I recently got to see this lovely movie “Little Buddha.” There I learnt about Mandala which is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically dismantled once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life. Source : UMKC.edu
The sand is collected in a jar which is then wrapped in silk and transported to a river (or any place with moving water), where it is released back into nature. This symbolizes the ephemerality of life and the world.
Isn’t it the best way to depict human life? When I was watching the movie and the monk told the hero about it, In my mind, I thought about the waste of it all and how every culture has some way of doing it. I also thought about the back breaking work (pun intended) that the monks had to go through to make it. And, it seems that the minute it is done making, they start .. unmaking it or …. I am sorry I don’t know what happens properly. The movie said that they just brush it off in one stroke, just like that but when I read online, it said that they had a order of removing … an order to remove the deities and …
So, coming to the point, I realized that we too break our backs in making our life and learning and doing things for which we have chosen this place. The minute it is done, We are called back and just like that, we are gone. So, Such a beautiful way to learn detachment.
I have not been a very religious person to begin with but I have been in a lot of rituals and ceremonies that have taken place in the family. Mostly to maintain peace and harmony and also because it can be fun sometimes.
When I got married and shifted to USA, our life changed in many ways. It isn’t easy to live in new surroundings and as is human nature, we think of the divine when we are most troubled. I started spending more and more time doing meditation and reading about heartfulness. Staying away from family also kept us away from many rituals and customs. I didn’t realize how much peace I was at until my mother told me about a particular ritual not done properly by the pandit. I was shocked to hear how expensive the puja’s had become. It could feed a small household for a week. That day, I realized how my life has changed and how inexpressibly relaxed I felt by not having to go through the rituals. It is difficult to explain in words and maybe something that could be argued upon but I am sure that I have never felt so content as I do now. As much as I am trying, I am unable to express or put in words the sense of peace I feel now. I hope you experience it for yourself.
I have recently made a page – Heartfulness giving information on the type of meditation I do. Hope all of you find it useful.
Whenever traveling, I always try to find the seat where the sun won’t trouble me. I almost get bugged with my dear hubby for not knowing. I pity the guy sometimes. I can get hard to please sometimes.
While I was on one such trip, the bus went through a lot of twists and turns, some times there was sun and sometimes there wasn’t. Some times, there was sun filtering the trees and making each leaf glow.
I realized that this is how life is too. Sometimes there is sun to trouble you and sometimes there is shade which you can enjoy. How much can one hide from the bad times? At best, you may use a shield for sometime but you will have to go through it. Make the most of it when you can.
I am lucky to have a bird feeder outside my house thanks to my dear hubby. It was my much awaited gift.
I do try to remove some time and sit by the window to watch birds. I have seen many wild birds but mostly sparrows are my regular guests. The feeder is placed in such a beautiful way that I can type on my computer and yet just lift my head to the right and look at the feeder. All birds make a noise as they come to eat. Hence, It is a delight to have it.
The reason I feel birds are intelligent is that they can sense me watching them. Can you see the glare on the window in the first pic, I know humans can’t see from outside but birds seem to sense my presence and fly away when I move. It is so difficult to click pics. I have seen birds playing with each other and once I saw a sparrow touch beaks with another. It was spectacular but they fly away as I pick my camera. Even when I stay very very quiet, I feel birds make eye contact and sense me and fly away.
Maybe the smart people amongst you will tell me that their vision is better than us humans and …
It used to break my heart to know that the birds fly away because of me. Thankfully, slowly I feel they are starting to trust me. Yesterday, as I was waiting for my dear hubby to come home, I saw this bird who kept on eating. The bird didn’t mind me at all and it is the most delightful experience to have. I thought that it is always a delight to be accepted by babies and really small children but birds… This is a whole different kind of acceptance that I beginning to love.
This is not the most profound realization I have had but I feel compelled to write something. Now a days, everything I write is with the aim to publish it somewhere. Though writing is still fun and I still choose to write what I want, I miss writing to you, here.
So here is something I realized sitting at this beautiful park next to my house. It is a cloudy day in spring and the weather is like it is in Mahabaleshwar.
As I sit here, sipping tea and enjoying the peace after finishing all my chores for the day and sending my hubby away to work, my thoughts drift to the rare times I drink tea.
I remember making tea for an American sister of ours. How I had not added sugar as she doesn’t take sugar with tea. In most households in India, we make tea by heating everything together – water, milk, sugar and ginger and lemon grass depending on individual taste. From what I personally know of US and UK, there is no one pot of tea, there is black tea water separate, milk separate, sugar separate and …. this gives me two realizations.
1 There is respect and consideration to each individual more in US than in India which makes me feel safe and comfortable here.
2 Also, I find tolerance and the ability to adjust is more in India than in US. (This is my personal opinion from my personal experience) Just sharing!