When you are immersed in the moment, you are happy – irrespective of what’s happening around you!
Last evening we were at a party to mark the launch of The Art Bistro at Grand by GRT. The organizers had arranged for a casual lounge conversation, anchored by famous RJ Devasena Subramaniam, between film-makers Gautham Vasudev Menon and Venkat ‘VP’ Prabhu. It was an unplugged conversation alright, and the two famous men were talking to each other as great friends would – laughing, ribbing each other and, at times, being candid too! Those who managed to listen to the conversation felt enriched with the perspectives they heard. But few people actually did that. As celebrities kept pouring into the Bistro, people greeted each other, clamored for Seflies, some even called out aloud to each other across the room, while others scrambled at the bar. At several points during the evening, the organizers kept inviting the guests to listen to the conversation between Gautham and VP. But in vain. Seeing one of the exasperated organizers make one more valiant effort to quieten the room, Gautham piped in reassuringly. He said, “It’s okay! They are having their conversations. And VP and I are having ours.”
To me that was a deeply spiritual view of how to deal with the chaos around you and still be engaged in the moment, in its beauty and its magic.
Anyone else in Gautham’s or VP’s position may have refused to continue with the conversation – not just because they are intelligent celebrities whose views on their films and Life merit attention, but also because it is very poor etiquette to drown a show that has been got together by your hosts in mindless din, senseless shor.
But this is the way Life is. There is always a lot of stuff happening to us, around us. If we wait to sort out our Life in order to do what we want to, we possibly will never get a chance. Someone, somewhere or something, always, will remain undone, unstuck. If we really want to do something, we must go ahead and do it, inspite of the circumstances. And that’s one learning I picked up from Gautham’s Zen-soaked stance last evening. Second, there wasn’t a trace of any holier-than-thou attitude or ego among the two men. As they answered Devasena’s carefully curated questions or as they ribbed each other, it was very evident that they were enjoying the process thoroughly. It didn’t matter to them if anyone listened in or not. To them, what mattered most was that they were in conversation with each other. And I believe there’s yet another significant learning for all of us here.
In inviting the organizer to chill, Gautham, perhaps unwittingly, showcased his Zen. Had he and VP brooded over why nobody was bothered about their ‘celebrity conversation’, had they wondered what people would now think of their celebrity status, they would have missed the beautiful opportunity that was available to them – which is, engage with Deva, and each other, in an uplifting, meaningful conversation! I felt there was art not just on the walls in the room, but in that conversation too. It was indeed very, very Zen.
Zen is not a method. It is not a practice. It is a state of being. It is total immersion in whatever is happening in the moment. If there is only one quality in you that you want to hone, let it be Zen. Because only your Zen can make your mind powerless. The human mind thrives only in the dead past or in the still-to-be-born future. It loves clinging on to anger, grief and guilt from what’s over, what’s past, and it revels in magnifying anxieties, fears, insecurities through worrying about what has not happened yet. In the present moment the mind is powerless. Osho, in fact, called the present, the now, as the ‘no-mind zone’.
Simply, you don’t seek Zen. You are Zen. You just have to drop all the layers of non-Zen that you have accumulated owing to habits, social conditioning and debilitating emotions to realize your Zen. When you are Zen, you simply are, you are happy – no matter what your circumstances are and no matter who’s watching and who is not!
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