Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Year In Thought - 2017

Some thoughts that stayed with me through a year which seems to have made a shift inside me. A lot of my old arrogance was beaten down by reality, by my lack of understanding of it, and my understanding finally that I do not understand it like it perhaps is. One cannot help understanding or not understanding but surely the moment when you know that what you thought you knew was not what is, there is nothing to feel arrogant or brash about. I went to the beginner's space, to uncertainty and to not knowing. I gradually saw that some effort was just not working and perhaps I was barking up the wrong tree, that maybe I am doing something I should not be doing, that I missed some key step somewhere. In the end, I am humbler, quieter and definitely more confused. The good thing is that I know that I am confused. Even better is that I am ok with being confused, forever. If I figure it out great, if not, so be it.

Into this beginner's space came some great thoughts, from books, from people. Thoughts that I hope to imbibe and practice.

Chief among them is this from Zen Mind,Beginner's Mind
"Mindfulness is to be fully aware, to completely burn oneself in the act so much so that there is no trace left. Be one with the act. Forget yourself. Such mindfulness is love. It is also what they say being fully in the now. In this state one experiences compassion. One is willing to receive. One is humble. Focus on your breathing.'
'Not to do anything with gainful ideas.

Another thought from Tao Te Ching
'He who is content is rich.'

One from 'Dying to be Me' by Anita Moorjani
'I could have lived my life being fearless. I could have been what I really was - pure, unconditional love. It is when I stop expressing myself that my life turned inward and became the cancer. Live fearlessly. There is no judgment on your actions. Do not be afraid of your magnificence.'

One from Deepak Chopra's Sven Spiritual Laws of Success
Nonjudgment. Give gifts. receive gifts. Be aware. Defencelessness. Make a list, release it to nature. Detached involvement. How can I help.

From APJ Abdul Kalam's 'Wings of Fire'
'Prayer is nothing but connecting with the cosmos.'
'When we have an intention and leave it into the universe when we sleep, it will come true.'

Another one , anonymous, sent by Suresh
'Prayer is when we speak to the Universe. Meditation is when we are listening to it'

From the Autobiography of a Yogi
'We create our own reality through our thoughts and we can uncreate it as well'

From the Inner Game of Tennis
'The Self 2 knows what to do, trust it, ask it to execute it perfectly. Be nonjudgmental about the result. Self 2 is what taught you to walk, talk etc and it can surely do much better if we trust it and leave it alone. The language of Self 2 is visuals. Reduce the idle chatter in the mind by giving Self 1 something to be busy and let Self2 take over.'

Gratitude as a practice
Off Shobha's workshop - gratitude is slowly and surely sinking deeper into me. It is the fifth month that I am doing this practice and I can see how it has slowly crept into me. Not there fully yet but getting there. I sent 100 plus gratitude messages in the last couple of days and I am grateful I have so many people to thank.

Flexible and Open to all Possibilities - Abhinay's Hitchhiking
When I heard of how Abhinay hitchhiked - or even the way he reacted when he found his cousin missing from Bangalore where he was to meet him - I realised how wonderful it is to be so flexible, so adaptable. This is being present to reality, to adapt and flow with the new reality. Hitchhiking requires one to be open to all possibilities - people, cars, trucks, waiting, food, situations - anything could happen. I found that openness, that not being attached to one outcome or one way of doing, so freeing. I am so impressed with that mindset. Abhinay met many wonderful people in his journeys - surely he must have had some not nice experiences too - but overall it's the attitude that is worth imbibing.

Gathering them all together, I am more mindful, and compassionate. I have no gainful idea in my actions. I am content with what I have, this moment. I trust and listen to my Self2 and reduce the chatter of Self1 through mindfulness/meditation. I give easily and I receive.

I listen and I understand. I am nonjudgmental. I am grateful. I am not attached to one outcome. I am adaptable.

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