Thursday, September 27, 2012

Becoming Real

“What is REAL?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Remembering wanderlust

Last weekend I was in Kuala Lumpur for a short break. I met up with old friends, was brought around for meals and sight seeing. It was fun. It reminded me how good it feels to be surrounded by good hearted people who are funny. It has been a while since I felt so relaxed among people.

The weekend break also reminded me of how much I miss travelling. I miss the discomfort of having to wait in line at the airport. I miss waking up to a foreign airport, where I don't know what to expect when I go down an escalator. I miss the strangeness of a train route which might be in a language I do not understand. I miss that sense of disorientation, of feeling lost - it wakes me up and makes me feel just that little bit more alive.

I have allowed work and other things to distract me from doing what I love. Reading, travel and quiet time - these things recharge me. Yoga brings me to that quiet space. I deal with stress better.

I have neglected myself.

I told myself that my word for 2012 will be 'alignment'. One of the ways I want to align myself better is the alignment in words and action. I talk a lot about the things I want to do, I often allow other things to distract me from following up with things. Let's start doing things differently.

I will be going to India and Nepal in November. It will be a pilgrimage of a sort, going to the sacred locations in the Buddha's life.

Let's just do it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Wholeheartedness is a precious gift, but no one can actually give it to you. You have to find the path that has heart and then walk it impeccably....It's like someone laughing in your ear, challenging you to figure out what to do when you don't know what to do. It humbles you. It opens your heart. 

~Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form

Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. Friends are enemies sometimes, and enemies friends.
I was a tiny bug. Now a mountain. I was left behind. Now honored at the head. You healed my wounded hunger and anger, and made me a poet who sings about joy.
If your guidance is your ego, don’t rely on luck for help. you sleep during the day and the nights are short. By the time you wake up your life may be over.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absent-minded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.
Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.
Most people guard against going into the fire, and so end up in it.
My friend, the sufi is the friend of the present moment. To say tomorrow is not our way.
Nightingales are put in cages because their songs give pleasure. Whoever heard of keeping a crow?
No longer a stranger, you listen all day to these crazy love-words. Like a bee you fill hundreds of homes with honey, though yours is a long flight from here.
No mirror ever became iron again; No bread ever became wheat; No ripened grape ever became sour fruit. Mature yourself and be secure from a change for the worse. Become the light.
Only from the heart Can you touch the sky.
Patience is the key to joy.
People of the world don’t look at themselves, and so they blame one another.
Since in order to speak, one must first listen, learn to speak by listening.
That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility.
The intelligent want self-control; children want candy.
The middle path is the way to wisdom.
The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.
Thirst drove me down to the water where I drank the moon’s reflection.
To praise is to praise how one surrenders to the emptiness.
We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.
We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.
You think the shadow is the substance.
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi (1207-1273) — Turkish Sufi Mystic Poet

Monday, September 03, 2012

Not Till We Are Lost ...

"Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations." ― Henry David Thoreau

I'm putting this here to remind myself to appreciate the journey. I have a tendency to be goal-oriented. Being lost sometimes means a fresh point of view and nothing feels familiar - and that is a great opportunity for learning.

I forget sometimes. A friend of mind reminded me recently, we are not works of perfection, but works in progress - and that felt like so much wisdom.