What am I?

What am I?

I ask myself

Flowing with life

~

I am not a writer

I lack wisdom to teach

Though I observe

Anthropologist I am not

Discipline I lack

To become a real researcher

I am active but not really an activist

I care but I am not a social worker

Connecting people I like

But community organizer I am not

I can take some photographs

But photographer I am not

I like to paint

But not really an artist

I can dance sometimes

Though bboy I am not

I enjoy playing with words

But poet I am not

~

What? What am I then?

I ask myself

Contemplating life unfolding

~

Am I that tiny little bird that sings perched on a blossoming plum tree?

Am I that tree that stands facing the unforgiving change of seasons?

Am I that clinging leaf that falls while pondering its impermanence?

Oh Mother Earth are you going to embrace me soon?

Am I that tingling morning dew dripping into the eternal river

That flows and flows through

Mountains and valleys and plains

To finally empty itself into the Sea

~

What? I am nothing really?

Nothing?

I must be something

Hm maybe I am nothing yet something at the same time

I don’t know

I am quite confused

~

Oh! Perhaps I am a confused bird singing perched on a blossoming plum tree with leaves filled with dew dripping into the eternally flowing river flowing towards the Sea emptying itself…

Oh I see you now ego! It’s nice to meet you my dear ego trying to be someone, to become something darn we do have a long journey ahead and lots of suffering on its way so let us wish ourselves a bon voyage towards the Sea it’s going to be a rough ride home

I just came here to Smile

As I walked along a covered pathway towards COP 21’s “Les Spaces Générations Climat” (the visitor’s section for 2015 Paris climate negotiations), I stumbled upon a thin, middle-aged French man. He is about 1.75m tall, light brown hair and with a young gentle face. He greeted me with a gentle smile and said “Hello.” “Hello,” I replied. I extended him my hand, introduced myself and added a “nice to meet you.” “François,” he told me his name. “Where are you from?,” he asked. “Lisbon, you?”“I’m from Auvergne, central France. Why are you here at COP21?,” he kindly inquired. “I’m a writer and photographer and decided to come check out COP21. How about you?”

“I just came here to Smile.”

Stupefied, I paused for a few seconds.

My recently self-constructed ego as a writer and photographer was pierced and shattered into little, little pieces. Before I set out for Paris, I had convinced myself that I was going to become a writer and photographer. Yes this was my new identity – covered with layers and layers of illusions and delusions.

I was cleansed by this humble man.

I was humbled by this humble man.

My heart was pierced by this humble man.

As I tried gathering myself together, I replied, “That’s beautiful.”

As we continued walking the long pathway, he voiced out “Mother Earth is very happy that people are all gathering here looking for solutions.” My mind was still trying to resist, who is this guy? Is he crazy?

We entered the main gate and walked towards the security check area. I looked at him and noticed that he had come to this event barefoot. Past memories of India flashed in my mind, images of barefoot pilgrims heading to places of worship.

After seeing me noticing him being barefoot, he said “We humans have created such a hard environment for ourselves. Look at this floor, it’s so hard and uncomfortable. We can feel it when we are barefoot. When we walk the Earth’s soil, it’s so soft and welcoming.”

I nodded my head in agreement and smiled.

He walked in front of me towards the security checkpoint. I humbly followed behind him. As he passed through the security, I noticed him slowly strolling away. We didn’t even say bye to each other, I thought to myself. I notice the message at the back of his sweat-shirt. It says, “Je suis chez moi. Je suis arrivé.” Through my limited skills in French, I translated to myself, “I am at home. I have arrived.”

I finally Smile. Yes I hope that one day I will join you my friend…

 

 

The Song of Dissolution

This is a song inspired by the melody of ‘Fukaki Umi No Kanata’ (Beyond the Deep Sea) by Yoshida Brothers. Feel free to read this song while listening to the melody or sing it… Hope this song inspires you to travel into the depths of your heart. Bon Voyage! All the best for your own internal searching.

 

Many seas I’ve crossed

Many ports I’ve reached

In my little

Imperfect boat

Of body and mind

Guided by the light of Heart

 

Oh a storm is coming

All is about to overturn

Perhaps I will finally realize that

 

From the sea

I rise

Into the sea

I fall

Like a little wave

In it dissolved

 

There is nowhere to go

For all is the Sea

Just let it Be

 

Wherever the currents lead me

I’ll go

Wherever the fishes call me

I’ll be

Back to the shore

I’ll return

Wave after wave

 

Oh the world is big

Yet so small

Oh time flows fast

Yet so slow

So I sing this song

 

From the sea

I rise

Into the sea

I fall

Like a little wave

In it dissolved

 

Sometimes my ego builds

My mind wanders

And I ask myself

Where shall I go next?

Is it New York, Lisbon or Rio?

Is it Gantou1, Paris or Tokyo?

Then I realize Being

And ego dissolves in itself

 

No more searching for the Sea

For I am already part of It

No ‘I’ to feed

No ‘mind’ to free

No fear

No worries

No attachments

No space

No time

Nothing at All

Yet Everything at the same time

So I sing this song

 

From the sea

I rise

Into the sea

I fall

Like a little wave

In it dissolved

 

Like a little wave

In it dissolved

 

Like a little wave

In it dissolved

 

  1. Gantou is my ancestral village (now a small town) in China where my grandparents and some relatives live. It is located on the margins of the Ou River, in the southeast part of the Zhejiang Province.

Monsoon on Hooghly

The Hooghly River Tide runs high.

Its currents dance through

The Ghats

Where the common people bathe, wash, clean their clothes;

Where Brahmin priests perform sacred rituals and offerings;

Where dogs, pigs and crows scavenge for food amidst the trash.

 

The River is the Eternal witness.

It observes and observes.

It has seen human depravity at its peak.

Ships carrying people’s own brothers and sisters in chains to be sold as ‘commodities’.

The dumping of battered women’s bodies after monstrous rape crimes.

Bloody political and religious riots with brothers and sisters killing each other.

But the River has also seen the best within the human heart.

Unknown people jumping into the water to save a drowning child.

Ferrymen selflessly working day and night carrying people across the river.

Kind souls praying in Its margins for humanity to Awaken

And realize its current path towards self-destruction.

 

The River has seen it All.

Unaffected by anything,

Its currents dance

Up and down,

Left and Right.

Ever free.

Freely dancing.

Attached to nothing,

Only absorbed in the Eternal Flow of Infinite Joy and Beauty.

 

One night the River Tide was dancing,

Rocking the wooden fishermen cribs to sleep

At the tune of a Bhatiyali* folk song.

The River Tide loved the fishermen;

It brought them fish and sustenance.

The fishermen would reciprocate Its Love;

They cared for the River and worshipped it through songs.

That night,

When the fishermen feel asleep in their undulating cribs,

The River Tide decided to look up into the sky;

And saw a Beautiful Moon dancing amidst the clouds.

Being non-dual in nature, the River had both male and female characteristics

Yet the River fell prey to the Passions.

Gradually It started to lose its female energy and only retained its male characteristics.

It shifted to become the male Tidal energy.

Every night the Tide would stare at the Moon.

The Tide would imagine that the Moon’s reflection in its waters would be

The real Moon resting on his lap.

How He longed for that to happen.

The Moon noticed how the Tide stared at Her every night

With eyes full of desire and passion;

She decided to play with his thief like senses.

The lady Moon dressed herself in the finest white silk

And with a soft voice,

She sensually called the Tide to come closer to Her,

The excited and charmed Tide blindly followed her orders.

As the tide tried to reach closer,

The Moon would slowly take off her white silken dress.

Assaulted by desire,

The Tide bubbled in ecstasy.

He tried harder and harder to reach her yet she was too far away.

The same process repeated itself for several nights.

Until one night while leaking a smile of mockery,

The Moon completely vanished like a mirage.

In reality, the Moon had no interest for the Tide.

Her heart longed for the Sun

Yet destiny had them separated.

Rarely meeting.

Performing their God given duties at different times of the day.

 

The poor Tide seeing the Moon vanish before His eyes,

Finally faced the harsh reality of Desire and Passion.

They will soon and suddenly vanish one day;

Only leaving a trail of hopeless longing and suffering.

Sad, angry and depressed,

The Tide caused chaos everywhere it flowed through:

Sunken boats,

Drowned people,

Flooded banks.

The Tide selfishly flowed its way towards the Sea.

The Heavenly Cloud seeing all this suffering on Earth

Shed tears,

Tiny tear droplets gently embraced the heart broken Tide.

Calming It,

Healing It,

Restoring It.

The Cloud also asked its Thunder child to soar loud in the skies.

It summoned Its Wind friends from all directions.

All together they comforted the Tide saying,

You are not alone,

We see your suffering.

Awaken my friend! Awaken!

Realize Impermanence in your desires and passions!

Remember your long lost non-duality!

And strive for Liberation!

Then you shall lose your fear for the fast approaching Sea!

One day you will Ascend into the Clouds with us and become One with All!

Flow on, my friend! Flow on!

Monsoon has arrived!

 

*Bhatiyali – Traditional folk songs sung by boatmen in the rivers of Bengal while navigating the river. These songs worship Nature and have a mystic component in them.