The Universe within!

In the deep stillness
where the mind stands still,
the breath ceases to flow,
in that vacuum of nothingness
I get a feeble glimpse
of that vast Cosmos;

A moment, I am part of it;
Another, it is part of mine;
Still. Unmoving. Quiet.
Yet, A buzzing field of action!

#Thoughts|Experience|Glimpse during the Panchakosha Meditation | 14-03-2017

The Sankranti Bonfire

The lone
North Star
shimmered even more
brighter;
as it watched
The Mystical One
light a fire
of Consciousness
that devoured
all the thoughts
and minds
of the thousands of ones
who meditated with Him
in the dark, chilly
winter night!

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I wonder what He Meditates on.

The Loud Silence.
In utter stillness
sits a man,
diminutive
still and frozen
under the black
monsoon sky,
meditating.

I wonder what
He Meditates upon?

The mind, the first
to fall in the trap,
disappears – under
the sea of nothingness.
It wakes up
for a moment
only to be
drowned deeper and deeper.

The heart follows next.
parched, thirsty and dry
waiting for weeks,
it soaks in
the flood of
joy and love;
only to be set ablaze
like an inferno
that just can’t be
put off!

Drowning the mind
setting the heart afire;
He walks away,
telling us that the remedy is
in Meditation!
Yet, He won’t tell us,
What is it that
He Meditates on….?

The Gift of Grace.

I am back after a refreshing Art of Living Part 2 Program, at the Bangalore Ashram in the presence of Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar). Advanced Programs are usually spread over 4 or 5 days (sometimes longer too for those who can’t have enough of the silence) comprising of yoga and deep meditations, with silence at the root of it. Every time I do this program, I feel deeply rested, the mind becomes clearer and for me creativity springs up. Needless to say, yet another poem sprang up based on my experience and wanted to share it with you all!

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Be Awake, O Yogi!

Someone asked me a question on Quora about boredom in Yoga practices, and this poem came up spontaneously.

 

This is a quest of

lifetimes;

the un-quenched thirst,

the parched lips,

and mirages all over.

 

A thousand births

in the endless

Karmic cycle.

Some full of Sattva

And some passed

in deep ignorance

and darkness.

 

This lifetime the path

is beautiful – shady trees,

lovely meadows,

breath taking views of

unparalleled beauty.

 

Walk like a King

on this path

keeping your treasure

– of Sadhana – hidden.

 

Be Awake, O Yogi!

Robbers and dacoits

abound at every

nook and corner

waiting to rob you

and drag you down

their alley and make

you their own.

 

Masters of disguises.

They know what you

would fall for.

They come wearing

the garbs of boredom

laziness, apathy,

disinterest and other

veneers.

 

If you see them

sneaking up, show

them no mercy.

 

The dacoits have

become adept at robbing

you; they come at you

trying to catch you unawares

at your lowest moment.

Snatching your wealth

– of Sadhana – their only aim!

 

They know not, that you

have the Sword

of knowledge, wisdom

and grace that can finish

them off forever in an instant.

 

Sharpen the sword

said the Master.

His only instruction:

“eka tattva abhyasa”

with “Satkara adara asevito”:

 

One pointed practice

With Honor and Respect.

 

Enough to beat the

Dark forces at their game!

 

Be Awake, O Yogi

don’t let this lifetime

go waste.

 

Practice daily

–          With love

–          reverence

–          honor

–          respect

–          and devotion

 

The treasure is your only

possession and it grows

manifold with daily renewal.

 

Carry it safely across

for it is the only thing

that will quench the thirst

of lifetimes!

Be Awake, O Yogi!

Meditation, Leadership & 2014 New Year Resolutions

It is that time of the year when we reflect back on the year gone by and look forward to new beginning’s. Guruji’s (Sri Sri RaviShankar) in his article on “Looking back, looking ahead” writes:

Just like we live in the outer world of events and circumstances, we also live in the inner world of emotions and feelings, which we are not always aware of. Meditation is the best tool to wipe your mind clean off all past impressions that weigh you down. The distance between the outer and the inner worlds is just the blink of an eye.

Yoga is the skill of keeping attention on the inner world while acting in the outer. When you are lost in the outside world, there is disharmony in the inner and life is like a war. When you are established in the inner world, there is clarity in the outer and life becomes a game.

And gives four mantra’s  for making 2014 a happier year:

  1. To make Meditation a part of daily life
  2. To Serve
  3. To Feel Grateful and
  4. To Spend time with Nature.

Changing tracks for a bit. I find the intersection of Leadership and contemplative practices of meditation and mindfulness very interesting. Now, there is tons of literature and books on Leadership and honestly most of them are banal and pedestrian. It took me time to realize that one has to look beyond what the Mainstream media and influential bloggers try to peddle to find authentic stuff. Bill George is one author whom I rate very highly amongst those who write authentically about Leadership and I guess the clarity and authenticity of his writings are due to the intersection of his rich corporate experience as a CEO Medtronix and his years of meditation practices.

In his article on Your #1 2014 New Year’s Resolution? He states it out in the title itself – “Resolve to live more mindfully” – and then proceeds to list eight exceptional books on mindful living that will help you become a better leader and a more fulfilled human being. One of the books “Finding the space to lead” by Janice Marturano is definitely on my to-read list.  Bill in another article titled “Five Resolutions for Aspiring Leaders“, asks them to think seriously about their development as a leader and lists out 5 to do’s for the year ahead.

But what has meditation, got to do with Leadership?

All contemplative practices start by focusing the light of awareness on within ourselves. Without looking at our own selves deeply, without getting in touch with our Self, we cannot approach authentic leadership and that is where the practices of meditation come into play and helps us in developing as authentic and effective leaders 

And for me it is a delight to see the convergence of thought from the areas of spirituality and business.

The two converging thoughts from Sri Sri and Bill (Meditation and Service) are my two top goals for the year. Or in other words Sadhana, Seva and Satsang! What are yours?

Dear Readers, Have a great 2014 !!

Meditating with eyes open

Did you folks have a chance to experience the open eye meditations with Guruji? Meditation and Open eye seems like an oxymoron, but it isn’t. For the last several months, most of the meditations that Guruji has taken in Satsangs have been open eye meditation sessions and it was inevitable that someone had to question Guruji about the open eye meditation and this is what he had to say:

Gurudev, until now, we kept our eyes closed while meditating, so we could go inwards. What is the reason for keeping our eyes partly open during meditations?
Sri Sri: Many times, when you close your eyes, you have the tendency to go into your mental fantasies, or drift off into a dream, or sometimes fall asleep. This is called Mano Rajaya in yogic terminology. Mano Rajaya is a state where the mind starts creating its own kingdom and reels in it, either in conflict or in pleasure. You sit in your own mind, thinking, fantasizing or recreating something that makes you feel happy or upset. Either you think everybody is against you, the whole world is against you; your mother in-law, father in-law, husband or boyfriend; everybody is out to get you. Or your mind thinks about how you should convince or impress somebody. These sorts of things go on in the mind. When your mind is stuck in Mano Rajaya, it transpires all the more during (close-eyed) meditations.  In this meditation, where you keep the eyes partly open, you have very little chance to drift into Mano Rajaya; a different quality of meditation starts happening.
To begin with I had difficulty in keeping in my eyes open while meditating, but then after a few sessions it has become easier to meditate with eyes open and as Guruji explains the mind stays focussed on the scenery rather than drifting away.