“All the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace —
 arise from beyond the mind.”
- Ekhart Tolle

A couple of mighty names come before me today: Ekhart Tolle, Byron Katie, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Paulo Coelho, Rhonda Byrne….

All of them have one thing in common: before a breakthrough happened in their lives, there was a massive breakdown... Life had appeared utterly meaningless, blank and they all had thought of ending their lives… Ekhart Tolle tells his tale in the introduction to his remarkable book, ‘The Power of Now’… How unworthy feelings and emptiness had driven him to the suicidal brink…and, how, there, on that brink, everything around him – the old sense of self - dropped! Byron Katie’s path-breaking book, ‘Loving What Is’, has her story, too… How worthless she had felt in the asylum (Half house) where she was sent to… how undeserving she had felt not even to sleep on the bed… and, how, one fine morning, everything about her simply dropped! Dr. Wayne Dyer carried in him tons of anger and poison against his father, who had abandoned them when Dyer was a little boy… Dyer had turned to chronic alcoholism and anger had consumed him so much that he wanted to confront father to get even… He went hundreds of miles in search of his father with this sole mission… till the journey brought him to his father’s grave… There, standing in front of his father’s grave, the rock fell off his heart… Rhonda’s world, too, had crashed and there was nothing but emptiness staring at her till that moment came… and ‘The Secret’ happened… Paulo Coelho is everyone’s heartthrob, today… But, I am sure, hardly a few know his story. So, I strongly recommend the book ‘Confessions of a Pilgrim’ by Juan Arias. I suggest you read the confessions of Paulo… to comprehend the emptiness and trauma he had encountered in his life…

There are many more mighty souls, right from the times of Moses… Gautama had to leave his palace… Jesus had to pass the temptation on the mountain… Jiddu Krishnamurti had to walk off from the false sainthood built around him… In other words, they had to empty themselves… before finding a new meaning in their lives…

well, you and I are not a Gautama Buddha or a Jesus Christ… We are not a Paulo Coelho or an Ekhart Tolle. But, then, our story of finding meaning in life is no different from these mighty souls… Don’t you agree? We all hit the rock bottom in our lives… We all encounter emptiness in our lives… and – we may not like to admit this – many of us do think of ending it all… Don’t we?

At our Tai Chi Camp, last week end, we had a wonderful woman by the name Thrity Engineer. She lived in London for years, and was on a visit to India for a few days. During this short stay, she had decided to learn a bit of Tai Chi from our sir, Rakesh Menon, at her residence in Bandra. Sir had invited her to our Camp.

Mrs. Thrity, with her affectionate and sincere persona, immediately gelled with all of us. In the evening, just before my new book was released, our sir requested her to share what she did back home in London. In her story, we came to know that, some twenty years ago, when she lost her marriage and all the money, her world had collapsed, all of a sudden, and her life had hit the rock bottom… Emptiness loomed large and life seemed meaningless. It was at this time, she chanced upon the life theory called ‘Coherence’ and the old sense of victimhood dropped to make way for a purposeful life… She became an advocate of this new life of ‘Coherence’ and went on to write two books to propagate this new life-lesson called ‘Beyond Emptiness’…

On Saturday night, as Mr. Thrity was sharing her experience with us, the phrase, ‘Beyond Emptiness’ stayed with me…

Is there life beyond emptiness?

The path to ‘coherence’, evidently, is through ‘incoherence’… That mysterious barrier called ‘Void’… ‘Emptiness’… ‘Zero’… or ‘Nothing’!

“Ma’am, you are our Guest of Honor tonight,” something made me tell Mrs. Thrity, “Please do the honors of unveiling my book.”

I am fortunate, that Mrs. Thrity gracefuly obliged.


Pic.: Vikram Sharma


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