

Things changed post 2012. Collapse got relegated to a distant memory but the books I downloaded remained, so did the fascination with breakdown of systems, and emergency of new systems. Dmitry Orlov, a Russian who lives in U.S. is one of the vocal and utterly sensible voices of this scenario. One book of his-- the Five stages of collapse seems totally relevent now, more than at any other time. He talks about different stages of collapse along with case studies-- Economic, Financial, Political, Societal, and Individual collapses. And there are serious insights and ideas to deal with each of these scenarios based on societies which have successfuly navigated through them.

I can hazard a guess that we're close to an economic and societal collapse, here in our country. The signs are bloody ominous. Fascists rule us and they're getting extremely successful in manipulating cracks and create unrest between groups. Things which've been on a backburner for long are coming to a boil. It'll be a matter of time before quite a few systems begin to crack and crumble. Rest of the world, less said the better.

Of course, none of the doomers and collapsenicks speak of integrating Spiritual awakening and transcendence into the breakdown scenarios. That's a dimension quite a few are fortunate to be aware of. Yet, its time to brush through the basics of dealing with collapse at the nuts and bolts level. It's time for a re-read and study of Five Stages of Collapse.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

 Sometimes there's an intense desire to correct the other person, to assert oneself--especially when that person is in "counselling" mode. I fall prey to it many times, and the result is always burnt fingers, hurt egoes and pride--a bitter taste all around.

 I got a live masterclass in how to handle this shit. Just nod and agree to whatever is said and suggested, especially when the other person is a belligerent motormouth. Don't waste your energy trying to convince the other, or assert yourself and make yourself clear--simply because the other won't agree and you're wasting everyone's time and energy. Just nod and agree, and quickly end the arguement or discussion. Then get back to your life and do WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANNA DO.

Peace of mind all around.
(of course, I'm still learning to implement this fully, old habits die hard)

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017

 All that's hidden is surfacing, so nothing remains obscure. Your crankiness, insecurity, psychopathy, and fear of inflicting suffering on others. Your willingness to manipulate others and throw tantrums. Control-freakism. Your unwillingness to hit back and protect yourself when attacked, for fear of hurting those you love. Giving away your power to others. Living in denial. Not letting go. Not standing in your own light. Jealousy. Grief over un-healing wounds.

I see these in others, in myself. There's a familiar response--rage. Then there's a delayed sober response--to contain and transmute these. In myself. Then, by gently nudging others and putting things across, without stepping on fragile egos.

Fuck this transition. Okay...don't fuck it, but still...

 A story from the Mahabharata keeps popping up frequently. Bhima, Arjuna and Krishna chase Ashwaththaama after he massacres the Pandava sons...and a battle begins. Ashwaththaama releases a powerful asthra called 'Narayana asthra'. Nobody knows how to counter it...even Krishna doesn't have a counter-weapon. Thousands of arrows, chakras and swords are created in the skies and they begin to rain down.

Krishna says, "There's only one way to escape...just bow down and allow the asthra to pass over you." Everyone bows down. Except Bheema! He stands tall and says, "I have nothing against this asthra of Narayana, but it is released by this lowlife, Ashwaththaama, so bowing down to this weapon is like bowing down to him. I would rather die than do that."

Soon the arrows and swords start descending into Bhima but he doesn't budge. Krishna advises him fervently saying, "Let this go, survive this day to fight another day", but Bhima doesn't listen. Finally Krishna and Arjuna subdue Bhima with all their might, push him to the ground and allow the weapon to pass over safely. 

Of course, they catch hold of Ashwaththaama after this and skin him.

Something like the taoist concept of being flexible like a blade of grass which bends in the winds instead of the rigid oak tree which stands proud and is broken and shattered.

What are your basic needs? Food? Sex? Shelter? Validation? How about Shifting awareness to higher realms? And Adventure? Learning? Belly laughters? Intimacy and the need to be loved, to be held, to nurture and be nurtured?

Whether we're here to experience something, transmute something, or create and participate in something, unless our basic needs are met, we progress not an inch. Attending to these needs comes first before anything else!