On Bells and Chimes

Bells and Chimes are used in cultures throughout the world in ceremonies and religious places. There is many reasons for this. But, the one that I like the most is the following –

The sound produced by a bell is designed to strike a cordial balance between our right and left brain. The striking of the bell is believed to instantly halt all thought movement, creating a natural state of awareness. This also works to soothe the mind. The ringing of the bell produces a sharp sound which reverberates for approximately 7 seconds as an echo, long enough to touch on the seven healing centers or chakras in our body.

A well designed bell can produce resounding strains of the sound of “OM”.

With that background, let me recount for you what happened today morning.

It was a windy day here in Austin. I walked into the Sri Venkateswara Temple of Austin (which had the Maha kumbhabhishekam last weekend). As I walked into the temple courtyard, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound of the bells. I just stood there for several minutes focusing on the sound and taking it all in.

Here is a short recording.

I hope the sound of the wind and the sound of the bell brings you as much joy as it did to me today morning.

A Spring Dandelion – Here today…and gone tomorrow

I am sleep deprived, caffeine deprived and carbs deprived today….which, for me, means being in a hallucinatory state.
Even with all that going on today evening, this Spring dandelion looks beautiful to me.

Because,
I know,
this dandeloin…
like people…
like moments…
like life…
will be…
here today…
and gone tomorrow.

The UnReality of Reality – Fascinating Digital Images

I have been sharing my love for math, science, quantum physics, metaphysics and more with Adi for as long as I know.

Even before he knew what a wave or particle meant he had possible heard about wave-particle duality. Even before he could pronounce Heisenberg he had possibly heard about Uncertainty Principle. There are many concepts that I don’t understand. But, that hasn’t stopped me from teaching him the concept in some mutated form with the hope that he will one day return to visit me after roving this planet and having a lot better clarity on the (un)-reality of this Universe than I ever will.

Now, there is some background to how I built that hope.

Appa and my dear friend Shashi Sastry told me to teach him everything at an early age without questioning whether he is absorbing it or not.

Since, Appa and Shashi are very wise people I blindly trusted them. I poured forth the knowledge that I have had the fortune of having access to.

Given the digital era we live in, I also encouraged Adi to seek answers through science articles and videos.

A few years ago, as we were discussing the total unreality of reality and how time and space don’t actually exist as we believe them to, I took him along to see Sunil Shah and Renu Vora’s independent film called The Wisdom Tree Film(which showcased science, art, music, mysticism). As a prerequisite to watching the movie, we watched “What the Bleep Do We Know”.

Sadly, with the comings and goings of a crazily scheduled high schooler’s life, Adi hasn’t had the opportunity to chat with me and delve deep into topics that don’t belong in the realm of normal everyday discussions.

You know how they say it is darkest before it dawns.

Right when I was about to give up hope about all the time and effort that I had put in to Adi… wondering whether what he had heard in the last decade had evaporated into ether…and whether I should really invest that same amount of passion, time and effort with Ari…right at the hopeless moment, magic happened.

Yesterday, I think the Universe conspired to tell me that none of my effort has been wasted.

Adi returned (pun, in case you can notice it?!) home and showed me some digital pictures that he had created online. The pictures are not what amazed me. The titles that he had captioned those kaleidoscopic image is what amazed me.

Check it out – The UnReality of Reality – In Pictures

I love all the #REALITY that exists in #UNREALITY.

There is always #HOPE.

If I didn’t have Worldly Responsibilities

If I didn’t have worldly responsibilities, I would possibly be climbing mountains. Because, 2 eyes, 1 lifetime, 1 soul is not enough to enjoy God’s work from mountain peaks.

This shot was taken from my tiny camera at about 14,000 ft in the Inyo National Forest on my way to bagging the Mt. Whitney peak.

On Monday, July 26, 2010 about noon time Kumar and I completed one of our long standing goals of bagging the Mt. Whitney peak.

We ascended the summit from the Whitney Portal trail head at 8,365 feet and completed the round trip 22-mile hike in 19 hours! We managed to hike it without any altitude sickness (which can be dangerous and life-threatening!).

Mt. Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4421 m).

Here is a few of my writing on climbing/hiking:
http://ambalbalakrishnan.com/tag/climbing/
http://ambalbalakrishnan.com/tag/hiking/

Signs of Spring

This persimmon tree went completely bald in winter.
Last couple of days, it has been sprouting leaves.
I could write an essay on how I find the sprouting completely magical. But, I don’t have to.

Because Dr. Ian Malcolm Jeff Goldblum said everything there was to be said in “Jurassic Park” – “I’m, I’m simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.”

My huge crush on Dr. Malcolm (and the writer behind him Michael Crichton) hasn’t died in the 2 decades. It is because he said one of the most brilliant phrases ever said about life.

Today was a beautiful rainy day in Austin.
Wherever you are, stop to smell the roses.

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. – Pedro Calderon de la Barca

All the beautiful shades of green in Spring.