Breakdown Or Breakthrough?

At times in life, we don’t get a 30-day notice period. The words and the news comes to you with a bang. And that is it. For a fraction of second, life looks like an electric switch, there was power in it a second before and now, it is no more there. A second before, the entire system was running under your nose; it could not do without you but now, you have been asked to leave. Just leave.

I wonder if happenings like these, whether they occur at our workplace or at home, make up recipe for our emotional breakdowns or breakthroughs. I am into my mid thirties now and have encountered few alike real instances. When the contents of the happenings would sink into me, I would go numb. I would not speak, nor see, nor feel, nor listen, and for sure not respond. My whole body would slow down and take its own time to absorb something that is unexpected unpleasant un-understandable alien to it. Then after few minutes, I would physically collapse as if there is some sort of inertia working on my mind making it do nothing but letting its physical counter-part move ahead due to the heavy force experience called mental breakdown. For those few seconds, I may be into sobs but there a rational part of my mind watching, as if from someplace on the ceiling, thinking and trying hard to make me believe “It has happened to you. It has already happened. You will have to handle this. You can handle it.” Such are the worst moments of my life.

I get confused if we need take the life harshest moments as the worst or rather the best moments. It’s not that they can be the best because we feel great at that time. But with a little of hindsight, we can see that the horrible crisis that has happened was exactly needed to break out of some kind of misery we have been living in and break through it towards something better. It be our work life, relationships, parenting problems, mess of religious systems, we need change. Like horses with blinders on, we never care to see that there can possibly be different path available to us in life. So we keep plodding along, with our inner selves fuzzed and zest for life fizzled along with it.

Instead of mourning over it or analysis them too much, we must try to take not-so-good-and-hurting happenings of life as signals from the universal. Universe is constantly helping us grow. An incidence has taken place because your existence was getting suffocated in its present and needed to grow out of it. The relationships need a new meaning, work profiles need a revamp, children need your friendships, spouse needs intimacy, clients need greater and so on and on. Universe would create an opportunity for you to C-H-A-N-G-E and evolve and for some to L-E-A-V-E and move on.

When we see everything in life is falling apart despite you working hard with people and things, it should be clear that there should be no going back from here. The only way out from such breakdowns can be passing through. At such times in life, one fails to totally understand one’s own emotions. One would love what one hates and one may hate what one loves. Personally, I figured out a way to deal with breakdowns. First, consider oneself as ‘dead’ with the breakdown. It’s like holding on to the belief that the bad happened to me in a previous life and not now. Now is a new life with a new mental and physical ME. Second, go for a irreversible “change” with self and equation with everything else in life. With the change that humiliating experience had brought along, I am a “New Me”. It only happened because sometimes things have to fall apart in order to fall together and fit well forever.

Finding our paths out of breakdowns isn’t easy. It pains. We feel hopeless and miserable. Breakthroughs can only happen after we traverse the whole black long tunnel of breakdowns. When, with the best of our human tendencies, we fail to take any more of it, the breakdowns make us “Let It Go”. So that our lives can try something different now.

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As Time Fades Away

The struggles that surface from day to day,
Are the kinds that won’t seem to fade away.
I wake each morning and what do I see,
A lost little girl mourning to be.
My child,
I struggle with loss, pain and anxiety too,
But most of all I struggle from not having you.
I dreamt of fixing my broken heart,
By bringing you back again from somewhere far apart.
My hope went unheard,
It was crushed with dirty words,
And I wander as a broken-winged bird.
For when dreams go,
Life is a barren field,
Frozen with snow.
Time will heal So does everyone say,
Now I only dream to watch the clock,
As time fades away.

-Shivani

Infinity plus Another Infinity

One of the greatest myth about spirituality is that it is an irrational way of understanding life.  But if the history is digged, it can be clearly seen that among the most highly developed intellects the spiritual philosophers such as Shankara, Nagarjuna, and Plato, carried their primary function of the intellect towards serving the ends of spiritual realization.  But how?

Through Mathematics. Mathematics is one of the most rational languages known to man. Let’s learn together how Mathematics and the most abstract theories of spiritualism relate to each other in some coming posts.

Here’s goes a trigger to start on it. Please click on your best choice for this question below.

I Love You!

“I want my marriage to look less like the world and more like the Christ” – Marquis Clarke

One of the prime reasons of one’s long-lasting happiness lies in one’s marriage. In marriage, the two become one. Not that they get glued to each other’s bodies or in any mental way, but become one on the road leading them towards the attainment of their ultimate goal of being – finding God or to say finding themselves in truest of the ways. God’s design of marriage never claims untainted happiness, battle-free living or skeptic fulfillment of human passions. In its purest form, an arrangement of a marriage must be aimed at having partnership in all our life’s endeavours and a holy intimacy.

Partnership is needed to travail towards our physical and mental expressions by building the right kind of intimacy. This forms the very basis of existence of species. Marriage is one of the most sturdy foundation for building a family. But life is not a bed of roses. The same goes for a marriage. Every couple has bad days, yells at his or her spouse or become downright selfish. Despite these issues, God positions marriage on the top and uses it as a mechanism to stir both man and woman to move towards his vector attaining divine purposes of existence.

More often in life, we find God when there happens no need for us to actually search him. On any usual day, if we are feeling happy with relationships around us, feeding ourselves correctly and not finding ourselves in mid of any major adversity, we may forget to ask for his grace or our asking is not as intense as it is on the days when we don’t feel one with ourselves or people around us. This becomes all the more profound if we are having any differences with our spouse. Any good regular Indian wife would find herself begging for divine intervention when her husband doesn’t go her way. So, finding likeness with one’s spouse is as good as having his grace.

Imagine one day we die, get to meet some real God and he asks, “How was heaven and How was your God right down there? Did you treat him well?”. They say God can’t be everywhere, and so he created mothers. So true ! In extension to this, he also created marriage for if he himself was to move along with us each day of our lives, he may miss out by standing and living through our lives throughout given the kind of effort required. Our partner just fills this gap; he is the one and only one complete witness to our lives. For most of us, our marriage is the longest relationship of our life and thus, it carries the best opportunity to be used as a spiritual instrument.

When it comes to adjustments, it is comparatively easier for couples to accommodate each other for habits and beliefs related to food, clothing, education, work and many more. Although any drifts in these can also lead to destructions, but still they are workable. Another elevation where differences can not make their way out is religious or spiritual belief system of man and wife. With my experience, standing differences in religion is easier than putting up with nonconformity in spirituality. It is so more significantly in India. Any common Indian household will have a worship area with ten different Gods sitting there, with the man of the house worshipping one particular God, woman adoring a dozen of her favorites, children having their own choice of God, and what more; some being there because they made their way into the house as gifts from friends and relatives. Such is religious acceptance in India, which I don’t think this can be seen anywhere else in the world. Different gods just get easily accepted by different people in family and marriage. But imagine the child putting a Christ’s photo in a Hindu household temple catechising why Rama is God for the family and Christ is not. He won’t know what he did before his dinner plate gets cleared up from the family table.

Walking on a spiritual path is not about one’s visits to temples, traditions and rituals or pushing the world towards increase in one’s community’s count. All these have their own purpose and place in life, if followed in right ways. Spirituality is like having one more layer above religion that provides a better mental health coverage to a person. I believe we have a better mental constitution when we have answers to the most sought after questions of life. If one’s religion can provide him with that, then nothing serves him better. But with the sad state of religious liberties enjoyed by man now, it hardly happens. Therefore, the act of introducing spirituality to one’s marriage can usher more benefits than can be imagined.

CoupleThe path is about growing out of the existing bounds of what one knows or is compelled to know and stepping into a new world of seeking and fishing for reasons behind many of our belief systems and most importantly, about one’s own existence. Partners in marriage can help each quench their own and each other’s thirst for seeking and reaching towards fulfillment. This relationship with its physical and mental dimensions can multiple one’s spiritual journey, strengthen’s faith and enable benefits out of it. If one, in a couple, is religious and the other is spiritual, they both can still enjoy the essence of righteous path provided they don’t demean the spirit of seeking for each other. If we keep on seeking by asking, we are bound to get the answers some day. It’s a resilient fibrous struggle undertaken from the deep internals. If our spouse refuses to aid, it becomes all the more tough and the balance between the materialism and non-materialism may break. If the wife believes in idol worship and urges her atheist husband to worship, he may feel frustrated and suffocated with her requests. It anyways shall do no good for him as he lacks faith in the temple system because faith is the only back-bone of religion. Similarly, if a husband is credulous to some superstitions and tries to get them done from his comparatively rational wife, it shall put both of them on a compromising spree. Matters related to religion and spirituality are better dealt with humble requests instead of pressures for no one knows what is actually right or wrong, better or worse till one reaches God by himself. If partners do not find themselves agreeing to each other even with requests, it does not make them aliens from some other planet. It’s only that they have a different chemical structure within, reacting to different kind of understanding of life, but they are equally human. A day may occur before us where we realize our partner was right and we were wrong. So, it is better to make both’s surmises equally significant.

One of the most unusual way to say “I Love You!” to your spouse is to gift him/her a silent spiritual retreat. The bliss and grace he/she accumulates from such a bequest will also strengthen the relationship. Sometimes, it can lead to a unbreakable bond which can stand stalwartedly in thin times. In marriage, make each other move more towards God for if one can be helpful in hoisting his/her soul mate in search for their own soul in tiniest way, one has done a lot.

Loneliness

“The loneliness you feel with another person, the wrong person, is the loneliest of all.” – Deb Caletti, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” ― Mother Teresa

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

“We live as we dream–alone….” ― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

 

Desire is NOT the cause of all misery

” The Blessed Lord said: Born of the activating attribute of Nature (rajo-guna), it is desire, it is anger, (that is the impelling force)—full of unappeasable craving and great evil: know this (two-sided passion) to be the foulest enemy here on earth.” —The Bhagavad Gita III:37

I had an unpleasant moment with a loved one the other day, enough to break me into an ocean of tears. A myriad of emotions occupied my mind, body and soul with the soul seeing no rest no matter what I do. As a last resort, I sat cross-legged in my silent room crying both inside and outside failing to understand why I was mourning it so much that nothing was bringing in the joy back to me. “Desires is the root cause of all suffering”; having learned this for years now, my thoughts went towards the popular presumption that I shouldn’t have desired for anything at the first place.

“Just one breath”, “Just one breath”… and “Just one breath”; sober, peaceful and bettering voices started ringing in my head. This simple phrase came from a friend whom I met in my Vipassana retreat in former part of this year. She showed me a way to come out the jungle of our mind in a second’s time by observing just one breath of ours without pushing the mind to do any greater than that in a repetitive manner till the mind takes a U-turn towards ‘silence’. Now, whenever I am not able to contain and compose myself, I always give it a shot and it works for me. So it did this time too.

I started feeling better than the last moment and with this, each moment steadfasted in melioration. At one certain breath, I felt I have won over it-my mind. I was calmer and stationed better to observe more of it. Now, that the mind had overcome sorrow, it clinged to something else-Questions: Why, Why me, Why this, Why that !

I desired for something. -> My desired went unfulfilled. -> I became sad.

The equation was simple, yet complex. My body was burning with unpleasant sensations. The breath was faster than normal and there were sensations all over as if they were struggling to have a way out of my body feeling crammed inside the limited walls of my physical structure. I reminded myself for not letting myself go with this flow that was sure to gulp me into a choking perplexing whirlpool of suffering. To stretch myself out it, I recalled a pleasant moment spent with the same friend, noticing the changes in my body happening by themselves. The sensations widened, relaxed and smothered. My breath timed off to find some repose and soon took a deep dive into dreaminess. Soon there was a hankering flow of something, some form of energy, within me making me feel in command of everything. It was as if all my cravings got their food stomach-ful nursing me now the way I wish them to.

I could make out that desires can be both friend and enemy. When they happen to get fulfilled in life, our mind, body and soul know joy and a state of happiness. When they go unfulfilled, they cause pain, sorrow and sometimes, ultimate suffering. Therefore, desire is not the root cause of all suffering. Instead,

“UN-FULFILLED DESIRE is the root cause of all suffering.”

lifes-desiresNow, because desires are many and unending; as soon as one gets fulfilled in life, another one gets ready with its head twittering out the known realms of our existence cooing as loud as it can, conceiving a new urge within us for its fulfillment. It is obvious that some desires in life will get fulfilled and others will keep lingering on in the state of no-attainment. So, should we kill desire? Should we kill all of them or only those that can not be realized? Any effort to kill our desire results into the birth of an elephantine desire to end all our desires. Since the times I had known myself, I have seen myself growing only because I desired to. Desire is the very basis of life, it’s an energy within us much like the life itself. Now, if I wish to kill my desires, I will need to kill the life within me. It’s an derision that longing for death is also a kind of desire. Even to attain Nirvana, desire is needed at the first place. So, for sure desires find a very strong presence within us. They propel a strange sense of longing in us; a longing to become a little more than what we are now; a longing to have little more than what we have now.

We can not kill desires as they are not created by us only. Our unconciousness mind had played some tricks to make them happen and behave the way they do taking control over the essence of our life. Since we can not ignore, reject or destory desires, the only way to handle them is to welcome them and discern them. We can mindfully recognize the nature of our desire; learn our cravings towards food, things, property, love, people, praise, money and what not more. Once we know the nature, we can decide to embrace it and act towards its achievement or give it a thumbs down for this very moment allowing it to come back to us again in future. Desires must be satisfied in our hearts. If not, it is better left unattended. Give every single desire your best shot (since it may have spring up in us because of a God’s wish or will) without any particular attachment to it. If it doesn’t make its way through this life, it was not meant to be. If it does, there’s nothing more merrier than that.

Diamonds are not forever

Diamond are not forever“I don’t need love, For what good will love do me?, Diamonds never lie to me, For when love’s gone, They’ll luster on” – Shirley Bassey Lyrics.

They say diamond is one of the most hardest known metal to man. Crash a car made of iron speeding at 400 miles per hour into a wall made of diamond, the wall shall come out fine. Place a brick of diamond under a thin sensitive utlra-voilet ray, the diamond will miraclessly disappear. It will just evaporate and leave behind no proof of its existence as if it was never ever there. Such is the nature of life contained within us. It is so strong that it can last for unimaginable years of senility, yet so fragile that one breath takes a leave and it’s all gone.

Today, most of us think themselves as diamonds; thanks to the exposure we get from early childhood popularly labelled as education and knowledge. There’s a lot of learning that makes its way into our system mutely from the external world only to get accumulated like a smelling garbage for a remarkable dotage. Each of us falsely conveys ourselves that “I am the best. I am better than the other.” and keep portraying it outside too. We all project ourselves as diamonds; there happens so much of shine that the world actually goes blind. The worse part is that we surmise ourselves as diamonds but others as brass. We think what we know, say or do is perhaps the finest of all what human race has ever known. He is wrong, she is wrong, this is wrong, that is wrong, they are wrong, the world is wrong but I am right. I am for sure right. There are lessons to be taught about almost everything: our right ways to talk, walk, drink, eat, sleep, study, wash and so much more. There are people who can even dictate the right and wrong ways to sleep. We are contained so much by ourselves that the right way to live gets lost in this deceitful perception of ourselves which we call as “I”. There is a thick coating of different types on our surface of existence, due of which we can not feel our pure self. This hampers the exchange of divinity between us and the Nature. Not-coming-from-my-own-experiences belief system eats one up and leaves us dangling between the right and the wrong in life. Our receptivity goes down and we gain less from the divine. What we always thought was a diamond, gets buried under a dense heap of dust.

One fine day, death finally arrives at our doorstep without any invitation, information or alarm. Huffffffffffff!! We get blown like that dust sitting on an old book on a room’s shelf. The sharp knife of obliteration cuts through our being making, carried-since-birth adamantine belonging to our diamonds, evaporate into an unknown extension from where happens no return. The transferance of dust does not propel the roof to fell down or leak with dirge. Consonantly, the world lives on; sun rises, birds chirp, dogs bark, plants grow, stomachs eat, money flows, people and god carry on with their plays.The diamond has evaporated, into the outdoors of present sphere of existence leaving behind a void to be filled by just another similar one.

What we sculpted as a diamond came out to be nothing more a “nothing”. Had we dissevered ourselves inwardly, there could have been “something” in our hands to be happy about. We need to connect to higher selves and spread out beyond the limited boundaries of our only-some-feet bodies for divine to even recognize us. The less we become “I”, more receptive we can become. The more we become “I”, less receptive we can be. So lets empty ourselves of our own “I”, in order to make some space for the Nature to flow in. Once the Nature moves in, it dances with joy making our lives move on blissful paths which we possibly can not fancy. If we wish to have sunlight in our homes, we need not do any hardships; just open the windows. All of us are diamonds; we need to cut ourselves in the most conscientious manner to achieve the phenomenon of total internal reflection. That’s what makes a diamond stronger and shinier; and that’s what can make a human being wised up to dwell out of the dark nights of his soul. Listen more than you can talk, contribute more than you can consume, forgive than you can faulter, work more than you are served and love more than own flesh and blood. Live only one life at a time; we will be able to cut only one diamond. Live it fully; only one one’s own terms and it shall be deemed available for others around by itself.

For when a diamond shines from real inside, it’s light falls on everyone around prolongating the realms of forever.