Learn to live with what is, in the now. This is Life. And the only one which you have.
Sometimes, we have to live through periods of time that we intensely dislike. Things could be taking forever. Business may not be happening. Or a relationship may be heading nowhere. Or a health situation will be forcing you to be confined to bed. You may want Life to move faster in such situations. But Life has a mind and pace of its own. Eckhart Tolle, the German-Canadian spiritual teacher, in his awakening book, “The Power of Now” says, “Life is now. There was never a time when your Life was not now, nor will there ever be.”
In a Zen story, a man falls into a river, with violent rapids leading to a high and dangerous waterfall. People who were watching this accident felt the man would die. But miraculously the man came out alive and unharmed downstream, at the bottom of the falls. People rushed to him and asked him how he managed to survive. He replied: “I realized I had no choice. I adapted myself to the water and did not resist the force, the direction or the flow of the river. I plunged into the ferocious swirls, giving myself up to the river and came out gratefully whenever I was tossed up. This is how I survived.”
The river rapids accident is but a metaphor. It teaches you – and me – the need to go with the flow whenever Life changes gears, changes the scenery and changes your reality! There is no point in wishing that your Life is different from what it is. There is no point going back in time and wishing your Life could be rewound or relived. And yes there is no point hoping Life could move faster and get you out of your current situation. It is what it is. You either live now, with and in the present, or you never will!
Whatsoever happens, happens. Nothing else can happen, nothing else is possible. Don’t ask for it to be otherwise; be in a let-go, and allow the whole to function!”
The whole here is Life itself. It is working perfectly well. And for you. The way it must. So, let it be. Don’t ever seek guarantees from Life. Because there are none! Simply tee off, living in the NOW, every single moment!
Accept whatever you get with gratitude and humility. Be grateful for the moment. That’s all there is to Life!
Is that it?
Indeed. This is it.
This moment is all that you__and I__have. Embrace it, immerse yourself in it and you will not have any problem with it and in Life whatsoever!
|Bombay Jayashri: Grateful for the moment|
The first time, more than a decade ago, I attempted to read Eckhart Tolle’s ‘The Power of Now’, it went over my head. Now, when I look back, I think the book didn’t needed that many pages as it eventually had! Just the title was enough to convey the power of the message, the essence of the lesson it taught! This morning, something I read in The Hindu, amplified this learning one more time. My good friend K.T.Jagannathan, interviewing celebrated Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashri, in The Hindu’s op-ed page, asks her of her Oscar nomination for her song ‘Pi’s Lullaby’ from Ang Lee’s 2012 movie ‘Life of Pi’. I quote the relevant part of that interview verbatim.
KTJ: What does this Oscar nomination mean to you? Where do you take-off from here?
BJ: It means so much to me, Indian music and musicians. I feel I have been chosen to represent them all. I really don’t know where I go from here. But I am just grateful for the moment. That’s all I can think of at the moment.
So beautiful. That she should just choose to celebrate the moment and be grateful for it! One can go on and look at the larger impacts the nomination can have in the Life of an artist like Jayashri, for Indian classical music in general and for Carnatic music in particular. One can talk of how India has once again proven to the whole world what we are made of and blah and blah. But the beauty, the joy, resides in the moment. And in celebrating it Jayashri has chosen the more evolved path – of living with what is!
Well, it’s easy to celebrate an Oscar moment the realist may argue. Pointing out that it is so difficult to celebrate a tragedy. Pain. Suffering. Death. How do you celebrate such moments when all you want is for it to go away? A joyous occasion you will want it to linger on, stay longer. And a painful one, you just want it over and done with. How then do you stay in such a moment and what power does it have in our Life?
You stay in a painful moment the same way as you stay in a happy one __ with acceptance. Moments don’t come labeled happy or sad. These labels you give them. Your mind is the villain – it goes on labeling it. A moment becomes sad because you dislike it. And it becomes a happy one when you like it. What if you liked every moment? Then won’t every moment be a happy one? This is the simplest and the easiest way to understand bliss and to attain it. Imagine your Life’s a big status message box, just as the one that sits on top of your facebook Wall. Each moment’s definition is a new status message. All you have to do is imagine that in Life, just as it is presently on facebook, there are no Dislike buttons and all you can do is simply Like each status message, each moment! This technique may not prevent pain from coming your way. But it will eradicate suffering for sure.
For instance, you cannot prevent death in your family or in your circle of influence. The nature of Life is such that the moment birth happens, death is inevitable. So, the best way forward towards peace and bliss, in Life, is to accept death as an inevitable reality. Surely, when a person you know and love dies, there will be pain. Enormous pain. But there will be no suffering because you have ‘liked’, by accepting, the non-negotiable dimension of Life called death! If you have transcended death, if you are no longer running scared of it, what else can move you or trouble you in Life?
Wanting a painful moment to go away IS the cause of your suffering. Replace that want with acceptance. Do away with all disliking and indulge only in liking what is. Because there are no ifs, buts, or logic, in and to Life! It is what it is. Period. And each moment is teaching us the immeasurable value of celebration, patience, faith and acceptance. So, deal with Life’s moments the same way as you would deal with the teacher that taught you in primary school__greet each moment with heartfelt gratitude and immense humility. Bliss and abundance will follow!
For the musically inclined, here’s the video clip of Bombay Jayashri’s Oscar nominated ‘Pi’s Lullaby’!