Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge movie Review

I don't know how entertaining it is going to be for you. But depends on what you consider entertainment or you watch movies for entertainment.

It is gory. Depiction of world war.

It made me think of people like Howard Roark, Elon Musk, Sadhguru jaggi Vasudev, Martin Luther King junior, Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Pavlina.
Celebrates man's loyalty to his values (convictions) even if it leads him to hell. He finds solace in his values and aligning with them. 

This movie made me cry. Interestingly at the most unconventional of places. (Spoiler Alert: When he proposes to her for marriage after she very cutely confronts him. lol.). May be it was because how naive and authentic he was and it worked (he gets the girl :) ). About how much she seem to see through to him to his depth and falls for the MAN that he is. May be reassures me to naive and authentic to actually succeed.

Being scrawny is not an excuse for being brave. 

Makes me think, where have i given up my values for comfort and ease where i should trusted and aligned to values.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Questions i (wish to) ask myself every morning!

How would I like to live today? 
What learning would I like to have today? 
What would I like to experience today? 
Who would I like to experience today? 
What youtube video to listen to today?  (or whatever video relevant)
What book should i subject myself to today?
Why them? What wellbeing am I intending to create today? 
What entertainment would I like to have today? 
Am I escaping something through it? Am i escaping some reality through that?
What part of "work" I want to do today?
How am i going to play today?
Am i playing through my work?
When am I sitting with my eyes closed today? Why?
what do i intend to accomplish with that? Is it just a habit or an exploration of unknown?
Do i disconnect with minutiae everyday to actually accomplish that?
What physical activity God intended for me to do today? and when?  
What Facebook, Instagram photo am I sharing today? 
Is it necessary? 
How to make the world a little more better today? 
Did i get pumped thinking of it? 
If not, what would I rather do? 
What goals matter to me most today? 
How am I taking care of physical, mental and emotional fitness today? 
How much of to-do list i cleared up today?
What big goal and gave i am playing for today?

I realize this is an evolving list!
Yes. I ask this to myself every now and then.
No. Not always the answer is fantastic. But it is real.
Yes. This inspires me big time.
Yes. There is bunch more i want to add to this.

Do add your 1 or 2 (or 10) such questions in comments! Let me know you vibe with me! ;)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Nashik ~ of Vineyards and Farmhouses

Posing after meditation!
Some travel experiences are so special because so many things come together which normally would not. The people, the place, life situations, state of mind. I think the best is when you get to experience connectedness to your self.

Just like millions of other places on earth, there is enough "nature" to explore in Nashik. Other than the regular stuffs like picturesque vistas, weather (thank you nashik for not being humid on me), food, joy bike rides, selfies, engaging with locals, navigating various negotiations - some other things were very profound for me on this trip. Many of my trips/travels are amazing and profound. Even weekend visits to pavna with my friends is actually very nurturing for me. Except this time, i actually sat my ass down to write about it. I intend to write on every trip/ travel i make. Lets see.

Transforming the anxiety of being alone.. to a powerful "space of allowing".. where undeserving kindness is showered upon!

I usually get a feeling of anxiety when i start a trip. Usually about.. will it be fun? Aam i forgetting something? Should i can cancel and go back to regular life? Do i have enough batteries? Is there anything that i didn't complete and so on. Over that, the bus guy seemed like he over priced me (which he didn't, as i learnt later). Anyways, i know these triggers by now so i knew that i would slowly settle in and go with flow. So my current favorite spiritual teacher (Teal Swan at the moment) and started drifting off. And Ofcourse it worked.

If you know anything about local bus travels, you would know if you book ticket last minute, you will get 1. the last seat (which is pretty bad), 2. Nobody would be willing to exchange it. These days i am very interested in pushing social boundaries. I made friends with some random guy and was talking to him. Despite the fear of rejection, at one point i asked him do you want to switch, and he readily agreed! Wow. Thats fantastic. Over and above that, the old man sitting next to me offered his hotspot and allowed me to access internet. A simple lesson to relate to people beyond their sterotypes and actually connecting with people can make  lots of difference.

Real connection. Joy and feeling loved.

Immersed in her train of thought,
 Michelle oblivious to me taking selfie
Not superficial. But real conversations. when you can be authentic with someone and have real conversation about something.
Do you know how amazing it feels to be with someone?
  • who has commitment towards being authentic Vs being liked?
  • who is ready to listen Vs competing to talk
  • who is as comfortable being lazy as in action mode all the time
  • who has faced their demons Vs perpetually living a "safe" life
Let me tell you. It is so freeing to be around some one. Everything you explore with such a company is beautiful. In my experience, all the international travelers are like that. Thank you michelle! It was such a delight to do this little travel with you.

Schedule free living Go-with-the-flow living

It recently dawned upon me that humans are not made to be productive. We are here to enjoy various dimensions of life. As a manifestation of various levels of playfulness, we created calender and to-do list. Even though i am a fairly productive guy, i actually let go and just did what my heart wanted. If it told me to be lazy, i was. If it told me to dance, i did. If it told me to lie down, i did. If it told me to cuddle, i did.

I learnt to listen to my feelings better.

The best part was to just lay in the grass listening to coldplay and staring at stars. Although, i should admit, i did dance most of that time. I miss these lush forests, landscapes and parks in mumbai concrete jungle. 

Always welcoming new connections
There are times in long bus rides when there is not enough juice in the mobile to listen to anything ~ you are left with just stream of thoughts and no social norms to adhere that disturbs the contemplative space.

Pushing social behavioral boundaries

There is always a creep (or almost creep) in most of the travels. It is good to be and i am open and receptive to people in general who want to connect. But some how some creeps (whose intentions are beyond just enjoying conversations and crosses some boundaries) seep in through the cracks. In a ways, i like it. It helps me keep vigilant for me and my peeps. It is about straddling the thin line where you allowing them to be few things and not allowing them be in certain way around you! This is part of the package.

I'd call it a travel experience rather than just a vacation because both are about mindset. I like traveler mindset more. Vacation, for me, implies lazing about and indulging (not that anything wrong with that) , but i am very active during my travels as much as (if not more) my daily life.

Navigating through the good and the bad locals

There are some local folks who are genuinely interested in connecting and there are some who are out to extract maximum out of you! Negotiating your way through it is a skill that i learnt by making enough mistakes in life. I am OK with that. Cant be protected all the time. I started to enjoy the vulnerable and gullible side of me. I have lots of respect for female solo travellers even more!

The Farm House

Sula Vineyards

PS: Best way to choose partner/ friend in life is to travel with them. Not as a tourist, but as a traveller. It reveals the good, bad and the ugly of both to each other and helps deciding if its a good match for each other! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stupid little Creative Adventures

I have done most of them here. Some of them i am going to do. Soon.
You can try these for 2 hours to start with and increase time. These are 2 person activities. If you want life to be interesting, start with yourself. Don't be afraid to be interesting. For you to enjoy the process of driving, you need to start the vehicle at some point, right?
  1. Blindfold one person. The other person should guide the temporarily blinded person through crowd, traffic, cafe, etc. 20 minutes. Then switch. This is like a trust exercise. This is super fun.
  2. Road trip with a friend. No talking. Communicate (if you have to) through smiles, emotions. If you can convince both of you to fully invest into that, this can be super fun - once you cross the initial weirdness stage.
  3. Stare into eyes and communicate. Not allowed to open mouth. Activity can be done but has to be a together one - like painting, dancing, cooking, etc.
  4. Volunteer together. Conversations only about the activity. Any other inside jokes, movie talks are not allowed. Rules make the game fun.
  5. Create the best experience for another - movie, massage, drinks - whatever. In those few minutes/ hours, YOU don't exist.. only the other person exists. Your needs, wants, likes, dislikes, etc does not exist. Live for the other person just for 2 hours. Find out what the other likes and surprise them.
  6. Have a bet on who can make the most strangers smile. I started this as a self exercise. Now it has kinda become a habit.
  7. Sing/ Dance in public to/ with each other. Like the road, near that idli shop, in the train, Metro, while waiting in queue, etc. Dont think. Just Be. Just do.
  8. Go and soak in the beauty of nature with the senses. And then without the senses. Close the eyes and meditate next to each other.
Some of these things seems cheesy, but who the fuck cares? 
What are some of your ideas?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I disconnected from Facebook so I connect with my Self

I like facebook. I dislike it even more. I am not divorcing, just a trial separation. I am just going to invest time and energy on other pursuits. In fact i did that last 40 days. I might have logged in twice for about 2 minutes in the last 35 - 40 days. I have now found a new and meaningful way of relating to facebook. This post is more like a reminder to my future self incase if i get into the vacuum again.

But what about people who care about me and want to know what is going on with my life?

I will try and post some every now and then. But i am not going to wait around for likes and comments. If you feel like knowing what is going on with my life, here is my blog. 
It is extremely tailored, edited, moderated, very coherent, uplifting, extremely entertaining, engaging, well writttten, well punctuated.;, grammatically impeccable, literally unparalleled. haha. really? you believed all that? None of that.

Its going to be authentic me - That i can promise.

Or whatsapp me, call me or better yet - bring some nice food and wine and meet me in person.

The facebook vacuum story:

Does the following story ring a bell? 
You start by logging in to just check the updates and who else has liked or commented on your photo. Then you start responding to the comment. Then, one photo of one of the comments pulls you in and you follow the curiosity and go "like" it and then the next photo and then you are stuck on their WALL as something about what they have "shared" is funny and interesting and useful. And you go ahead and share it. Some one "likes" it and you feel like you have done some service to humanity.. which lets you to go ahead and "share" more similar stuff. And then you move on to a new genre - awe-inspiring and world changing stuff.. Right when you have had enough "inspiration" and "motivation" posts, you get drawn into those funny AIB, qtiyapa and "john oliver" videos and you laugh your ass off and then you need more "fix" "hit". You look for more "high content" "funny" stuff and you keep chasing that high with better "fix"es and you are not getting any. It has been 2 hours since and you have settled to the good old "lolz catz" videos and memes. And then you realize you have to go do the "work" which needs you to focus and then you resort to facebooking again as your brain has gotten used to this "easy"ness. And you are totally, completely and utterly lost. 

One day, like many other days, i was going through with that drama. Then, about a month and half back, i said "no more". And quit facebook cold turkey. All of a sudden i have so much space, time and energy available for me. Not just time. So much of life is available for me.
I have improved phenomenally at work. I can access my deeper core and offer my values even more. I am actively pursuing life. I am dancing more. More joyful. All those.

During those days while i was sucked into the facebook vacuum, even though i did lots of adventure and YOLO stuffs, it felt like there is always this certain nagging lack of contentment in not living my life completely -- like -- Everyone around me is traveling or doing things, moving on in life and "living" and i was the only one who wasn't happy all the time or traveling all the time or "living" out there.
Then, I  realized that it is an unnecessary distraction to put myself through a jealousy cycle and get myself out of it. Even though i am in path of yoga, i do get jealous, except when i watch it happening - within a minute or two (sometimes days and weeks) and then transform it. But why go through that little cycle at the cost of my joyful mission, right?

When i disconnected, It is uncomfortable to stay in that "vaccuum" and during those careless moments, Instagram or twitter or youtube (or a similar thing) tried to get sucked right into the vacuum. Thankfully none has such black mass that facebook has.

This way of living is more fun. Alright. Gotta go. Now i got to log into facebook and see who has "like"d this. LOL.

Feb 15 2016 Edit: Now that i am in control, i am going to log in every now and then to share stuff. Or i might not.

The benefits in the past non-facebook days?

  • Actually living out there
  • Day dreaming more
  • Playing with kids/ animals more
  • Being available for friends
  • Spending more time with rubik's cube 
  • Write a lot more
  • Spending more time sitting with eyes closed (that is the best adventure)

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Sunday of confronted boredom

I will be as short as i can, otherwise skip to read the appropriate part. 

The Why?

Why not?

From the time we get up (after about 300 snoozes) to going to bed (falling asleep by gradually numbing ourselves down with TV), It is  surprising to know how very little time we actually are with/ by ourselves. It is not because we are so busy. It is because we keep unconsciously ourselves busy so we can avoid the boredom of what remains when all else is taken away.

"It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away." - From, "the invitation" by oriah 

Our ears are plugged in while in queues or transits. 
While with friends, we feel the need to fill all the moments with conversations ~ even if it is boring and redundant.
Every few minutes, We feel the need to check for whatapp messages, facebook statuses and instagram likes and feel like we need to fill it up by initiating chats.
We allow constant interruptions through useless phone calls and messages.
There isn't really an emphasis on and a space for "deep focused work".
We don't close our eyes and sit, come what demon may.
We are no more "committed" beings. Sadly, this is becoming socially accepted.

Somehow, after all these years, the idea sit well with me (the idea that we constantly need to be entertained/ engaged during our waking hours).

The Inspiration:

Last saturday, i was re-reading a chapter from the book, "The way of superior man" by David Deida (This book is a gift to mankind)

The two ways to bring you right to your masculine edge of power are austerity and challenge.

Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. NO candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine.

If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding from it.
Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains impenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control.

Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice,  dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering.

By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love. 

Ofcourse these words are piercing and moves anyone to take action. Instead of waiting for the "right time" and "right circumstances" i decided to do it right away.

Yesterday being sunday, i didn't have lots of commitments involving other people. Ofcourse i had lots of things to be done (but when does that list every get over?). So i decided to do my own version of experiment.

The Experiment:

The experiment parameters are these:
  • No computer
  • No WiFi
  • No TV shows, movies, books, music, videos, entertainment of any kind
  • No talking, communication of any kind, No phone calls, no whatsapp, facebook
  • Just me, my thoughts, my sleep, my meditation, my quietness
  • I thought this up at about 9.30AM. So from 9.30AM till the next morning i woke up.

The Results:

First half hour was the regular. I remembered lots of things that needs to be done. Bank stuff, work stuff, house hold stuff, new ideas, etc ~ since it involved me using my computer (evernote) and i could not do it, it made me restless. I knew that was okay.
Later, i started taking a note of my immediate environment ~ the books, the disorganized table, the bed and then minute stuff like bed corner, the floor design patterns, the little dirt in the window sill, etc. That doesn't mean anything. No insights there. 
Later, i started remembering the words from the books, blogs and words from mentors and wanted to connected to them (which involved me opening www or youtube - i couldn't do it - so frustration again). Look at the compulsive action there. "No, Go beyond" - i said.
Then, i slept off (yeah - that was me going beyond) - as i was tired from staying awake with friends last night.

In the meanwhile, my flatmate arrived and chatting with me. Before he got weirded out and wondered if i was okay, i made a few attempts at non verbal communication. Later i just said "I am tired of talking, i am going to keep shut the entire day" and smiled. He got it and later understood the entire scope of my "experiment" after a while and later supported me and infact i could see he was inspired. When you are convinced about something, people generally are supportive of you. I will ask his honest feedback today.

Last couple of weeks, i was getting good at sitting with eyes closed by myself. Lets call that thing meditation. My meditation zone came to me easier yesterday. Mostly, after meditating, i check my phone (Fine, judge me if you want). Since that was not an option today and getting out of meditation wasn't particularly stimulating, i chose to stay longer post my meditation. I wont say much here. It was pretty awesome though.

I didn't want to go complete radio silent  in case i need to take any urgent calls. Atleast i had to leave people the option of text messaging me. I would only reply if it was critical. None was critical and hence i didn't.

I felt bad when some people from whom i was expecting message from didn't reach out to me. The ego part of me was a bit sad - but quickly got over it with some powerful contexts like "Universe is supporting me in the experiment and the big U thought i didn't need any more distractions than already existing ones (the thoughts)". Other not-so-powerful context (but got me through) was: "I am not dying today. I can check whatsapp tomorrow".

Evening now. I went out to the park. Did a bit of work out. Watching people and kids play. Laughed. Got bored. Laughed at myself. Wanted to check phone. Empty pocket. Laughed at myself again. Yelled at an angry kid who tried get away by doing something "bad". i forgave myself for talking. (If you're wondering about the kid, he was trying to hit another kid with my chappel and i had to stop him. I couldn't control a lot about their fighting but some of it i could and i did). 

Came back home. Got bored. Found out that i actually did not care where my phone was. Checked for any "critical communication" and left the phone at home and went out again. Forgave myself for that little rule violation.

On my way out, for the first time, i went into the nearby temple and participated in the singing by clapping and dancing as i was not allowed to sing. This became my primary source of entertainment, at that moment. I longed to dance and sing. I laughed. Weirded out some of the grim-faced "bhaktas" there with my smiling.

Went out. Was longing to talk to some one. (i was understanding my own unconscious, compulsive patterns). Again, laughed. Skipped and danced a bit.

Went to 13th cup chai. Interacted with waiter like a dumb person. I was smiling and smiling. Everything was amusing. Played jenga. Invited the waiter to play. He couldn't just stop smiling. He was so happy like he just got a pretty girlfriend or something. Savoured the egyptian chamomile sip by sip (as i had nothing else to do). Walked around the shop and read poster (later realizing i was not supposed to read.). Laughed while forgiving myself. 

Caught myself wanting to communicate to some one and then laughed at the empty pocket. Came home. Night. Slept.

The Take Away: For us "take-away" generation

Understanding my own unconscious, compulsive patterns.
Knowing where i have invested my energy and time in and consciously altering it.
Learning that "living" is beyond phone, computer, whatsapp and facebook ~ not just as a intellectual concept but by actually doing it.
Rewiring neuron patterns by new inputs
Adventure is about me, not places
Learning How to BE intimate with someone (not just sexually)
What does it mean to actually focus long term with out distractions

Monday, January 11, 2016

Why meditate? #noteToSelf

To get out of unconscious, compulsive, habitual, addicted, needy behavior to be on reactive mode all the time ~ like whatsapp, facebook or next episode of tv show, or gossip..

And to get into a very present, responsive, calm, centered, intense, abundant, non-needy, joyful, focused state of mind and operate from there and train yourself to operate from there.

The process of sitting in meditation actually disconnects you from the habitual way of thinking ~ layer by layer ~ so you may get into 

  • Either - thoughtless aware state, 
  • Or - aware state chosen thoughts 
  • Or - a flow state where creative and new ideas arise as solution to existing problem
  • Or - All the above
The very purpose of sitting in meditative pose is to disconnect.. And connect.
To actively Disconnect. And connect (where?)

Disconnect - from the materialistic reality of life. And create a space so that you may 
Connect to the ethereal or other available realities.

Disconnect - from the the materialistic internet 
Connect - tune into another kind of network (of energies? as in Avatar?)
Disconnect - to the "outside" and turn inwards and 
Connect - with body, breath, mind?, energy

You don't know what you are going to get or meet or experience. Yet you create a space of no expectation and practice just BEING

Meditation (or creating an meditative atmosphere within yourself) is just a curious exploration into the unknown, 
on a daily basis, 
on an hourly basis , 
on a weekly basis - 
without actually moving the physical body ~ exploring in the realms of unknown.

Not because you realize your chakras, 
not because you connect with your spirit guides, 
not because you will raise your energy levels 

~ may be all this could happen and that could a bonus.

Whether all those things happen or not, even if they are the reason and motivation for sitting for meditation ~ you create a space for it may actually happen and/or something new.

To learn to wait! To practice to wait! To wait joyfully!
So you may learn not to be imprisoned by the need constantly engage the senses and constantly entertain
To actually try and perceive if there is actually a world beyond, as the sages say, or the mystics or the shamans say.
To learn to have infinite patience
To learn to get ideas
To facilitate depth in the so called LSD experience.

To actively confront boredom and revel in it, to BE with it.
To actually enjoy the pleasures of life by not overloading the senses without a break!

I read this some where. Some of it may resonate with you and enable and empower you in your meditation journey.

There are three golden rules for meditation. The first is you say “I want nothing, I want nothing for next 15-20 minutes.” If you say “I need to drink water or change my position,” then meditation cannot happen. When you want nothing, then you also do nothing. The second golden rule is “I do nothing.” You only breathe. Do not make an effort to think “I want nothing” and “I do nothing” - Just an effortless attention. Then the last one is even more important, “I am nothing.” While meditating we drop all notions about ourselves of being rich, poor, intelligent, stupid, male, female or any other. So what are you? Nothing! After meditation you can again be something. It is your choice, but if you think, during meditation, that you are somebody great or somebody hopeless, there is no way you can settle down to that deepest core of the being. This must be our initial step to settle into that infinity, the consciousness of which we are all made up of. It is the journey from sound to the inner joyful silence.