A Quote

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“Dialogue means trying to understand the other with an open mind. Dialogue is a rare phenomenon and it is beautiful, because both are enriched. In fact, while you talk, either it can be a discussion – a verbal fight, trying to prove that I am right and you are wrong – or a dialogue. Dialogue is taking each other´s hand, moving together towards the truth, helping each other to find the way. It is togetherness, it is a cooperation, it is a harmonious effort to find the truth. It is not in any way a fight, not at all. It is a friendship, moving together to find the truth, helping each other to find the truth. Nobody has the truth already, but when two persons start finding out, inquiring about the truth together, that is dialogue – and both are enriched. And when truth is found, it is neither of me, nor of you. When truth is found, it is greater than both of us who participated in the inquiry, it is higher than both, it surrounds both – and both are enriched.”
– Osho

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“I can think. I can wait. I can fast.”

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“What is it that you’ve learned, what you’re able to do?”

“I can think. I can wait. I can fast.”

“That’s everything?”

“I believe, that’s everything!”

– Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

– The famous dialogue from  Hermann Hesse’s great novel, Siddhartha. This is the reply the protagonist, Siddhartha, gives to his prospect employer who interviews him on his knowledge and job skills. This novel and I, grew up together…. It has given me different meanings and answers to the same questions I asked at different stages of my life. Today, when I sat to write my weekend blog and had trouble focusing and got vexed in the process, this dialogue from my ‘guide’ knocked at the doors of my mind.

Can I think?
Yes,  a lot!

We all can think. But ‘a lot’ is the problem. Do we think only that which is necessary? And are we able to think with the required degrees of attention about which we are supposed to think?  In majority of the cases, the answer in no. We think too much about unnecessary things and too little about the necessary ones. In a day, almost 90 % of our thinking is either repetitive, redundant, unnecessary or imaginative. Conscious imagination is a wonderful work of the mind, but an unconscious creation or recreation is a mere waste of time and energy. Nothing is more detrimental to a productive and peaceful life than a mind that is on an ‘auto-run’ mode.

And the next, can I wait?
Hardly.
To wait means to be patient. And to be patient means to respect the pace of life. There is no point in trying to run ahead of life. We simply cannot outsmart life. It is similar to running within a moving train with a hope that our running would take us to our destination faster. The best way to wait is to shift the focus of the mind from the object of waiting to something else. This method is effective because the perception of time is nothing but the perception of an experience /incident. In waiting, there is no experience or any incident happening, and so, time comes to a standstill which is very difficult for the mind to handle. The best way is to engage the mind in some activity during the waiting period. That is how some of the great books were born in prisons and exiles.
 
And finally, can I fast?
Very occasionally and with great difficulty…

What is the psychology and spirituality behind fasting? Fasting increases our sustaining capacity, tolerance level and will power. The will power is not just about bearing the physical hunger, but at a higher level, it is also about bearing  mental and emotional hungers, and agonies of life. This is the deeper meaning behind the ritual of fasting which is practiced in almost all the religions of the world. All those who can survive through tough times without succumbing are the ones who can fast –  those who can fast their pride, egos, desires, and aspirations. There are no short cuts to learn the art of fasting. It comes only by practice and determination.

Siddhartha was a smart man. He knew no trade or craft but knew well the fundamental skills required for survival. And he was right when he said, “I believe, that’s all.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Balanced

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As I grow, I realize that life is not about good or bad, but is about balance. It seems that Creation is concerned about only one thing – balancing of the dual forces. In fact, duality is inbuilt in the ‘system’ to tally itself and be in balance, or the ‘zero’  state, or the neutral state. Philosophy calls it the peaceful state. Probably that explains why the ‘too good’ people and the ‘too bad’ people face more sufferings and turmoil in their lives than those who take life easy and as it comes. The turmoil that is experienced by the extreme characters (or forces)  is nothing but the act of balancing, similar to the swinging of a spring balance to attain its ‘zero tilt’  state.
Probably we need religions that are less restrictive and more inclusive, and less serious and more joyful.

Christ Consciousness

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To observe the birthday of Jesus with gifts and festivities shows some respect and attention to the ideals of his life. But to meditate and prepare your mind for the holy occasion of Christmas, that you may experience within yourself the birth of a new consciousness of universal brotherhood and love for all living creatures, is to really celebrate Christmas. Drive away from your mind all pride and prejudices, that you may fittingly hold the omnipresent Christ Consciousness in your love-expanded bosom.
− Paramahansa Yogananda