Last night’s Delhi riots have triggered a lot of people. My 82 year old dad spoke at length today about 16 August 1946 in Calcutta when thousands lost their lives due to communal violence. He was 8 and had been instructed to stay at home and take care of his younger siblings. Curiosity got the better of him and he climbed on the table to look out the window. He witnessed the mob chase down one of his neighbour uncles and hack him to pieces. Not something a child of 8 should see, but the memories were still so clear as dad described the horror. The loss of a neighbour who ruffled his hair and retrieved his cricket ball. An inoccent hardworking man. With a family who waited for him. With a little boy who never forgot him even after 74 years. (Who shared his story with his daughter who could do nothing, but cry and pray for the loss of inoccent lives down the passage of time.)
Our minds are like wild beasts. Left to roam unfettered they destroy our inner peace. They take us into zone of past failures and future doom all at once. If we allow them to.
Take for example, the following states of mind which may feel familiar to a lot of us. Sometimes we don’t even realise what we’re doing.
“Yesterday was horrible. My sales have dropped. There are too many competitors and I don’t know if my company will survive the current economy.”
“We just broke up last month because he says he’s not ready to marry me. Will he come back in my life and do this again?”
“All my diets have failed what if I do fall sick with obesity tomorrow?”
The most damaging thing we can do to ourselves and our work is to live in the past and the future simultaneously with a sense of fear.
Not only does it rob us off the present moment and the potential it has to change, it leaves us in a perpetual state of anxiety. Preventing us from thinking or doing anything to improve the current state be it in our professional or our personal lives.
And the moment we become mindful of our thought patterns we begin the training process. And the fastest, most effective way to begin is to start with our breath. Something the wise ones have been telling us for thousands of years, yet we still allow our dragon thoughts to dominate our minds.
By paying attention to our breathing we train our minds to return to the present moment, where all is safe and all is achievable. This is the place where we begin again. And it is in this moment where we conquer our inner dragons of anxiety, fear and hopelessness.
“The breath is the King of the Mind” BKS Iyengar
Daily mindfulness of our thoughts allows us to become aware of our thinking patterns and bring us back to what is most precious and pure in all of us, our breaths. Our breaths are the pathway to inner peace. Find time, make time to breathe yourself into the here and the now. Where everything can be viewed calmly and most importantly, with a sense of hope.
The cards seemed to nod and assured her he still loved her.
“When will he return?”
The card of Patience loomed large. It could take several weeks or months for him to realise just how much she meant to him. And he would need some time and space to actually understand his own heart. Let him be. Let him explore his own heart and soul and realise that you are the one.
“Whatttt???? Why can’t he hurry up?????”
The cards chose to be silent, and in the background crooned Phil Collins.
“You can’t hurry love No, you’ll just have to wait She said “love don’t come easy But it’s a game of give and take” You can’t hurry love, no you’ll just have to wait“
Copyright Mita Bhan. All Rights Reserved
Questions about the love of your life? Get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Love is the most powerful, positive and all encompassing energy there is. It cannot be confined to labels and spaces, it just is. And what better day than today to celebrate all the shades of Love. Happy Valentine’s Day all 🙂
My mom only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.
There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed.
How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, “EEEE, your mom only has one eye!”
I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?”
My mom did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.
I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study.
Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my Mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren.
When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!”
And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address.” – and she disappeared out of sight.
One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity.
My neighbors said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.
“My dearest son,
I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children.
I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.
You see……..when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine.
I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.
During one of his travels, Kalidasa felt very thirsty and looked around for water. He saw a woman drawing water from a well. He went up to her and asked her for water. She agreed to give him water, but asked him, “Who are you? Introduce yourself.”
Now Kalidasa thought that an ordinary village woman was not worthy of knowing who Kalidasa was. So he said, “I am a traveller.” But his lady replied, “In this world there are only 2 travellers – the Sun and the Moon. Both Rise and Set every day and keep travelling perpetually.”
Then Kalidasa said, “Alright then, I am a guest.” The lady promptly replied, “In this world there are only 2 guests – Youth and Wealth … both are temporary and hence can only be called as guests.”
Intrigued Kalidasa said, “I am a Tolerant person (sahansheel vyakti).” Now the lady replied, “In this world only 2 truly know the meaning of Tolerance – Bhoomi (Earth) and Tree. How much ever you stamp the earth or throw stones at the tree (for the fruits), both continue to nurture us.”
Now Kalidasa was completely perplexed. He said, “Fine. I am a stubborn person (hatavaadi).” The lady smiled and said, “There are only 2 truly stubborn personalities – our nails and our hair. We keep cutting them non-stop, but they continue to grow.”
Kalidasa had been patient so far, but now in anger he said, “I am a fool”. Now the lady gave a wide smile and said, “There are only 2 kinds of fools in this world – a King who rules without having any capability or knowledge & a Minister who is a sycophant to such a King and lavishes praises on such a useless king.”
Kalidasa realised that he had been outsmarted. He fell at the feet of the lady and when he touched her feet and then got up, whom did he see? Mata Saraswati – the Goddess of Learning and Wisdom. She said, “Kalidasa, you are wise. But only if you know yourself do you become a Manushya (human being). A person without any awareness of self has not reached the pinnacle of being a Human.
Note: The Guru who recounted this story in His Pravachan said, “Children should become a Manushya & know themselves. More than teaching them how to earn more money and become rich, parents should teach them to become aware of themselves and become better Human beings .”