Sitting calmly, eyes closed

The image that once rose
The lotus, the dandelion, the rose
Feels it very clearly
Like the wind brushing past dearly
An aura shook the land
With the touch of a hand
It was the enlightened one, Buddha
Seeing right through the Mandala
The universe looked just like a sphere
A sphere just like the world
A world just like the mind
A mind just like the soul
A soul just like the One
Slowly and at once he won
Changing into a lotus there
The Buddha permeated the air

The Mystical Mountains

Beyond the valley of the vanishing flowers and the green lake where nymphs are still said to be seen, lies the grand mountain range known everywhere as the Mystical Mountains. The journey for anyone to reach these mountains starts from within.

The traveller has to meditate for a long period of time, centering his attention on the Mystical Mountains. Then when it is destined, the traveller has a vision and what one sees becomes the first clue. Usually it is an animal that one sees; a dragon, a wolf, a snake or an eagle, it can be anything. The traveller then has to face the animal; if victorious, the animal becomes the traveller’s ally and shows the path ahead. Sometimes it takes a few days, a few months, a few years to cross the valley of the vanishing flowers and the green lake and sometimes one isn’t able to cross it at all. But the one who does reach the Mystical Mountains meets ecstasy.

Every individual is meant to be there and for each one the mountains hold a miracle, a mystery to be solved and a reward worth spending a lifetime for it. Those who return from the Mystical Mountains come back with a task in hand to finish it in a definite period of time. Such a person is like a Samurai, a Monk, a Yodha, untroubled by the material bonding and full of the life force. The magnanimity of such a few selected ones attracts the like-minded and gives them the idea about the spectacles that awaits them in the Mystical Mountains. Thus, a new mind, a new traveller set for a new journey to reach the Mystical Mountains, taking the first step to look within. 

Reflection

How brilliant it is that we can time travel? The art of storytelling can take us anywhere we want.
 
Recently, I met Scout and Jem in America; it was the unforgettable 1940s then. While I got to know their daily routine and the way they spent their summer holidays, I realised that it wasn’t much different from the way I and my brother spent ours.
 
Of course, the fact that I was brought up here in India, our games, and our ways were a bit different but the spirit was the same.
 
And who cares about the dry, old facts when feelings rule high?
 
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is wonderfully written and is a complete circle. The events start and hold your attention throughout.
 
You reach the end and find that you, along with Scout, have drawn a circle, a perfect one.
 
Though you wish to read more and know more, after keeping the book down you are left to ponder upon a great number of things just like one feels after a revelation.
 
Time flies so fast and gives us an impression of change but what changes and what doesn’t remain uncertain.
 
To me, this novel gave a feeling that things might appear to but they haven’t actually changed.
 
In fact, things have just shifted from one level to the other.
 
But wait, all of this is more powerful than one can think. We still want to hear what Scout has to say.
 
Her story remains as engaging as it was for the people back then.
 
This is what a soulful story does, it continues and flies and sometimes even time travels.
First edition cover. [Source – Wikipedia Commons]

Weekly Newsletter

A weekly dose of stories! Get the posts from the Chiming Stories in your inbox and read it when you can. Subscribe now, it is free!


Recent Posts


The Thought

So that the brush strokes are fine, so that the rhythm is right, so that the planet follows its trajectory, so that the Universe meets the end, everything has to be done perfectly.

Not the type of perfection that binds you, but the one which leads you to Nirvana. For perfection, concentration is a must.    

One requires such a level of concentration that unites with the soul of the Universe. It then works wonders.

What is otherwise the glory of nature, the majesty of the mountains, the thunder in the sky? And evolution?  

Perfection is nature, nature is perfection.
Image – Pixabay.

Meditation is the key, the answer to everything.

In a quiet mind, the peaceful colours of the Universe shine and bring along the eternal power.

Just a touch of this energy makes the mind sublime and supreme, no matter if only for seconds, the experience is life-changing.  

If this is not Love, then what is? Loving oneself purely and believing that we all are one. The golden thread is common, it is absolute, it is present.  

I remember a folk tale about a fool who once stated that he could see a bright light in everything, in everyone around him. The fool found the brightness overwhelming, he danced until he died.

People did not bother much, after all, who believes a fool, though they later started worshipping the fool.  

Death of the fool became the foundation of a belief. The fool was a juggler, a perfectionist in his art. 


Weekly Newspaper

A weekly dose of stories! Get the posts from the Chiming Stories in your inbox and read it when you can. Subscribe now, it is free!


Recent Posts


Carved and Alive

Meditating in permanence.
Image by Jagriti Rumi.

Centuries have passed and I have witnessed it elegantly, quietly.

Countless diyas have washed my feet and brightened my space. The lanterns took my shadow along and I crossed the steps to reach the temple.

I have enjoyed my permanence. I have blessed them all.  

The sound stays forever and if you try to hear honestly, I have so many stories to tell. The echoes are playful and I vouch for this fact.  

But there is nothing like the music of the bells. The small bells try, always, to tune with the bigger ones. Every time the result is harmonious.  

I like flowers, both fresh and old. The fresh ones are fragrant and the old ones make a wonderful husky sound. And I collect sound.

All kinds of prayers, musical, non-musical, the chants, the whispered wishes and loud blessings are there in my collection.  

I am different from the ones who come to see me here. They are opposite to what I am. I stay still and collect sound. I was made to meditate. While they can move all around and express. It must be their way of meditating.    

She comes here a lot. Somehow, I can see a resemblance between this lady and me. She is mostly as quiet as I am, she reads a lot, maybe she collects through her eyes.

She is the one here who can listen to my collection, my stories. But maybe not now, she is busy collecting.

I’ll wait, nevertheless, and collect the sound of ruffles when she turns the paper.

The rock-cut cave temple, Pataleshwar, in Pune.
Image by Jagriti Rumi.

Weekly Newspaper

A weekly dose of stories! Get the posts from the Chiming Stories in your inbox and read it when you can. Subscribe now, it is free!


Recent Posts


A Lot of Keys in the World

There is a key ring because there is a key, there is a key because there is a cupboard, there is a cupboard because I have things to keep, and I have things to keep because I think I need them…I think I need them because I think so…I have a mountain of material things just because of the way I think. I keep adding my possessions to this mountain, mostly trying to show off its grandeur, forgetting that I am the one who is carrying it.
These possessions are shiny and majestic in a strange way, but every time I try to talk to them, they just stare at me ambiguously, neither do they move nor do they accept that they are dead…my dead possessions don’t talk to me. Am I complaining? I thought I’ll take umbrage at the point that my possessions are not enough and stop. I took a step further and bought another cupboard and worshiped the zillion gods online; it took days multiplied by nights subtracted by 3 quality thoughts and finally, I got success…a new key ring, for a new key of my new cupboard…all the shiny things beaming shamelessly at me.
Gradually, the 3 quality thoughts multiplied and I started feeling the weight of the mountain. The quality thoughts then converged and I was left with only myself; it was calm and quiet. I felt light just like a feather and I was happy. I woke up and faced the reality.
I don’t have the keys to most of my cupboards, I lost them, dropped them…it would be nice to think that I did that intentionally.

By- My Friend

Seeing through their eyes. Image – Pixabay.

All we need is love…really?

I feel that more than love we need to have the ability to understand the loved ones in our life…we need to stop for a moment and see the other person without our preconceived notions.

I had this thought in my mind for a long time and I wanted to write about it. Recently, my dear friend unknowingly gave voice to my thoughts…and she did it so very beautifully.

What she has written is so true and accurate and apt to my feelings that I thought of sharing it with everyone else through this blog.

Here is what she wrote- 

UNDERSTANDING  

There are so many dimensions to each one of us, and the combination of all these dimensions results in our PERSONALITY. It is not something which can be pre-defined.

On the contrary, it is something which keeps on getting refined with every new day we face in our lives, through our varied experiences.  

We all think that ‘Understanding’ is an inherent personality trait we all are born with, that once we reach a particular age and maturity level, we automatically attain the level of understanding we ought to.

But I disagree. Understanding, according to me, is the most difficult as well as the most significant emotion we possess.

More so, it demands a certain level of effort: the effort to put one into the other person’s shoes and think the way he/she does, and not according to your own mind.

Only then would one be able to ‘Understand’ the other person’s perspective. And this equips the individual with another beautiful emotion – Empathy.  

This is the kind of Understanding we all demand from people we are close to, people we depend on, people we love, and majority of the times, they let us down.

Only because they think that they know us so well that they don’t even try for a split second to come out of their own selves and use all that they know about us to grasp things from our perspective.

We all have to always remember that nothing in this world comes for free: that for all important things, we have to invest our energies, either mentally, physically or emotionally to attain or retain something or someone in our lives.  

May god bless everyone with this ‘UNDERSTANDING’.  


Weekly Newsletter

A weekly dose of stories! Get the posts from the Chiming Stories in your inbox and read it when you can. Subscribe now, it is free!


Recent Posts


My Victory Smile!

‘Your turn’, said Soni.
 
My turn…well Miss my turn started long back when I moved my Pawn two steps forward.
 
I have been calculating that in an attempt to get my Bishop in the twelfth move, you’ll definitely charge at my poor, innocent and a bit careless Pawn sitting on b3 and that is why…holy god, just because of that I took my Rook to the third rank and you…you ruthless being…is this just a game for you? Ah!
 
And now, what are you trying to do? This is not a casual move, advancing your Knight to e4…what should I do? Hey! King, wake up dude…I am fighting this battle for you.
 
And dear Queen, don’t mind but I think you are afraid of the gorgeous Black Queen…she has taken some bold steps…our brave little Pawn, may his soul fight the dead Black Pawns fiercely down there and show them no mercy…no mercy!
 
But we have to focus, dear Queen, if you are jealous of her, knock her down and listen, all the Pawns, don’t leave the field without blood on your swords.
 
Ahm! Respected Bishops and Knights and others (I am angry with the Rooks and hence I am not going to address them directly, it is because of them that more of our people are down)….
 
‘GS! Your turn’, repeated Soni.
 
I simply nodded. See…did anyone notice? I knew it, she is trying to read my mind. Oh! Oh! Relax! Shanti Om!
 
Yes! I think I should take my Knight to 6f…bold!
 
My friend, listen to me, I know it is a bold step but just see, my Bishop and that Pawn will be guarding it, and actually it is not that risky a position.
 
And I have to show her, you know, that look Miss you better back up, I am as brutal as Brutus (I am not getting personal here Mr. Brutus, but now that is what you have earned). Oh! She is yawning now! Clever! Come on, come on dear Knight….
 
‘Hmm…good one GS’, exclaimed Soni.
 
I smiled…a sweet grin; I know my expressions, my left eyebrow rises every time I put up my victory smile.
 
Ha! So, finally she is thinking hard, she looks confused…good for me. I am sure she will bring forth the Queen now or nothing less than the Bishop.
 
I have read a lot about this game Miss…you will be defensive now. Psychology is involved in everything, this game is…what…a Pawn! A Pawn?
 
‘There…GS…’, said Soni meditatively.
 
There is something wrong here. A Pawn! And she didn’t take that long…oh…it’s my Knight she wants. Hmm! Hmm! Hmm!
 
(A long pause) Hmm!
 
‘Come on…GS?’, enquired Soni.
 
Oops! Why, why do I always make my opponents comfortable with the idea that I am confused and that is why it’s taking too long?
 
Wait! Ha-ha! Rook, after all you want to make up for your hasty decisions…good.
 
Rook to d6…yes Miss, I am challenging you now. What about her sly Black Bishop? Na, it will take three moves for the Bishop to get me. Yes!
 
‘Oh!’, said Soni.
 
I have surprised her. She just can’t believe it. Hah!
 
‘Really?’, said Soni.
 
I think she has a habit of  thinking out loud. Poor girl! What will she do now? Her King looks as bewildered as she is right now.
 
Maybe she will fight with her Queen or her Rooks…but the latter ones just stand in every game that I have played with her.
 
She definitely knows that her only Bishop can’t do much…wait…when did her Knight reached f3…and her silly, stupid, puny Pawn reached h3?
 
Where is my rascal Rook! Oh!
 
‘Checkmate!’, said Soni. She smiled her victory smile.
 

*

This post is inspired by the games these two mavericks are busy playing all the time.

Mama Don Soni, she always wins no matter what.
[Photo credit – Nirupama Thakur]
Ghumpu Shimpu (GS), Soni’s silly boy, he is always happy [he is singing ‘here comes the sun do-do-do’ in this photo].
[Photo Credit – Eddy]

Weekly Newsletter

A weekly dose of stories! Get the posts from the Chiming Stories in your inbox and read it when you can. Subscribe now, it is free!


Recent Posts


The Answer

Your eyes are sweetly closed, you are smiling peacefully, and you are meditating…but how? How do you do it?

I am listening to my breath and the music my heart plays. My eyes are closed yet I see all the colours ever so vividly. I feel so light as if I am flying and thus I smile. I am meditating, I am living in the moment, in the second. I can feel the spirit inside me. You are asking me how to do it…but the answer lies within you.

Search for it, not once or twice or thrice, do it all the time, ceaselessly, until you find no further need to explore. When time and space vanish and you are present everywhere.

Is this the ultimate search? Will this solve everything?

When you start looking for something, it becomes the first step. It can take a long time for the search to end but it should not hamper your spirits. This is only possible if the question that you have asked is correct.

I am painting you in different colours…you somehow are choosing the colours for yourself. I don’t know how you are doing it but then it is only making the painting more alive. I don’t want to part yet I’ll have to; you’ll look good in the big palace, not in this old hut. You are almost complete now….

If you believe, truly, that I should stay here with you, you will see me here even if I leave.

*

[Source – Google]

*

[The painter after finishing the painting of the Buddha, sent it to its owner for which he was awarded a good sum of money. He stayed gloomy as he wanted to have the talking Buddha to himself.

He thought about the last words of the Buddha for a long time…days passed and then months.

Sitting quietly and pondering upon those words he felt calm and just then he realised that the mud wall of his hut had an impression on it that looked exactly like the painting of the Buddha… he was entranced!

All the walls of his hut had turned into the painting of the Buddha and slowly the roof and the floor as well.

The painter smiled and closed his eyes, feeling serene and unaware of the fact that his own body was turning into the painting of the Buddha.]


Weekly Newsletter

A weekly dose of stories! Get the posts from the Chiming Stories in your inbox and read it when you can. Subscribe now, it is free!


Recent Posts


 

In Retrospect, I Think I Know What Alice Said

Alice
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

It was the Wonderland, Alice’s Wonderland, but she wasn’t there.

I felt very strange and thought of looking for her, but the very next moment this thought slipped away, dancing in front of my eyes and I stood there, smiling, I even said, ‘cheers’.

The tall trees were beautifully dressed in different shades of green, all of them together, creating a heavy and velvety canopy; mossy green sky with blue flowers and pretty birds singing sweetly all the time. Wonderland!    

When I wished to walk and explore the place, the earth showed a fresh path to me, it whispered to me, ‘this way’, and so I hopped ahead.

To my right, an endless celebration of lights and colours captured my mind. Every time red and green merged and sparkling yellow joined the blue, I took a halt to witness the magic.

Once, while the magical colours were reveling beautifully, I heard someone calling me from behind a huge tree. It was a talking tree and its name was ‘Alive’.

Alive
Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Alive gave me a green leaf and asked me to put it in my purple bag. Only then did I realise that I was carrying a small purple bag. I did what Alive told me to do and moved ahead.

After that I met ten such trees – ‘Humble’, ‘Brave’, ‘Love’, ‘Mad’, ‘Pure’, ‘Kind’, ‘Dream’, ‘Courage’, ‘Wise’, and ‘Happy’ – they all gave me leaves to put it in my purple bag. Doing as told, I kept on hopping ahead.

When I danced, the leaves in the purple bag danced along and when I sang, they played music with me.

At night when the wonderland looked silvery dark, I sometimes cried, afraid to wake up and break the magic and end the wonderland journey.  

The leaves in my purple bag cried along, the leaves were just copying me and their failed attempt always made me laugh. The leaves were my best friends now.

A lotus flower near a moon-shaped pond.
Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

Years passed in a day while I was looking at a lotus flower near a moon-shaped pond, under a giant mango tree. And all these years, I just kept looking at the lotus flower and kept smiling. Lovely life!

A caterpillar woke me up from meditation and asked me to take a ride with him; he said he was tired but had to offer me a tour because of the tradition of the place.

I warmly accepted and sat on him, but he refused to move until I gave him a coffee cigarette. ‘Coffee cigarette?’, I thought aloud and told him that I have never heard about such a thing.

With a smirk he asked me to check my purple bag and so I did, to my shock, I found one beautiful, golden brown looking coffee cigarette in it.

Blushing red, I gave it to him, he lighted it up and soon I could smell rich coffee in the air.

And then the roller coaster ride started.

The caterpillar took me to different countries in a flash and then to the past and future, underwater and in space, infinity and beyond, through colours and lights, and when we reached the music station, I asked him to stop.  

Every music instrument was playing, the waves in the air forced everyone present to dance to the beats; from samba to jazz, ‘ring-a-ring-a-roses’ to classical dance, I did everything.

I even got drunk, who can refuse a glass full of joy anyway? The rhythm lingers, as fresh as it can be, even now. My hands sometimes do the jingles on the table and my legs do the twist while walking.

At the colourful carnival.
Image by Juanita Mulder from Pixabay

I also remember attending a carnival, but what happened there exactly can’t be expressed in words. I have images in my mind and when I try to put them into words I end up painting and when I try to speak about it I end up singing.

The images are rich in colours and also smell of geniality. You must see them.

The journey was going to end, I knew it. The caterpillar said, ‘farewell’ and shook hands with me, leaving me alone with my purple bag.

On the rough road I walked ahead, dragging my purple bag that had surprisingly become ten times heavier than its original weight.

I sat on a funny looking rock to rest and started sobbing; a single drop fell on the ground and the place slowly started flooding with water. The rock didn’t sink, instead floated, funny indeed.

The rock took me to the shore and I was glad to see someone human. It was the Hatter.

He offered me some tea, but before I could drink the tea he asked me to sit and before I could sit he asked me to pass him the spoon from the far end of the table and before I could do it, he asked me, rudely, to go back from where I came, indicating a huge mirror with cursive letters as its frame, adding that he found me very lazy.

Astonished and confused, I took a step forward, suddenly the March Hare came forward from somewhere and asked me to let Alice go free.

He tried to snatch my purple bag and the Hatter joined him; I was winning until the Dormouse came there and tickled me. ‘Hurrah, hurrah’, they ran round and round the table, leaving the purple bag behind.

Magic happens thrice every day. Did you feel it today?

Flamingos feel the magic thrice everyday.
Image by Esmaylin Arguello from Pixabay

The eleven leaves came out of the purple bag and swirled slowly, then quickly, beautifully, and changed in a blinks time into Alice.

My eyes were full of happy tears. I wanted to meet Alice, she was smiling at me, and I wanted to talk to her about the wonderland. But that jealous Dormouse and March Hare came running towards me and pushed me into the giant mirror.

I saw Alice holding the Hatter’s hand, she said something to me, but I couldn’t understand it clearly.

Either she said, ‘Laugh and look up-up-up’ or ‘Pancake chocolate syrup-up-up’. Does it make any sense?

I’ll have to stop and think so that I can decode it and write and paint these words again and again.

What you said Alice sounded so sweet and true… I am sure I am on the right track.    

The right track that Alice also took.
Image by prettysleepy1 from Pixabay

With the vibrations of Alice’s words still alive and so many green leaves around me, am I out of or still in the Wonderland?   I am crazy enough to know.


Weekly Newsletter

A weekly dose of stories! Get the posts from the Chiming Stories in your inbox and read it when you can. Subscribe now, it is free!


Recent Posts