Living intensely

•August 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

If the entire universe is one thing – it is an intensity. The enormously vast spaces between the stars, lit dimly by star light, the comets raging through them, the utter silence of space where no sound can travel – it all going on for several billion years, an unimaginable time span, longer than there have been humans, longer than there has been this earth, this solar system – this enormous vastness is intensely alive.

The ancients knew this, and they discovered sounds which resonated with the silent sounds of this immensity called the universe. These sounds were the mantras.

Can we live with that intensity? Does that intensity appear in our consciousness, do we come, ever, in touch with it? When we live in this power and immensity we live like the stars, like the comets, like that sea of heavenly bodies called the milky way – all tremendously alive, awake, with its own light. We live fully, and then sorrow and joy are passing matters, our life is not controlled by them.

Our world pushes us to live in a way that is just the opposite. Our cars, our phones, our enclosed houses, they all push us away from the immensity of the universe, from the pristine purity of nature that carries that intensity. The intensity dulls, the energy becomes coagulated into physical matter. Surrounded by gadgets and hard matter, we become like matter itself – dull, thick, insensitive and far from blazingly alive. Scattered, functioning like automatic machines, repeating patterns of thought and feeling and activity, we forget the true stillness at the heart of our being, which is also the stillness at the heart of the being of the entire universe.

Perhaps that is the central challenge of our lives. Perhaps that is the central challenge of our times. For thousands of years, men and women lived outside what we call civilisation. They were in deep communion with nature, they made love to the sun, the were caressed by the moonlight. In our ambition to make more, and in our fear of uncertainty, we have made civilisations that sanitise us from the raw wildness of living, but also sap away the tremendously real, alive quality of a life lived in truth and harmony with the universe.

Living intensely is our destiny. If we don’t live intensely, we pursue intensity in things that can never give it to us – people, position, a secure space, objects. We are bound to run after them, not knowing that true intensity is in the heart that has no ambition, that wants nothing from the world, but just lives.














•July 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

In the many lights in the skies, there was a particular light that his attention went towards. There were many stars, but one star seemed to speak. When he sat there in the night, quiet, wounded, the star spoke. Not in the words of human language. But in sounds that only the universe makes. The sounds of silence.

The light of the star was the light within. Beneath the skin, beneath the physical body, as if there was another body. It was the light of being alive – bright, silver, refulgent, but also quivering from the attacks it had suffered. The light of the star shone more brightly, as if breathing, expanding to a fullness one moment and shrinking to a concentrated brightness the next. The two lights connected, resonated. There was oneness.

The light body was then covered with a sheath of liquid, also in light. It was protection that the stars had sent. The cool, soft sheath spread over the body, keeping it safe from the harshness of the world. The tenderness flowed all over. The quivering stopped. Stillness arrived.

The communion with the heavens was complete. In the darkness of outer space, the stars shone, still, silent but refulgent. In the darkness of the night on earth, in the darkness of the room, the human body shone, still, silent, but refulgent. The wounds were purged away, there was flowering of the delicateness that makes the heart what it is. There was healing.







to be vulnerable

•July 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

dil hai ek parchhai hai lehraai si
aarzu meri hai ek angdaai si
ek tamanna hai kahin sharmaai si

saans bhi leti hain jo kathputliyaan
unki bhi thaame hai koi doriyaan
aansuon mein bheegi hain khaamoshiyaan

zindagi hai phir naye ek mod par
jaaye ab chaahe jahaan ye rehguzar
meri manzil to hai mera humsafar

– javed akhtar

To be vulnerable, is to be open to being wounded. It is to let another into one’s heart, to let down the walls that guard us from the brutalities of the world. In those inner recesses of the heart, a delicate flame is enkindled. It is the flame of love, and it is also the flame of sorrow.

As we gently cup our hands around this flame, we carry it to the other. We offer it to him, as a gift from our heart to him, for safekeeping. In this subtle sharing of something so elemental, so deep, our common humanity is touched. And two persons are then no more two, but one. Entwined together, souls burn together in the flame. Sorrow is sorrow, not my sorrow and yours. Joy is joy, not my joy and yours.

Vulnerability, then, opens up the greatest of gifts. Of real relating, of true connection, of seeing someone directly, rather than through the many veils that keep us apart. If each human  being is a centre of creation, of the manifestation of the vast beauties of the psychological world, then it is the fear of vulnerability that keeps this beauty away. It is a fear that keeps the quiet flame inside from burning, burning in the dignity and beauty of solitude, and burning and coming alive and aflame in sharing the fire of another human being.

Then one continues with the mediocrity of one’s life, the dependence on others, the fears that eat us up and make us hollow from within. We see old, elderly couples, and the many distances between them despite decades of having been together. It is the result of not being able to be vulnerable as one could, once. Of the hardening of a heart that is no longer alive, awake, aflame, burning in the refulgence of beauty, open to the pains of sorrow. A heart that is truly vulnerable.


•July 17, 2017 • 2 Comments

The night is over, and the day has dawned. The world has awakened. The birds, awake, sit on their branches, chirping. The cars come out to the roads, making their disordered sounds, so different from the immense harmony between nature and the sounds of the birds. Men and women walk out of their houses, a thousand anguishes in their heart, a thousand ambitions in their minds, to live another day. A day of work, a day of conflict, a day of misery and tension. Their movements devoid of tranquility, their bodies devoid of dignity.

The night, in its silences, dissolves the chaos of the day. It brings quietness, and in its darkness all that emerges which the noise of the day drowned out. The stars shine bright, and our relationship to the universe becomes manifest in all its power, splendour.

In the day, can we take forward the rest, the quietness, the love that night blesses us with, and give that blessing to the world that is lost in its entanglements? In the day, the sun, the source of life for our little corner of the universe, shines bright, powerful, refulgent. As the night calls on us to rest and contemplate, the intensity of the sun, our father, calls on us to live. To live a life of true action. Action that is not attachment, action that is not ambition, action that is not escape from the reality of our being.

That is care. To be quietly, silently, deeply in touch with our own selves, and the immense flood of life that flows from the heart of all creation, to us, and through us. And to take that river of life forward to others. To meet human beings with real care, with true concern for who they are, for the innumerable sorrows they hide behind their hardened faces. To see the light that lies at the core of every face, however much it is hidden behind innumerable anxieties and traumas.

To work with matter – our cars, pens, computers, phones – with real care, with a real vision that sees them as a manifestation of the silence that is at the heart of the whole universe. To use them rightly, appropriately, and not get addicted to them, not get owned by them and the temptations and gratifications they offer.

To meet the brutality of the world. The people who don’t care. The spaces that are unpleasant. The noises that jar the senses. To meet them with care, for they are only the outer manifestation of the tremendous sorrow of the world. To see that behind that brutality is tremendous suffering, and there is escape from that suffering.

This is to care. To see the oneness of you and me and all of us as beings whose hearts are also the silent heart of the universe. Silent, yet refulgent with real beauty. With love.







A sacred life

•July 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Quiet, quiet falls the night. The stars whisper to each other. The black sky darkens. The sun is behind us, on the other side of our earth. Beloved earth, our home, our protected, beautiful home in this vast, anonymous universe. The moon watches us in serenity. Quiet, quiet falls the night.

The cosmic world above me, the still passion in my heart, they are the same, a little voice tells me. Nothing can contain either. As the cosmos grows, expands, into new spaces every moment, into spaces that are not spaces, into nonbeing which becomes being. So the still passion in my heart grows more and more intense, reaching a power that no power can hold, taking a form that no form until today has been. The outer, the inner – the universe, the soul – they are both vast, infinite, limitless.

In this heart are all the sorrows of love, love lost. In this heart is the tremendous ecstasy of union. In this heart is the dying away of all intensity under the petty demands of the ‘me’. The universe too palpates with a sorrow. The still, tranquil sorrow of death. The death of a leaf, the death of a snail, squashed under the walker’s feet, the death of a star. The universe too palpates with ecstasy. The falling of evening light, the quiet softening of the green grass in that light, like the beloved placing her hand on your heart. The exploding star, the tremendous stillness of nothing but empty space, nothing, nowhere, just stillness.

The universe is sacred. The terrifying beauty of the sun, that ball of fire, the peaceful serenity of the moon, the vast distances, the eternal order of life and death. This heart is sacred. The rising of joy. The tears of beauty. The sorrow of dying away. The happiness of new birth. God created man and woman to reflect the universe in all its beauty and all its tragedy. When not lost in pettiness, one does just that.

In the silence of the night, a sacred life is born. The ugly noises of this world give way to the tremendous, exploding silences of the dark sky and what is beyond. The soul realises its oneness with the universe, the silences outside and the silences inside merge, a sacred life is born.






•July 10, 2017 • 2 Comments

She was deeply wounded. She bled, hurt. She had crouched into her corner, withdrawing from the world, into her darkness. Darkness, an old friend. As the tears flowed, the heart lightened, and she felt a presence enveloping her.

The room filled with warmth, with a quiet light, like that of dawn just breaking in. He had come to embrace her, quietly, invisibly. The energy flowed into her body. The chest lightened. The tears flowed more, and more, until there was no sorrow left. Sorrow had been emptied, and in that emptiness, oneness of the lover and the beloved permeated the space, giving light and warmth.

“Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

– Jesus in Matthew 7:7, The Holy Bible. 

The comet

•July 9, 2017 • 2 Comments

He was blazing like a comet, leaving a streak of fire behind him, burning the space through which he travelled. The face of the comet was only a part of it, that which gave direction, that which was most visible from front, but the whole comet was ablaze, an example of the resplendence, power and beauty of everything in the universe.

Man is like the face of the comet, unaware of the blaze that lies within him, a fire that would ignite darkness and burn away the dross. When he becomes his whole being, that is, all the fear, the sorrow that he seeks to escape, then, the fullness of his being, the passion of the comet comes alive.

True individuality is that. It is not the bickering of the petty ‘I’, its attachments, its ambitions, its fears that it constantly escapes. True individuality is the blazing splendour of the full human being, full and alive, on fire, burning, illuminating, relating to the whole cosmos as a friend. The galaxies are his companions in this journey through existence, he loves the moon, he beholds the sun, he has tenderness for the most delicate sparrows, and he gives quiet company to the roaring ocean.

He is not cooped up in small spaces, his outer constrictions only being reflections of the inner ones. Rather, his mind is infinite, and he makes love to nature by his very being. That is individuality. The complete, unique power of every human being, which, like every element of nature, comes alive with beauty and dies without struggle.

In the fire of the reality of individuality, false individuality dies, dissipates, as falsehood dies in the face of the revelation of truth. That is healing, that is living, and that is dying.

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