My High Speed Mind.

Human mind

Just for a few seconds, my mind went into overdrive this morning.

It is normally a de-cluttered one but an unusual occurrence speeded up the imagination process and gave me palpitation and an almost-there panic attack.

I was in the kitchen washing up after tea and my cellphone was on the dining table. I heard it ringing but, by the time I could wash up and come to it, it stopped ringing and I saw that I had received a missed call from Ranjan. That is when the gear shifting process started. I went into the first and called back. It took forever to get a disconnect signal and I went into second. I called again and the same thing happened and I went into third and fourth when I could not get through. Finally I went into overdrive when I heard Ranjan’s voice as though it was coming from some deep abyss.

For those who may not know, he and Manjiree are late night personalities and also late risers. This call was at 7.15 AM, a time that I have never known them to wake up at. They are currently vacationing in the Southern parts of our country and have had to alter their itinerary due to unseasonal heavy rains and bad visibility.

My imagination was running riot. I was imagining all kinds of dire scenarios and the whole telephone experience was mostly responsible.

Finally I was able to hear Ranjan clearly and he said that he had just called to inform me of his latest plan and that he would call again later in the day after reaching their destination. He assured me that visibility was good and the weather was clear and bright.

It still took me a few minutes to come back to normal. I need to work more on my detachment. This experience has just shown me that my equanimity is just on the surface.

Desire.

bird

Once upon a time a man owned a beautiful garden full of awesome flowers and fruit trees. Melodious and colorful birds tweeted, bees droned and butterflies fluttered about in that garden. It was a lively place, like a piece of paradise. It had a small pond too housing many kinds of lotuses. The owner cared for his garden more than anything else in the world. In particular, he loved a rare flower, a black Himalayan lotus with a heady scent that flowered in all seasons.

One morning, he was tending to the roses and tulips while a nightingale sang most sweetly. He longed to see the bird more closely and went in the direction of the sound. There he saw the young bird pecking at the black lotus. Its petals had come off and the lotus was mostly destroyed. He was furious and hurled a rock at the bird but the nightingale took a swift flight and escaped unscathed.

Grieved and angered, he vowed to catch and kill the bird. Scattering barley, sesame seeds and jaggery near the pond, he spread a net and waited patiently. Surely, a little while later, the nightingale came flying again and noticed the food. She landed on the mesh and ate to her heart’s content but, realized her mistake when it was time to take off; she was stuck.

The man got hold of the bird and clutched it tightly by the neck. “I’ll kill you,” he said.
“Kill me? But, why? The food was lying on the ground. I didn’t steal from your granary.”
“No, not for these grains but because you destroyed my black lotus.”
“I’m sorry,” the nightingale pleaded. “I was only following my food chain. Have mercy. I always thought that the owner of this beautiful garden must be a tender, caring and a loving person. Little did I know…”
The man thought about it and a sense of compassion enveloped him.

“Okay, I’ll let you go.” He loosened his grip.
“I want to tell you a secret, my friend,” the nightingale said. “My vision is penetrating. There’s buried a pot full of gold at the root of the old peepul tree in your garden. It’s yours for the taking.”

The man dug up the pot filled with gold coins and was ecstatic beyond bear.

“I’m curious,” he said to the nightingale perched on the bough. “How come you could see the treasure hidden under the land but couldn’t see the wide net clearly spread on the ground?”
“I had no use or craving for the gold, but I longed to eat the sesame seeds and jaggery. While flying towards the food, all I could see was the food. My desire had made me blind.”

That’s pretty much all one needs to know: desires make us blind. A mad pursuit of endless desires makes one oblivious to what’s already there to be enjoyed. That’s why Buddha called it the root of all suffering and that’s why Krishna preached detachment from the outcome of desires. Desires keep you busy, they keep you on your toes, and above all, they make everything you already have appear small and lacking.

21 Bizarro - Free From Desire

Daydreams.

I hope that you enjoy reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where six of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad The Old Fossil. The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, gaelikaa, < Maxi, Paul, Shackman, and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

Before I start the post on today’s topic, it is my sad duty to bid farewell to a founder member of the Loose Bloggers Consortium, Grannymar who will no longer be participating in the LBC Friday post adventures. She will be remembered for her consistency and very imaginative posts. I wish her well in her new endeavours.
daydream“Daydreaming is a short-term detachment from one’s immediate surroundings, during which a person’s contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake.”
~ Wikipedia.

How beautiful that the definition suggests that it is a short term detachment from reality!

There was a time when I used to daydream a lot. I could detach myself from my immediate surroundings. With advancing age, I find that increasingly difficult. I suppose that it is also a reflection of all the experience that this old body/mind/intellect complex has accumulated that it instinctively stops daydreaming for the very enjoyable exercise being futile.

There are however some new movements like The Law Of Attraction which posit that one can attract what one wants by daydreaming! I use that terminology rather than the fancy words used by the practitioners. I mention that here because just a few days back I met someone who was brainwashed into investing in the books, and a few DVDs made by the movement’s gurus. This person said something that struck me as being worth sharing with my readers. The movements advocates, who sell all kinds of things via web sites, books, training programs etc all seem to make money by attracting a whole lot of losers. No one hears about all the people who do not attract anything into their lives by following the system! In other words, one hears about only those odd cases of successes and the vast majority of failures are not reported.

Daydreaming, while fully aware that it will be just that and that it will not attract what one dreams about due to the power of the universe or whatever, is a luxury that every one must be able to afford. That is my wish for all humanity. I wish that I could.

bandhur ātmātmanas tasya

yenātmaivātmanā jitaḥ

anātmanas tu śatrutve

vartetātmaiva śatru-vat

SYNONYMS

bandhuḥ — friend; ātmā — the mind; ātmanaḥ — of the living entity; tasya — of him; yena — by whom; ātmā — the mind; eva — certainly; ātmanā — by the living entity; jitaḥ — conquered; anātmanaḥ — of one who has failed to control the mind; tu — but; śatrutve — because of enmity; varteta — remains; ātmā eva — the very mind; śatru-vat — as an enemy.

TRANSLATION

For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.

Bhagwat Geeta Ch VI Verse 6.

The Lotus Leaf.

This post gets its inspiration from Judith’s post Waking In The Night. Like Judith’s ducks, we use the lotus leaf in India to illustrate the need for detachment.

Hindu scriptures often use the lotus flower and its leaf as metaphors. The plant though thriving in water, its leaf never gets wet. This symbolises the nature of a Jnani or a realised person who is ever blissful, untouched by the sorrows and the changes which is characteristic of the world.

The lotus flower is also one of the most beautiful that nature has given us and the metaphor for that is that though its roots are in the mud, it comes out so pure and beautiful.

The Bhagwat Geetha explains thus:

Brahmany ādhāya karmāni

sańgam tyaktvā karoti yah

lipyate na sa pāpena

padma-patram ivāmbhasā

BG V – 10

One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.

There is another metaphor using the lotus leaf. If a rain drop falls in a lake, there is no separate identity for that drop. If however, it falls on a lotus leaf, it shines like a pearl. We can therefore choose where we wish to fall on, as separate human beings.