Saturday, January 21, 2012

Full Heart...Empty Mind

It's been 5 days since I got back from India...things have been busy and more than a little hectic. Two not-too-subtle reminders from Bapa to "blog"...and my repartee - but I call you every day, my head is empty...let's just talk... Yesterday, K2 woke up again at 4.00 AM - I made Oatmeal, packed our lunch boxes and cooked dinner ( what does one do with so much empty time :-) ) and went to a Yoga class. 
The days in India were complex and yet so simple - every day a routine yet the time spent with family filling the heart with emotions that I will cherish. K2 blossomed in the love of the two sets of grand parents absolutely taking to India like fish to sickness, affectionate, voracious for learning and Indian food -- his absolute favorite - Desi Chinese - golden fried shrimp and american chopsuey. 
I had mentally prepared myself to eat to my heart's content and be ok with gaining a couple pounds along the way -- however, even though I ate to my heart's content ( and it was a lot of food) walking almost 150 kms with my father in 20 days, 8 Yoga Classes and 2 Aerobics classes seems to have helped me lose weight...who would have thought that !!! My most memorable food experiences for this trip had to be most of my mother's meals (especially the begun bhaja and the badi chura), the kathi roll from Faaso's, the dhoklas from Kaka Halwai and the Hurda (thanks V for turning me on to them).
Coming back has been difficult - the weather has been nothing short of temperamental this week what with the sunny days followed by incessant cold and the thunderstorms...a child who has been waking up at 2.00AM, then 3.00 AM...then 4.00 AM...then 5.00 AM, today was the first day he slept as I got to sleep in...I didn't have the energy to cook the first couple days so we survived on take-out, trader joe's frozen section and pasta pomodaro. When I did start cooking what a meal we made (it was a joint effort you  see, today while I was away to Yoga, K1 and K2 marinated the salmon and cut the cauliflower)...
If you are curious it is - Tandoori Salmon, Roasted Cauliflower and a California Red Quinoa Salad (courtesy whole foods). My resolution for this week is to Eat Down the Freezer. No good time to start practicing it than now...we have a lot of hidden goodies in our freezer from Wontons and Potstickers to Seekh Kababs to different kinds of breads (including GreenLees Cinnamon Bread), frozen vegetables to Aidells mini-sausages (spicy and mild) I am sure this will be an easy win for us this week.
I have been in an introspective mood for the past some months...too much thinking yet since I came back from India - the blur of activities, the time spent with family and jet lag has really emptied my a good sort of way. Brings to mind a very pertinent passage by J.Krishnamurthy in his book the "Book of Life"
There is no path to truth, it must come to you. Truth can come to you only when your mind and heart are simple, clear, and there is love in your heart; not if your heart is filled with the things of the mind. When there is love in your heart, you do not talk about organizing for brotherhood; you do not talk about belief, you do not talk about division or the powers that create division, you need not seek reconciliation. Then you are a simply a human being without a label, without a country. This means that you must strip yourself of all those things and allow truth to come into being; and it can come only when the mind is empty, when the mind ceases to create. Then it will come without your invitation. Then it will come as swiftly as the wind and unbeknown. It comes obscurely, not when you are watching, wanting. It is there as sudden as sunlight, as pure as the night; but to receive it, the heart must be full and the mind empty.”
Things are quiet on the home front...I have in front of me an interesting novel - Chankya's Chant and in my hand a cup of Tulsi Chai (organic india) sweetened with honey...a softly snoring K2 on my side and K1 in the is your weekend shaping up?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Another Year...Tratak

No resolutions resolutions broken --- what a wonderful concept!
Time spent with family, quiet walks, yoga classes, home cooked meals...K1 and K2 mostly in the heart of the city while I skirt the peripheries...the Kothrud....Kondhwa phenomenon. Yesterday in the yoga class, the teacher talked about Tratak - a form of meditation to enhance concentration by a steady gaze at a light source (in this case a candle). I felt the urge to move, blink and even itch (the imaginary mosquito buzzing near my cheek)...but I resisted the urge...I felt a strange sense of peace at the end of the 10 minutes.

There is a sense of contentment at seeing the papaya tree in the garden, heavy with fruits...why is it more satisfying to see the fruits on the tree vs. plucking and consuming them I wonder...

A morning walk can be mundane....but not one taken in the campus...I watch in wonder all the beautiful feathered creatures who call this campus their impulsive picture taken will be a memory of walks with Bapa in the morning..

Medical Store visits more the necessity now than an exception but the tame sheep adding the much needed comic relief as he almost chewed off Bapa's t-shirt....

When the boys (K1 and K2) made the trek from Kothrud to Kodhwa, here are the  chai time treats that I picked up for them ( the ladi pav was for the pav bhaji dinner)
This  year, I choose to feel gratitude for all the things small and big that have been bestowed on experiences one at a time...this year I choose to - Be Present.