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Previous Comments By 'ragu'

Where's Your Umbrella?, by Nazeer Ahmed

FaceBook  On Nov 15, 2017 Ragunath wrote:

Oh, well... we are in the middle of facing a smaller degree of the same situation in our region. It is not a full famine yet but we have had very little rains in the last three years. Most farmers have already spent their yearly profit on digging new bore wells and/or deepening existing ones. Even this bold effort has failed some farmers as their new bore wells have dried up as well. We decided to wait it out. All our crops dried by June and we did not plant anything new after that. We lost many trees.

We did some rain water harvesting arrangements as our version of the umbrella. A few storm rains happened in September and the remaining trees have perked up. We have good undergrowth now. But the rains were not enough to recharge the ground water, so we cannot plant anything new yet. The next monsoon is not until next July (our second monsoon in November is already a failure). We have not prayed though. Our scientific mind "knows" that the weather is not personal and an appeal to a God behind the non-existing clouds seems absurd. This is clearly the (dried) fruits of our collective bad karma. Farmers seem to be the most affected. But we see that the non-farmers too are affected in so many different ways. All around, great opportunity to cultivate equanimity, if not fruits and grains :). Perhaps the umbrella is not so much a sign of hope as it is a sign of equanimity: In the face of a full blown famine, we try to remain normal as if the miraculously life-giving rains are just around the corner. Because, what is life other than a series of seasonal miracles (like rains from the heavens) that make "normal" life possible?

 

Indigenous Perception in a Modern Body, by Jon Young

FaceBook  On Mar 25, 2008 ragu wrote:
Wow! Socratic questioning uses logic as a sewing thread and attempts to stitch together a view of reality in rational terms (in the hope that if that view is closer to truth, it would help human beings live a harmonious life). Whereas, the Apache Tracker's questioning is cultivating awareness in a structured manner without getting into the task of stitching together the answers into a pattern. I suppose the wisdom here is that a greater awareness of 'what is' of even the smallest thing in the world is not a mere view or representation of reality but it is the experience of actually being with it. If everything in the world is made of the same spirit then there is no need to take different manifestations of the spirit, use logic and stitch a pattern and call it knowledge for the purpose of really knowing reality. Being with reality is enough.
 

Shifting Your Relationship With Pain, by Jon Kabat-Zinn

FaceBook  On Mar 31, 2007 Ragunath wrote:
I was noticing various people's comment on pain: 1) suffering is optional, 2) it's tough, 3) reasons for pain and 4) breaking thru pain. Each one is that person's way of looking at pain. My understanding of the quote is that any way of looking at the pain has its limit. Even if I have ten different ways of looking at and dealing with pain, they will have their limits. Whereas, detaching oneself from the need to look at pain through a particular perspective and just being aware of it might free us from having to react to it at all (at the mental level). I don't think one can ever successfully "deal" with pain or any other emotion (positive or negative). My experience is that one cannot face it, control it or break it - all of these are reactions. Any kind of dealing with pain is a reaction and might work for a while but cannot be a reliable solution. Total acceptance of pain and complete non-reaction at the mind level is probably the way to shift to pure awareness - in this way any emotion can be used for ones spiritual growth. And only from a state of pure awareness one could go beyond empathy to compassion and be able to do something that helps. Acting from any lesser level at best would be a short-term remedy (for oneself and others) and might actually hurt in the long run. I have not had many "very painful" moments in my life. But in those few times I did have significant pain (mental and physical), I have tried "dealing" with it in a few different ways. Fortunately I had the sense to stop myself beyond a certain point and am able to survive to write this comment. Would love to hear from anyone who can point to flaws in my understanding. It would really help me.
 

A Path to Truth, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Sep 6, 2006 Ragu wrote:

A quick correction to Nisha's comment before I offer mine: She missed the word 'true' in the second paragraph. The corrected sentenc is: JK's words seem [true] to people who have already been on some journey of self-discovery. Well, strange at it sounds, one could see here that Nisha's comment is apparently contradictory to JK's statement. JK says that there is no path and Nisha says that JK's claim would seem to be true to people on some 'journey' - which implies the existence of a path. Is Nisha wrong? Is JK a fake intellectual? I agree with Tristan that semantics plays a huge role in creating confusion in how people interpret words and extract meaning. I agree with Nisha that whoever could benefit from JK's words must already have some experience of self-discovery. I sympathize with Brother. I too used to get quite frustated at people who keep asking me to "just be" and never tell how (the path) and even go further and say that there is no how. I am with Xiaoshan who is gently requesting us to see the difference between being and becoming. I am encouraged by Anonymous that after all there may be no need to "seek" truth. Finally, I conceptually see what JK is saying and I also see that my ability to live that concept is limited. Limited by what? As JK says, it is limited by all the conditioning I have gone through. Whether I like it or not, I am on some path formed and shaped by all my conditioning. The act of removing my current path (my conditioning) can be called 'a journey to end my path'. I think JK is asking us not to create a path out of actions taken to remove conditioning. For example, let us say that reading and understanding JK's words are actions that help remove conditioning. To be able to read, I need the to have knowledge of the English language, a good vocabulary and good reading skill. To understand what I read, I need to have some life experiences (a kid who can read cannot relate to JK's words) and some experience  See full.

A quick correction to Nisha's comment before I offer mine: She missed the word 'true' in the second paragraph. The corrected sentenc is: JK's words seem [true] to people who have already been on some journey of self-discovery. Well, strange at it sounds, one could see here that Nisha's comment is apparently contradictory to JK's statement. JK says that there is no path and Nisha says that JK's claim would seem to be true to people on some 'journey' - which implies the existence of a path. Is Nisha wrong? Is JK a fake intellectual? I agree with Tristan that semantics plays a huge role in creating confusion in how people interpret words and extract meaning. I agree with Nisha that whoever could benefit from JK's words must already have some experience of self-discovery. I sympathize with Brother. I too used to get quite frustated at people who keep asking me to "just be" and never tell how (the path) and even go further and say that there is no how. I am with Xiaoshan who is gently requesting us to see the difference between being and becoming. I am encouraged by Anonymous that after all there may be no need to "seek" truth. Finally, I conceptually see what JK is saying and I also see that my ability to live that concept is limited. Limited by what? As JK says, it is limited by all the conditioning I have gone through. Whether I like it or not, I am on some path formed and shaped by all my conditioning. The act of removing my current path (my conditioning) can be called 'a journey to end my path'. I think JK is asking us not to create a path out of actions taken to remove conditioning. For example, let us say that reading and understanding JK's words are actions that help remove conditioning. To be able to read, I need the to have knowledge of the English language, a good vocabulary and good reading skill. To understand what I read, I need to have some life experiences (a kid who can read cannot relate to JK's words) and some experience in interpreting words from different perspectives. Now all these needs are needed to read and understand not only JK's words, but anyone's words in English. I am sure JK would agree that these are real needs. But I think what he is warning us of is not to get caught up in English language alone. Not to get stuck to a limited vocabulary, not to stick to just one way of reading words, not to use just one perspective in interpreting words etc. It is by doing these things we end up creating a "method" or a "path". While knowledge, skills, tools etc are very much needed, there is no need to go to the extent of creating a path by repeatedly using the same knowledge, skills and tools everywhere at all times. I think JK is asking us to use knowledge, skills, tools, perspectives etc in a dynamic way as appropriate for the present moment guided by whatever principles make sense to us. "Being" like this allows us to have real growth (to become) whereas concentrating on "becoming" all the time could never lead us to "be" someday. When I started writing this, I had not idea what I was going to write. All sorts of reactive thoughts popped into my mind when I read the quote and the comments. I paused and looked at everything again. Brother's last lines caught my attention: "Anyway, it may have some effect in the end, because everything happens for the best". Now that is a perspective that is different from the rest of his comment. I took a clue from that line and looked at the quote and comment asking myself, "Is there something here that is valuable?" which resulted in this note. I will end by saying that how I respond to a person has lot more impact on myself and that person than the actual words of that person. If that person offers something valuable, I could respond in a way that appreciates and may be even enhances that value. If that person offers something that is messy, my response could bring in more clarity. Thanks. Ragu

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Businessman and the Fisherman, by Mark Albion

FaceBook  On Jun 12, 2006 Ragu wrote:

From our guest speaker, Param: Do selfless service, without asking and giving money. If God gives you 720 bucks a month, would you give back 25%, 180 bucks? How 'bout just 5 bucks? In reality, we're given 720 hours/month. Can we give 5 hours? While surveying recepient of clothing donations, a poor old lady says, "Don't give it to me; there's someone there who needs it more than me." When 120 folks got into the canal to help clean the muck, they found the temple inside their hearts. Demand pull: do whatever is necessary, not what you think is necessary. Most of us have 80% of needs; we should be content in having that. Notes from roundtable: The passage reminded me of the patient boatman in Siddhartha. Why do people associate peace with the tropics? Candle that lights another candle doesn't lose any of its light. Industrialization causes pollution -- now we're going to back to bullock carts? What exactly is evolution? Mindset is the critical factor: checking email for 25 years won't make you happy. Tropical regions have a laid back attitude but laid back is not the same as contentment. If 80% are needs and 20% are wants, our society's definition of success is all about that 20%. That's so tough. Anyone who only takes what he needs is admirable. I can't have kids because I want to give back? Sometimes being a businessman can be your dharma. Election: why do people vote? How do we break away from the culture norm of greed? What do I really need? If you're in the rat race, you're still a rat. We should respect unique belief systems of each of us. There was time to make human connection: best part of being human (best part of India trip) Taxation is one part of giving to society; what if that was time? Everyone wants to expand; what's the difference between a helping guy who wants to help the most number of people and a businessman? We have to transform viscious cycles into virtuous cycles. What's the difference between doing go  See full.

From our guest speaker, Param:

  • Do selfless service, without asking and giving money.
  • If God gives you 720 bucks a month, would you give back 25%, 180 bucks? How 'bout just 5 bucks? In reality, we're given 720 hours/month. Can we give 5 hours?
  • While surveying recepient of clothing donations, a poor old lady says, "Don't give it to me; there's someone there who needs it more than me."
  • When 120 folks got into the canal to help clean the muck, they found the temple inside their hearts.
  • Demand pull: do whatever is necessary, not what you think is necessary.
  • Most of us have 80% of needs; we should be content in having that.
Notes from roundtable:
  • The passage reminded me of the patient boatman in Siddhartha.
  • Why do people associate peace with the tropics?
  • Candle that lights another candle doesn't lose any of its light.
  • Industrialization causes pollution -- now we're going to back to bullock carts? What exactly is evolution?
  • Mindset is the critical factor: checking email for 25 years won't make you happy.
  • Tropical regions have a laid back attitude but laid back is not the same as contentment.
  • If 80% are needs and 20% are wants, our society's definition of success is all about that 20%. That's so tough.
  • Anyone who only takes what he needs is admirable.
  • I can't have kids because I want to give back?
  • Sometimes being a businessman can be your dharma.
  • Election: why do people vote?
  • How do we break away from the culture norm of greed? What do I really need?
  • If you're in the rat race, you're still a rat.
  • We should respect unique belief systems of each of us.
  • There was time to make human connection: best part of being human (best part of India trip)
  • Taxation is one part of giving to society; what if that was time?
  • Everyone wants to expand; what's the difference between a helping guy who wants to help the most number of people and a businessman?
  • We have to transform viscious cycles into virtuous cycles.
  • What's the difference between doing good and service?
  • Doing good is to feel good; service is realizing that you are others.

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