I AM….


If we don’t have anything to mull over about the past and get caught in the cycle of guilt & shame mostly, laced with pride and satisfaction occasionally or think about future with worry, anticipation and hope, mixed with anxiety and fear sometimes – what have we got to say in the present moment?

Nothing really. Only experiencing remains – experiencing the constantly rising, surging and receding waves of thoughts – the waters of past and future.

5 AM…If I remain still and notice, I hear the crickets drone and the rooster from the neighbor’s backyard, the fridge humming, my neck bones creaking, my left shoulder hurting, the silence I am surrounded and cocooned in intercepted by the soft clicking of the keys on the laptop as I am typing these thoughts.

In this present moment silence, there is a recognition of my solidity as well as the fluid awareness of the ‘I’ that is making these observations quietly noticing everything – alert and present. There is no emotion in this state – only a deep calm interjected by next sentence rising in my mind to be penned.
I am aware of myself as well as my surrounds, far and near. My mind is trying desperately to create a particular chain of thought, but as soon as a thought is arising to a certain height, it is popping like a bubble. There is the recognition of a thought arising. I have nothing to say, nothing to worry about, nothing to look forward to either – I am quiet, calm and rested in this deep echo in my heart of “I AM” – that’s it. “I AM” is the only reality – anything added after the ‘AM’ is the drama that we play on the screen of this world.

“Is this a thought regurgitated from acquired knowledge?” asks my mind, unable to comprehend that it has no hold on me and not carrying me away.

“No!” says the Awareness. “I acknowledge your existence, but you, my mind, are in my control and I will only use you to continue to make you know that I am in charge. I decide when you can or cannot talk through your thoughts. I have to use you for me to know who I am, but I will use you with full awareness and not let you cover me like storm clouds and take over. You may have hopes, desires, wishes, worries, frustrations, fears and anxieties, but ‘I’ am not them.

“I AM…” – anything after that is you jumping up and down with your theatrics. My mind! I own you and not the other way around. I am the charioteer, you are the horse drawing the chariot at my command, in a direction and speed I choose, and so I will know and live in that recognition that “I AM…”

Who Is In Charge?


SDC10421

It’s 5 AM.  I am sitting in front of a blank page not knowing what to write.  I don’t want to do the usual – pour out the events of yesterday, nor do I want to write about what I have to do and how I am not doing it etc., so, what remains to be said – really? Nothing.

If we don’t have anything to mull over about the past and get caught in the cycle of guilt and shame mostly, laced with pride and satisfaction occasionally, or, think about future with worry, anticipation, hope mixed with anxiety and fear sometimes – what have we got to say in the present moment – nothing really.  Only experiencing remains – experiencing the constantly surging and receding waves of thoughts rising – the waters of past and future.

I remain still – I hear the crickets drone in the distance and the rooster’s wake up call from the neighbor’s backyard, fridge humming, my neck bone creaking, left shoulder hurting.  I hear the silence I am surrounded and cocooned in, interrupted by the soft squishing of the pen on the paper that I am writing on.

In this present moment silence, there is an awareness of my solidity as well as the awareness of the ‘I’ that is making these observations quietly, noticing everything, alert and present.  There is no emotion in this state – only a deep calm interjected by next sentence rising in mind to be penned.

I am aware of myself.  My mind is desperately trying to create a particular chain of thought, but as soon as a thought is arising to a certain height, it is popping noiselessly like a bubble.  There is a recognition of a thought arising.  I have nothing to say, nothing to worry about, nothing to look forward to either. I am quiet, calm and rested in this deep echo in my heart of “I Am” – that’s it.

“I Am” is the only reality – anything added after the ‘am’ is the drama that we play on the screen of this world.

“Is this a thought regurgitated from acquired knowledge?” – asks my mind, unable to comprehend that it has no hold on  me and not carrying  me away.

“No.” says the awareness.  ‘I ‘ acknowledge your existence, but you my mind, are in my control and ‘I’ will only use you to continue to make you know that ‘I’ am in control.  ‘I’ decide when you can or cannot talk through your thoughts.  ‘I’ have to use you for  me to know who ‘I Am’, but ‘I’ will use you with full awareness and not let you cover me like storm clouds and take over.  You may have hopes, desires, wishes, worries, frustrations, anxieties etc. but ‘I’ am not part of them.

“I AM..” anything after that is you jumping up and down like a drunken monkey with your theatrics.  ‘I’ own you and not the other way around.  ‘I’ am the charioteer, you are the horse drawing the chariot at my command, in a direction and speed that ‘I’ choose from now on, so you will know and live in the recognition that “I” the eternal witness –  “I” am in charge.

How Do I Surrender – Part II


Surrendering
Surrendering (Photo credit: adrenalin)

Continuing from last week,  here is Part II on How To Surrender.

 

Surrender is the Ore that guides the boat of our life through the waves of Joy & Sorrow, Pain & Pleasure, without overturning. So, the question remains, what am I surrendering and who am I surrendering to?

 

Knowing that I have no other obligation than to perform my duty a 100%, I relinquish the right to the results of  my actions.  The expectations that I have – of looking forward to favorable results, and not accepting anything else without a fight, is the root cause for the unstable bouncing around within my head screaming at pain and yelling with joy.

 

I am a Yo-Yo dancing with the pull and push of life.

 

If I want peace of mind, an equilibrium and a constancy to my life, then Surrender is the answer.  Surrender means Freedom.  Freedom from ‘i’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘my own’, ‘you’, ‘your’, ‘yours’ etc.,  these ideas divide and rule thus affecting peace and equanimity.

 

In order to relinquish these ideas, I need to fill myself with Love, a Love that emanates from the depths of my heart in the knowledge that the same core that drives me is in the others as well and that fundamentally we all are equal.

 

That Love then results in Faith, a Faith that no matter what  life is throwing at me, I will survive.

 

When Love and Faith are combined, Devotion rises. Devotion not necessarily oriented towards any one particular person or thing or concept, but Devotion towards everything I see and do with a steady flow of love.

 

When I am steeped in Devotion arising from Love and Faith, I reside in and act from my heart, therefore everything I do will be an act of surrender as my mind calmly observes without being a participant.  Things happen around me.  I will still go through pleasure and pain etc., but they do not touch my equilibrium.

 

That is the theory.

 

In practice…… well, there is a very big curtain between my ego and the real me.  As the curtain covers the real me, doubts and confusion ravage me and the flow of love is not continuous and inclusive. I cannot surrender.

 

This curtain is only as long as the distance between my head and heart, yet, I go so far away searching how to remove this curtain.

 

How do I remove this curtain?

 

When I connect to my breath, when I breathe deeply and sink into that breath completely, it gently lifts the curtain to reveal my Heart Centre.  As my head fades into the background even momentarily in the soft breeze of my breath, I become aware of my Heart Centre glowing softly in its radiance ready to guide me gently.

 

When I act from this awareness, my troubles seem trivial and a new strength arises with renewed hope, zeal and enthusiasm.  I have connected with Love.  With that connection, if I remind  myself ‘this too shall pass’, I regain my equanimity and that is Surrender.  I am not relinquishing my power to someone outside of me.

 

‘i’ am surrendering to “I”, the ‘I’ that is in me shining, waiting patiently to be connected to, so it can breathe its reassurance that I am eternal no matter what and ‘i’ just have to accept as ‘I’ show up, with Love, Faith and Devotion and without guilt and worry.

 

As Lao Tzu says:

 

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past;

 

If you are anxious, you are living in the future;

 

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

 

Deep, conscious breathing brings us back into the present moment and as I live in the present moment with complete awareness

 

‘i’ am surrendering to ‘I’ and in that Surrender is the greatest Freedom because everything ‘i’ experience (good or bad) is a gift from ‘I’.

 

What do you think? Is it as simple? It can be and often it is……

 

Try and let me know.

 

Until next time, don’t forget to Breathe……….deeply

 

With Love and Respect

 

Padma Ayyagari

 

Are You Running Out Of Time?


Shepherd gate clock at the Royal Observatory, ...
Shepherd gate clock at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, UK. At 14:05:42 (02:05:42 pm)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was Friday when I first wrote this, it is still Friday in some parts of the world.  2 days weekend coming up to catch up, clean up, upkeep, maintain, create a whole heap of stuff and come Monday not regret that I have run out of time to do everything that I wanted to do.

Can I run out of time?

Time is impartial and dishes out the exact same amount to every single person on this earth and yet there is not a single person on this planet, at least in the First world countries who doesn’t seem to have enough of it and always running out of it.

Seriously, can we run out of time?  Can we make time? Why do we slice and dice time?

I want to write, paint, visit friends, go movies, laze around, window shop, go for drives, picnics in between cleaning, cooking, washing and gardening, I tell myself I have to make time as though I have a giant machine at my disposal that creates extra hands on the face of the clock and creates numbers magically beyond 12 — 15, 16 or even 24.  Sometimes I say I need 48 hrs in a day.

Time…..who said it has to be 24 hrs neatly sliced into two halves or four quarters and do something to fit in between those hands that move from 3 to 6 or from 6 to 12.  I feel terribly smug and productive when I can slice it up neatly and fill those slices with lavish servings of my doings – 15 minutes cleaning – GO; 30 minutes writing – GO, etc., Somehow, tasks set to a timer give a sense of urgency and however much done in that window makes me feel productive and worthy.  I have spent my time well.

There are any number of tips floating around on how to manage time.  Yes, when we cannot produce more, we have to manage what we have.  As I am writing this, my eyes are shooting glances at the clock on the wall,  a rush of adrenaline as the hand is reaching its marked destination, my pen is scribbling faster.

Does a deliberate planned sense of urgency makes one move forward and get creative?  Not sure about ‘creative’ or the quality of work produced, but volume of work certainly be more than when there is no planned urgency.

Time is the same – 24 hrs in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year and yet, some feel it going fast and some find it is not moving.  Is it that the clock works differently for each person?  For the same person, the clock runs differently at different times too.  So, to say “I have NO Time” is an illusion is it not? And to feel stressed, worried, anxious, pushed, pulled, rushed as a result – is it time’s fault?

Then there is the concept of ‘idle time’, ‘down time’, when I am not supposed to be doing anything and that’s good for me.  Am I really not doing anything when I am on ‘down time’?  I am breathing – that is doing. My internal organs don’t stop when I am on idle – heart still beats and bladder still gets filled,  my hands will be moving stroking, scratching, pulling, my head will be filled, rushing, pausing briefly in between the rushes, shaking, nodding absently, mouth can be smiling or burrow can be scrunched – and I am on ‘Down Time’.

Has time stopped for me or am I stopping for it – really, am I stopping at all?

I am not sure where I am going with this but time is ticking and the sense of urgency to finish this piece of writing (as crappy as it is) and to move on to the next task for the allotted hour is becoming a great rush.

I am trying to articulate that which is not linear.  I am trying to straight line a circle that loops onto itself and that’s when I hit a snag.  Can I straighten an infinitely wound circle?  Would my rushed mind understand the gentle laps that my heart wants to take? The stories we tell walking around that circumference are similar aren’t they?

I can go round and round in a straight line and decide if I am productive or not, or I can go beyond the artificially created linear dictates of time and enjoy the ride on a giant circle that is moving fast or slow – depends….

It  means I have a choice to just BE where I am on that circle, fully and completely present for that moment, knowing that the past and future are winding onto the Now and that Now is what determines the result of the moment gone or the effect of the moment coming.

What do you think? Is Time an issue for you or not?

Would love to hear your perspectives. Please leave a comment or two, right now or a bit later when you have – well, you know, more time?

Until next time (there it is the word again)

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

4 Fundamental Desires……….. Part 3


Desire path on Monken Hadley Common
Desire path on Monken Hadley Common (Photo credit: Kake Pugh)

 

You want to continue your life perpetually, a burning desire to live, to leave a mark, to create a legacy.

This desire is entrenched in you and you don’t even realise it

Every activity you undertake, every thought you have, every memory you hold stems from this desire to continue.

Deep down you know that your existence on this plane is limited and you want to stretch that.

The Desire for Continuity is rooted in thought, memory and word.

Thought, memory and word are of time – time either past or time in future.

Time – It doesn’t show any bias to anyone, it dishes out the exact same amount to each one of us.

We have 24hrs at our disposal – never to return once gone.

In that 24hrs you experience your own self projections created from your thoughts, words and memories – there is no freshness in this and time is wasted.

When you make plans constantly and live in your plans – you are trying to create permanency.

When you watch excess TV, surf internet, chat constantly etc.,- you are trying to hold time still and create permanency, all the while realizing that it is fleeting from you.

Result – Hurry.  Desire for Continuity is the fuel for the Enemy of Hurry.

By ignoring the present moment, caught up in either future plans or fears of executing the plans, knowing that you have wasted time, feeling guilty, you hurry to catch up with the present moment – a moment that just slipped into the past.

So, you eagerly look to the future moment waiting to arrive – with bated breath, holding yourself in fear, worry – comforting yourself at the same time that the future moment hasn’t arrived and slip back into your activity.

You suddenly realise that the future moment arrived, not only has it arrived but it already slipped into the past because you only realise when it is gone, you feel guilty etc., and the cycle repeats.

You are constantly hurrying to catch up with the present moment that is just past and leaped into the future, arrived into the present and gone again.  The catch up game never ends.

Desire for Continuity – rooted in thought, word and memory – a total mind game.

How do you hold time? Can you hold time?

The obvious answer is NO.  So what is the solution to avoid the ‘hurry and catch up game’?

Put a Ceiling on Desire on how you spend time.

Instead of watching same news at 3 different times on 3 different channels, limit it to one and instantly gain an hour.

Instead of endless surfing on the internet, limit the time that  you spend on it.

Instead of subscribing to countless number of blogs that sounded interesting at the time, limit them to a couple that are most relevant to you

Don’t let screens take over your life – (says me, who spends most of her waking time in front of a screen – my laptop, but hey! I am alerting you to the perils of it – on the screen –  aren’t I?)

You would be amazed at how much time you would gain in simply being aware of how you are spending it and where you can gain it.

Just becoming aware of yourself in your surroundings, bringing yourself to the present moment constantly – not only saves you from hurrying, but also gives you a presence in your life.  You become alive, not caught in the mental gymnastics that your mind constantly engages you in.

Living in the present moment does not leave room for guilt, fear, worry or hurry.

When you are not hurried, you have patience.

When you have patience, you become loving and kind.

When you are loving and kind, you are healthy  not just mentally, but physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

Desire for Continuity is fulfilled as you are leaving a legacy of how good, loving and kind a person you are.

Same desire, two different results – all because you have decided to put a ceiling on how you spend your available time.

So what do you do with your available time?

You can work on yourself – creating a healthy you

You can spend it with your family – creating a healthy family

You can serve in your community – creating a healthy community

A healthy you, a healthy family and a healthy community creates a better world.

Think about it – all this because you decided to put a ceiling on how you spend your time.

Ceiling on Desires on Food, Money, Energy and Time –  is not about not having desires or not fulfilling desires.

Ceiliing on Desires is about recognising the excessive desires in these 4 areas that can take over our lives and then consciously putting a limit on fulfilling them, so we still enjoy those but in moderation.

The freed up resources of Food, Money, Energy and Time are then put to good use for the benefit of the individual, the family and the society.

Ceiling on Desires is a simple spiritual practice that is steeped in respect and love for oneself and for the world that one lives in.

Ceiling on Desires is a practice that is loaded with potential to create a loving, united and harmonious world.

Will you practice Ceiling on Desires?  I am………..trying to

Tell me where you can put a Ceiling on Desire on Time?  Leave your comments

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari