Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lessons for Childhood

‘What are the three most important lessons for a child?’ I asked next morning

‘To inquire without purpose, to play without pretence, and to grow without worry.’ Master replied.

‘Is there nothing more important for a child?’ I retorted

‘Even if there is, only a child is capable of being without purpose, pretence and worry.’

‘Oh come on, even an adult can be without purpose, pretence and worry.’ I wasn’t going to give up.

‘Of what purpose is fire without heat?’ Master went on cleaning the garden 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Stages of Learning

‘What are the three most important lessons for human?’ I asked one day

‘First you must segregate human into stages: child, adult, old, for all cannot and need not learn all the lessons; though some can, but most cannot.’ Master replied

‘Why should we segregate? Aren’t your lessons universal meant for everyone?’ I persisted.

‘They are universal but not at the same time. A lesson delivered before time is of no use. If one is blind and you show the colour red, it has no meaning, first you must restore the sight and then show colour. So with lessons; the mind has to be ready first and the body capable of application what one has learnt; only then the lesson has any meaning.’

‘So you mean our learning is complete only when we grow old and not before? What if we don’t live till old and die young?’

‘It doesn’t matter when you die or till what age you live; lesson learnt is complete by itself when you learn and apply it. If one dies as a child and has learnt the lessons of childhood then she is a wise child and so is an adult or an old.’

‘But aren’t the old wiser if one has lived through the learning of childhood and adulthood?’

‘If you are hungry at night can you satiate hunger with what you ate at breakfast and lunch?’ Master replied and walked away to light the evening lamp


‘How can we teach compassion to all?’ I asked

‘You can teach to all but only those who have experienced the other side of compassion would be ready to accept the learning, and teaching those who haven’t is not teaching... merely delivering without acceptance.’ Master replied, ‘Just like renunciation cannot be taught to one who has nothing to give up; only those who have something to let go can accept and learn renunciation.

‘Learning comes from acceptance followed by application of what we have not experienced and for that to happen one must experience the opposite.’ Master smiled at the rising sun, his face aglow in the orange hue. ‘How will you accept the beauty of the day if you have never experienced darkness?’

I remained silent, though my mind struggled with questions. 

Mountain Zen

Once upon a time, long time ago... I was indeed a little boy (which I still am), a little lost boy with million questions (I have many more) walking through the mountains around the globe with utmost wonder writ on my face. I had the questions or rather the quest for the unknown; though I did not even know what I did not know. The quest was and still is for the quest. While the mountains taught me where to look they left it to me to seek what I wanted to find. What I saw did not always satisfy my desire to seek heightening it further in most cases. What did I seek; simply the unknown, anything that I found upon my path became a quest even if it wasn’t so when I began my journey.

It is said that the road builds by itself when you begin to walk, so walking is important not the road. The path emerges out of the journey and not vice versa. I started my journey when I had barely learnt to walk upon the vertical arena that would become my true home. Teeming and tingling with an open mind willing and seeking to embrace all I walked high and low through far flung mountains and deep dark jungles and upon my path chanced upon wise people, my gurus and my Master. They found me worthy of their indulgence perhaps since each of them adapted me unconditionally. I was anyway ready to do literally anything to learn. And from them and from my Master I learned my Zen or my way of life and living.

For long have I kept these stories, the way these masters taught me, embedded within my mind or in some obscure chit of paper, sharing few once in a while with my audience around the globe. Like Zen life too is simple and that is the way I was taught and that is the way this blog would be, simple without any distractions or deviations. I would relate the stories as closely as I recall as it happened. The only liberty I have taken, for which I hope my Master would pardon me, is that each of my stories will end with a question from the Master. I like it that way. A story, any story, especially if it is about life and living cannot be an entity within itself. It can only be a continuation of a chain of thoughts, growing from one and leading into another so the reader will continue to ponder and meander even after it has ended.

A story ending with a quest is a story without an end. It doesn’t necessarily have one correct answer and some may not even have an answer. It is up to each one of us to find our own answers and to find our next question within that answer. As one of my gurus had told me: a question is an answer in disguise. Question is important answer is obvious.

All my masters and gurus and wise teachers are finally rolled into the One, the Master hence I won’t differentiate between any. They all are one and the one is many. But above all, reigning supreme far into the azure stands and will always stand the ultimate Master – the Mountains. It is from them that I learned my Zen and it is to them that I dedicate these meanderings.

Let us now begin our journey and create our own road towards the questions. Let us continue with our conversation through the mountains. I was, I am and I will always be the novice...

I will see you all on top!