Times have changed, and so has the title. But, it is still the same place where reflections of my colorful thoughts are scribbled. They are sometimes crazy and sometimes deep, but most often they do make sense when I pause and take a moment to write.
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Day 56: Z for Zen
Zen. One word, even the way it sounds makes us feel a lot lighter. Of course, not that it just automatically makes us better, but at least the way it sounds, it brings in some kind of peace. Zen evolved in China and later moved through other nations and is now is known as Japanese Zen. It is from Buddhism. In fact, it is from the root word of 'dhyan' in Sanskrit (the mother of all languages). It is what Indian philosophy also teaches us through the concept of yoga and meditation. By yoga, I do not mean the physical exercise, but more of the yogic state of mind that helps us experience 'bliss' in 'nothingness'. In today's changing and fast-paced world, everything around us is chaotic. We can only work in peace and realize our 'self' only when we find that rhythm in the chaos. To do that, we need to appreciate different tools to reach that state of 'dhyanam' which can help our thoughts and mind.
Being 'still' even amidst the chaos Picture Courtesy: Meena Arvind (2014)
Just because I'm writing about this does not mean, I'm capable or have been successful in finding that everyday. I'm writing this post today, as a reminder to myself and all others out there about the little changes we need to make in our life to be peaceful. There are days when stress does not let me even write a decent post here, or plan my reading for work or even focus for long. It could be a physical or mental stress. We need to seek help from such techniques that will actually help us focus. Dhyan and yoga techniques surely will help reach our 'zen state'.
Wishing y'all a peaceful night and see you tomorrow with a new series of posts.
Today is Chingam 1 (to be read as onnu). It is the new month according to the lunisolar calendar. This month is also called as Avani and Shravana. So, why is this month special? This month marks the beginning of the festival season back home and the it is fun to have small celebrations through the months until mid- December. It is also the month of Onam (Harvest festival in Kerala).
The first festival we have this month is the 'sacred thread' changing ceremony for men/boys who wear that. This is followed by usually the birthday of little Krishna and then the elephant-head god, Ganesha. Then comes Onam followed by the beautiful month of Navaratri or Durga Pooja. So, the big set of festival season is here and here is a wish to all of you on Chingam 1. Wishing you all blessed and excellent months ahead. Have fun!
Bucket List. A term that has become popular much after the famous movie with the same title in 2007. The term would have probably taken after the euphemism 'kick the bucket', which was again popularized in the movie, 'It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world'. The 2007 movie was a massive hit and how would it be not? It had Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in the lead. The term was meant to have a list of things you wish you can do before you leave this world.
It is like a goal list that can evolve as you grow and change perspectives in life. I used to have a wish list that worked as a to-do list mostly like a work list for short-term goals. However, off late, I have decided to make one and keep it as an ever evolving list.
The first one on my list as of now (that was from the past too) is to get my biggest degree in life. Hopefully I will tick that one off my list soon.
Do share your thoughts on your list and how do you plan on getting it all checked out.
Do you guys know about Manjadikuru ? They are the little red seeds. For anyone who is from God's own country or is familiar with Kerala wouldn't have missed this. There is something special about holding them, playing with these seeds. Usually, most homes will have a small 'uruli' or a bowl filled with these beautiful and shiny red seeds. In most Krishna temples in Kerala, you will come across a small 'uruli' with Manjadikuru. People believe that it is lucky to take these seeds with both hands and just play with them when you visit a temple. Some even leave a couple of coins as they do this. In Guruvayoor (my favorite place), you can see a big 'uruli' with manjadi.
So, why and how did this become prevalent ? It goes back to a story from the past. Many years ago, there lived a poor lady in northern Kerala. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Guruvayoorappan (Krishna) and always wanted to visit Guruvayoor. She could not afford to buy any offering (nived…