Stop resisting and just slip in with Life, hand in glove with whatever is happening…

Live losing yourself to your world, to your Life as it is. Unite with the Life available to you just now. Be one with the Universe.

Most of us struggle through Life because we resist what is happening to us. Any resistance will bring pain. Total submission, total acceptance will make living simpler, easy and blissful. Life is like dance. In dance, the dancer is encouraged by the Master, the guru, to unite with the act of dancing. It is only through the unison of the dancer with the act that a work of art, of beauty, is visible to the world.

Osho, the Master, says this story about Gurudjieff (1877 ~ 1949), the Armenian spiritual teacher from the 20th century, who taught that it was possible to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential by working on oneself: “…For the (true) dancers, the dance continued inside, and the inside whirling circles became smaller and smaller until they became centered. One day it happened that they were coming just to the edge of the stage, dancing. It was expected, supposed, that Gurdjieff would stop them just before they danced down the stage onto the audience. A hundred dancers were just on the edge of the stage. One step more and they would all fall down into the hall. The whole hall was expecting that suddenly Gurdjieff would say stop, but he turned his back to light his cigar. He turned his back to the dancers to light his cigar, and the whole group of a hundred dancers fell down from the stage upon the floor – on a naked stone floor. The whole audience stood up. They were screaming, shouting, and they were thinking that many must have broken their bones – it was such a crash. But not a single one was hurt; not even a single bruise was there. They asked Gurdjieff what had happened. No one had been hurt, and the crash was such that it seemed impossible that people would not be hurt. The reason was only this: they were really not in their bodies at that moment. They were slowing down their inner circling. And when Gurdjieff saw that now they were completely oblivious of their bodies, he allowed them to fall down. If you are completely oblivious of your body, there is no resistance. A bone is broken because of resistance. If you are falling down, you resist: you go against the pull of gravity. That going against, that resistance, is the problem – not gravity. If you can fall down with gravity, if you can cooperate with it, then no possibility of being hurt will arise.”

Quite similarly, as in the Gurudjieff story that Osho has made immortal, if you flow with Life, you will be bliss yourself. There’s a need for you__and me__to discover our inner rhythm, for us to harmoniously unite with our inner selves; to be the Self, to be nothing but creation itself. And that can happen when you stop resisting and just slip in with Life, hand in glove with whatever is happening, living in acceptance, peace and inner harmony. Bliss then happens naturally!!!

PS: (Enjoy this beautiful song that captures the spirit of this Thought. Live losing yourself as the dancers in this video from Jodha Akbar, 2008, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai; music is by A.R.Rahman, who says he composed this tune in his sleep, while he dreamt of the Garib Nawaz of Ajmer!) 

Stop worrying! Start living – better still, just get up and dance…

You are not your problems. You are not your assets, wealth or success. You are, in reality, beyond form and beyond this lifetime and this experience.  

Last evening we attended a very soulful performance by the Bangalore-based group, Sunaad. Titled Isha Rumi: Beyond Form, the production married the stellar content of the Ishavasya Upanishad, which is the last chapter (a short one but most significant nevertheless) of the Yajur Veda, with some key verses from the Masnavi, an extensive poem written by the 13th Century Persian poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. Sunaad’s performance, a theatrical and musical juxtaposition really of the shlokasfrom the Ishavasya Upanishad and the verses from the Masnavi, was brilliant.  A seeker takes the audience on a spiritual journey, in search of the answers to some all-important questions that confront each of us at some point or the other in Life: Who am I? What is the purpose of this experience called Life? How do I let go? How do I find happiness? The show concludes, attempting to have decoded Life through professing an understanding of what the shlokas and the verses from two great works, from two timeless cultures, have had to say centuries ago. In the end, the takeaway from Isha Rumi is what the absolute truth is all about: you – and I – are beyond form, beyond this worldly sojourn, beyond the experience of this lifetime, beyond our relationships, wealth, memories and, most important, our bodies. So, simply let go and live in the moment knowing that all that you see is impermanent. And ultimately, the unseen, but what is felt – your breath which keeps you ‘alive’ – and that which is formless, is who you truly are!
The beauty of Sunaad’s concept, effort and inspiring delivery, lies in the fact that it shows, through a question-and-answer format, how simple Life, at the core, really is. We complicate Life by applying our academic, acquired intelligence to it. We call it science. We call it logic. And so we push away, actually reject, what is simple to hold, understand and internalize, and keep seeking, quite unnecessarily, more complex answers to what Life really means.  
In the end, to be brutally honest in a real-world sense, Life may appear pointless. Because in this journey from a choice-less birth to an inevitable end, death, you always come with nothing and you will always go with nothing. So, when you can’t take anything with you, why acquire anything? When this body will eventually perish, why this attachment to the physical form? And that’s what the scriptures, in the case of Sunaad – Isha Rumi, really say. Real happiness lies in knowing that this lifetime is just a sum of several experiences. Some that give you immense joy. And some that challenge you with pain. You cannot prevent pain, but you can choose to avoid suffering by accepting the pain, letting go of your desire to control (your) Life, and moving on. Happiness really is accepting the Life you have, living in the moment and knowing that everything is impermanent – except the energy, your breath, that powers you and keeps you ‘alive’. And energy, as science has proven, is neither created nor destroyed.

So, don’t get vexed with this Who-am-I question? Know that the real you, your true Self, is indestructible. You are not your problems. Nor are you your wealth, qualifications, your assets and your physical form. Don’t get lost in, and consumed by, the rat race to earn, save and create material wealth. Your only wealth is your breath – what some call the soul and the others call the atman. This breath is formless. And is immortal. Without it nothing matters. And with it anything’s possible. So, stop worrying. Start living. And when you feel the way I do about Life, as Rumi’s followers – the swirling dervishes – would do, just get up and dance!

Make your doing, your being

Whatever you do, immerse yourself in it – and your will be one with it. That’s how you make doing, being!
This past Sunday, I read an article by the enfant terrible of Carnatic music, T.M.Krishna, in the Sunday Magazine of The Hindu. No, Krishna was not waxing eloquent on music. Instead he wrote, provoking thought in the bargain, about how “great sportsmen and artists share a transformational quality”. His piece, ‘Beyond the Boundary’ examined if Sachin Tendulkar’s technique is really an art form. Krishna wrote: “I have watched the phenomenal Sachin Tendulkar almost right through his career, especially in his Test innings… there have been phases in his great innings when he seemed to dissolve into cricket itself…. In this state, not just cricket or sport but Life itself seemed to be one uninterrupted flow…. The man and his bat became one; the ball was not an object that needed to be negotiated, caressed or decimated; the bowler, not an enemy; and his wicket, no point of reference…. What actually happened was that everything merged. Sachin became one with that existence and, as a beholder, I saw Life’s beauty in its most natural self, without any burden of names, identities, action or result…To me, at that instant, even the fact that it was Sachin batting was immaterial. This was an artist lost in his moment of Life, living it to its fullest.
Krishna’s keen observation and perspective there has been simply, beautifully, explained by Osho, the Master, thus: “Forget the dancer, the center of the ego. Become the dance. Dance so deeply that you completely forget that you are dancing and begin to feel that you arethe dance. Dance so totally…because the dancer-dance division can exist only when you are not total in it. The dancer must go until only the dance remains.”  
In the Sufi tradition, dervishes of the Mevlevi order, perform the ‘sama’, or dancing meditation, where they abandon their ‘nafs’or egos or personal desires, by spinning in repetitive circles, symbolic of the planets in the solar system orbiting the sun. The dancer is merely a metaphor that Osho and the Sufis use. You could be a cook, a gardener, a writer, an orator, a clerk, a traffic policeman, a painter, a singer, a truck driver or a nurse. Who you are is immaterial. How you are (being) who you are is important. Of course, choosing to do what you absolutely love doing, is critical for losing yourself – for making your doing, your being! While it may be possible to even immerse yourself while loving what you are doing, your inner joy is always several notches higher when you have chosen to do onlywhat you love!
But your Life may not always pan out that way. As it turned out to be with my father. He is an amazing Carnatic vocalist himself – having been trained for over two decades by an accomplished Guru. But way back in the ‘60s, the pressures of having to raise a family forced him to seek a career in the private sector textile industry, and later with the government. “Financial security and stability” were chosen over “what gave him joy”. I don’t understand the nuances of Carnatic music as much as I should. But over the early years of my growing up, and even now, when he is well past 75, I have found that my dad always lost himself to his singing whenever he was or is having a stressful time. In those times that I have watched him sing to himself at home, I found him immersed in the music. In fact, I believe, he always became the song. On the few occasions when he has performed concerts too, I have found the singer (in him) disappearing and only the song remaining. I cite his example here because you may not often get to make a Life – and living – out of what you love. Yet it is imminently possible that if you still do what you love, even if it is done infrequently, it can help you just be! And that just being is happiness!
As I grew older and my understanding of Life evolved, I have come to realize that when you don’t force yourself to do anything, Life flows through you. The cosmic energy then expresses itself through you. Your doing then becomes your being. That state, when you are in unison with the Universe, is what is also known as bliss! And as you can see, from the expressions of Krishna, Tendulkar, Osho and my dad, that state is imminently attainable!