I used to want buyers for my words

A handful of people are known ‘Sufis‘ – mystics who rather prefer to live in seclusion.

A small percentage of Sufis become revered Sufi saints.

And an even smaller percentage of Sufi saints are known worldwide for their poetry.

Mevlana Rumi is among the smaller percentage of Sufi mystics, whose mysticism tears down the walls of religions, whose poetry inflames a deep fire we run away from daily, whose love for God and his master is deep and soulful.

Simple, to the point, and lyrical, the fountain of poetry exploded in Rumi’s heart when he came in contact with his master, Shams-e-Tabriz.

As it turns out, Rumi was a popular scholar turned poet, whose poetic genious was revealed to him after his unquenchable thirst for God was ignited by his master.

“I used to want buyers for my words,

  Now I wish someone would buy me away from words”.

– Rumi

Story-telling, a craft used by Sufis, offers an amusing lesson to the reader, in the most shocking way.

Here’s an interesting poem picked up from “The Essential Rumi” by Coleman Barks .

It is about a Sufi mystic who is overtly worried about his old donkey, and requests the servant repeatedly to give the donkey a proper meal and care.

The assurances given by the servant were all in vain, when the Sufi later realizes that the donkey wasn’t tended to as promised.

The ordinary story is not so ordinary.

It is the lesson in the ordinary things in life that’s become the essence of Sufism.

And here’s how the poem unfolds, giving the reader an advice on life:

“There are such vicious and empty flatterers in your life.

Do the careful, donkey-tending work.

Don’t trust that to anyone else.

There are hypocrites who will praise you, but who do not care about the health of your heart-donkey.

Be concentrated and leonine in the hunt for what is your true nourishment.

Don’t be distracted by blandishment-noises, of any sort.”

– After the Meditation, Rumi 🙂

(Note: The picture has been sourced from the net. No infringement intended.)

 

Copyright © [Meru]. All rights reserved.

The Osho Experience: In the Foothills of The Himalayas

A whirling dervish… Ecstatic music… A state of no dimension !

I never thought I’ll ever witness a whirling Dervish  for real. Let alone, whirl myself!

Least of all, didn’t expect it to happen in Osho’s meditation center.

But wonderful things happen, especially, when you least expect them!

On the last day of a 4-day camp at Osho Nisarga center, the instructor, Pragya Ma, introduced us to the techniques of “No Dimension” meditation.

“Using the breath and a series of coordinated body movements followed by whirling, your energy becomes centered in the hara, the “life energy” center below the navel. From there you can watch the mind and experience awareness and wholeness – the body moving in all directions, the center unmoving.” – osho.com

Not only could I whirl without feeling dizzy, I felt a new connection with the universal energy; a connection which was always there in the first place!

It felt like a “spring of awareness” has blossomed in my heart, pushing away the dark wintry clouds of “chain of thoughts”.

Tears of gratitude flowed from my eyes, realising, for the first time, that the only hinderance between me and the universal energy is the entity “me”. Once “me” leaves the place, only God resides, even if, momentarily. 🙂 

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A moment of unbridled laughter near Osho Nisarga, Dharmshala

Osho Nisarga Meditation Center, Dharamshala, India

Located in foothills of The Himalayan range, Himachal Pradesh, Osho Nisarga is a lush green meditation commune. Vibrant flowers, gentle murmur of the river water, and the enchanting view of Dhauladhar mountain range, Osho Nisarga’s vibes surely takes the meditation experience to another dimension!

Dhauladhar Range Dharamshala
The Dhauladhar Range as viewed from the Osho Nisarga Center, Dharamshala

“The whole existence is a temple.
The trees are continuously in worship,
The clouds are in prayer, and
The mountains are in meditation… ” 

– Osho

Copyright © [Meru]. All rights reserved.

Rumi: Then I Left Everyone, Myself As Well!

“Doing as others told me, I was blind.
Coming when others called me, I was lost.
Then I left everyone, myself as well…
Then I found everyone, myself as well.”

~ Rumi

 

Osho Meditation Center Dharamshala
A moment of unbridled laughter near Osho Nisarga Meditation Center, Dharamshala, India

Vipassana: The Essence of all Meditations

Vipassana is an ancient meditation,  re-discovered, & preached  by Gautama, the Buddha in 2550 B.C.E.  A connoisseur of peace, Buddha transcended the realm of mind,  and attained “nirvana” or “enlightenment”.

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“Vipassana is the essence of all meditations” – Osho.

A curious agnostic, I believe something when I see it from my eyes, feel it in the depths of my soul, figure it out through rational mind. So, I took Vipassana course as a scientific experiment on myself, a challenge to conquer, a test of my extremes.

That’s when I landed in Jaipur!

 Dhamma Thali Vipassana Meditation Center Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

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Located at a distance of 15 Kms from Jaipur airport, the Dhamma Thali Vipassana Meditation Center is easy to reach from station and airport.  A 10-day residential course, a group of dedicated volunteers, veg wholesome meals, the simplicity of 10 days routine is a window to simplicity of the technique.

What is Vipassana? Is it for me?

The word “Vipassana” means to “see things as they are, not as they appear to be” or “to see clearly” in Pali language. I’ve been lucky enough to attend the course thrice. A lot of people ask me if it is for them. Well, put simply, there’re three things that you need to consider if you want to go ahead.

  • An open-scientific mind that is ready to explore a new idea:

My rational mind never agrees with traditions or conventions.. The technique doesn’t require you to do so… The high-point of Vipassana? Equanimous observation of reality, as it is. No visualization or verbalization. No chants, no mantra, and no dress code…No mention of God, soul, or religion…  An open mind is all you need.

Fear not, no one is going to “convert” you ! It ain’t a religion! 🙂

  • Intense curiosity & a sense of respect for meditation and spirituality:

A curiosity for spirituality, life, & mind is how I landed there. So, can you! Don’t go if you want to convert it into another social media debate between your beliefs & Buddhism. It isn’t about Buddhism. It is a technique that came back to India through Mr. S.N. Goenka in 1969, after it vanished from India, few centuries after its re-discovery by Gautama, the Buddha. 

The toughest, yet, most challenging part is adherence to “The Code of Discipline”. A 10-day routine, noble silence, abstinence from liquor, sexual conduct, purely vegetarian meals, starting the day with a wake up bell at 4:15 AM, can get a little intimidating. But the code of discipline is important. It is a part of the whole process

The technique of Vipassana:

Noble Silence: 10 days “moun”: Silence of speech, mind, and body.

A technical summary: Technically, Vipassana is simple. Observe the breath (Anapana)… Become aware of wandering thoughts… Focus back on breath… Slowly, the focus is shifted onto body parts…Equanimous observation of sensations that erupt in each body part… 

The technique becomes challenging when one has to do it more than 10 hours a day, for 10 days, with a light stomach, and a smile on the face. 🙂

The physical discomfort due to posture or continuous sitting is where the path of Vipassana begins! So, if you go, persist till the end, and give it your best shot.

To me personally, a course in Vipassana is a soulful inner journey: 

The first three days are tricky… As thoughts engulf the consciousness… By the fourth day, the burden we call “thoughts”,  begin to shed their weight… Mind is conditioned to be reactive… A student of Vipassana slowly learns to observe, rather than react to action happening outside and inside.  It is almost like the law of Physics: every action has an equal and opposite reaction… No reaction breaks the cycle of thoughts! 

Vipassana is just a blissful journey towards attaining “Bodhi”, or “awakening”. 

If I may say so, Vipassana to me is a  “fresh awakening”, a “rebirth”, a “renaissance of mind”!!!

A click to remember on the last day of Vipassana course!

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Copyright © [Meru]. All rights reserved.

 

The Guest House by Rumi: Sufism

The first glimpse of Sufism

I remember it. My first glimpse of Sufism. An unusual book was lying on the table, with the name “Bulleh Shah” printed on it. The name struck a chord. Just like the name “Rumi” did later on. Bit by bit, poem by poem, the love for his poetry solidified into supreme devotion, and a new gate opened for me – the golden gate of Sufi ecstasy!

So, who is a Sufi ?

Is he the one immersed in deep meditative silence? Or is he the one whirling in a divine ecstasy? Or perhaps the one whose dance has solidified into a deep silence?

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As waves upon my head the circling curl,
So in the sacred dance weave ye and whirl.
Dance then, O heart, a whirling circle be.
Burn this flame - is not the candle he? 
- Rumi

A Sufi can be just anybody: a wanderer, a saint, a beggar, a poet, an ascetic. He can easily fit into any of these categories. Or he can transcended all these mind-imposed categories & move into the realm of nothingness.

“The Guest House” by Rumi is a stroke of genius, an enchanting lyric, a masterpiece that started a life-long addiction to Rumi and his works.

The Guesthouse by Mewlava Jallaludin Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
 Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
 As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
 Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
 who violently sweep your house
 empty of its furniture,
 still treat each guest honorably.
 He may be clearing you out
 for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Note: The image has been sourced from the Internet. No infringement intended.