A matter of mind
I stopped short and looked into my mind. It was not a good sight. At best it was a tolerable chaos—boulders and potholes strewn around with a few pleasant oasis, green and cool, restoring overall peace.
A noticeable path zigzagged all the way to horizon. It was not an arrow-straight metal road. Rather you can call it a wide walk made up of earthy soil.
I like earth and soil. It is natural that my walk would be on a path made up of earthy soil. Some places it had to cross barren lands and difficult obstacles. I could notice its narrow portions and also the wide stretches passing through the green patches of forests.
I decided—the scene is not organized. I sat down on a boulder by the side of a river and contemplated.
Tentacles of worries
The first thing I noticed was the tenuous tentacles of worries and concerns reaching me from my problem areas even when cool water caressed my feet, birds sang in the forest and peace and quiet reigned.
I decided—when I am in an oasis or a forest that gives me deep relaxation and comfort, I will cut-off all tentacles of concerns. I will be totally immersed in the environment and merge with it, as long as I am in it.
There really is no use of dealing with the tentacles while I am in an oasis. Oasis is for relaxation and for nothing more or nothing less.
With this good decision made, I ventured into the matter of obstacles and humdrum routine artifacts.
Sitting amidst quietness, I thought—can I not paint the humdrum artifacts with a little of my colors that I have in my backpack, add a pinch of love and make them a welcome part of my life rather than ignore or overlook them!
Paint them green
I understood the importance of the little things, small details that are spread all around. If I pass them over I miss the whole picture. Sometimes a green forest might have grown if I had colored the small rocks that would in turn have been turned into bearing soil.
Yes, I decided next, I will color the small things while on my walk. I will do it consciously and with love. And focus.
The word ‘focus’ floated into my mind. I could see clearly, with focus and loving attention I could actually make these rotes come alive and rearrange themselves making my path straighter and greener.
The same principle of isolation worked here also.
While with routineness, do not dream about oasis.
Be with the artifacts wholly with complete focus and it will certainly make the path greener. The thought gladdened me as I knew that most of my life consists of apparently routine artifacts only.
As I finished with my small things, my eyes fell on a medium sized nasty looking obstacle. Like all men I had to cross hurdles in my life, small and large, sometimes terrible and unimaginable. They continue to come and you have to cross them.
I understood deeply,
There is no end before the final end.
End comes only once when I would disintegrate and merge with the dust at my feet.
I do not know when that end will come, but I perceived at that space of rumination, obstacles are only obstacles. They have to be crossed when they come. You have to give your whole while crossing an obstacle never losing hope and exploring all alternatives.
A railway line sometimes cuts through a rocky hill in a tunnel and sometimes skirts around it.
One viable solution of a problem remains a distinct possibility—find a way around it.
"You know", I told myself, "Anyway I have to go ahead till I have to finally stop. You cannot stop and waste your precious time worrying at any and every obstacle. Give your whole mind to an obstacle and either crush it to dust or skirt around it and walk on."
When you cannot solve a problem fully, you may have to carry a part of the rocky hill in your backpack making your backpack heavy and your journey strenuous. Why not throw away the problem rocks that may narrow your path constraining it with limitations. That way you will travel light.
Always travel light, as long as you can.
I felt to have nearly fully covered all the items in my mind landscape. And then it struck me—what was I doing all this while? It was a simple but powerful word—analyzing. I was analyzing my mind landscape, reviewing it, trying to make my walk more comfortable and enjoyable.
Well, analysis I must do, off and on. Sit down, look around, evaluate and rearrange the method of dealing with the objects.
I realized—analysis is so important. I told myself, remain focused, on whatever object you are dealing with, be it an oasis, a routine little thing or a large nasty obstacle. The best possible outcome will happen only if you remain focused with your immediate object of interest.
But again, focusing means no tentacles must touch you from far away objects. You have to surround yourself with an invisible barrier.
You have to travel light with no large rock of worry in your backpack. A weight will make your walk difficult and for certain you will not be able to deal well with even small and easy things.
No use worrying. Shield yourself. Do your immediate job in the best possible way and move on.
If you relax, relax fully. If you work, work hard and give your full.
Relaxation comes after hard work and without hard work you cannot make your path wide and enjoyable.
Can you move on and on like this without sometimes climbing a high place, having a bird’s eye view and discovering new paths, new oasis, new obstacles and sometimes hidden jewels? There is so much to analysis.
I told myself, "Analyze, do analyze. Neutrally, deeply without emotion and tune up the way you walk, the way you deal with the objects in your path. This single act can make you look at nearby objects, middle distance objects and faraway objects. Analysis and planning are so important. Analysis reveals strengths and weaknesses in you and all objects and methods around. With these realizations your journey becomes easier for certain. Do analyze."
I stood up. Now I have to start my walk again. Time for rumination is over.
As I climbed up the bank of the river on to the forest path, delightful mid-morning sunrays seeping through the green foliage enveloped me. While I felt the cool warmth, I realized the great importance of Hope.
Yes, as I have hope I walk. The more I carry hope, the lighter will my journey be. Do not ever lose hope. There is no reason to lose hope. For the simple reason that
End comes only once and if the End you consider as bad nothing can be worse.
My mind is basically curious and so it could not stop at Hope.
It asked a series of further questions.
On what would I bank my hope? What is my goal in life? What would I want to do with my life? What contribution should I make towards humanity? I understood the depth and importance of these questions.
I also understood that I have started my walk now and I would deal with these questions when I stop for my ruminative analysis next.
I walked alone. On and on.
I opened myself wide and told the all-enveloping living consciousness,
Be with me. Oh God, give me humility. Give me ability to love.