being

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POSTCARD #119: Bangkok: The Thai new year came and went and it happened I had to go for a medical, nothing important I thought, but the doc said I had high blood pressure and gave me all kinds of pills to take. Anyway, when M got to hear about it, I became her patient and she’d arranged something on the porch, a comfortable chair and low table for my laptop, thermos and books. There’s also a ceiling fan out there so it was nice to just sit in the garden and simply ‘be’  there with the birds and the squirrels and ‘be’ a human (‘being’ as a verb), just being human.

Trying to focus on the infinitive form of the verb ‘to be’, the strange thing is, when I catch up to the present tense: ‘I am,’ it immediately becomes the past tense: ‘I was,’ (a moment ago). Chasing the elusive present time, a mind function identifying a miniscule speck of familiarity in a vast universe of an expanded present moment stretched beyond belief. And in the time taken to process it, the present moment immediately moves back into the past. It feels like everything happens after the event. Impossible to comprehend, words cannot reach…

Birds fly in all directions; the numberless beings in the world, and M enters my line of vision, carefully carrying a small plate of fruit, places it on my table and asks me how I’m feeling. Looks at me with her small oriental face, her eyes shine – consciousness is limitless so it can take this form. She does a spontaneous twirl and runs off with a hop and a skip … still partly a child. M isn’t the individual ‘I’, she’s the ‘I’ of everything that ever was – no particular self, she has a great number of selves, spends her days multitasking identities. A fictional character dressed in a costume that lasts a lifetime, playing a part in a narrative contained in an anthology of short stories. And the book is shelved in a vast library categorized by subject and author, most of which we have all read at some point in former lives.

Can’t help thinking somehow I missed the point of it all in my own childhood. A shadow of regret; life was only attraction, aversion, indifference: I don’t want that, I want this – something thought to be deservedly earned because I’ve been having such a hard time trying to obtain it… always, always, out of reach. Believing in the user illusion; the things we cling to (the clings we thing to). And the Church days; pray for peace and experience struggle. Pray for understanding and discover confusion. Pray for patience and encounter unbearable endurance. I never thought there could be something wrong with the question. Belief in the impossible and denial of the obvious. ‘God’ is not an object, ‘God’ is the subject…

The entry point is time evolving, developing, mushrooming out in all dimensions; the effect becomes the cause of the next effect and next cause in events that seemingly merge from a ‘before’ to an ‘after’. The bigger picture is that of a great river enfolding/unfolding and the presence of a sense that all of it remains to be seen.

“…we do not experience a succession of nows. This present now is the only now there is. The now in which the body was born is the very same now in which these words are appearing. It is the only now there ever truly is. [Rupert Spira]

there is no memory

IMG_0073POSTCARD #118: Chiang Mai/Bangkok flight: Early morning and we have a flight to catch. Some urgency in getting M organized, her bag with tinkling-bell/woolly-teddy-bear appendages and putting on these brightly coloured shoes. Then down in the elevator, along the corridor and all the doors that open different ways… obstacle course. Is it a pull or a push? M says it’s a plush. I simply assume they should all be the same but Western standards don’t apply here (not necessarily a bad thing). There’s a tug, an unyielding shove but we get most of them right, out in the street and the taxi is waiting.

No time, bags flung in and we’re careering through the quiet streets at a surprising speed. Fortunately no rush-hour traffic, it’s a public holiday, Thai New Year (Songkran) and we’re at the airport; suddenly there… it feels like some kind of space/time anomaly has taken place. X-ray machines, no queue at check in, boarding pass issued, more X-ray machines and we’re in Departures with more than an hour to spare.

There’s an old 80s song: ‘…and you may ask yourself, well… how did I get here?’ (Talking Heads). I’m as bewildered as anyone would be at this time in the morning, whatever it is that brought me here. In a larger sense, karma, causality – even though time cannot be excluded, in a manner of speaking. The flight is called, and the announcement that elderly passengers and families with small children are invited to board first. M says: Toong Ting? We can go now, it’s our little joke, because M and I qualify on both counts… so hand in hand we line up behind the wheelchairs. It’s as if I’m being led by M, not the other way round, and in a moment we’re walking down the ramp, on to an empty plane. Enough time to get the bags stowed away and into our seats before the great sea of passengers pours in.

Flight leaves on time, uneventful journey, I ask M if she’s okay, it must be really boring for kids, not being able to see above the high passenger seats. I look down at her small face, and don’t see M, I see her grandmother who died three years ago. M says she’s okay and I get up from the seat; go along the aisle to the tiny toilet at the very end of the plane, a kind of perspective shaped endspace inside the tailpiece of the fuselage. Curious experience, everything is tailored to fit; we live in a bespoke world. Just enough room to turn around see myself in the mirror, believing in this mirror reflection of myself that takes the place of that which is aware. Who am I? No answer required, no seeking, no wanting or needing. Just being with the question.

Back to the seats and M is still there of course. In no time at all we’re landed, bags picked up from the belt, on to the trolley out of the airport, into the car and the family take over from there. I can relax when we get to the house, M is busy changing clothes and getting ready to join the thousands of people out in the streets for the water throwing games. Just before she leaves, M comes to my room with a small bottle of auspicious scented fluid mixed with water and pours a little on my arm and rubs it in, Happy Songkran Toong Ting, runs out the door.

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‘There is no memory. There is only the act of remembering.’[Nyanaponika Thera]

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Photo above shows the Songkran water party at Silom (see this link).  M is standing on the left
The Nyanaponika Thera quote is sourced in Cabrogal’s post: Meeting the Mahathera
~   G   R   A   T   I   T   U   D   E   ~

too much

IMG_2110bPOSTCARD #117: Chiang Mai: Walking to school with M and we pass this 30 foot high sculpture of a cat with a moustache and a small handbag… too much. That’s how it looks to me, thinking of the many poets who died for love of the metaphor – and is this a monument to their too-muchness? But that’s only how I see it, a European living in Thailand. I ask M if she knows what it’s supposed to be? And look down at this small person walking beside me, backpack bouncing slightly always out of sync with the motion of her walk. She tells me something at length, but I can’t hear properly, so acknowledge with hmmm, really? Wait to see if there’s a follow-up response, but we’re focused on going to school and besides, we’re in this public place.

It’s too much – me being here, walking with this eleven-year-old Thai child holding my hand, and she with her Thai cultural behavior. When I ask M if I’m walking too fast, because she’s so small maybe I should slow down? She says, no Toong Ting, is okay and places her cheek against my forearm as we’re walking along in the heavy traffic, no pavement … it’s that too-much thing again. She’s on the inside all the way until we get to the main road and turn right. Then I need to change hands so I’m on the outside shielding her against the traffic and little M is on the inside. Three people on a small motorbike go past us, looks dangerous – but I’d be wrong to say that’s too much; it’s ordinary low budget. For them, it’s just right. What’s too much is that I think it’s too much, and my views and opinions are not relevant here.

A few people recognize us, smile; night shift security guards salute… too much; I’m not sure how to react when I’m being saluted at. We get to the school; other kids are there, the familiarity of it. M takes her shoes off, waves bye-bye and enters the building. I set off back the way we came, my too-much reaction is unavoidable and have to struggle to see it just as a reaction. For the Thais it’s different, there’s this built-in sense of ‘too much’; food is too spicy; too many colours in a room interior… that’s what they call ‘too much’. The word is bprung dtàeng, ปรุงแต่ง. There’s the mind form of it too; thinking too much, ‘conceptual proliferation’ the Buddhist term papañca. Human beings are like this; the reaction to follow thought is as automatic as the eyes see, nose smells… thoughts proliferate.

“It is quite amazing to watch as the mind takes the simplest thought, jumps on it, and runs off in all directions. Just as the ear hears without any effort (and in fact it takes a lot of effort to make the ear not hear), the mind proliferates effortlessly, and it takes a lot of effort and/or training to hold this tendency in check. It’s the unbidden “going” of the mind to so many different subsequent thoughts that is important, rather than the diverse places it goes […] By becoming masters of the directions in which our thoughts proliferate, we can achieve freedom. The Buddha recognizes that the mind’s tendency towards Papañca is unavoidable, and instead of fighting the inevitable, he teaches us how to ride (and tame) the tiger.” [Leigh Brasington]

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transit

IMG_1812POSTCARD #116: Bangkok: We got here yesterday, flight from Chiang Mai, one night’s sleep and in the darkness of five o’clock in the morning next day there’s a voice in M’s room. It’s her mom saying, time to wake up. I can’t hear exactly because I’m at the desk, listening to a YouTube music video with the ear buds in. There’s the glow of the video in the dark room and mom’s voice is a mumble going on and on… a sound that cannot be switched off – the option of going back to sleep is ruled out. I hear M’s voice, a baby bird calling, tiny high-pitched utterance; small resentment enclosed in a whimper.

Just as I start to forget, she creeps up behind me – gives me a fright… I turn round, see her sleepy face lit up in the illumination of the screen; what you listen to Toong Ting? I pull out the left earbud and give it to her, it’s Liquid Mind – Awakening (Cosmic Sea), click the link: here, extended peaceful music with nice visuals of stars and galaxies. She stands next to me, level with my shoulder, ear bud in her left ear and my ear bud in my right ear – we watch and listen together. Somewhere outside of the sound cloud we’re in, I hear ‘the voice’… this time it’s an urgent questioning pitch. I should tell M to go see what mommy wants but this music is so nice and we’re transfixed by the visuals. There’s a stirring beside me, then the curious sensation of M gently placing the earbud back into my ear – and she’s gone.

I am given the last hug, she’s out the door, into the car and off to the airport with Mom for the early morning flight to the South. M will have her 11th birthday there in the house in the trees. It’s the clan thing, the elders will study her face, her posture and see in her the ancestors. Those who are long gone will come alive again. She will be taken from house to house, she will anjali, show respect sawat di kha and it’ll be very boring because there’s no internet.

I sympathise with her why-do-I-have-to-do-this? feeling, I’ve had to do the clan thing too – more of an idle curiosity on the elders’ part, since I come from a different planet… but they’ve gotten used to my visits over the last 30 years of births, deaths and marriages. I arrive at the house in the trees and it’s a déjà vu moment, the ever-present now. The place is always associated with the last time I was here, no difference between time and space. Conscious experience is only ever happening in this body/mind organism, always here-and-now, the event is forever in present time. Usually it’s when somebody respected and venerable is approaching the end of their life. Last thing is, they may raise up slightly from the deathbed, hold my forearms in both hands and look into my eyes. A blessing given with this frail touch, held with their last ounce of energy. Next time I see them, they’re lying in a flimsy coffin as if asleep, hair looking nice and wearing reading glasses. After that, there’s the smoke rising from the crematorium chimney… those not busy being born are busy dying.

We’re all in transit, small children and old folks. I miss M, her laughter tinkling like a fragment of a Mozart piano concerto; her unbearable lightness of being….

‘I was not ‘there’ then, just as I am not ‘here’ now. I was not, am not, and will not be a separate being. If I am something, I am flow, I am experience, I am perspective.’ [Tashi Nyima]

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long ago and far away

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POSTCARD #115: Chiang Mai: Out of the car and into the shopping mall, colour, lights, people – I feel M’s hand slip into mine, holding on to the ends of my fingers like they were tree branches. That familiar use of my hand as a stabilizing device, an anchor she needs in order to do her little dance (it seems impossible to just walk normally), a few skips to build up the momentum, then a larger hop, reduced to a smaller hop and back to her normal walking pace. The child and the old man; this is how it was for me, long ago and far away. She’s spinning her head around, taking in the surroundings of where we are… always in the here-and-now. The event is forever in present time. A question comes: Toong Ting? (I don’t know why she calls me that) Today is Friday 13th, yes? I stop and look at her small face; Taiwanese Thai with Japanese grandfather – I’m thinking, what day is it today?

We look for a place to sit down, tired of all this walking round to get the escalators one after another up to the movie theatre on the 5th floor. Just at that moment a public seating area appears in the form of different kinds of fruit – I wouldn’t have noticed, except that M asks me if I sit on ‘the tomato’, she will sit on ‘the watermelon’ okay? Yeh.. okay (a seat is a seat) and I lower my weight on to the surface of the tomato – it’s bright red, wobbles a bit, I ask M to sit beside me. She skips over with a hop and a jump, sits down and her weight tips the balance. We take a look at the date on my phone; her view of it is better than mine… See? Toong Ting, it’s Friday thirteenth! Ghost comes, pee, number thirteen sideways, same as Thai word ‘p’. I find a piece of paper in my bag and a pen; can you write it for me? She flops down on her knees puts the paper on the seat and takes up the position of formal writing.

PhiFocused attention, she writes it a couple of times, then scribbles it out after she’s explained to me – because ‘p’ might come if it’s still written. The Thai alphabet p, when turned sideways, becomes the numeral 13. I ask her if she believes in ghosts, and she just looks at me, like… are you kidding? Nearly every people in my class believe ghost is real! So there’s no way I can convince her it must be something to do with holding on too much to identity with body/mind. Okay, let’s go, and we make our way up to the fifth floor, get the tickets for the movie, buy the popcorn and the Coke, sit in our seats.

The movie was “Cinderella” and when it was finished I thought it was the best movie I’d ever seen. Before that, though, I was aware of M looking around in the darkness, attention having shifted away from the huge screen. It’s then I realize; yes I could be aware of ‘p’… what’s happening here? What’s happening behind me, at either side?

‘For life in the present there is no death. Death is not an event in life. It is not a fact in the world.’ [Wittgenstein]

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the extraordinary moment

2013-04-27 MtwinsPOSTCARD #114: Chiang Mai: When we get back to the apartment, M flings off her shoes at the door, goes running along the corridor and comes back with her two cute little doggy toys; shakes them sideways and their tails wag. For a moment I’m caught in the illusion they’re alive. Children can reveal the ‘moment’ – something magical. M animates a self then animates another self; skipping away from one identity to the next, like an actress constantly engaged in playing a role has developed the skill in letting go of her individuality – she can ‘be’ anybody.

It must have been like this for all of us when we were kids, a direct understanding of the definitive present moment – the ‘now’ I experience was the future for me when I was in the past? The extraordinary moment, no need to analyze it, the ‘now’ moment includes all moments everywhere that ever there were; millions of years of present moments combined and reduced to this single experience of the here-and-now phenomenon.

M is wearing stage make-up today; she had her school performance. Sadly, nothing glamorous or interesting, it was a presentation about the human body. I ask what part of the human body she played? She was the esophagus – pronunciation of esophagus is perfect. So what did she do in the performance? I say my words, Toong-Ting: “I am the esophagus, I convey food and fluids from the mouth to the stomach.” So totally memorized it flows out in one complete utterance without pause. Then I stand in my place with the other body parts. Not exactly a major part… did she have a nice costume? No costume, just a box… doesn’t want to talk about it, no grace, embarrassing. An exercise in patient endurance, respect for an imposed structure; putting up with an idea the teacher had that nobody in the class liked but accepted without question – very Thai. M’s friend was the brain and another friend was the heart and that was ok. Twin boys were the lungs: ‘We are the lungs, we convey oxygenated blood to the heart.’ The lungs couldn’t remember their lines, got stuck every time with the word ‘oxygenated’. Teacher often made the whole class stay late to get the rehearsal perfect – everybody blamed the lungs for it.

M is ten years old, nearly eleven… childhood becoming distant. I feel just a tinge of sadness; spontaneous behavior restrained by ‘preferences.’ We look at some old photos in the computer, find the one of her and the tiger with another set of twins, and I ask her if I can use it for this post? She looks at the photo, smiles like an adult… yes, there’s the tiger, of course, but that girl was someone else, compared with who she is now. Tells me, yes you can, if you want… (deference, and limited by using English as a second language). How about the tiger, were you frightened? No, she says, no further discussion – that time has passed, not relevant anymore.

‘… there is no gain or loss; one instant is ten thousand years. There is no here, no there; infinity is right before your eyes. The tiny is as large as the vast when objective boundaries have vanished; the vast is as small as the tiny when you don’t have external limits. Being is an aspect of non-being; non-being is no different from being.’ [Seng T’san]

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endless horizons

IMG_2054POSTCARD #113: New Delhi:  Carrying stuff upstairs, laptop under arm with notepad, phone in pocket, pen held in teeth, water bottle neck clasped between first and third fingers. Pause at the top of the stairs to turn the door handle (how much better it would be if we had three hands), it opens by practiced handle-lever push with thumb, and timed shoulder-shove. Out into the bright daylight of the roof terrace, carrying everything to the table, and unload piece by piece.

Bring the chair over and sit… now maybe I can relax for a bit in this warm spring-like weather. But the voices start up again as if they’ve been waiting off-stage for their big entry: What’s with all this control-freakery? Why try to do everything at once? Leaving on Saturday 28th night, red-eye flight to Bangkok, change for the Chiang Mai flight and arrive there early Sunday morning on 1st March. I know it’ll be hot in Chiang Mai and as we get nearer to April, hotter still. Then 1st May to UK because I have to get a new passport (no pages left), and two weeks later, back to Thailand on a tourist visa. One week later, the return to Delhi before my India visa runs out… and I need to have that renewed too. Then, to crown it all, it’ll be impossibly hot by the time I get back here, temperatures reaching their peak, 46°C.

Intrusive thinking about ticketing, schedules, filling in forms; uninvited thoughts gate-crash the party, insist on getting attention and shouting out: What’ll happen if the flight from Delhi doesn’t arrive in Bangkok on time, and I miss the flight to Ch’Mai? Noisy internal dialogues about the whole itinerary – I need to ease out from this clamour of conjured-up scenarios, imponderables and enigmas – searching for something creates the idea that it is lost. Delete the ‘my’ in my-self. They’re not ‘my’ thoughts; they belong to everyone – the generosity of letting go. None of it is ‘mine’, I don’t think these thoughts, these thoughts think me. I don’t breathe the air – the air breathes me. Cognitive functions synchronize things so the world appears the way it does. I don’t see the world; the brain selects what is seen. Sounds are heard, but there’s no listener. The ear is a musical instrument. The body is a sensory-acoustic device that plays an immense chord of vibrating harmonics at 432 Hz, the natural frequency of the universe.

Mind contemplating the experience of ‘me’ seated on the chair; aware of the pressure points where legs touch the seat, bearing the weight, arms on armrests, and everything else is empty space, just this invisibility. I’m not aware of the mass of internal organs… slightly unnerving; get up and walk around. Feet appear down below on floor surface: left, right, left, right. The roof-terrace enters my vision, floor, wall, the plants – objects seem to pass through the body. Meanwhile, far away over endless horizons, another place begins to stir with aliveness; this time on Sunday I’ll be ‘there’ in Ch’Mai – or Ch’Mai will be here in ‘me’….

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“And men go abroad to wonder at the heights of the mountains, and the mighty waves of the sea, and the wide sweep of rivers, and the circuit of the ocean, and the revolution of the stars, but themselves they consider not.”
[St. Augustine]

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The photo of the sea at St Andrews comes from Sue Vincent’s post: The Elasticity of Time
–   G  R  A  T  I  T  U  D  E   –

the seen

IMG_2020POSTCARD #112: New Delhi: Birds fly low between the buildings, suddenly see me sitting in the sunshine on the roof terrace and swoop straight up into the sky… not expecting me to be there – usually there’s nobody around on these rooftops, the human domain should be down below. I’m in their flight path and feeling a bit uneasy about that, move my chair out of the way… avoiding collision with bird flying at 30 mph.

But they seem to have communicated with each other about it somehow – is it possible? No birds pass through after that. I’m looking out from the roof terrace level with the treetops, birds flit, zoom, dart, leave no tracks in the sky. Perch on a branch for a moment, flick their head in my direction – aware of my presence, and away without warning in unexpected directions; ‘up’ is not necessarily up and neither is down – ground level is not the reference point.

And these ominous birds of prey circling high above… I’m thinking I want to take a photo if one comes near. Take out phone camera and stand in the middle of the roof, point it at the birds. They’re too far away… no, wait, there’s one coming towards me. Take a few photos as it comes closer. It seems curious, coming over for a look – nearer and nearer; our eyes meet in a strange encounter, it knows it’s being looked at and I’m on the edge of being hypnotised by it watching me here in the centre of this pool of intense vision, like a spotlight moving over the landscape.

Are these smaller birds aware of the predator – is this why they move so quickly? All this and more; an extraordinary alertness, joyful, immediate. They’re in a different kind of temporality. Their world is forever the same moment here-and-now taking place in all other locations and everywhere at the same time. I’m in slow motion, don’t see it, burdened with human mechanisms of sensory perception and lost in thought. I have to consciously look for the way to get back to ‘here’… telescopic sights of mindfulness on crosshairs of past/future that focus on the ‘now’, the point of reference – discovering I don’t have to try to create it because the present moment is already here, always present… it’s the mind that goes away.

Traces of these last thoughts vanish. If I don’t reach out for the next thing to think about, there’s just the stillness of the event itself; a transparent curtain through which there’s a transparent stage in a transparent theatre and all the actors with the illuminated background shining through from behind.

“…sound does not exist, separate from our hearing; sights do not exist, separate from our seeing; tastes do not exist, separate from our tasting; smells do not exist separate from our smelling [….] our projection of an “external world” — of objects “out there” which we then interact with via the sense-organs of a seemingly individual bodymind — is a claim that can never be experientially verified.” [Elizabeth Reninger, “If A Tree Falls In A Forest …” – Bishop Berkeley Meets Laozi]

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Another  post about birds of prey: seeing with alertness.  Note: Our young friend Ng arrived back from New York on the night of 17 Feb, there were storms when she was there and the dance performance at Brooklyn Bridge was cancelled

Ng

photo-8bPOSTCARD #111: New Delhi: Half asleep in the shade on the roof terrace, palm fronds swaying in the warm wind. Resting after the endeavour to get Ng on her flight to New York. She was staying with us for a couple of days because her mum was away in Calcutta on business. Ng is 15, her mum is Thai and her dad is American. Ng has a white, almost ivory skin coloured complexion; Caucasian type with oriental eyes – child of the distant future. You could say she’s unique; the feeling there’s only one Ng in the world. That quality of individuation, disentangled from the social archetype – self is a figment of the imagination; I am a unique individual not separate from an infinite number of other unique individuals in the world. The magnitude of it is beyond ordinary comprehension… takes my breath away. Ng is quietly being herself, getting on with it, planning to leave at 8pm to meet with her school dance group for a 16 hour flight to perform at Brooklyn Bridge Park, NYC. But the flight has been postponed, departure time changed to 5.00am and the group will have to meet at the school at 3.30am. Oh… should we go to sleep for a few hours, or stay awake all night? We decide to go to our rooms at 7pm and mindfully lie down for the hours remaining. It goes quickly, we’re up at 2am, bags in car and away across town.

The curious urgency of driving at night through empty streets, headlights shine the way through the tunnel that our direction takes. The city is dark and indistinct like an old sepia tint photograph, its colour enters into the interior of the car; I see Ng’s profile, intense eyes lit up in her phone’s screen display, reflected colours on her face – checking her messages… no need to have conversation, everything’s been said. Stop for a moment to turn into traffic at a T junction and on my side there are two men wrapped in shawls crouched around a small fire they’ve lit on the sidewalk. One ghostly head swivels around on its axis, looking out from the glow of the flames, mediaeval eyes connect with mine; a patriarch from the remote past. Hold that gaze for a moment and the car moves on. We get to the meeting point, other kids are there, I offer to carry her bag over but Ng says it’s okay – so it’s time for me to go now, bye-bye, take care of yourself. I get in the car. U-turn in the empty street and just before accelarating away, I see a pale white hand waving in the darkness… small windscreen-wiper motion… I wave back, bye!

Home, sleep and somewhere in an accumulation of hours of nearly a day later, I’m here on the roof terrace in the shade because now it’s too hot to sit in the sunshine, and I’d forgotten about it all when the text message comes in from Ng’s mum in Calcutta, saying she had an email from Ng. She just arrived, plane was late. Total journey almost 24 hours. They had to change clothes quickly at the hotel and were going now to do their dance performance in the Park. I google the time difference and distance from Delhi to New York, trying to focus on the fact that Ng is probably dancing in Brooklyn Bridge Park round about now, 7300 miles away….

“The apparent reality of the mind, body and world is imagined with the thought that thinks it. In other words, the constructs of thought, that is, the beliefs we have about the mind, body and world – are only real for thought itself.” [Rupert Spira]

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flowers from far away

IMG_2001POSTCARD #110: New Delhi: The computer feels cold to touch, hands stretch out over the keyboard and the soft spaces between the fingers are exposed to the chill. Make them into fists; stay warm, too cold to type… melancholia of late winter. Sit there for a while. It takes quite a long time to realize I could just stop what I’m doing and go up to the roof terrace in the sunshine. Around this time, the shadow cast by the tall building next-door moves away and there’s a patch of sunlight where I can place my chair and sit in the warmth.

Get up from the desk, out to the hall by the back door and up the cold steps to the top; habitual handle-grab, shoulder-push on an old door that’s always stiff, squeak, it opens… bright daylight enters, birds fly across my vision in a blur of random directions. Blue sky, and clothes hanging on the line, the smells of outside, vent pipes, clay-tiled rooftops of other people’s houses, other people’s laundry.

There’s new warmth in the air – I notice it immediately, walking around our small urban garden and checking out all the plants that live here in flowerpots and containers. Everything has that dry wintery look, but there are some signs of life, shoots appearing in the crumbling earth… an innate sentience. Take a photo with my camera phone, seeing the flowers as stars and planets. Tiny white blossoms form in clusters. So small, there’s a feeling they’re arriving from far away; distant galaxies seen moving towards us in slow motion.

I didn’t know. It was here all the time, and everything that happened prior to this, everything going on unseen, below the surface of the earth… before the flower, the seed and before the seed, the flower that created the seed; a sequence of patterns that started before I arrived in this place, flowing from the past into the future, always seen from ‘here’.

I place my chair in the patch of sunlight and sit down; a fundamental response to the first signs of that easing-away from the coldness, the unique warmth of Springtime, a softening around the hardness, a release from the upset, the injured and the slow spinning wheel of seasons takes it all away. Listening to the green parakeets chattering in the Eucalyptus trees opposite, there’s only the moment in which everything appears…

“… appearances are so intimately one with Consciousness that there are in fact no appearances as such, that is, existing in their own right. Rather Consciousness is the sole substance of all experience.” [Rupert Spira] 

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Related post: A patch of sunlight