THE MIND AND THE MEDITATION








Tomorrow, early in the morning, I will be leaving for our annual, 2-day Tai Chi camp in Lonavala. This will be my third camp in a row. During the earlier two camps, I had published two of my books. First one was ‘Flowing With The Wheel’. The second one was ‘The Dragon Tail’. This year, I have no plans to publish any book…

Patterns and compulsions, in life, are, always, counter-productive. They drain our energy and make us deviate from our authentic, joyful living. Yes, a couple f times, I did contemplate on working on a new book to be published during this year’s camp. But, I wasn’t feeling strong about it… The call did not seem genuine… Yes, I did not feel, that I was flowing with the wheel!

So, here I am… On the eve of our Lonavala Tai Chi camp… feeling excited about the camp… but, not bad about ‘missing’ a new book…

I have nothing to prove to anyone… and, nobody expects me to do that, in the first place, you see!

After our morning walk, sitting with Bhadekar aunty (She is 80-plus, but, a great lover of life), one of our fellow residents, and regaled by her stories, is a simple delight my wife and I look forward to, every early-morning. Her stories pop up like a spring in the woods… spontaneous, unpretentious and sincere. She is involved with many women’s organizations which carry out varied social work. One of these organizations has planned a programme tommrow and Bhadekar aunty has persuaded my wife to attend this programme…

So, as I will be doing my Tai Chi exercises in Lonavala tomorrow, my wife will be busy listing to stories from women of substance, tomorrow…

Bhadekar aunty had this story to tell, this morning…

“Uncle (Her husband, Bhadekar uncle, passed away some ten years ago) used to regularly go for  the ten-day Vipasana programme in Igatpuri. You know how Vipasana course is… Observe complete silence… live with bare minimum food… just watch your breath, meditate. But what's the use?”

“Why, was it not useful?” my wife asked Bhadekar aunty.

“He found it very useful, and that’s why he went to Igatpuri every year,” aunty said.

“Then, why do you say ‘What’s the use?’” my wife asked.

“Want to know why? Listen to this,” Bhadekar aunty was geared to complete her story… “As soon as I opened the door when he came back from Vipasana, uncle would start his medley… ‘Has the cheque from L&T come? Has the tenant paid his rent? Did you call my sister-in-law? And this: What is there for the lunch – mutton? So much for your uncle’s Vipasana!”

My wife gave me a relieved look. I decoded: “Honey, aunty is narrating this story ‘for you’, understand?”

Yes, I understood. The same Buddhist wisdom says, “Wherever you go, you carry yourself.”  Like Bhadeker aunty said, that her husband thought of his dividend cheque, rent from tenant and mutton for lunch as he sat in meditation in Igatpuri, year after year, I, too, have been carrying some of my cravings to our Tai Chi camp in Lonavala… Yes, year after year…

This time, for sure, thanks to Bhadekar aunty’s story about her husband, I am going to dump my own cravings, on our way back, at Khandala ghat…

“Let me see,” I hear my wife saying, knowing her husband best!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Kamal Kishore Rikhari

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