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Archive for the ‘Vipassana’ Category

After almost 17 years of partnership, I realised that there have been umpteen moments when I decided to leave but didn’t go.

One of the key factors that make for a long relationship is lots of ups and downs. Smooth-running relationships spell disaster.

I have had a turbulent childhood and teenage years, a pattern I carried to my adult life as well. At first, I thought it was easier to up and go than waste time in negotiating a difficult relationship. Yet, over time, I realised that it takes much more to build a home, than it takes to break a house. I took up the challenge to remain, no matter what.

Key factors that helped me were my ability to see the brighter side of the darkest night. And realizing that the saying, ‘this also will pass’ is wrong. Many times, the same problems arise again and again, and the same words are exchanged till the voice can no longer hold those terrible screeching words any more nor the mind come up with reasons to explain and dialogue on the same old things, again.

“We have done that number before, ” I’d say. But, into deaf ears.

Spouse deafness can be awful especially if you are given to weak lungs and subsequent cough, due to over exercising the larynx. I am like that, only! What’s worse is, no, you don’t need the virus in the air to cause your sore throat and there are no broad-spectrum antibiotics that can cure your throat, please to note.

So there, you learn your lesson: Silence, is golden, when the other cannot hear. Lengthy discourses may also be done via email and guess what, you may write the stuff, but the other may read or choose not to, but the fact is, you’ve said what you needed to say and the eyes may hear or not hear at all, but you are free of a huge burden and hey, you have saved yourself from the terrible sore-throat, guilt feeling  for having vomited out angry words and what not.

Second, fall in love with someone else, for the time being. All in your head, of course! It helps, since you have psyched yourself into fooling your endocrine glands into producing in large quantities, the much needed adrenaline on which you are now high. Pity the poor gland has no concept of real from the imagined. You can at least be safe for a while, because you have sufficient stress relieving hormones to take you forth for the next ten months or so, during which time, your present problem with partner may end, but a new set of problems may crop up, for which you need new strategies.

Third, take a break from each other. Do different things. Pretend to be present when together, but ‘take leave of your mind‘ and visit far places which the other is talking to you. I can swear on this method! Be meditative and laugh at the right moment though or make exclamations whenever needed. In case, the other catches your absent mindedness, then repeat the last words she said to you.

“Are you listening?” There! It’s that easy. Just say, ‘Yes, I am listening; you just said, are you listening?’ ”

Life’s battles can be won in many ways. The critical issue is: strategy, which is a well-thought out plan devoid of all emotions. So you can keep a home, even if the house is breaking!

And this is how, I have stayed on, holding the fort of a relationship, that is forever bouncing like a ball. And have gained in insight and patience and forbearance.

I learnt a lesson from Snoopy, my pet dog. She was not like a cat, whose loyalty depended on where she gets her food and safe stay. She was loyal to me and no matter what I said to her, all she did was rolled her eyes this way and that, but she never left.

I’ve done the same throughout all these years myself. It really is all about  strategy!

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Picture from the net

 

 

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With a flair of charm and with the air of apprehension she says the first three words ….

Utkarsh : For Her…


Lingering in my mind, these words I longed to hear, did not find the air inside the mouth to form the words and give it shape nor found the air outside to set the words sailing so they could reach my ears, vibrate and ripple and reach my brain and caress the wells, long dried in the heat of arguments….three words would have filled the gaps forever.

But!

The mind wanders again, far away in distant lands, the smell and taste of the earth of which I have forgotten. So many years ago and yet, fresh in the storehouse of things I desired but did not receive.

The breath at my nostrils have cooled. Like gentle breeze, they come and go. I am supposed to move with the breath, just be aware of the incoming and the outgoing breath, cool as it enters, warm as it leave.

Just like us. Could we not have kept the flow going. No! You were too different from me. Culturally. Did you not say, I would have to change? How can you change anything, without distroying it first. I am who I am.

And again the mind has travelled away to things past long ago….

Patient. Blame not the mind. Rome was not built in a day. Don’t be judgemental. Just return to the breath.

True, I have been holding up my breath in the last few moments which to me seemed eternity. Maybe only a fraction of a second turned to eternity….I was away much longer so let me get back to my breath….that incoming cool breath, flowing gently in and then leaving my body too, softly. The solar plexus have relaxed and my lower back is no more aching with the tightness of air held between its columns….relax. Let go!

And off I go. There in front of me is a screen, white in colour. We are sitting on the stool facing each other. Uncomfortable with the weight of the words, unsaid. I am looking at you as you fidget around, looking at me and then away. I know the pregnancy of these moments, heavy with the onset of labour pains in the mind, desparete moments when the ache of unsaid words, sentences, paragraphs….I can see us both on my mental screen, even with my eyes shut tight, one struggling to give birth, the other waiting with longing palms turned upward and outward…..

Yet! No word said. Only the heaviness in the air, the weight in the heart so heavy that we both let out a sigh…

Bringing me back to my breath once again. The words die in the womb. They do not find the air inside the mouth to form the words and give it shape nor find the air outside to set the words sailing so that they could reach my ears, vibrate and ripple and reach my brain and caress the wells, long dried in the heat of arguments….three words which would have filled the gaps forever.

And so I breath, watching the inflow and outflow of life, prana, while my mind takes me back and forth, like a jhula, a cradle from this moment to the past or the future….

Another hour lost to the conniving devices of the mind. In futile basking, much blabbering without a voice. Many visuals behind closed eyes. Many diversions from the chosen Path.

I am sitting in the Buddha pose. Silence is around me. Stillness so unmoving, it is like death. My mouth is shut and there is no energy that is moving outward and feeding the mind further. Thus, the thoughts are slowly receding and I settle in Silence….. The Silence of the Lamps.

 

 

NB: Art by Smriti Vohra 

 

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Monkey

                                     

                                                                 

There is no light nor sound, which can reach this space, this 8 x 4 ft cell in which I have locked myself in. It is pitch dark and except for that one opening at the top of the cell, which allows air to enter, there are no windows or skylight.

 

I stretch my arms, but there is nothing I can see. I close my eyes and there is darkness. Even when I open them there is darkness. It is silent as a tomb inside, like the silence of the dead.


I am looking within, inside myself, my mind, my eyes closed. Volumes of sounds, conversations, pictures, flow out of my memory like reels of films I have put away somewhere, in the backburner. Ream upon ream of written matter, tapes of sounds and conversations….unending and on and on. If I open my eyes the thoughts cease only for a second. However, when I close my eyes, I am distanced from these flowing thoughts and can go on watching as each follows the other.

 

Until, the monkey takes hold of me.

 

The grey coat that covered your shoulders hung like a flowering shrub on a cliff, the colour perfectly matching your salt and pepper hair. Contrasting sharply with the hues of the soft pink shirt, the collar of which could just about be a little loose, but for your burgundy tie. I could feel my fingers tie a noose around your neck, so tight, that your lips pouted. Pearl-like teeth exposed between lustrous full lips like that of a woman’s.

 

My lips! You are wearing my lips.

 

We were at the conference of minds, great minds, great thoughts and great imagination. But I wanted a different diet.

 

The heat is on. It is summer, although, the air conditioning froze us.  My eyes have traveled to the cuff-links on your shirt. The diamond threw cutting glares at me.

 

I smiled.

 

Only a fool thinks that they can scare away the intent in a woman’s mind. A diamond’s sparkle, are no match to my ruby lips, my sapphire eyes, my garnet studded breasts.

 

With one dart of my eyes, the cuff-links can open to reveal the arm – the arm that will be around me in no more than a few seconds. And the buttons on the shirt will snap out, revealing a thick growth of darkness on your chest.

 

We are close together, just a few seats away. The tip of my shoe centimeters away from you. I can feel your growth of passion. I am wet too.

 

And then you rise, grabbing the coat around you, buttoning it, just a bit too late. I have seen the size and length of the whole summer.

It did rain heavily that night. There were puddles of water everywhere. We rained passion, we bathed in love. Not once, not twice, many times over.

 

The overwhelming thought is but one – you, your passion for me. I can feel it now, my limbs are limp….you are all over me, inside me, outside me, the throbbing reality of a mind gone astray, uncontrolled in your arms I am experiencing the union of powerful energies, wild animal desires and I can feel the throbbing at the base while I rise to the occasion in my heart, my breasts thrust and plastered against your chest. I can see your face, contorted by the agony of  the last minute tension just before the release of peace…I can see the last straw before you let go.

 

Forbidden fruits of labour hammer in the last nail on the coffin, the death of Self and the birth of Cosmic Orgasm.

 

I am still sitting in the same pose, lost in the finale of the act, far away from the world I am here to discover. Monkeys. Demons of the past. Another hour lost to the conniving devices of the mind. Far, too far, from where I wish to be.

 

I am sitting in the Buddha pose. Silence is around me. Stillness so unmoving, it is like death. My mouth is shut and there is no energy that is moving outward and feeding the mind further. Thus, the thoughts are slowly receding and I settle in Silence….. The Silence of the Lamps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NB: Art by Smriti Vohra 

 

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