Through the fault-line to the core of a being

tibet prayer flags

Only because she goofed-up, made a mistake;
She opened up completely and became vulnerable

Because she was real and vulnerable
When she came to apologize,
All we saw was the light of the being
and not the fault

Only because we saw the being in her,
She smiled a
Smile from the very core
When we were leaving that restaurant

Because she smiled the way she did
We experienced true love
and walked out
with utmost fulfillment

Real being-light-love

That was taste of Tibet at a restaurant named Lhasa

Many a times, as long as everything is running smooth we only encounter the orderly mind-programs. Running smooth and flawless as it is designed to be but it is just interaction between mind-programs. Then something happens, some chaos, some mess, some mistake and there is an opening. Our usual reaction is to become defensive and protect the ego. Rarely there are beings who fall back to their heart and come forward to apologize with all openness. And that is what we experienced at a Tibetan restaurant in Dehradun.

After all, mistakes are not bad. It opens door to real connections that is if we avoid falling into the automatic reactions of frustration, anger and ego. One not staying somewhere up there and forgiving others mistakes. Point is lost even then. One just have to be present without barriers and open heart.
How many times in our lives dinners get spoiled, evening turns into a mess, and even relationships fall apart with slightest of provocations and goof-ups at restaurants. We are too eager to throw away happiness at the very first opportunity. But here a small mistake got turned into a beautiful opportunity. And we are glad it happened.
I could not help but to remember… In contrast, other day our car was stopped by Delhi traffic police. Friend who was driving was checking directions on GPS and cop thought she was on a call. Anger, heated arguments, chaos… finally when police did let us go there was so much tension in the air. I clearly remember, the other cop walking by as we were leaving and saying – “Please do understand. Hot summer sun, we have to stay out and work all day and mistakes do happen.”
Sadly; I was not a in position to really open-up to him and appreciate sincerity that was there in his work, and his voice.
But tone of his voice did live inside me for a many days.

We don’t have to save ourselves always. Mistakes do provide good opportunity to let go of the ego and open up. When I am on other side of the table, I try and remember the Thai attitude –  “Mai pen rai”  (everything is okay).  By and by, everything does turn okay in life.


Life saving itself


Young american seeker was my neighbor at an Ashram in Gangotri. Both being completely immersed in our peace and space, we hardly talked. Heavy snow was just perfect for a retreat. Three full days that is.

Today, finally bit of sun. Both of us wanting to go down to Dharali and end up at the square together. There is only a pick-up truck which came last night but would not start due to snow related blockage.  So we decide to walk down towards Dharali.  In between the walk and occasional hitch-hikes on BRO (Border road organisation) trucks, he shares this beautiful incident. And I knew that the journey together was not accidental.

“I was walking in the snow yesterday.  Close to the temple on the other side of the river. No one around. Even few workers are cozy in their hut.Earth movers left right on the riverbank gives the feeling that the town is abandoned. There is fresh snow everywhere. In that cold, suddenly I come across a little puppy.

It is all drenched and shivering. I go close and manage to pick her up. She does not resist, may be she does not have energy to do so. For a moment I am clueless. There is hardly anyone in the town, let alone a vet or a shelter. I am holding puppy up in my hand and looking around.

Interestingly, I notice little footprints. Footprints of puppy is still intact in the snow. Where did she come from. Intuitively, I follow footprints in the opposite direction that is. After walking some distance, I come to a shelter. There! I notice mother and few other puppies.

Gently I release the puppy from my hand and it stumbles and walks to the mother. They are united. And she won’t die in the snow abandoned”

Then he tells me what is most interesting.

“Do you know what. This is very unlike me. No this is not me at all. All I can say about the whole incident is that the Life worked through me to save itself”

I absorb depth in those words. I can’t help but to remember a Sufi story called Holy Shadow  about a mystic who did not want to know when good things happened through him.

The clear himalayan stream by the side, deodar trees, puppy with her family, young american seeker, angles and ancient Sufi mystic – on this journey down from the source of Ganga, my heart is nurtured.

Picture: Mike Gifford @ Flikr  Creative Commons;  Some rights reserved

Gangotri: Beauty, compassion and mystery

Early April, Gangotri temple is not open yet. A single restaurant, single guest house and an Ashram is all you have. Bunch of Sadus who have spent winters in isolation and now rejoicing some warm tea, Sun and human company.

A friendly math professor turned Sadhu tells his story while I eat some Parotas. Here everyone talks philosophy. Chai-wala talks about unpredictability of climate and earnings  and declares satisfaction, not the profit being the most important thing in life.

So true. if something beats life in its surprises and sudden changes – it is mountain weather. The sunny arrival climate changed quickly to cloudy and then the snowfall. Twenty four hours non-stop and by next afternoon entire town and mountains were covered with snow.

Very young man showed up at the Ashram. Not much of warm clothes, not even shoes with him and when Ashram keeper asked about ID; he did not have one either. Ah..even if you go to the places where sole purpose is to free ourselves from ‘Identity’; you still need to carry one these days. Unless you are in orange and hair looks dirty enough to indicate u are a holy man of mountain variety.

Everyone was worried about this boy. However by next morning, it was amazing to see how he was taken care. Ashram keeper let him in anyways out of compassion. Someone sold him an cheap old shoe so he could walk around.

Isn’t it that way. Even when it seems reckless at times, we are all taken care of. Call it compassion, call understanding, call it mystery.  Soaking myself in that mystery for three days, I continue my journey down…