Saturday, October 07, 2006

Since when did sitting idle doing absolutely nothing, go out of fashion?
One fine day some jerk shot a pistol and the race started…. no one has had the courage or the time to stop or get off from the speeding locomotive since.
We run like the rabbit in the fabulous wonderland of dear lil’ alice. “ I am late”… “I am late”... Late to work… late to get back… Late to live. As if there’s a carrot dangling in front of our nose… we run to get away from home then dance on a hot tin roof with bare feet… before running from work to get back home.
When was the last time u just sat on a couch and do nothing? Just spend few moments with your thoughts… but it never happens for just when you were thinking to collapse in that bean bag that you had been eyeing for three years now, along comes a busy body who wants to know if you don’t have anything better to do and hands u some errand… I have a strong conviction that its got something to do with envy…
Sitting and dreaming can be good for health. Its also called relaxing. Or at a glossier level... meditation. Be aware. Just be with your thoughts. Observe them as they make their appearance on the stage of your mind, put up a show and are thrown out by the “next bunch of actors”!!! Thoughts that leave you in splits... angry enough to kill a mouse…or sad and teary eyed… sigh..
Ghalib said… jee dhoondata hai phir wohi fursat ke raat din.. bhaithe rahen tassavoor e jaana kiya hue… the heart searches for moments of idleness just to sit and think about a loved one…
From the time you wake up at the bidding of the alarm in the middle of the most enchanting dream, you r rushing to get somewhere… funny, for at the end of the day you always find yourself in your bed. Its like we were running away from it to get back to it!
Imagine a space where you just sit alone and think…or dream or snooze…as may be the individual preference. There should be such a place in the house or at work where you are allowed to go and do nothing… without feeling guilty! And where no one is allowed to ask you anything…only “ mein aur meri tanhaayee”( me and my solitude)…just for a while for like all good things, it must come to an end. Just an oasis of blankness in the desert of schedules and deadlines. You can't forever remain in the oasis for you must trek the desert in search of your treasures… but a pit stop to refuel … just to switch off from the world and connect to your inner peace and solitude. Just to say hello to your self.

Ek lamha seher e zindagee ke beech
Jab tanhayee mein khud se poocho tum..
Kyon janaab? Sab khairiyat hai?
Aur phir ho jao duniya mein gum.

A moment in the midst of this desert like life
When we ask ourselves in a quiet moment
“My friend, how are you?”
And lose ourselves in the world again

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Music and spirituality

Music has the ability to take you in to great depths within yourself. Music is a harmonious part of nature. There is a rhythm in everything and music has the ability to penetrate in to the various levels of your existence. While you can hear music through your ears, and through your intellect you can listen to it through your soul and there experience meditation through music… when you become one with music.
A person who loves music, who either listens to it or is a musician, cannot be too far from spirituality. No matter what kind of music he deals with. Music is the easiest way to experience spirituality.
And if you feel like running away from music, then that is because it has become noise. .. an irritant in an already cluttered world... A beautiful rose in a garden full of weeds. You need to pull out the weeds before enjoying the beauty of the rose.
Why does music effect you so much… because it affects your emotions… most genre of music leaves you feeling emotional. Have you noticed it? You may feel melancholic or ecstatic listening to few notes…We are drawn to a source of music. Either preferring to sit and listen or sway to its beats. It is impossible to remain unaffected by music. Listening to music is like meditation .. you have to start from a superficial level and slowly sink into the depths… until you lose yourself in it…
It is believed that the right brain is responsible for creativity and emotion and the left brain is responsible for logic, analysis and spatial reasoning. The left brain processes data in a linear, or sequential manner. The right brain processes data simultaneously, and because it is mute, does not connect plausible explanations immediately to each step in the process, but instead trusts the left brain to later link the reasoning behind beliefs or decisions. (from wikipedia)
What this means is that when we listen to music we tend to use both the hemispheres of our brains. So listening to music is good for you. It helps you strike the right balance. This is the reason why we have the tradition of satsang.. or singing devotional songs in a group. This is also why we have masses in a church. Positive thoughts and emotions from a group of people is a huge wave of positive energy which benefits everyone who experiences it. No one can deny that attending a satsang leaves one feeling better.. happy, full of some inexplicable joy… and a quiet wave of peace.
Have you been to a music concert? The Music composition filters in to your ears .. creating a wonderful tapestry with all the design elements.. there’s harmony, contrast, different textures.. and tying all these is a spirit that touches you deep inside… You as a listener are only sitting and listening but you get carried away in its waves… high and low… It is a blessing to be able to enjoy music. And it’s a bigger blessing to be able to sing or play music. Notice a face that is playing music… there is deep concentration … and a strange sense of peace and joy. That can only be experienced. Music is a service. The singer wants to impart joy to please a listener, to help him share the spirituality and to eventually become one. The music, the renderer and the listener…
We usually listen to music in the background… like an attachment to our activity. And our mind becomes a playground of musical notes and the thoughts related to the activity … each vying for attention… Next time you listen to music when you have spare time, sit in one place. The music should not be too loud as to superimpose your senses and not too soft as to get lost in the surroundings… close your eyes, and listen. To every note… every beat… every nuance. And thus you breathe in the present moment. You are living in the present. And that IS joy. Slowly sink in its embrace, listening through your ears... and then through the intellect.. next it touches your thoughts and emotions…leading to a great sense of relief and joy… finally climaxing into a state of thoughtlessness.
That is meditation.