Allow

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There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in —
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

– by Danna Faulds 

(HT: OnBeing.org)

IF – by Rudyard Kipling

Reflection

If you can keep your head when all about you   

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

    If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

– – – – –

I could not stop thinking about Lord Krishna’s message to Arjuna on equanimity in Bhagwad Gita while reading this poem by Kipling.

You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.

Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.

One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.

Source

Limitless

Treading along in this dreamlike, illusory realm,
Without looking for the traces I may have left;
A cuckoo’s song beckons me to return home;
Hearing this, I tilt my head to see
Who has told me to turn back;
But do not ask me where I am going,
As I travel in this limitless world,
Where every step I take is my home.

– Lao Tzu

Hat Tip to The Hammock Papers

Be

 

Always we hope
someone else has the answer,
some other place will be better,
some other time,
it will turn out.

This is it.

No one else has the answer,
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.

At the center of your being,
you have the answer:
you know who you are and
you know what you want.

There is no need to run outside
for better seeing,
nor to peer from a window.
Rather abide at the center of your being:
for the more you leave it,
the less you learn.

Search your heart and see
the way to do is to be.

– Lao Tzu

A Date with Butterflies

Last weekend, I spent two hours amidst wilderness of the Butterfly Park in Chandigarh.

Watching these beautiful winged creatures hover around, rest on the flowers and then swiftly move to wherever their heart takes them was a truly meditative experience.

Here are some pictures from the visit:

At 10:00 AM, I was the only visitor in the park.

Walking along the nature trail in the park is almost like walking in the jungle. Butterflies prefer wilderness and the park offer a perfect environment to them. Host plants for butterflies are carefully selected to ensure that a wide range of butterflies can live here.
 

I sat on the edge of the trail facing the plants for 2 hours and made friends with some of the most beautiful and delicate creatures on the earth.

To really experience the beauty of life, one has to embrace silence. I did just that and soon became a part of their world.

I watched butterflies for about a couple of hours and I did not want to leave the place. For those two hours, my world had shrunk and all the worries and anxieties just melted when I saw these butterflies happily hovering around me.

To me, butterflies are a sign of hope, belief and life itself. They start their life painfully, struggle to emerge from their cocoon and then blossom. A short and fleeting life span does not deter them from adding so much beauty to the world.

And finally, here is a short poem that I really loved.

Flutter by,
Butterfly,
Floating flower
in the sky.
Kiss me with your
Petal wings—
Whisper secrets,
Tell of spring.

– Author Unknown

The Mountain and the Squirrel

Hungry Squirrel, by Tanmay Vora, Taken at Vadnagar, Gujarat

Enjoy this lovely poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter
“Little prig.”
Bun replied,
“You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I’m not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry:
I’ll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track.
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.”

The Summer Day

The Summer Day, Mary OliverListening to the “On Being” episode with one of the greatest living poets Mary Oliver truly made my day, especially the following poem.

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Swan and black bear represent the good and the bad. Grasshopper represents us, the indecisive human beings.

Life seems to be fleeting by and being present and mindful in the moment is perhaps the best gift we can give to ourselves.