Monday, December 16, 2013

PRESENCE OF MIND




















 Pic.: Unnati Jiandani



Whenever I had to speak before an audience,

the thought that I had to speak in public

would put my body and mind off balance…

I would start getting anxious, doubtful of my ability…

I would start breathing faster, shallow…

My thoughts would get all muddled up…

I would think one thing and say something else…

My palms would sweat, hands and legs would tremble…

just by the thought that I had to speak in public.



One day, a friend of mine - a teacher of Indian Philosophy –

sensing my problem, asked me,

“Have you ever observed a Sadhu eating his meal?”

He continued, “It is a great delight to watch him relish it,

so completely so happily…

He doesn’t think about his next meal…

He is fully into the meal in hand – he is in the ‘Present’, the ‘Now’…

He is grateful, he is sure, he is detached…

He is free… and at peace with himself.”



At once, my friend’s statement made sense to me…

All of a sudden, I found a new meaning in it!



Now, every time I have to give a talk,

I stop panicking.

I accept my commitment with my eyes open;

I relax… I take it like any other commitment;

I start preparing for my talk… I relax, I enjoy;

I see myself very confident, comfortably talking before my audience…

I see them moved by my talk…



I am relaxed, I breathe deeply and fully…

Then, I let go…

Let the air pass through my nostrils… gently, without my effort…

I stand aside, and watch the beauty of this newness,

experience the silence within…

I become aware of myself –

my mind, my body, my breathing…

I remain not at all agitated…

I  remain ‘Here’ – in the ‘Present’.

Like that Sadhu relishing his daily meal –

The meal in hand,

so gladly, so totally!




GERALD D’CUNHA


P.S.:

‘THE COBWEBS’ was one of the popular booklets I had written and published for THE DAWN CLUB in its early years. It was first published in 1991. Once again, what made this book connect with the readers was that it spoke in first person… The passages – some twelve of them - seemed straight from one’s own heart, they sounded like one’s own voice…

This passage – ‘PRESENCE OF MIND’ – is one of the popular passages from the book – ‘THE COBWEBS’.




2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very useful post. thanks ---- Punit

Kiran Mehta said...

Too good! Kiran