“Good Morning”

There is a thick fog that has covered the bay, as I walk into the dark early predawn hour. A distant fog horn sounds from a passing ship and I peer at the lights, that are circled by the mist and appear dim. I realize it is not my vision that is in a blur, but that the world itself has become opaque from this phenomenon of water and moisture and inverted temperature, causing me to feel disconnected and lost.

I walk on and hear the rumblings of the trucks down Queensway from the Long Beach harbor to the hinterland carrying goods to the consumers of this great land. This Queensway is a road to commerce; very similar to the Queensway of my youth which connected Connaught Place to the Viceroy’s palace on Raisina Hill, in New Delhi. They were both named after the Queen Mary and yet they are not related.  The contrast in ambiance and looks cannot be starker as one was a display of colonial power and this is a utilitarian road of commerce.

As I turn to go back I feel lost in the fog, as familiar signposts are no longer visible. My mind feels the need to identify these comforting signs and I realize that our lives need similar milestones to guide our daily journey. When we lose the familiar we feel lost; and then fear and anxiety and the consequences of these which are loss of self-confidence and the feelings of inadequacies, rear their ugly head. We are the creatures of habit and anything that disturbs our comfortable cocoon makes us uneasy.

Now that I am uncomfortable and vulnerable the morning walk is not as pleasant and thoughts arise of getting back quickly to the familiar hotel room. I realize that this is the crux of our problems, as we are not ready to step out into the unfamiliar. We are not ready to give up what we have built around us, to find the path we need to travel. We cling to our egos as it defines us and do not allow the souls journey to continue, as it will lead us into the opaque and the unknown.

We have to get out of our comfort zone and become vulnerable again, to realize love and compassion. We do not initiate sex with our partner or build loving relationships with those around us due to the fear of rejection, and so it becomes a cycle of withdrawal and jilted relationships. We narrow our world into one where we are no longer free, but confined by our own fears and imaginations of inadequacy.

The fog still sits heavy on the river but now I am ready to go with its flow. I realize that until this ego is killed I cannot be free. My life was carefree and I wandered this world in wonder in my youth, and now that #hope and joy is long gone. I have allowed the fog of fear, uncertainty, unwholesomeness, anxiety become the norm, till I am no longer whole. The perfection we seek often takes us further away from the joy of discovering our own uniqueness, and the uniqueness of those around us.

The morning will come and the sun will rise and burn this fog away. Similarly we have to awake to our own imperfection and then with consciousness drive our fears away. We have to allow ourselves to become vulnerable again, as only then can we open ourselves to the compassion and joy around us. Until we can forgive ourselves and bring compassion to ourselves, we cannot spread compassion to others.

Deeply hurt I stumble into the hotel lobby and know that the healing has begun; and a new life will dawn for I am unloved, because I am unloving. I open my heart a little bit and say “Good Morning” to the surprised lady at the front desk; as she has seen my predawn wanderings before, and I used to pass her silently sulking away to my room. She gives a sleepy smile after her tiring night shift; and jokes that the city seems blurry this morning. I agree hoping that our personal fog will also lift; I can see clearly now that it is only in dying to our self, that we will be reborn to eternal life. My joy returns and spreads outwards…

Dream silence

With great #Hope for #Self actualization I read the first verse of the Isa upanishad:

īśā vāsyam idaṃ sarvaṃ ¦ yat kiñca jagatyāṃ jagat |
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā ¦ mā gṛdhaḥ kasya sviddhanam ||

literal translation (Ralph T.H. Griffith, 1899):

“Enveloped by the Lord must be This All — each thing that moves on earth.
With that renounced enjoy thyself. Covet no wealth of any man.”

It is only in the darkest of nights that you can see a pinpoint of light appear like a bright star. Similarly it is in the quite of meditation that you can hear the roar of the ever expanding universe. It is when you still the heart; that you hear its pounding and the pulsation of our body, as it screams out its existence. As I walked past midnight the sounds of far highways and the activities at the nearby harbor; seemed to suddenly emerge and when you seek silence, is when you hear the most.
So waste the time and do nothing, and suddenly you will find yourself in the midst of all the action. When you still your thoughts; then more will rush in from the far corners, of consciousness. No wonder people will not meditate; as we find it too distracting, and we lose the motivation to seek realization. Consciousness is not in doing something for reward but in being present with the whole universe surrounding us. It is then that we become one with everything and compassion and love flow as everything is one with us.

Singularity in a state of consciousness is a hard state to live in, as we love duality. Us and them, mine and yours, it goes on and on and we stay confused, hurt, hateful and unfulfilled. Watch your breath and stay calm and then the powers of universal knowledge appear and we are swept away with the joy of the creator. He is not separate from us and we are him and he is us, and every single moment becomes eternal.
When you live a moment in time then you have gained eternity itself, as everything is connected. Now is the moment that awareness rises and duality falls away. I seek so I find. Having found then one only has to live with it; as what we gain is not the treasures of possession, but the joy of renunciation. As the Isa Upanishad said and Mahatam Gandhi pointed out “Renounce and enjoy” should be our only mantra for life.
So I will seek the solace of my bed again in this passing night as the body is weary and the mind is restless. I pen these thoughts with an effort for life is fleeting and there is much to say. I am; so the universe exists, and when I sleep the dreams will come again. The past lives on in us and we are attached to the karma of our past; just like the child who smiles in its sleep, remembering the times when it was happy. On awaking it cries; for life demands survival, and all that comes with it.
Thus we cry on as life is suffering; and all we seek, we will never find. I give you eternal life and what will you do with it. Will you continue to look for what you do not have, or will you learn to enjoy all that you already have. It is a conundrum and who is happy and who is unhappy, is only known to the wise. I take a breath and allow consciousness to slip away and yet the mind clings to this maya of appearances, and I cannot sleep. Then I drift into a dream and all is real again.

Dock of the bay

In the predawn hours the clouds were slowly emerging from under the night’s cloak over the Pacific Ocean. I watched a pair of Pelicans do their synchronized skimming; just above the waters of the Los Angeles River, as they looked for their school of fish. They swam upriver and disappeared and then soon returned still executing that tantalizing close flight to the water with the occasional dive to catch their prey. They were intent on their morning catch, in what is largely an unknown ditch across the city; and finally turns into a bay where the old Queen Mary is docked, as a tourist attraction and hotel in Long Beach.
The palms were lining the Marina as the light got brighter and the distant hills came into view. The sun was still not up as I walked, and the morning awaited its appearance. There seemed to be a hush of expectation from the new day as the night had brought passing showers to parched southern California.

The palms and flowers planted looked greener and brighter and a few drops remained in some places adding to the expectation of hope of better things to come. A few fitness enthusiasts were around passing me on their bicycles or just jogging along the scenic pathways; bordering the river, and the landscaped gardens. I watched the light going off, in the city of lights; as the dawn approached. I knew that in this city of dreams and #hope, the dreams of millions fade into the night, as they awake to a new day.
I find a dock and as I sit looking at the bay, I just can’t get Otis Redding’s words out of my head, “Looks like nothing’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same, listen”
Reflecting with the endless waves of the ocean; I find that my body is growing weaker, from a lack of workouts and exercise. My mind is not as sharp; from a lack of stimulus and also the aging process, which is destroying billions of synapses and cells in the brain. My heart is growing weaker from its inability to love and express affection, whether it is physical or emotional. My habits are not conducive to a better life and the smoking is burning my lungs, throat and body up slowly but steadily. My soul is starving as I do not allow the universe to bring its healing power to me, but remain confined in my narrow world of sin and suffering. My life is wasting away on this bay and nobody is here to show the path, of where to go.
Then I allow the mind to become still in the ancient meditation taught by the Buddha, as I close my eyes and look inwards and allow compassion to spread outwards. A gentle ocean breeze tickles my skin and the sounds of the sea gulls encroaches the peace. I sit still and let the past fade and the future recede and the present is all there is. Thoughts and feelings arise and I let them come and go and stay unattached. I enter the darkness of my consciousness and drift on the ocean of eternity.
Suddenly the darkness is thrust asunder by a light that seems to arise from the deepest darkness of the time before creation. My eyelids turn orange and my eyes are no longer under my control. They burst open and I see a straight line of bright light leading from where I sit across the ocean to the mountain peak across the bay. A single ray from the rising sun peaking over the valley has appeared for me, and only we know each other in a primordial dance of life. Another day has begun and #hope and life are etrnally reborn; I rise to live another day, with the past and my personal pains forgotten.