Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a long wait

at times, the time just flies
unknowingly, unnoticed 
looks like gone are those days
and now, it is too long to wait
but, the wait is on, and on

to endure and hold my breath
for what I have been waiting for
to think out of the mediocre 
by making it special and worthy
and to reach out to the destiny

not expecting defeat after all, 
with a winning sword to play my bit
and when how the 'other' views, matters,
all I do is to anticipate and not react
but for how long, is a mystery

hope, gives me hope, spirit-fully
that it happens to be a good
that again, makes me listen
to the song far away from me
and I wait, humming all the way


Friday, November 19, 2010

a self

Excerpts from the book flow by mihaly csikszentmihalyi

"A self that is only differentiated - not integrated - may attain great individual accomplishments, but risks being mired in self-centered egotism. By the same token, a person whose self is based exclusively on integration will be connected and secure, but lack autonomous individuality. Only when a person invests equal amounts of psychic energy (attention) in these two processes and avoids both selfishness and conformity is the self likely to reflect complexity." - mihaly

a climber says "[there's] no place that more draws the best from human beings...[than] a mountaineering situation. No body hassles you to put your mind and body under tremendous stress to get to the top... Your comrades are there, but you all feel the same way anyway, you're all in it together. Who can you trust more in the twentieth century than these people? People after the same self-discipline as yourself, following the deeper commitment...A bond like that with other people is in itself is an ecstasy."

as much as I agree to what the climber says, I can also feel the completeness in the self. It is the same  whenever I take risks in whatever I do. It is the equal amount of attention that I give to the differentiated self as 'me' and integrating with 'others' to stay connected. So there will be complete control over my consciousness which is unaltered by the external forces. 

and once I am out of this experience, of flow, 'I' feel more 'together' than before.


experiencing the flow

Excerpts from the book flow by mihaly csikszentmihalyi

"Its exhilarating to come closer and closer to self-discipline. You make your body go and everything hurts; then you look back in awe at the self, at what you've done, it just blows your mind. It leads to ecstasy, to self-fulfillment. If you win these battles enough, that battle against yourself, at least for a moment, it becomes easier to win the battles in the world."

- a well known West Coast rock climber

here, the battle is not really against the self, but against the entropy that brings disorder to my consciousness. As much as I establish control over my attention, so much I can experience the flow. It provides a deep enjoyment that requires equal degree of my disciplined concentration. I experience it many times - when I reach the top of a mountain, I ecstatically say, Is that all? and prepare for the next. 

I go with that flow!


Friday, November 12, 2010

optimal experience

Excerpts from the book 'flow' by mihaly csikszentmihalyi

or happiness!

Our perceptions about our lives are the outcome of many forces that shape experience, each having an impact on whether we feel good or bad. Most of these forces are outside our control. There is not much we can do about our looks, our temperament, or our constitution. We cannot decide - at least so far - how tall will we grow, how smart we will get. We can choose neither parents nor time of birth, and it is not in your power or mine to decide whether there will be a war or a depression. The instructions contained in our genes, the pull of gravity, the pollen in the air, the historical period into which we are born - these and innumerable other conditions determine what we see, how we feel, what we do. It is not surprising that we should believe that our fate is primarily ordained by outside agencies.

Yet we have all experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in the memory for what life should be like. 

I absolutely agree! 

It is that feel when I am in the woods, touching the mist, listening to the birds, and wondering at the silence of a flowing river.

It is that feel when I feel what I wanted to feel.

It is that, what I can make it happen!

and, that is happiness!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Kotebetta Panorama

Lighting seen from the peak. Looking North-West

A lonely tree. Looking North-West

Lonely tree and the Kotebetta peak. Looking North

Complete panorama 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

I was very curious to read this book since the time one of my friend suggested this book. It said it’s the book on the art of strategy and confrontation. At first, I was like, I have read enough books like this during my MBA times drawing comparison from every story or the every other profession including a Tom and Jerry cartoon movie. But, when I saw this book at the strand book stall, I glanced through it and noticed that the whole book was based on the martial arts. And I picked it up without any second thought.

Miyamoto Musashi was one of the master swordsman and an undefeated samurai during the 17th century in Japan. He was orphaned by the age of seven and, in order to earn his way in the world, became a swordsman, killing his first man at the age of 13.  Eventually he fought some 60 duels without ever being defeated.  By the end of his career, he had become so expert and dominant that he would fight his opponents with nothing but a stick.  Then in 1643, he retired to a contemplative seclusion in a cave, where, just before his death, he wrote this book. I read the copy which is commendably translated by Thomas Cleary.

Musashi’s advices are wise, very penetrating and his observations are applicable not only to martial arts, but for the leaders in all professions. He analyses the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. While reading the book, each and every strategy, I could relate it to every activity I do and could easily think of application of these strategies on them. This book makes us prepared like a warrior to address all the challenges of life. Even though he wrote this book in 1643, his philosophies are very real and applicable even now.

His scientifically aggressive, thoroughly ruthless approach to military science, while not universal among Japanese martialists, represents a highly concentrated characterization of one particular type of samurai warrior. He introduces us to the two essential elements of ancient martial and strategic tradition - first of these basic principles is keeping inwardly calm and clear even in the midst of violent chaos; the second is not forgetting about the possibility of disorder in times of order.

One of my favorite paragraph in the book, He says, "in the science of martial arts, the state of mind should remain the same as normal. In ordinary circumstances as well as when practicing martial arts, let there be no change at all - with the mind open and direct, neither tense or lax, centering the mind so that there is no imbalance, calmly relax your mind, and savor this moment of ease thoroughly so that the relaxation does not stop its relaxation for even an instant. Even when still, your mind is not still; even when hurried, your mind is not hurried. The mind is not dragged by the body, the body is not dragged by the mind. Pay attention to the mind, not the body. Let there be neither insufficiency nor excess in your mind. Even if superficially weakhearted, be inwardly stronghearted, and do not let others see in your mind."

The book is composed with the help of five different courses. He calls it as scrolls, entitled Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Emptiness. The earth scroll is the science of martial arts and the analysis of his own school. How can one attain the true science and what knowledge one should posses and how to reach there is what he explains in the Earth scroll.  The second is the Water Scroll. Taking water as the basic point of reference, one makes the mind fluid. Water conforms to the shape of anything and it has the color of deep aquamarine. He talks about the purity of the water and hence the purity of knowledge in the Water Scroll.

The third scroll is the Fire scroll. In this has written about the battle. This is my most favorite chapter in this book. Fire may be large or small, and it may have the sense of violence as well. And he describes on all the matters of battle. Fourth is the Wind Scroll, and he talks about the competition and the various schools of martial arts in the world. One will get to know the different styles of this art and how is it being practiced in many other schools and whether they are good or bad. He says “Unless you really understand others, you can hardly attain your own self-understanding”.  The last scroll is the Emptiness. It talks about the reaching the depth and spontaneous entry into the true way.

And finally the book gives us some clear rules for learning the art. I have listed down all the points as under:

1. Think of what is right and true.
2. Practice and cultivate the science.
3. Become acquainted with the arts.
4. Know the principle of the crafts.
5. Understand the harm and benefit in everything.
6. Learn to see everything accurately.
7. Become aware of what is not obvious.
8. Be careful even in small matters.
9. Do not do anything useless.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and it makes a very good and a very essential read for all kinds of professionals in this world. And, now I am beginning to observe my strategies in my everyday activities. I must say, I need a sword now!



"We each exist for but a short time, and in that time explore but a small part of the whole universe. But humans are curious species. We wonder, we seek answers. Living in this vast world that is by turns kind and cruel, and gazing at the immense heavens above, people have always asked a multitude of questions: How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves?"

This is an excerpt from the book - The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow

Sigh! I do try to think, analyse and even try dreaming about it asking myself on the existence of myself in this world. The whole me is just another 'thing' in the world or the nature that got created by an unknown source to me. But why did that happen is still a mystery! and the ultimate question to me was, Was there nothing before something at all?