Archive for June, 2010

2500 years ago

Deepak Chopra’s Buddha was the catalyst leading me onto an exploration into a philosophy that had always held a fascination. The book in itself was crisp, simple and impacting and should be a sure spur for anyone new (!) to Buddha. The story of the prince turned enlightened one is gripping without diluting on the message. And the message is powerfully delivered in the most simple manner.

It left me wishing I had been born 2500 years ago. What an exciting era!

The message of the Buddha is also just as simple and powerful (revolutionary, even in these times, let alone then). Doing away with not only god but even the soul, leaving the power of reality in every individual’s hands, Buddhism that seems highly individualistic is perhaps the most powerful cosmic philosophy. The path to enlightenment, as tough as it seems, is one that preaches universal compassion and virtue through its simple 8-fold route.

To transcend suffering is one big promise, bigger still is the realisation of seeing oneself in everything. True, we are all made of the same fundamental atoms taken from the same primordial soup, but to see our selves beyond our physical boundary must be some thing. If one who was human could do it, why not all of us?

But first, we need to suspend belief in all that we believe as reality. All that our senses percieve is simply an illusion. All that most of us value – money, fame, relationships, etc – are like mirages. All that we go seeking like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That is one big leap for most mankind.

Everything ends in suffering. How to end this is what nirvana is about. From suffering to joy to awareness and just being…


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Laws & logic

Why should nature be governed by laws? Why should those laws be expressible in terms of mathematics? Why should they be formulated within space and time?

Questions many of us may have asked, but these were voiced at a recent workshop in Texas that saw physicists and philosophers share space. It may take some ‘time’ reading the link and even more time trying to comprehend some of the ideas. But it sure makes me wonder at the sheer confidence anyone can boast, of knowing the universe through physical laws!

I can call myself a semi-physicist perhaps, having done my post graduation in that subject. Physics continues to fascinate me. But I cannot believe there is nothing more to reality than physical laws!

So many experiences so many of us have in our daily lives simply cannot be explained using some weird logic or differential equations. Why cannot the scientists acknowledge that there is a dimension beyond their theories and laws? It does not make physical science any less real but can only make truth more open to discovery, surely?

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Tainted waters

This wound is just not healing. The oil is spilling and spilling and spilling, polluting the waters and making life a history for many living beings. It could be the worst oil spill to occur. Yet, very few people are aware of it. After all, it is happening somewhere far away and not affecting our lives. Vegetable prices is more of a concern than oil contamination of the Gulf of Mexico. To some extent, that is understandable as we are all struggling to make ends meet.

But does that mean we should remain blissfully unaffected by a ‘distant’ event which has indirect consequence on our lives? Shoould it not make us aware of how our dependence on oil is causing such havoc to people and animals?

Funny, how hugging a tree invites raised eyebrows but not the sight of a man so lovingly cleaning his car! Funnier that we so not see the bigger service at all.

We have taken the eco-system so much for granted we do not realise the damage we are doing to it.

Nobody takes the cake like Japan. A nation that should have turned wise after the tragedies it suffered has merely learnt to be intelligent and exploit resources ruthlessly. Whether it be the ways it beats international laws against whaling, or plans to explore sea-beds for minerals which it badly needs to make the gadgets it does, the Japs are ingenuous. Who else will even dream of building a 6,800 mile “solar belt” around the moon, beaming electricity to earth with microwaves and lasers, and setting up receiving stations on Earth where the power can then be used? Only the Japs. They are also the most voracious users of hard wood in the world, and the biggest importers of wood.

It is always the same story – endless, unlimited consumption. And when the spade has struck the last patch on earth, it then turns to moon and other planets. That is how they assure their consumers of abundant resources.

The world oceans day passed by with very few aware how slowly we are killing our oceans. Our waste chemicals, fertilisers, plastic, oil, etc all find the way to the waters. How long can the oceans do their job of keeping us alive? They do.

Staring at the mighty, endless seeming ocean, most of us have felt a stirring or something grand within us, a taste of infinite eternity maybe. Not to forget the tranquility. The least we can do in return is to stop the pollution.

Or else, just imagine standing at a shore and watching incoming waves bringing home tons of waste, plastic, sticky oil….

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There is a joy in giving and a greater joy in curing. And practising reiki has fortunately given me that opportunity. Thanks to Sushmaa, I found my Reiki master and was initiated. Since then I have been healing kith and kin and extended kith and kin like cats and dogs and trees and the planet.

So is it the power of curing that gives me a kick? No. It is the joy that I can wish someone good and universal energy will aid me in my wish.

The kitten which looked like she was skin and bones has picked up enough pep to frolick and tug the tail of its bigger sibling. The few trees in my city recieve my wishes that hope to keep them rooted as gusts of wind uproot so many choked trees.

A gawky teenager, looking so miserable with no self-confidence can send me scurrying to a corner to invoke the universal energy….

My blue planet that breathes life into millions of creatures has so many wounds and gashes across her body that it may take more than one me to heal it. On Environment Day, I can’t but feel sad at the way we humans have sought to plunder and ravage this Eden, and send all other species packing away. I can maybe invoke Reiki to breathe sense into the race, and make them realise this home is precious and it has to be shared.

Shared with fellow creatures that make life possible in so many seen and unseen ways. Shared with generations to come who need fresh air, clean water and good soils for their sustenance.

Let the waters stay blue, the forests green and soil brown. Let life be respected in its many hues from a lowly bacteria to the neighbour. Let us see ourselves in everything from the soil to the skies (as the Buddha did).

I can, at the least, thank Earth on behalf of my brethren for making life such a joyous experience.

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