Following a trail within and without myself

I went on my “first” trek with BTC (Bangalore Trekking Club) yesterday. {I quote-unquote first because I didn’t think climbing up a flight of stairs (659 steps) on a temple hill (Palani) and edgily climbing up the Avani hill as ‘trekking.’ (Talk about word-labels changing the ‘experience’ via change of meaning!).}

With a mix of emotions, the predominant of which is a squirm (like the pupa whose cocoon is a little small for its growing size that it don’t quite know which way to stretch to relieve the discomfort), I decided to set out on a journey to explore unfamiliar grounds. It is called Hutri Durga – an apparently crumbling embankment/fortress in Kunigal district of Karnataka. More than a historical place, it represented a height I had not explored, a history of Earth I had not stretched into before within and without. Besides, it is rock and I dont really know rock. It is hard and tough but it seemed made of something else that has gotten so certain that it is hard and tough to weather change and then further become. The hill seemed to let me know that on the onset – you dont know me – so I set forth to get to know this enigma.

We were a group of 21 people (as trekkers and 1 driver) so a total of 22 people – 22 unknown living beings from different States in India and from varying different backgrounds of which I barely had any inkling of and occupations and levels/fields of education and hobbies – come together to explore a trail and to discover what there may be to discover en route.

I stretched, alright – spirit, body, mind, soul – in ways I did not think there was to stretch. For a start, I had not told my parents or any of my people about any of it. There was my dad’s phone number given as emergency contact and I was dearly hoping that would not be used, that I had taken into account all that needed to be taken into account for my own safety. I needed to learn to take care of myself (in a way that would surpass the need of my parents oversee for safety and, yes, that is an important know-where-your-whereabouts-are grounding network but then I wanted to check if that may not be my subtle strategy to remain attached to subtly manipulating to check if someone is missing me or not and how much; that I may want to be missed or checked for the degree of missed’ness by having a network of awareness following my whereabouts, as though I, in some way, need that to concretize my existence on earth, without which I might as well be nonexistent? That my existence is only via my connections and the degree of missed’ness, and not by choice and quality of existence via value in my own estimate (a bit of an existential exploration there so an existential-stretch, so to speak). Second, I had not done much physical exercise to claim physical fitness except to check if I felt hydrated enough to endure a 7 km walk (possibly uphill on rocks from the blog photos of it from prior trekkers). Third, my shoes were pretty new and that meant unknown personal partner with good credentials but with unfamiliar nuances. (I socked myself well to cushion the ‘new’ I thought, but it turned out to be beneficial in unthought of ways). Fourth, the uphill trek was cardiovascular challenge, which somehow became possible because the hill helped me, it seemed. It certainly is a formation of the 5 elements (earth, water, air, fire and space..literally) and climbing up that incline showed me how literally the elements support each other – my space with the hill and surrounding’s space, my breath by their air, my questionable physical fitness with the solidarity and presence of its physicality, my spirit with their inherent , time-lapse evolved knowingness and mutual getting-to-knowness, my insufficient-hydratedness (I just cant/wont seem to hydrate myself well enough!) with their fluidity of time. I somehow managed to get to the top and come back down too, and I am amazed by it all (I dont really want to think about how, lest I spoil that space between the known and unknown in the absence of which things get mechanical/formulae’d and yang’d; I’d rather the magic between yining the yang and yanging the yin stays intact). Fifthly, it is the 21 (+1, the driver of our vehicle) people who were the every-in-betweens that held the space in which we journeyed together, discoverying self and all that there is by trial and error and coming to a deeper understanding of ourselves (myself, for sure) and the world around. It felt like one body of 22 organs (22 people as one team/unit) set out to discover an unknown simulatenously looking after each other in unconstricting ways but certainly encouraging to discover and learn and get better and stretching the limits just enough to find the next stable’able footing to amoeba into (unlike the amoeba’s ‘walk’ using its pseudopods) and thereby grow a little more. Certainly I pupa-stretched from my cocoon!

Other surprise learnings? Cleanup, money/expenses, food/potluck, and attention-enhancing activities! First the attention-developing activities bit. I first thought they were fine mind-games; ‘those who use xx and yy words through the day will have interesting penalties to pay at the hill top,’ ping-pong game of adopt alternative name. You wont believe how much attentiveness can be developed by these subtle very very fine methods. Kudos to the organizers for including these strategies for their sheer survival requirements via alertness during the trek. One wrong unattentive footing and it could be a painful slide down a rock. Clearly honing attention skills is a survival advantage!

Now, for the food bit. We were told lunch would be potluck. I couldnt bring myself to cook at 4:00 in the morning and be ready to start for the journey by 6:00 after packing, so I chose lunchbox packing at breakfast stop point. Not many in the group thought similarly and at lunch time we had several kinds of food and interdependence adjustments for quantity. Whatever may have been the reason for such, and there certainly are always real reasons for deficit, I found myself grazing and filling my tummy just enough to uncurl my stomach for the next exertion up another part of the hill. Just enough. I think that was important. I have tended to fill up my tank full with the undercurrent of ‘dont know when is going to be my next meal’ and then I run with whatever fuel went in and as long as it can go. If it runs out, I manage. I have been in several kinds of potlucks but this particular one, where survival and codependence and teamspirit are important, fooding became a matter of feed the entire body of teammates so that everyone has had their tanks filled well enough to function well enough as one organism as much as possible. Afterall we are a team and even one person not functioning sufficiently, lags others. Of course we had knick-knacks to munch (I had something in my bag for emergency) but it was important to de-‘only me’ and think more ‘team’ – to stretch my boundaries – and that there is this way to stretch too is a surprise discovery that I am still ‘munching’ on; I dont really know how far does the implication of this go. I also discovered that I need to tank up enough to be able to appreciate ‘team’; that the pilot’s warning of ‘put on the oxygen mask yourself first before helping others’ is a valuable advise, but just enough is good enough to begin with, and things can be made better. Another hard-hitting revelation? I forgot the driver. I counted him in at the start of the trip but then conveniently did not continue to include his presence except when in the mini bus. He did not eat lunch until we were kind of back into the City. My definition of ‘team’ is convenience-based in construct, I embarrassedly find; utilitarian. I perhaps relate to myself in similar ways for the wise say ‘you do onto other as you do to yourself.’ Certainly, an ‘expand your horizon’ revelation, within and without.

Now for the money bit. The trek money was paid for upfront, and the food en route was seemingly ‘free’ because we did not have to pull out our wallet, because the money came from what I had already paid (the organizers had managed to account for food that is breakfast snacks en route, the mini bus expenses, money towards the BTC fund from which various other make-a-better-Planet events are conducted, and then managed to pay back remaining amount of Rs.100 when the cost for this one-day trip paid upfront is Rs.500!) and that revealed a bit of philosophical insight (read, behavior-revelation) – how I behave when the expenses are taken care of by someone else – a spillout from ‘daddy paid the bills’ days, I suppose (I had to catch myself from overindulging so that I toe’d the straight line of prudence, which I managed to do, or so I think coz I just saw such tendency only now. The philosophical insight? We each have 86400 seconds in a day, and that is pretty much like the Rs.500 paid upfront on the start of each day and how I spend my 86400 money through the day. Do I behave like ‘daddy’ pays the money so I can use my ‘time/money’ as and how I wish, when in fact I paid the money upfront by which I kinda bought my day by my choices the previous day?

(I certainly, in my expense planning, need to include time spent doing free service (like the BTC organizers – Dinesh Gupta and Subha Sundaram did from the expense sheet they shared post event) because it has such huge dividends towards paid services, I learn. Certainly, free-service time is a sacred discovery/learning/on-the-field realtime feedback exploring space so that the best of my insights/learnings from it can be channeled into value(read, money) exchanged ‘roads/endeavors’ in my field of main interest/quest. My free-service time, I think/find, is other than the ‘bed’ of my everyday life, which involves, you know, interacting with people in casual and serious talks, doing the activities of daily living that includes but is not limited to my physical/mental/spiritual/emotional/intellectual stretches for mind-body-spirit-intellect-emotional-soul well-being (a ground to practice kriya yoga or mindfulness in action, as I understand it) so that I produce only the best that I can produce and offer it to the world for a price post the product-quality assessment/assurance/analysis in my everyday living of what I quest to perfect as my produce – the essence/summum bonum of what I do during my tenure on Planet Earth. (Ref: Almight.Inc and the University).

Now, for the cleanup. On a purely voluntary-only invite, Dinesh invited the group to clean up the surroundings. What this turned out to be is a take-away-traces-of-littering drive. There was this temple on the hilltop and devotees left pooja materials in the temple which perhaps was cleaned out into the surroundings. Plastics by visitors/trekkers, bottles, wrappers. They dotted the space in unnatural ways. We cleaned them up as much as possible on the hilltop and all the way down the trail to the base of the hill. On looking back down the trail we were coming off of, we left the hill and the trail and better place than what we found it; made Earth a better place to tread on to that extent. We collected our organic and inorganic waste in polythenes and brought it with us to the City and will be dumped in municipal garbage collectors as the villagers around there did not have much resource to take care of such litter. A little care does go a long way for at least the next trekker along that trail and a few more others if these following trekkers do not litter.

(On the way back to the City, we briefly trod along a sandy path to a small dam whose name I did not quite catch. There were entry passes and permissions to be obtained so we could not quite get to the dam itself, just had an ‘overview.’ It was not part of the original plan but then we did start out on a trail/journey and we were bound to find whatever there could be found and the possibility of discovering something on the dam site is happenstance. I dont really think there are accidents in life. For one thing, I found that my shoes could grip sand well too; it has been a dear on the rocks. I am yet to develop confidence in myself to be able to fully appreciate the shoes I have! And then there is the sky. I dont think I really appreciated the sky as much until the main purpose of our visit to that site was thwarted. Since we could not gain entry to it, we sort of lolled around and I took in what there was to take in. There were other people from local areas who were gazing at the dam and it was an interesting panorama of varieties and happy learnings.)

So, after a soul-enriching, body-stretching, existential squirming (with the Creator/Universe, I suppose), mind and spirit-expanding trail through an untrodden path with an endearing group of people, I find that from taking the road less travelled by (as Robert Frost’s “two roads diverged in a wood and I took the road less travelled by..”) that has made the difference that could not perhaps have otherwise been possible.

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Published in: on November 20, 2017 at 7:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Yes, it is complex!

It is ALL complex. Life is complex! If you want to understand life, then get used to complex and get ready to decipher complex. If you want it all simple, go become an amoeba. You are born as a human being BECAUSE you can handle complex and arrive at wholesome, sustainable solutions that works for everyone. Behave like one!

(On the other side of complex is simple but to get to that simple, you need to get through the complex. To get to and through the complex, start with the simple and doable).

Published in: on May 2, 2017 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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We Are Fragile Things – http://wp.me/p6qoDs-ka

Published in: on October 3, 2016 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Trauma – the fourth way to enlightenment!

It is like the earth’s crust getting a bit of an earthquake. In early days of Earth, there was just one nice little piece of sand and whatnots that we called the crust, just as most of us had one perfectly formed reality that we thought life is. It is a bit like the frog’s well – that is all there is for that frog, for that is all that the frog can see.

Then something happened and there were earthquakes and the earth’s tectonic plates shifted. The world was never the same after a few incidences and that which was called reality shook and then what was thought to be true had to be relooked at. The world was never the same coz something shifted in consciousness. Some call it trauma. It may just be that that something caused the tectonic plates to shift so that new realities had to emerge – new continents came up and new civilizations certainly did. New reality. Variety. And yes, there are residues from the plates shifting – landslides, hillocks, arroyos – basically new land terrains. So also from living through a reality-shaking experience there are residues – hurts, pain, experiences that may be too difficult to put into words. It has also been said that with traumatic experiences, there is a shift in the brain makeup so that there is an alteration in consciousness and hitherto far untapped senses awaken that some call as psychic sensibilities – telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, clairolfaction, clairgustance, claircognizance (which basically I think are finer ranges in the very same 5 senses of smell, taste, sight, hearing and feeling and the sixth sense of knowing/cognition)

It is like the crust broke and liquid from within leaked out, like the earth’s crust gave way and molten lava poured out. Sometimes it is a table of water that was just under the crust that wanted the crust to break for the water to come out. And then something happens again and the plates shift more. The waters within convection some more (churn?) and stuff from more deep within comes out, maybe brackish, maybe some crocodiles or primal instincts or instincts that let you know existentially deeper instincts that makes you tug and pull and scream at the cages that makes you less than alive. It may seem like a monster but the monster is alive in that it has an energy and emotion that insists at being alive just because it exists. And then something more happens then and perhaps some wisdom seeps through this time from deep within and what you see as reality shifts some more. Now with all of this, the world-view and what is generally called as the world means something different now with each of these happenings. It gets better or it gets worse, but nevertheless there are dimensions now (the world may seem more richer and fuller or rounder, or concaver and hollow or flatter) and dimensions bring variety in perceptibility, and uniqueness in what a person sees and has to offer.

Now all of this couldn’t happen without stuff getting shaken a bit, now could it? We are truly multidimensional, more like onions (as Shrek says in the movie, Shrek) – we have layers. {Not like cabbage with leafy layers or a lotus though some of us are flaky like a leafy cabbage or lotus with many separatable (ok ok I know the correct word is ‘separable’ but there is something more said in the word ‘separatable’ than ‘separable’ I think, something in the sound of the word) petals, but they are still whorls and onion has nice round complete-circle layers whereas lotus has the layers with many separatable petals in layers. Get the picture?}. Now if a person has never seen the layers within themselves, the person never really claim to know themselves, ay? The tea/coffee cup had to be stirred to surface the undissolved sugar crystals at the bottom. If you think life is all quiet and neat and nice and not much in excitement, then maybe you need to put yourself in unfamiliar ground and get shaken up and bit 🙂

The problem is if there is no movement. If you just get stuck with the fact that reality got shaken and you don’t build on whatever stuff you thought works and instead keep looking at stuff that don’t work. The stuff you thought works may not be entirely all working but something in it did work, and once some time is spent in figuring out what that is, there is scope for improvement of stuff that works, and the scope for improvement is the biggest hope that there is. It pulls life into that space and then life has gotta find a way. Life always finds a way. And once that stream of life is dug into that flow deep and rich at the bottom (read heart of all things), it could get addictive. It is like getting drunk on the cup of life. It is like the enticing flash in the pan. Once you get a taste of it, it stays in your memory imprinted and then with every experience that you come to finding things that work and work your way through stuff and hit again at the stream of life, that memory gets stronger, and you get wiser; more and more enlightened on who you are and what life is all about.

Published in: on October 2, 2016 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Dancing to one’s own drum

puppet

When there is no thought of ones own (or) not taken the time to think through things to have ones own opinion (or) been pulled and pushed around by other people and their thoughts, a person could just as well be a puppet in someone else show, living someone else’s life and just as well be a nonliving thing, for one of the things that differentiate a living being from nonliving is the ability to think by and for themselves.

When a person is entralled by a topic and he/she waits until cacaphony of voices in the head in voices and syntax of other people’s thinking and logic quiets, an opinion of ones own emerges about the topic. Like a flash in a pan, it quickly disappears in the voices and opinions of people ever present in the noise/information byte database in the head and needs periodic waiting for the voices and opinions to quiet down for ones own opinion to emerge again. It needs some practice before one is able to recognize ones own voice and own opinions, and to recognize when one has gotten hijacked by preexisting notions and others’ opinions (again). People’s logic is like a strain of music – a raaga. Every raaga has a certain logic that is unique to it, so also every person has his/her own unique logic to their way of thinking. Getting in the cacaphony of voices and opinions in the head is like being in a radio station that has sooo many frequencies (or like soo many raagas are being played at once and one has one’s own raaga lost in all that noise). It is so much is like the waves of the ocean, these other people’s voices and preconceived notions, like a sound ocean (sounds are waves anyway of a certain frequency). Once there is a glimple of one’s own opinion (rather one’s own sound frequency/raaga or logic of thinking) and what that feels like, it is like catching a glimpse of a preferred fish in the ocean’s depth lapping amongst its waves. It takes some practice to wait for the sound waves in the head to quiet down enough to get a glimpse of that own-opinion sense again (or to tune in to our own radio station again). And waves are ever present in the ocean! The practice is about recognizing the calm in the ocean’s depths where the waves are not too effective (it is like the silence in the noise; silence has always been there – noise is a deviation from silence but the silence is always there – and in silence there is better chance that one’s own radio station is heard because the station master is keen on listening to one’s own radio station – one’s own unique frequency), and the big worth-all-the-wait fishes are in the very deep bottom.

In just writing this post, I have had to type a certain length with an idea that I wanted to express, then delete once recognized being hijacked and then type some more and then after a certain length to recognize that I have strayed from what I have originally wanted to write about again – that being about having ones own original opinion – and so then go back a few sentences and type again. I guess this is what is called editing but here I refer to the process of staying with the original thought that sparked interest enough to be thought worthy enough to be shared. It is like a biggg fish in a fisherman’s net; it keeps jumping out and the fisherman needs to be keen enough to want to have that fish so he keeps on with the fish, and if the fish jumps out and is powerful enough to drag the fisherman along, then the fisherman hangs on to the net and with the want/desire of having the fish ‘coz some fishes are just worth it all.

Having an opinion of ones own and consequently to recognize oneself in the crowd and masses (literally in the world out there but first to recognize ones own voice and opinion amongst all the voices and opinions in one’s own head) is quintessential in becoming an individual and thusly graduating from being a puppet. Nothing bad about being a puppet – at least someone knows what the show is about – it is just not that person’s show! A person has life because one can move about of one’s own volition and has a brain to be able to think for oneself. It is in recognizing when one’s own brain has not been utilized and then to start utilizing one’s own brain and faculties more often that graduating from puppethood to individual becomes possible.

Published in: on September 26, 2016 at 3:06 am  Comments (1)  

Life!

Life is happening NOW, in this moment. All else is mere conjecture.

…..and then there is Quality of Life dependent on choices being made in this moment – choice of where/what/how/why to invest time, thought, effort. The wisdom of this choice determines the quality of life. The wisdom may be dependent on how wise one is able to be at a point in time. Nevertheless, the effort put forth to make the best choice possible in the moment is the ‘little step of action that makes a mighty leap’ in the quality of life.

Published in: on August 24, 2016 at 3:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Who am I?

“I am a rebel. This is my cause.

A sustainable future is not just what I dream of.
It is my reason to be.

I am not a fence-sitter, for the grass is greener on my side.

I will get others to aspire by what inspires me.
I will open doors by opening minds.”

As a human being, I will live a better life.

Published in: on August 14, 2016 at 2:35 am  Comments (1)  

One Speaks for Two; Silence by Starry Seas

Where I end and another begins, I am still searching for that fine line. I am sure there is one and I also know it would only get wholesomer and wholesomer. (I think I know the answer but it is as though it is an answer I have forgotten in the fog of my memories…fog is thinner now but cant see clearly yet. I am sure there is a place where I speak and I would have spoken for all living kind and the world will never be the same again). Better and Better.

Star Tower Heaven Bound

Jiddu-Krishnamurti-Quote-My-Secret

In all lives they called me the outsider.

There was no obstacle too big but there was always great loss.

Persia, England, Japan, Scandinavia, America – Heaven.

There is no place I can’t find you.

I may live here a mortal and you yourself high above.

There is no place I cannot go.

But you are mine, I am yours. Our alternate lines will reach us one way or another.

There is no law that can hold me.

I have fulfilled my duty, I have lived wise – a sage. Do not abandon me.

There is no god that can separate us.

If you let go. I will lose, not only my will – my spirit, mind and body will be dust.

There is no other way, no other path.

You will come down or I will bring the sky down.

There is no other life, no other dream, no other…

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Published in: on July 8, 2016 at 4:49 am  Comments (2)  

Don’t give yourself away. Give yourself away.

Fiesta Estrellas

You were made to be exactly who you are. That means, there’s a recipe that built you, that only you know, that only your cells know. That means, you don’t need a claim to a lineage, or a story, or a legacy. You can be born right now, in the moment of who you are.

You don’t have to follow what looks like “the rules for success.”  You already are a success.

Build on that.

There doesn’t need to be a history to ‘you.’ You didn’t grow up in a vacuum, but there is a part of you that the outside world cannot see (siblings, even best friends), that you are constantly bringing into manifestation. It’s time to claim that. Be who you have never been before, in every moment. That is self-discovery. That is “making it.”

We can always look to the greats for inspiration, but when…

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Published in: on June 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Just Breathe

..a little step that makes a difference that makes the difference. A survivor’s most essential suvival tool in the kit – remembering to breathe.

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

copyright mariner2mother copyright mariner2mother

How to get through it all?

Just breathe.

I don’t know if I can do it.

Just breathe.

I don’t know if I can make it.

Just breathe.

The sadness won’t stop.

The anger won’t stop.

The frustration won’t stop.

The fear won’t stop.

It’s all never-ending.

Keep breathing.

Why? Why should I?

Who cares anyway?

God cares.

Even when you think no one gives a fuck.

God cares.

I’m so tired of being strong.

So tired of trying.

I just want to lay down and be done.

Can I be done now?

Please?

So tired. So done.

Just breathe.

_______________

Some days just plain get hard. Thankfully they are the minority. But when the weight of the world gets too heavy, writing helps to lighten the load. Feeling lighter already.

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Published in: on May 29, 2016 at 1:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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