Tuesday, January 25, 2011

YES! + or the defeat of Arrogance

Fear not! I am not so full of myself to have been ever arrogant with anyone!  However, today’s talk will be about the bliss of a lifetime – The beginning of something more amazing than seeing a monkey eating ice cream on the moon! Yes, it’s YES! +

YES + stands for Youth Empowerment and Skills Workshop for the adults aged between 18 and 30 years old.  So basically, it is a 26 hours of spiritual fun stretched over 4 days.  It is a course, among others, given by the Art of Living teachers and the only reason that you will not benefit from it a single bit is if you are absent from the whole course or you do not give a single piece of attention to the course.
And this is what I did to Part 1 in 2007, when chaos was befriending my life, when the lighthouse of my path was off and the storm of confusion was at its climax in and around me. I did not pay any attention because I reluctantly went there, not to say that I was forced as a sea cucumber follows the tide currents.

That time, I did the breathing techniques called Pranayama, Bhastrika and Sudarshan Kriya and felt better during the course, but afterwards, I did not follow up with regular practice and guess what? Doom was knocking yet again at my already shattered door.  However I managed to cross that ocean of troubles but sacrificed a lot and now that I reached the shore and rested well physically, and from recent life incidents at the beginning of the year, I felt that the usual fire of selflessness and unconditional love present within was only a glow.  I was feeling burnt-out and nothing that I usually do to make myself feel better was making any day my day! So, as an angel proposed about the course, as I thought of Jim Carrey in Yesman, I decided to enroll in another course called the YES! + of my own free will! It has been the bestest decision I have ever taken in the last 5 years!

It started on Thursday and ended on Sunday.
That Thursday, the sunny day was coming o an end as I stepped in with a dear friend who recommended the course to me.  Wearing loose fitting cloth as advised with a bottle of water in hand, I stooped into the hall of Art of Living Centre in Wootun.
I do recall that on that day I had a very relaxing morning and afternoon devoid of all stress but yet, Amazing was that feeling of peace, that invaded me. I felt invaded by the sweet fumes of cleanliness.  That hall is magic.  The vibes there made my first impression my conclusion! It was as if you smelled a rose for the first time ever, with the eyes opening wide in marvel of such unseen beauty. 
As I was able to gather my emotions to acknowledge this feeling, my eyes hit straight ahead on Guru Ji’s picture.  His eyes were amazingly calm that can make anyone ask if he is here or not at that present moment.  His smile was simply peaceful – no other words to describe this! Peaceful as in he’s peaceful inside and also because it emanates a soothing of your own soul.

As the course started, the shyness to befriend strangers did not even come up for you felt at home and merged in the funnily serious and seriously funny activities, you felt detached from the outside world. You felt like in Guru Ji’s lap and playing joyfully like a child!  Time flew by soaked in joy, fun, and intense moment of peace and pure, absolutely pure bliss!  For the 4 days present there, I shall not reveal the activities for this is the happiness of surprise
As Sunday came and a changed persons we all are, the energy flowing through us like never before, we lavishingly poured into the main stream of shouts and dance during the satsang.  Here again a One of a Kind experience that we will all lovingly repeat anytime anywhere!

For the defeat of arrogance, as I termed it in the title, it is not the usual ego that some, full of themselves, usually boast out of ignorance to try dominate others or despise them.  It was the defeat of the arrogance from within, the constant self-appraisal that kept saying that I was fine and doing great even though my spiritual power was down before doing YES! +.  It was that illusion of believing that since I have a roof under which to sleep and food and parental love, I was “ok”. 

It was that defeat of that arrogance as I humbled myself to accept that I could no more carry hefty burden for now.  Atlas of the Greeks I was, crumbling under such pressure, I was…
Ss the nectar of Pranayama entwines my soul with the fire of Sudarshan Kriya and the wings of Bhastrika, now again, I am more than ever ready to be who I am, to serve the people!
The Fire is Back!

Your greatest gift for me is that you follow the courses offered at the Art of Living organisation and to give your 100% in it!

Thank You YES! +!
Thank You Tannu Ji 
Thank You Prakirtee Ji!

Thank You Sri Sri!
Jai Guru Dev

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Intricacies of an emotion (Part 1/3) - The Beginning...

It all started during the teen rate race for scholarships. Maths lord and soccer addict, the spare time was spent in completing the tuition work ad going to tuition. Square and chubby, discovering religiocultural faith with that sense of belonging to the Nation, I was mostly the romantic fool, looking ahead for marriage with the first love itself after studies and reaming of work, house, children and so on....which made me also very shy and strict in my girl policy, that is, Thou shall not speaketh to woman unless spoken and indeed, female friends were those who had family ties with me. However, I attached a lot of importance to friendship and until now, I still have some genuine guy friends from high school.

So, one day, after that I was desperately seeking for a pal on the phone, I scolded him for my lost time, when I finally got hold of him, and he told me about his cousin who was having some crush for a guy. Kind hearted and matchmaker like, I offered to help and it turned out hat the guy was another good friend of mine. As I check for his availability and interest in the said girl, which were both negative, I referred back to my pal o break the bad news. However t make him feel good, I jokingly wandered to say that he should fix a date for his cousin and I and so it was!

Before the much awaited date when a food fair was being held at her school, photograph of both parties were exchanged for a correspondent agreement on the matter. As the day came, on the eve of second term exams, I went through all kind of tips and practice from our horde of testosterone, for it was a pleasure for the genuine to see their Maths tutor getting lucky and for the hypocrites to hope that I’ll crash down and lose in their stupid rat race. So the time came, perfume, gel and some gym were the appetizers before main meal, which we camouflaged as a ‘career’s guidance’ appointment, ironically!

In that commotion of squeaky voices, occasional firework and sizzling hot oil, there she was, all shy, with brows translating the insecurity of the next happening and pearly sweat drops glistening on her face. As we were being introduced teasingly by the matchmakers, a simple smile from both parties was the greeting which disappeared as, nearby, some dudes from another school were heating up more than the oil, as it seemed. Not knowing from where did the thought originated, I broke off the eye contact with her and walked towards them slowly and interfered in the discussion to cool off that testosterone boost and so, some blood was saved. As the goon-like band dispersed, I started realizing what I did and how dangerous it was, for me, simpleton, not even in the cool guys squad nor any other, but just a lone strider, who was quickly brought back from philosophical thoughts by his wingman, matchmaker of the day, to reality. He was also a bit taken back by this sudden behaviour of mine, which was the first of many to come…

As we headed to the sports hall, I consciously talked to everyone in the group except to hat pair of secret eyes that was shying away every time it crossed mine. Strategically forcing both of us to sit together, there was no way out now to encounter the unknown but thankfully, the Kaho Na Pyar Hai performance ease the ice breaker as I complimented her on the talent in her school and she replied with a nod before going further to add that Hrithik was her favorite actor – primary conclusion: hunk-loving girl being associated with a chubby gross me: “Houston, we have a problem..”

So I quietly sat next to her, turning a deaf ear to all the side and back teasing until the show was completed. So did she, even though occasionally she commented on stuff to which my sole answers were nods. As we walked out, the stepping on our shadow announced that it was the time to really contribute to the food fair and to have something in the belly. So we ate and still uncomfortably sparse the conversation was. I thought that maybe, it was easier that way, if the game was lost to muscles in advance. However, we continued talking to each others’ friends while obviously avoiding that dreaded conversational confrontation.

While this shy game was ongoing in our post-lunch walk, our friends conspired to force us into some private time as they ignored our vain attempts to shun away from the inevitable encounter. Clearing my throat as she fiddles with her bag and focusing intensely on the road, I asked her about the studies and how is she coping with it. She nodded yet again, as she damped her lips with the tip of her tongue and I could hear her voice for the first time, cleared of all other interference – such a soft, soothing voice, still hesitating but adorable to hear a lullaby from.
Much comfortable, we both were as a smile, a genuine one, was drawn from the depth of both hearts. Our walking pace slowed down to even make a racing snail feel proud, we talked about family, studies, hobbies, well, life in general and as time flew by, our friends grew impatient of waiting for us. While still in the momentum of sharing, she decided to accompany me to my tuition place in another town and still there, in the bus, among strangers, two of them were starting to share their life.

As we stopped a bus stop before the usual one, we chose to go spend some time in the nearby shopping mall and we kept talking interspersed by some no more uncomfortable silence. As we stooped into the busy supermarket, we did not worry about who was there or who knew us. In our separate world, we were as if the only customers there and we talked, discussed about products and who used what and so on.
If we were not in our school uniforms, it would have been easy to mistake us for a young married couple gone for a grocery shopping. As we continued our angelic walk among the stalls, looking around, secretly absorbed into the next thing to say to the other, we did not realize that those alleys were a bit too narrow to easily fit two persons side by side and at one moment, it happened!

My usual natural hand swing teasingly brushed her arm and on the way back, our fingers made contact. As naturally quick as for saving one from a fall off the precipice, our finger interlocked as in a secret pact. Soon enough, I could feel her hand getting warmer and I did not dare face her for I knew that both our faces were as red as love could get. We continued walking, silently, cozily holding each others hands into the next alley, then the next alley until I think that we went through all the alleys available and heading towards the exit as the exposed products were of no concern to us. Big mouth of mine, maybe in a sudden fear of being seen as such, I stuttered that it was time for me to take leave, and alas! The hand lock, warm, yet cold, from that continued contact broke off.

Fortunately our matchmaking guardian angels were eagerly waiting at the exit, maybe to tease or maybe to confirm heir self-proclaimed talent. As I took leave from her with a smile amidst the teasing, I turned back, scratched my head as a return button back to reality and walked off without a single look back, knowing that it was not the last time that we’ll be together......