Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

Rediscovering our being…

It has honestly been such a long time since I wrote my blog last, that I am dismayed. How can it be that somebody who used to write atleast a couple of posts a week, now writes about couple of times a year? Once I let go of judgment, I see that this too perhaps was necessary. Necessary so I can start
afresh,from a place I have never been at before.

So, here I am. Namaste!

Are you conditioned to behave or react in certain habitual ways? According to Buddhist philosophy, we all have some conditioning that we come into, in our lives, either through childhood, traumas, or perhaps even past life times, if you believe in them. If that is indeed the case, where is our freedom? Aha! through discovering our own conditioning by paying attention. And through the process of mindful investigation, we can then be free, by learning to make skillful choices and relearning new habits. Alas, letting go of this conditioning does not happen without realizing them first. And that takes attention. The pause. The noticing. And with noticing, often comes judgment and dismay – is this indeed us, this person who we thought was just fine, on cruise control until now? And it doesn’t happen overnight either. 

Hence, the need for tremendous amount of kindness and compassion, for judging is so easy. Understanding and being compassionate is so much harder.

One of my conditioning is that I need to be perfect somehow – perhaps to win love and affection and / or to prove my self worth. And another is to feel responsible for a lot more than I possibly can be responsible for, as a human being. It probably comes with being sensitive to other’s moods and feelings – it’s hard when you know something is wrong, and there is not always something you can do about it. 

So how do I find freedom? For I do believe, peace and freedom is always possible.

I find that it always starts with understanding. And my daughter is my greatest teacher in this dharma. With her, I can be patient, kind, loving, present, joyful, happy, and open to wonder. She brings out these qualities in me, because of her joy of being and her large heart and her incredible capacity to pay attention. And if I can be that for her, surely I can be that towards myself. And I also find, no matter how I mess up, in her eyes, there is always forgiveness. To her, I am amazing and wonderful. So maybe I could be redeemed in my own eyes, just a tiny bit. And it helps me find that compassion towards myself. 

I am so humbled by this process. Always a beginner, always learning something about myself in the process. I am not perfect. I am reminded of it every single day. If that is true for every one of us, then how much compassion do we need to bring into this world? Compassion so that we can live with ourselves, accept ourselves and more than that, love ourselves just as we are. 

So soften if you will, the next time you tense up in self judgment. Find the inner being, who adores and loves you just as you are. Everything will be okay. 

Peace and metta to you, S.

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sunrise sunrise…

Often times, when I step outside in the fresh air to take a break, I experience this profound sense of well-being. Something about the trees and the open skies, especially when it is a clear day is such balm to the soul. Its this knowledge that we are such a tiny part of this universe and how amazing it is that we can experience the universe through our own tiny experiences. The horizons, the cool air, the breeze, the possibilities, it holds such magic for me.

Some mornings these days, I manage to catch the sunrise. The sun rises just opposite our window in the guest bedroom, so I wake up, get a cup of milk and sit there watching the sun with a book. Every time I look up and see the change coursing across the skies, I’m awash with gratitude at the sheer beauty of it. Then the day takes its usual course and I sort of forget the magic, till I’m outside again and I remember the morning, how special it was. It makes me smile all over again.

How precious these few moments that bring us alive. What would life be without these small moments ? May we have many countless more of them…

with Love, S.

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opening…

Have you known pure joy ? the joy that arises in you and is not due to anything in particular. you just know that what you are feeling is a joy that has a touch of magic to it. that it is not dependent on things being a certain way. it just is. you know it will pass. and yet, it is here right now. that even your habitual tendencies of making yourself feel bad, judging, evaluating, all of these cower in the face of this pure joy. it just is. and it comes from a deep place of contentment that comes from stillness.

that is the joy of the practice of mindfulness and love, metta, that I have known. in my practice, on my retreat. the practice of choiceless awareness, of vipassana. I think I ‘get’ it, what the practice is about. it is the knowing that you don’t have any control over what comes up in life. can you find a way that allows you to be with whatever comes up ? and this way, that our lovely teacher Michele Mcdonald taught us, the way that resonated with my being, was through love. of knowing that things are the way they are because of love. everything is. and cannot exist without this love and this love allows us to be mindful and look underneath without judging. a new way of being. of receiving grace. Michele’s being radiates with this. and practicing this gave me a sense of deep peace and joy that seemed unshakeable.

how can I not attach to this! ? this glimpse of peace, the heart longs for more. ofcourse the heart longs for more. that is the human nature, wanting of more of that which is pleasant and a turning away from the unpleasant. and this too, we learn. coming back from retreat, the full force of my attachment hit me. and I am learning slowly to be with it. that is the practice, the starting over. again. of being.

may we abide in metta with life as it is, with joy and gratitude and compassion
with love, S.

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reminiscence…

Sometimes I do things that I thank myself for. 🙂
like the massage I scheduled for myself yesterday. As I was sitting in the waiting room waiting for my therapist, my mind went back to the last time I got a massage – a month ago in Punta Cana by the ocean. My body remembered how relaxed the hibuscus massage had been. and how wonderfully resting the entire vacation had been.
where had that restful feeling gone ? I wondered. This past month has been so full, so busy, I had allowed myself to forget what being rested feels like. I reminded myself not to be too hard – I was here now…

As I lay on the bed yesterday, suddenly all of my body ached. every joint. thats generally the case with a massage – you forget till you get one, how much you need it. The massage itself was heavenly. Wendy is amazing, and her hands listened to what my body needed. and my body responded likewise. After the massage, I felt exhausted at all the effort of living life – and ready for a deep state of sleep…which is what I did – I got 3 hrs of sleep after wards, till dinner time. complete crashing of my body, mind and soul.

and when I woke up, it felt good. like I was in Punta Cana again! 🙂

may we listen to our bodies and give ourselves a chance to relax whenever we can…

with love, S.

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abundance…

This is just the time of year that one thinks of abundance. The nature abounds in wealth all around us. the lusciousness of the green and the yellow flowers…is simply amazing.

In astrology class, my teacher and friend Stella brought our attention to abundance. To me, abundance ties in hand in hand with generosity. when we feel abundant in what we have, we can give others more easily. we are less needy. and we experience gratitude. abundance is a practice just like anything else. it is noting of the abundance that allows us to appreciate it. savoring it in our consciousness- each moment standing on this Earth, feeling the breeze touch the skin… being able to give others our time and attention… being given the love of others…

As I worked with abundance, and Goddess Lakshmi, and thought of where I needed abundance in my life, it spontaneously came to me: I want abundance of time. I often feel harried, like there isn’t enough time for me to just be, without having something to do. and as I brought this thought into my attention and I acknowledged it, something started shifting. The very next day, a work trip I had been excited about, got canceled. And instead of being upset, I was glad – it seemed like a sign that the universe was making room for me to have time.

At various moments, it allowed me to pause. when I went for a walk earlier this week, I acknowledged the abundance of time I had that made it possible. As I was shopping in coop last evening, I noticed that I had this window of time and I did not have to be anywhere else. Slowly I realized that I was more abundant in time than I realized! It allowed me to be generous with my own time with a dear friend, a spontaneous beautiful encounter.

It is a practice. I am realizing that everything in life is based around intentions and practice and our own perceptions. if we think we have abundance, we will see everything in that light. And when we don’t feel abundant, we will make room. As I head into challenges this week, I hold this in my heart hoping that it will guide me make the right choices.

may we have abundance in whatever we want and need,
with love, S.

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one-year anniversary

And also a parting thought: this past week was Ganesh Chaturti, celebrating Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, the generous benevolent elephant-headed God. And it marks a year-anniversary of my blog: I recall writing about the last Ganesh Chaturti and making kozakattais :). I did celebrate this year as well-this time with clearing of the old and welcoming the new. and I will post pictures soon.

May Ganesha grace us all :),

Love, S.

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