On Nirvana – It is not a place. It is a moment.

Nirvana (in Buddhism) is a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.

I have been chasing Nirvana for many years now.
Did you notice the inherent problem with that stupid statement I made?
Nirvana is an indescribable state.
Nirvana can’t be chased.
It has to be attained.

I have been reading everything there is in books on science, philishophy and religion to understand and attain Nirvana.
I have to tried to read everything there is on the science of the brain, breathing, stillness, meditation and have implemented all those ideas and tried to hack myself into the Nirvana state.

Alas…it has been in vain.
I do find some quiteness here and there.
I do put myself in the violet mediation zone at the drop of a hat.
I do do that.

But, Nirvana evades me.
It plays hard to get.

That said, in the last few days, I got a taste of how Nirvana feels though.
I walked on beaches and stared at the waves.
I didn’t know where the blue sky ended and the blue ocean started.
I quietened my body, my mind and my soul.
As I stared at the ocean waves, I found the same feeling that I do when I climb mountains.

I found calmness come over me as I marveled at the grandeur of where I am placed  on this planet. Of how huge this planet and cosmos is…and how small of a speck I am.
As I contemplated on that, and I stared at the waves, I got a taste of Nirvana.

I hear you asking – “Ambal – So, how was it? What was Nirvana like?”

I would do such a poor job of describing that Nirvana state to you.
So, I am not even going to try. But, I will tell you this much.

I was “in the moment” without a thought in my head as I stared at the endless blue ocean and blue sky.

And, I think that “being in the moment” made all the difference.

You go ahead. Be brave. Find your Nirvana.

On Roadside Wild Beauty

Texas heat index is rising steadily this summer. Kumar and I are trying to walk together at least a few times a week later in the evening instead of late afternoons.

As we were walking a couple of days ago, I spotted this road side beauty. Kumar did his usual rant-like-speech – “You better not stand there admiring that flower for next 10 minutes. I give you exactly 60 seconds. Admire it. Take a picture. Then, you are going to continue walking with me.”

I did just as Kumar instructed me to.

I don’t know what the name of this beautiful wild flower is.

It reminded me of a flower that Daddy used to bring from the market. It was called “vaada malli”. English name – Gomphrena globosa. Vaada malli had similar purple color, layered and spiky look.

This summer…pause wherever you are… at the beach, at the park, amongst the hills…or even alongside your own street… to take in a wild flower’s beauty.

Stay wild in your heart. And, go get ’em tiger.

Happy Summer.

Here in Austin, Spring is in all her Glory!

Spring is in all her glory…here in Austin.

The chirping of the birds…if only, we would stop and listen.

Gather the rose of love whilst yet is time. – Edmund Spenser

There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas and they bloom during spring…to capture my breathe away.

I can’t enough of the beautiful roses in bloom everywhere.

Happy Spring!

On Nourishing Your Soul

It is such a beautiful sunny day here in Austin.

I got off my chair and went out in the sun and stood there for a few minutes…enjoying the howling wind and the bright sun.

Soul nourished.
Back to my desk and to do list.

Our souls are the very essence of who we are, therefore, they require nourishment just as our bodies do. – Unknown

On Being Lost

I am typically running around like a nut case trying to get through the day.

Today evening, after a long day, I made a conscious effort to be mindful and be in the moment.

I made some chai for the boys and served it to them.
Then, I went out and sat down to enjoy my cup of chai.

I noticed the evening sun peeking through the trees.
I saw the bees buzzing around the grass and flowers.
I felt the nectar dripping on me from the pink flowers above.
I heard the birds chirping near and far.
I tasted the ginger as I sipped the chai.
I saw the sun setting. It made the blades of grass glisten.
Then, as the moon came out, I saw the lightening bugs flashing by me.

I just sat there.
I couldn’t have normally held myself in the chair for so many minutes.
My instinct would have been to hurry the boys through dinner, catch up on email, and get thru my never ending todo list.

The only reason I sat in the chair and was mindful, was because Lata Ji was with me. She was singing Ae Dil E Nadaan…just for me.

Here is her enthralling voice:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJRIAKQhaYA

Her voice was so ethereal and although I didn’t understand a word of what she sang…I sat there entranced and absorbed in the evening….with so much joy and not a care in the world.

It was a special evening.
It is one of those evenings that will flash through my memory, as I draw in my last breath.

I hope you had a good evening.