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 Making Up

I have a question for you.

Let us assume X = over your lifetime, the number of times you have made up with somebody (family or friend)
Let us assume Y = over your lifetime, the number of times somebody (family, or friend) made up with you

Is X > Y?
Is X = Y?
Is X < Y?

!!! Note!!! For many, many of my naughty buddies – Re-read the question carefully…question is NOT about making OUT……is it about making UP.

If you have ever shook hands, buried the hatchet, waved the white flag, declare truce, made peace, mended fences instead of calling it quits..give yourself a pat on the back.

No….seriosuly. I mean it. Stop reading. Pick up your hand. Move it your back. And, pat yourself.

It is never easy to make up and move on instead of giving up and moving on. Nice job.

On Finding a Zen Moment

If it weren’t for that 1 tumbler of coffee in the morning #zen moment…

Those of you know who know me really well, would finish that sentence by saying “you would be admitted in the max security mental ward”.

#gratitude-for-the-lil-things-in-life

Question: If it weren’t for your 1 cup of coffee in the morning #zen moment…..

Today, just sit for a little bit and enjoy a quiet moment just for you.

“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you – sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.”
― Lauren Oliver, Pandemonium

“When forever becomes a place…
when forever ceases to be just a word…
when it ceases to be just a measurement of time….”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

On finding Peace and Strength

Sometimes, I find a shaded spot under a tree.

I sit down for just a bit.
I let the sun peak at me through the leaves on the tree.
I let the cool breeze nourish my body and soul.

I remember the days of past when I played on a swing in Thatha’s field under a shaded tamarind tree. I remember and feel gratitude for that utterly carefree days of my youth.

I find peace.
I find strength.

Then, I get up and go about my usual madness.

Anyways, it was one of those rare Sunday evenings when I got to sit down quietly for a few minutes and enjoy a hot cup of chai.

Amen to finding peace.

Music bring Solace

Music brings peace.
Music brings solace.

This old Tamil song by legendary lyricist Kannadasan has been my constant companion as I navigate rough waters in the last few weeks.

Lyrics In Tamil:
Mayakkamaa kalakkamaa
Manadhilae kuzhappamaa
Vaazhkkaiyil nadukkamaa

Translation in English:

Are you dazed and queasy?
Is there confusion in your heart?
Is there uncertainty in your life?

Lyrics In Tamil:
Vaazhkkai enraal aayiram irukkum
Vaasal dhoarum vedhanai irukkum
Vandha thunbam edhuvendraalum
Vaadi ninraal oaduvadhillai
Edhaiyum thaangum idhayam irundhaal
Irudhi varaikkum amaidhi irukkum

Translation in English:

Life has thousands of problems in it
Every one’s house has anxieties (not just you)
Whatever the trouble is
If you wilt and stop, they don’t go away
If you have a heart that can endure anything
There will be peace until the end

Lyrics In Tamil:
Aezhai manadhai maaligaiyakki
Iravum pagalum kaaviyam paadi
Naalaip pozhudhai iraivanukkaliththu
Nadakkum vaazhvil amaidhiyaith thaedu
Unakkum keezhae ullavar koadi
Ninaiththup paarththu nimmadhi naadu

Translation in English:

Make the poor heart a palace
Sing poetically about night and day (sadness and joy)
Dedicate tomorrow’s time/worries to god and
Look for peace in your present life
There are crores of people worse off than you
Think about that and feel grateful and peaceful