love

Is Freedom Possible The Human Condition

When our souls our one Divine Love is all the protection we will need. When will we ever reach that level, the human condition that plagues us is crushing our society, when will love be enough???

If you need guns and weapons to defend your so called freedom then you are still in a cage. This is a human condition that has carried on from the beginning of so called civilization. Will we ever really be free? Once we realize our soul is imperishable then you realize there is nothing left to defend. Thereafter comes the understanding that all souls are filled with that same light, and thereafter resonates the feelings of Divine Love and Compassion. When our souls are one, Divine Love is all the protection we will need. When will we ever reach that level, the human condition that plagues us is crushing our society, when will love be enough???

I spend a good majority of my time in the mornings getting tuned in with what is going on in the world, this usually means my morning breakfast spent while watching Democracy Now.  (It’s very forward thinking news broadcast if you don’t watch it, tune in and open your mind.  Also, be prepared I wouldn’t recommend having breakfast and starting your day off with D-now, because it’s a very hard hitting reality check every morning.)  For me it is all about perspective, and because we work in the inner and outer social activism it’s important to know where and what are the needs of the human race.  The needs are many, and so surmounting that it sometimes leaves me  overwhelmed and hopeless as to the possibility of our race surviving at this catastrophic pace.

First, I’ll tell you what this piece is not.  What I want to present with this writing is not political activism, it is not specific to any piece of news or any one single event.  It is taking into account the entire spectrum and history of the human condition to see, is Freedom really possible?  Is love really possible?  Also taking into consideration if a foreign entity is invading your land and destroying and decimating your land, people and culture what to do then?  How and should one defend themselves?  Asking these questions usually starts with more questions, “well, what are we fighting about anyway?  And, what is the root cause of the inner dilemma that drives one to killing and destroying each other?

There are many philosophers and thinkers that put these concepts to thought and articulate them far better than I, and can be used as an immense reference for this particular writing.  The renown thinker, Krishna Murthi, so beautifully analyzes the root cause of most human suffering in this beautiful talk on Fear.  As always the mindfulness of Krishna Murthi is so in tune that if you watch this video there is really no reason to continue reading.  You yourself will come to many conclusions about your individual experience with fear and how it has lead the evolution of the “Human Condition.”  Krishna Murthi points out, there are many different types of fear.  In my view one that is most important is the hereditary fear of survival.

Jiddu Krishnamurthi thinker, philosopher, somewhat of the anti-guru working toward getting human beings to understand they have the power to grant their own self realization. To me let's face it, that's what a Guru does. Helping to transform from darkness to light.

From the early ages of the human being, before so called, “civilization” (that is not at all civilized, still very primitive), human beings were born into fear as a mode of survival.  If one leaves the safe confines of one’s cave there is a risk to be eaten by wild animals or destroyed by the natural chaos and power of nature.  So, very easily we cut to the chase here… How can we evolve out of fear (which leads to suffering) if it is engrained in our DNA from the start of the evolution of our species?  Is fear useful?  My very first instinct reaction to these questions is, no.  From the time of Buddha we have been hearing about peace… Do we have it?  Have we ever fully understood fear?  The best approach is to dive deeper and deeper until we fully understand the roots of issues that drive us away from peace, not to run away from them into a fantasy of, “I must have peace… I am peaceful… I will make myself peaceful…”  Until we have faced the root causes of fear, struggle, loneliness, loss, death and many other manifestations of fear in the human psyche it is my understanding that we will never truly “rest in peace.”  Another eloquent philosopher based in mindfulness is, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Master of the Art of Mindfulness.

His approach to mindfulness is not to run away from our fears and negative attributes, yet to face them lovingly and mindfully to give as much respect and understanding to the negative as we yearn for the positive.  An example would be:  We look at a beautiful flower, we know that one day the flower will wither and die.  What is left of the dead flower?  Do we disregarded it?  If you have mindfulness and understanding you can see very clearly that the trash is just as important as the beauty.  The dead flower will decompose and become enriched organic soil.  The beauty of the flower still remains and it will give itself willing back to the Mother Earth in order to be sustenance for the new flowers to return again.

Hold your negative emotions lovingly like a Divine Flower to have deeper understanding of our self-imposed destruction.

In other words we have so much to learn from negative human conditions.  Yet, we spend much of our time running from them… suppressing them… filling the empty void with materialism… creating organizations that perpetuate separatism… all designed to keep us under control and unwilling to face the reality that Fear is within us.  The United States runs around promoting fear mongering, invading sovereign countries, imposing our will on foreign entities, and claiming democracy.  If the leaders of a nation have mindfulness and cultivate an understanding of meditation and breathing, there is no doubt in my mind they will be forced to look at their own fears.  Hence my comment “if you need a weapon to protect your so called freedom, you are still in a cage.”  (It is a reference to the aggressor, not the one being attacked.)  Nothing is truly Free that needs protection.  Of course, the argument can be made, “what if there is an indigenous village being pillaged by an aggressor, should they defend themselves with weapons and violence?”  Again, we are taking steps even further back to say, “Why is the aggressor even acting that way at all?”  ”What stirs in the human condition for greed and aggression and violence?”  What is deeply embedded in the human conscious that we need to “take, conquer and divide?”  What is the root of this selfishness?  And furthermore, what is to be done about it?  Will we ever have peace?  My outlook on this topic is very bleak.  The entire evolution of our species until now, so called “modern civilization,” is built around suffering, separatism, materialism, and the military industrial complex.  So, in reality our species is still very primitive.  Fighting and killing each other has never stopped since the beginning of time.  One of the most epic and deeply enriching philosophical texts of Sanaatan Dharma is based around a massive war in which brothers are fighting and killing each other.  (Sanaatan Dharma or just Dharma sometimes referred to as, Hindu Philosophy.  I don’t use the word Hindu because it does not exist in the Sanksrit Language and does not relate at all to the true teachings of the Vedas or individual Saadhana [everyday spiritual discipline], but that is an entirely different subject).  Yes, we look deeper to see the metaphorical teachings that it is a war over our negative attributes, from darkness to light, from suffering to salvation, but seriously, it’s war.  It is killing other human beings… It only perpetuates suffering and separatism.

The end of the Maha Bharat war, one brother has killed another brother.

I, for one, cannot relate.  Of course, I have never been put in a dyer straight situation of having defend my family from an intrusion of an aggressive force, so who am I to talk?  And again, I will stress my focus is actually on that of the aggressor… what is causing them to engage in that aggression?  What is the cause for the undying human condition of greed and rage?  I have no answer, because from the process of our evolution we have never really seen any.  We still have war, we still have poverty, we still have suffering, we still have rapists, we still have killers and murders, even those in so called, “positions of power,” if we really analyze them mindfully, they are murders.  And until we deeply understand our own individual suffering and fear, then as a human race, we have no chance for peace.  How can we expect peace in the world when there is so much unrest and self imposed suffering in our own daily lives?  When will we ever learn?  Will loving ourselves and our neighbors ever really be enough?  How can we not only understand our suffering, but uproot our suffering systemically?  Where to start?  How to begin?

In the end the only thing we have any control of is our emotions and our actions.  Breathing, Meditation and mindfulness are tools (or keys) to bring us closer to those states of peace, compassion and understanding that have the power to uproot our negative tendencies and self destructive behavior.  What else do we have?  Meditation really is the only answer…  How do we get the aggressor to meditate?  That is a completely different talk, and again completely out of our control.  The only thing we control is our emotions and our own actions.  My hope and wish is that the more we dive deeper into our own consciousness with mindfulness and meditation we will more deeply understand these roots of suffering.

Meditation cultivates a deep sense of self awareness and mindfulness.

With loving emotions cultivated through meditation and a pious daily life we can hold our suffering like a baby, or like a delicate flower until suffering is either uprooted or transformed again into the beautiful flower.  And what if it should return?  The entire process is repeated until higher and higher states of understanding are produced.  It has only taken thousands of years for the human being to ruminate on these topics.  The best we can hope for is that every individual on Earth dives deep into meditation.  The only hope is that our individual actions of love and understanding creates an unstoppable ripple effect in the immediate world around us, and again ripples out into the rest of society… the ripple would be so powerful that the positive vibrations of love and meditation would reach even the aggressor, and in turn through our right actions even the aggressor would understand the root of their suffering which is driving them to such desperate and heinous actions.  A mindful meditator would simply never kill or hurt anybody, because they would have no choice but to see that we are all family… we are all connected… we really are all ONE in the beautiful web of life.  With united heartbeats of mindfulness peace and love would be possible.  We have not seen that massive shift yet.  Maybe in this lifetime?  As one watches the chaos of this Kali Yuga (dark age) one sees very clearly we have a long way to go.  From thousands of years ago until now, the shift of consciousness has been happening.  Start with your own personal dedication to your suffering.  Start with your own affirmations of love, peace and meditation, and impart those emotions unto your friends and family.  Keep the spiral of love alive and swirling around your daily life.  After that, be an observer to how your meditative energy transforms your life.  See its highest potential and your highest potential.  As if it were the deep cry of our beloved Mother, have an ernest yearning for the purity of true peace and love.  This really is the only thing left to do…  What other choice do we have… Continue to divide and kill each other?

Meditating in a Redwood forest grove at Mount Madonna Center in California.

The choice is truly yours, and I do hope that with our combined efforts and understanding we take a few more steps in the direction of love and peace.

Om Bhadrum No Apivaathaya Manah:  Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi

With all my love,

Tyagaraja

PS, if you have been inspired to take on the practice of daily meditation and would like to learn, we will share it with you and are qualified teachers of this ancient art form.  Kindly contact us for more information.

j.tyagaraja@gmail.com

More on Love

Because surrender and faith can create a complete life of harmony, and the altogether goal of Love is this harmony we are all struggling so desperately to find.

More On Love…

I did not meditate this morning.  I did not do yogasana or pranayama.  I performed a special puja for my friend Austin Fry.  I prayed for his safe journey and that divine love shines on him always.  I began to think about the conversation I was having with my love Gunjen in the car ride from dropping Austin at Intercontinental Airport.

on his way to Cambodia.

on his way to Cambodia.

Gunjen and I were talking about love.  Gunjen and I were driving one afternoon, and a silence had fallen over us.  We were both in deep thought, my thought had no words only feeling, and Gunjen broke the silence with a phrase.  “Man, everyone just only needs love.”  She continued, “that’s all anyone’s ever looking for.”  Last week we had the fortunate experience of meeting an ascetic westerner that’s lived in India for 40 years named Radhanath Swami.

Radhanth Swamiji and Tyagaraja

Radhanth Swamiji and Tyagaraja

He gave a talk in which he said this very same phrase.  And this morning while in traffic returning from the airport I told Gunjen, that if it weren’t for the love of my parents I very well could have been the kid addicted to hard drugs or God knows what for many years to come.  It was love that would shine even in the darkest depths.  It was the fragrance of love that my body yearned for like the stomach to nourishment.  Previously we spoke on love.  We said that love is compassion and compassion implies surrender.  Like tributaries leading to mighty rivers, and rivers leading to universal oceans there are many links through the journey of love.

album artwork by Joe Zuniga

album artwork by Joe Zuniga

Without surrender it is very hard to love another.  You have not given to yourself yet how can you give and share with others?  Surrender.  Surrender is compassion.  Surrender is a gift—an offering—the only gift worth offering—is every—and all—and anything—the only gift worth giving is complete surrender.  Complete implies totality—totality cannot come from a selfish heart, or from a heart that bares judgment and this is important because there can be no surrender if judgment blackens the heart.  There can be no judgment of oneself or to others.  This philosophy then becomes an every moment practice.  Every passing moment there comes a new opportunity to apply the practice of surrender.

High in the mountains of Rishikesh, a natural spring from the top.

High in the mountains of Rishikesh, a natural spring from the top.

Practicing bowing on hands and knees prepares an unready heart for surrender.  The act of coming to the fetus position and placing the head on the ground brings us back to purity—creates softness in the heart, eases the mind and releases stress and fear.  The practice of bowing to that which is eternal is the best step toward understanding surrender, and the understanding of the object or principal in which we focus our bowing.  The surrender may be offered to anything or any idea—surrendering to truth, purity, Divine Love—God, expanse of the eternal—all these forms are suitable.  When this act is performed with a pure and open heart, love and truth are the flowers that bare fruit of knowledge and self awareness.

Child's pose, sitting on ankles or on pillow in between legs with forehead on the ground breathing gently in out the nose

Child's pose, sitting on ankles or on pillow in between legs with forehead on the ground breathing gently in out the nose

The act of surrendering to all that which you do not understand brings self awareness, knowledge, and oddly enough more understanding.  Because you are surrendering to the fact that your knowledge is limited makes you humble, reduces your ego—yet expands your capacity for the input of knowledge and understanding which inevitably destroys arrogance and pride.  These two being obstacles in the way of understanding our own faults.

Surrender to God is one of the most conflicted concepts yet is also the most rewarding.  Humans create conflict around surrender based on the need to clearly define the object of which one is surrendering.  In this sense the word surrender implies submissive which makes humans feel trapped and vulnerable, which leads to anger, hatred, and confusion.  It has turned us into a separatist society, and this is not true surrender.  In true surrender there is no need to place right or wrong on anything or decide what is worthy or unworthy—there only exists the truth.  The truth we said was Love and Love we said was many things and we are still not finished nor are we ever finished with Love Talks.  It’s funny even still Truth can be relevant from one experience to the next.  One only knows what is true based on one’s own understanding of the truth therefore how is anyone ever false?

Surrender to God means a surrender to all that which is unknown.  God is unknown—God is mystery.  The idea of the unknown could be observed from mind set of the word ‘unknown’ meaning—without thought.  Our thoughts sometimes result in misguidance.  On the other hand thoughts lead in positive creative directions.  The idea of being without thoughts when applied to the act of surrender opens and expands the heart and increases awareness.  To become self aware is to surrender yourself to truth.  Nothing speaks louder than the Truth.  Even in acts of dishonesty the echo of truth resounds so strongly off the walls of the subconscious—so much so that the truth can never be forgotten.

Lost in the Rishikesh back roads behind Ram Jhula

Lost in the Rishikesh back roads behind Ram Jhula

Sometimes the truth is an unlearned inspiration.  When truth is discovered through inspiration many positive reactions occur.  First of all when truth is found through inspiration there must first be a void of thoughtlessness.  The clouds of thought are removed and appears a clear canvas.  Through this void the Divine Light of Truth springs forth like the rising sun giving light to any coming inspirations.  The Truth through inspirations is pure and unaffected or imposed.  A piece of understanding or a fact, or a school of thought or a supposed truth that comes from outside influence most often has some degree of personal interpretation—meaning the piece of information has already traveled through one channel, and this channel has loads—nay—mountains of ideas, beliefs, and through this narrow funnel information is being projected similarly to what I am doing now.  Even if I was inspired—not aspired—my words and translations of these truths are limited and because there is space, and galaxy there is proof that the truth I wish to convey could never in its limited capacity give the true perception in its entirety.  Love is an ever-new richness that we can bathe in every waking moment, and spread to all those around us.

taken by Gunjen Mittal

taken by Gunjen Mittal

In summary we said that Love is Truth, and we said that to see Truth one must have surrender and that surrender must come without any judgment or imposed idea of any kind.  These revelations now lead us to Faith, which is a completely different thing from ‘belief’ all together.  And this will be our next topic of discussion.  Because surrender and faith can create a complete life of harmony, and the altogether goal of Love is this harmony we are all struggling so desperately to find.

By Tyagaraja

India Journals 2010 a Real India Experience

It is not the same as thinking of the river in your mind and praising it. Actually being there and feeling the River’s vibrations is totally different. It has an intense effect on your body. And sometimes the lessons we learn are hidden within the seemingly difficult experiences.

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This piece could be given so many titles

“My First Dip in Mother Ganga”

“The Real India Experience”

“The Ganga is not just water, It is also FIRE!”

Sometimes the lessons we learn are hidden within the seemingly difficult experiences.

Yajna

Yajna

This story begins with my decision to finally take the full body bath in the sacred Holy Mother Ganga.  I waited until I found a secluded place of the main strip and also waited until the inspiration hit me.  I chose to take the dip on Friday, Divine Mother day.  I went down to the river bank along a back road where all the babas and sadhus spend their days.  At this time all was quite early in the morning.  I went at 5 am before sunrise over the mountains, and chanted all the mantra I know on top of a huge rock as the mighty river flowed beneath me.
Bathing in the Holy Mother River Gangaji!

Bathing in the Holy Mother River Gangaji!

When I first set my feet in the water it was freezing beyond imagination, yet as soon as I dipped my whole body under, I felt no cold, only peace and bliss.  This would be the only peace and bliss I experience throughout the day.

The fire began to burn the moment I arrived back at the so called Ashram I was staying right on the river bank at Laksman Jhula (Bridge, Swing).  The ashram manager was no older than me, Indian fellow huge beard soft voice, slow in movement, very high vibration, very spiritual dude.  I had found a simple and very clean hotel off the main road, up a large hill, down this non-descript alley way, and was checking out.  He gave me my total and my question was WHAT?  He was charging me double per day than I had expected!  Normally I would haggle with him angrily as you have to do, but that was more difficult because he was on such a high plain.  So he came down a little bit but not much.  I was frustrated and learned a lesson, and its harder being on my own, if Gunjen was with me, that certainly would not have happened.  So now I needed more cash to make it through the week.  Full of spit and fire I walked up the steep hill to my new spot, nice family owned place, clean, no AC cheep as all get out.

View from my room in the ashram in Rishikesh

View from my room in the ashram in Rishikesh

Using the forces of the Earth I was also on a quest to find a center piece Murti (image of God) for mine and Gunjen’s puja room.  We wanted a marble statue with, most importantly, a nice looking face with eyes and a smile that set you at peace.  I had been searching for one for days, and trying to get the best price and buy it from a shoppy shop where I actually liked the people inside and felt a good vibe from them.  On my way to the shop I found an ATM and was denied cash withdraw… more money issues.  That was common on my last trip, some ATMs just wouldn’t let you take money for whatever lame reason.  So I was again frustrated yet never the less, moved on.  I stopped at a few more places before going to the one that I like most just to be sure I was making the right choice of Murti.  I had a long conversation with the owner about his family and why he does what he does, and decide to make the purchase.  Again the card was denied.  This time feeling concerned I went to an internet stall to look at my bank account.  Frustration brewed when I could log on to every other site in the world at this internet stall except the freagin’ bank.  So I pick up my wiry bones to the next stall all the way across the bridge of Ram Jhula (swinging bridge dedicated to Lord Rama).  Sure enough some funny business was listed on my account.  Some purchase at Rajun Cajun in Houston, I thought, WTF! (that means Why The Face?)

The most frustrating part of this bit was that it was around 11 am and earlier than the butt-crack of dawn in US so there was no getting in touch of anyone, family, nor the bank.  So I was stuck, alone, frustrated and worried.  I started to write in my book back at the Hotel.  I was so upset that money holds so much weight in this world.  Many friendships and marriages end because of it, and now my peace of mind was being stripped.

Perspective

Perspective

I had a meal at this hippie joint called Little Buddha, it’s an utterly amazing place right on the river set high looking down on the River scenes.  My plan was to keep breathing and wait until a decent hour to make more phone calls.

Waiting for Aarti

Waiting for Aarti

My favorite part of being here in Rishikesh is every evening they have a Mangala Aarti (waving of the flames) and a yajna (fire ceremony) on the river bank at Parmath Niketan Ashram.  The sun sets as hundreds of people from all over the world (mainly Indians and the young Pandits (priests) of the Ashram, sing bhajans to the river.  I called my father because mom wasn’t answering, it was still very early morning in US.  She has signature and access authorization on my bank account.  He said he had been trying to reach her too.  I tried to keep my heart soft, and told him I would make another call after the Aarthi.

Giving Offerings into the Yajna Kund (fire ceremony pit) directly on the Ganges River Bank

Giving Offerings into the Yajna Kund (fire ceremony pit) directly on the Ganges River Bank

The first few times I attended the Aarti I was taking video and pictures, this time I just vibed it out and sang my bloody heart out.  Jai Jai Gange, rang in my heart.  Observing the level of devotion in the hearts of the people in the surroundings of the eveing fire ceremony was so inspiring.  You can truly sense from these people that they are connected in the channel of God, and are sitting and bathing in it.  There are no words to describe the feeling exchanged when chanting, singing, and praising the Holy Mother River.  It is not the same as thinking of the river in your mind and praising it.  Actually being there and feeling the River’s vibrations are totally different.  It has an intense effect on your body.  The sun setting, the moon, the energy of the stars, and planets, the trees and birds and nature around, the devotion pouring out of the hearts of the people here, the love, the excitement, the hope and praise.  It leaves me feeling like I am merely a particle floating around and an energy web, and that web is connected to all things.

My relationship with water, trees, nature is deeply inhanced through these practices of sitting at the fire, connecting with the water.  If you listen without thinking, and open your heart to the energy of the Mother Earth, She will speak to you, She is aware of your presense and wants to give to you.  All we are doing is taking, and feeding, little do we give to the Mother Earth in return.  The least we could do is give a little heart felt praise.  It feels warming to the heart.

Sunset  duriing praise and Aarti for the Gangaji

Sunset duriing praise and Aarti for the Gangaji

The ceremony was over and I called my mother.  She had all the news… finally.  Word was that someone had indeed stolen my identity info and was trying to make purchases, the bank knew that I was in India from a note I had placed on my account before leaving.  So when the Rajun Freakin’ Cajun purchase was made, they shut r’ down.  Good thing!  They said they saw many attempts, and two other attempts made in Houston, one at a Kroger that was an attempt to totally drain the account, how uncomfortable.  My mother explained to them that it was impossible for me to sift through the service number at the bank and that she could handle everything from her end.  The plan was to open the account for just long enough to make my withdrawal and then close it again.  My nerves were on high, because that meant I needed to withdraw all the money I needed for the rest of my trip….  which was tens of thousands of rupees (Indian money).  I stopped at the ATM, it was open, the time here was now around 7pm and already completely dark out.  I stepped in the ATM stall while the guard watched closely. (This next bit lacks in spirituality so if you are here just for that I’m sorry in advance.  However, it is real to life and anger and frustrations are all part of that.  I’m just being honest with myself and who I am, so that I can improve, I don’t say by any means, that my behavior is acceptable.)  I made my phone call to mom, she then called the bank.  I had to wait and call her back to know that the account was open.  The guard gestured for me to step aside and let the next person go.  I told him, “sure please wait,” He didn’t like that.  Called mom, got the go ahead.  I kept mom on the phone; she could tell I was nervous.  The Indian ATM’s say weird verbiage like “current” instead of “checking” so I tried and failed several times trying to find the right buttons to push, dropping the f-bomb left and right, all the while a line was building and the security guard was getting more frustrated with me, and tapping and poking me.  I told him bluntly and angrily, “you are going to give me the time I need to do this, now BACK UP!”  He didn’t say a word after that.  Even now as I right it I’m dying laughing inside, and in actuality it all went by so fast I’m not sure if I actually said it aloud or in my head and with my body language, (my mom swears I didn’t) however it makes for a better story, so I’ll leave it in.

I tried to withdraw a large amount of rupees, it kept telling me to ask for a smaller amount I did this about 15 times no kidding.  All the while my mom was saying stuff like “it’s ok, just breathe” and I could hear her do it like she was telling herself, and stuff like “please Jesus” damn right I’ll take anybody at this point, Laksmi, Jesus, who ever just get me my damn security!  Finally after what seemed like a million attempts I withdrew a little less than half of what I needed to finish out my trip.  Oh, but the story is not even far from over, Lo!

courage

courage

My phone call with my mom ended awkwardly because she couldn’t hear me, the phone was losing reception, little did I know it was because a MASSIVE rain storm was about to cover Rishikesh.  I hopped on the bike I had rented because the auto-rickshaw guys overcharge and I hate bargaining with them every freakin’ time.  I found a back road to my hotel near where I had dipped in the Ganga.  It is pitch black dark back there and you have to be really careful, yet this time, the rain started trickling in.  Before I made it a few feet, it came a “frog strangler” as the redneck side of my fam would say.  The rain was gushing straight down, I had my backpack with both my cameras and was getting soaked. I chose to just charge it the mile or so back the hotel and hope my back pack held up.  Weaving around cows and cow patties and driving over pot holes, pumping with all the will I have to bike up steep hills so I wouldn’t have to get off the bike and walk with rain gushing down, and racing around through God knows what else.  I made it back to the main road, yet my vision was so impaired from the rain I couldn’t find the small alleyway to my hotel.  I ducked under a small chat hut (fried food) to look in my bag, the camera was not wet, yet my back and body was drenched like I had been swimming.  An Indian man said, “Kya” (what?) I told him Gangotri (the name of my hotel)  He said, “Upside” and pointed, whatever the hell that means.  I took a deep breath and said f’ it.  Who knows how long this storm will last I’m not waiting here. I hopped on the bike and pushed the peddle, the chain had come off and I scratched the hell out of my ankle trying to get going, so pushing my bike in the downpour I carried on.  Lo!  I found it!  Except this time it was not an alley way. It was a river!  Not just a river but black water of straight garbage runoff and rain storm raging overhead making it impossible to even see.  Ankle deep in the trash river I was pushing my bike up the steep hill, so exhausted I was literally gasping on the out breath saying “huuuuh, huuuuuuuuh,” Finally I made it to the cover of the first floor of the hotel.  Parked the bike and walked my soggy sack up the 4 flights of stairs painting and heaving.

Fog set in the morning before the storm, it felt like living amoung the clouds

Fog set in the morning before the storm, it felt like living amoung the clouds

The story continues, as if this is not enough!  I am not in a hurry at this point, and slowly open the door to my room, with my first step in my room I slip and bust my ass.  Lord why has thou forsakenith meith.  I looked up at the sky and said what the hell, one more crack eh?  I stripped my clothes off as I tried to slow my breath, I could feel the atrophy in my muscles and fatigue all over my body.

I’m leaving so many little things out, like I actually went to 5 different ATMs all over the city, and talked to so many different people and came across so many obstacles, just imagine having to live everyday with that struggle…even to complete the simplest tasks you have fight your way through.  Imagine having to fetch water from a community faucet in a village, bring the water back, boil a huge pot over fire to get the water hot enough for cooking and laundry—then spend all day actually cooking or doing laundry and that’s just the beginning… there is still work to be done to make money for food.  Whew, it’s just exhausting taking all that in when you bear witness to it firsthand.  The point of the story is clear; life is just very hard here.  You have to keep calm and keep your wits about you.

working

working

Another couple of lessons and points are:  Part of being purified is getting burned, that day I was burned to a crisp physically and mentally.  I went into the Holy River wanting the water to cleanse my spirit and instead of water, Mother shot with fire, and oh yea a massive rain storm that didn’t let up until 4 am!

Devotion

Devotion

The rain pounded my balcony and window and reminded me who I am.  I didn’t sleep that much that evening—just continued loving the rain and respecting the great awesomeness of the Mother Earth.

Another lesson and a vision that popped in my mind was that God was telling me to be more cautious with my money that I will need it for something more at the end of my trip, so I’m not going back to the shoppy shop to buy the Murti, it was not meant to be.  Also going through all this trouble and knowing that the Indian people live it every day, made me feel that my problems are really nothing. Yet, I relate only to my own experience, so today was quite heavy.

Higher up in the mountains of Rishikesh along the Gangaji.

Higher up in the mountains of Rishikesh along the Gangaji.

I felt lonely and decided to give the bike back and take the time to walk slowly all over this beautiful place and do things that are, well, free!  Like observe, write, breathe, and meditate.  I am now on a quest to develop a deeper sense of patients, being able to listen, to be humble, to live a simple life, to not take absolutely anything for granted.

Other related stories click the links below:

Wonders of Rishikesh and the search for the Emerald Nose Stud

India Journals Delhi, Rishikesh, Deradhun

Love talk (a discourse and discussion)

This is an ongoing topic I spend time writing about. Much of the source of the material stems from some teaching from great thinkers Krisna Murti and Thich Nhat Hahn. This is unedited and open for conversation and insight feel free to start up the discussion!

SongOfLove-5

Love Talk

Don’t let love pass you by.  Let it be one of the relationship between you and your own heart.  Do not come into the ashram looking for a lover.  Not to say do not think.  Vulgar thoughts emerge without our willing.  Simply having manors and decency.  Don’t ogle or crave.  And if you crave be honest and true—without judging yourself—that in fact you do crave.  This is one key to overcome it.  And if within your purity the heart of the object of which you love becomes a mate, then you were meant to meet at the ashram.  Whether it last a year, a day, 1,000 life times—you keep repeating.  No matter if it ends badly, or well, or never ends.  The Love is worth risking—If it be free and pure and without judgment and the capacity to listen and be there.

Love.  Unconditional love is a love of compromise.  Conditions always come with the endless—unconditional implies the infinite.  The infinite is changeless and forever changing.  It is changeless because all of the change is happening at all times.  God rest not in time therefore all time is pilled upon each other spinning the same wheel.  When you apply these thoughts to the idea of spending your life with a love partner, you come to a calm, humble journey complete of surrender and offering.  Every second of every heartbeat.  Surrender is compassion… more on that some other time.  Love is the breath.  The breath is truth.  Love is Truth.  Love can be had even with secrets—as long as the secret holder remains true to themselves that they are keeping secrets.  Eventually the truth will create the sense of “not wanting to hide”—to be free—thus resulting in a destruction of ill behavior.  Ill behavior is defined by only being relevant to truth.  Truth is Love.  Love is Pure…