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Today I started a day treatment program at the suggestion of my psychiatrist for depression and other assorted issues of my life. It’s not as bad as I thought it’d be. In fact, it’s good. Group therapy, psychoeducational groups, eventually meeting a therapist and psychiatrist there too. And structure in my life. 9 AM to 3:15 PM every day.

Why did no one tell me about this option earlier? I wasted a lot of time hiding and escaping into my own world.

I watched my tendency to want to help others, help people who are in group there, as usual forgetting that I myself am there to make some changes in my life.

We did a SoulCollage session, I liked it, will upload a photo of mine soon.

One little step to move toward a life of my own.

And as I gently toss and turn your words inside my head,
I see a thousand shades of hue.
A silken thread of thought, moving straight ahead, swoons around
and splits into two.
The enmeshed twigs of a magnolia,
your fingers intertwined in mine.
Two rivulets swirling together,
in an ocean of endless time.

Who wrote this? Do you know? Can you tell me?

Someone sent it to me a few years ago, and I didn’t ask him then. We went our separate ways since, and

now I can’t ask him.

Secret desire

I have a little secret desire. No one knows it. No family, no friends, no virtual friends, not my therapist, nor my Dr. I will tell you what it is though, gentle reader. Here it is: I want to melt into oblivion. I want this Life to end, I also want this Death to end, I want it all to end. I am a flawed flawed human being, who does the best she can every moment, every day, and suffers, because in the end it’s my own attachment, my desire to not accept things as they are. Buddha knew. Life has suffering built into it. The origin of suffering is attachment. It is possible to end this suffering. They way to do that is the Eightfold path, a middle way. (no extremism) I’ve been walking that path the best I can, with what capacity I have. I am tired though, I want to lie down under a tree in the shadow, take deep breaths, and merge into nothingness. I want Nirvana, the Ultimate Reality, the True Freedom.

I want to dive from a tall mountain into a valley and disappear, as though I never existed, and never will.

Is suicide another path out?

A poem and a lesson

I am shivering in the cold.

May I open your skin, crawl inside, wrap you around my body like a warm blanket?

I can hear the content in your voice, the Happiness.

It sickens me.

whywhywhywhywhywhywhy

Why did you not choose me?

I am happy. For you.

Fly away.

Last night I listened to Ajahn Brahm’s dharma talk on Love. He said, most times when people think they love someone, they actually love the way that person makes them feel. He gave this little example. If you truly loved your partner and s/he  runs away with the milkman, you should be very happy. I mean, isnt’ that love? That you want them to be happy? Well, now they are happy! Instead, you would probably not be happy at all. Why is that? Because you want them to be with you. But what if being with the milkman is what makes them happy? I thought, well, I’m not angry that S has chosen someone else. So, I’m okay. I truly do love S. Then it occured to me that I may not be angry but I sure am deeply sad. And why should that be? Isn’t it because I wanted him to choose me? Instead he chose someone else. If I truly love him, then I should be happy. I look within. I am happy that he is happy. I am also sad. I suppose I truly love him and also love the way I feel when he was around me.

Now, the possibility is gone.


Here, my marriage is on the verge of ending.

There, S is getting married, beginning a commitment, to someone he has met once, but believes that she is the piece of the puzzle that was missing.

Their family will be transformed from a triangle into a square.

I am alone.

I am so happy for him, wish him from my heart, want him to be happy in this marriage.

I am also so sad, the word “sad” cannot possibly contain the angst, the depth of my melancholy.

It was my fantasy, that sometime in the future, S and my paths would cross again, we would re-connect, he would realize that I am the one he is meant to be with after all.

What is missing for me is anger, and I don’t feel any. Do I need to feel anger to move toward total acceptance?

I leave it up to Rumi to explain my feelings for S, as they have always been, still are.

The minute I heard my first love story,

I started looking for you,

not knowing

how foolish that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.

They are in each other all along.

S, you were always in me, I was always in you. Still was, still am.

Come back

When I walk past the deck door, I still glance out through the glass and look for my baby. Is she waiting by the door pawing at it? Does she want to be let in? Is she waiting patiently? It was me who took her to the vet more than six months ago to end her life. She was in visible pain, unable to eat, unable to even move much in the throes of kidney failure. Oh, the denial, the deep wrenching sadness, tears that are sitting at the edge of my heart but won’t spill. I miss my Billoo, my baby with a ferocious pain. Without thinking logically, I still wait for her to show up at my door. Maybe, just maybe, she will be there again and I will open the door and let her in and she will sit on my lap and purr and take my hand with her paw and place it on her heart and I will hug her and kiss her and she will fall asleep in my lap and warm me inside and outside and she will wake up and eat hungrily and lap up her water from a glass not a dish and watch the birds from the windows and terrorize the neighbor cats and I will love her and she will get inside my comforter and we will fall asleep back to back holding each other’s hands.

I am addicted to translating poetry from Hindi to English and vice versa. Here’s a gem that was a part of the movie ‘Voh Lamhe‘ (‘Those moments’).

Why do I do this? I sense it fulfills a deep-seated need to bridge the gaps between the dual cultures I have grown up in and continue to straddle. A poem that I connect to in Hindi, and in English as well, makes sense to all of me, not just parts of me.

This song speaks of wanting to sleep a peaceful sleep. I too, long for that deep sleep, a contented sleep, and have been listening to this song in the middle of the night, converting it to a romantic lullaby for myself.

so jaaoon main
tum agar mere khwaabon mein aaon
mere khwaabon mein aaon

I would fall asleep if you appear in my dreams,
Appear in my dreams

kho jaaoon main
magar meri yaadon mein aaon
meri yaadon mein aaon

I would allow myself to be lost if you appear in my memories,
Appear in my memories.

jaagi nazar mein soyi nazar mein
har pal sanam tum jhilmilaaon

In wakeful sight, in slumberous sight
Sparkle in every moment, sweetheart

so jaaoon main
tum magar mere khwaabon mein aaon
mere khwaabon mein aaon

I would fall asleep if you appear in my dreams,
Appear in my dreams

kho jaaoon main
magar meri yaadon mein aaon
meri yaadon mein aaon

I would allow myself to be lost if you appear in my memories,
Appear in my memories.

meri khushi mein shaamil raho tum
iss zindagi mein shaamil raho tum

Be a part of my happiness,
Be a part of my life

yun toh hai laakhon armaan dil mein
mehfil mein jaan-e-mehfil raho tum

A million desires linger in my heart, so to speak
Remain the life-of-the-party at any gathering

hothon pe mere shaam savere
yun hi sanam tum muskuraaon

At dawn or dusk, on my lips,
Smile just like this, sweetheart

so jaaoon main
tum agar mere khwaabon mein aaon

mere khwaabon mein aaon
I would fall asleep if you appear in my dreams,
Appear in my dreams

kho jaaoon main
tum meri yaadon mein aaon
meri yaadon mein aaon

I would allow myself to be lost if you appear in my memories,
Appear in my memories.

banke sitara aankhon mein chamko
in aati jaati saanson mein mehko

Become a star, and light up my eyes,
May your fragrance be in all my breaths

bas jaaon aake tum meri jaan mein
dil banke mere seene mein dhadko

Come and stay in my Life,
Be a heart and throb in my chest

tum mujhko chaho baas mujhko chaho
saare jahaan ko bhul jaaon

Love me, love only me
Forget the entire world

so jaaoon main
tum agar mere khwaabon mein aaon
mere khwaabon mein aaon

I would fall asleep if you appear in my dreams,
Appear in my dreams

kho jaaoon main
tum agar meri yaadon mein aaon
meri yaadon mein aaon

I would allow myself to be lost if you appear in my memories,
Appear in my memories.

jaagi nazar mein soyi nazar mein
har pal sanam tum jhilmilaaon

In wakeful sight, in slumberous sight
Sparkle in every moment, sweetheart

so jaaoon main
tum agar mere khwaabon mein aaon
mere khwaabon mein aaon

I would fall asleep if you appear in my dreams,
Appear in my dreams

kho jaaoon main
tum agar meri yaadon mein aaon
meri yaadon mein aaon

I would allow myself to be lost if you appear in my memories,
Appear in my memories.

Film        Voh Lamhe (“Those moments”)
Directed by     Mohit Suri
Written by     Mahesh Bhatt (Story)
Starring     Shiney Ahuja, Kangna Ranaut
Music by     Pritam
Release date    September 29, 2006
Country     India
Language     Hindi
Singers     Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghoshal

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

Not born again. Not born. Not.

I am on a middle-path, prescribed by a Buddha 2550 years ago. To one day extinguish like a flame that dies out, to be free of the cycles of birth & death, to be and to not be simultaneously.

Yesterday, I took the decision to leave R, my husband, at least temporarily. The web of abuse, anger, depression, inertia, unfairness that both of us were caught in needs to be broken. I do not know if we will reconcile. I do know that this time apart is necessary. May we both do some self-work and prioritize our lives and come together to make a permanent decision.

It is time to grow up. To be a responsible adult, live independently, and put my heart and soul into studying to be a therapist. It is time to learn to live with mySelf.

Renunciation

I dedicate this human birth to the goal of nirvana.

Oh, suffering, I bow to you today.

You have lead me to seek the ultimate reality.

Nirvana on a householder’s path, nirvana on a renunciate’s path,

two boats rowing toward the same shore.

Been sitting in the first boat, want to sit in the other one now.

Connections + fear

Yesterday night mom, papa and I went to the dandiya
/ raas get together for navratri. As we entered,
they told us to put our names and numbers on our
tickets for a raffle. I was writing them out, and
thought I've never one any of these types of things
in my life, but have a feeling one of us will win
tonight. So I wrote the names very legibly, then
entered the cell numbers, put all 3 of our names on
the tickets, and handed them over. Then forgot about
it. I danced some, mom socialized, dad sat on the
sidelines and watched, then we left very early
because papa got overwhelmed and teary eyed, he's
been very depressed lately and the commotion and
crowd turned out to be too much for him. I said
let's go home, no big deal, we can come back next
weekend, so we left early before the aarti. Today
friend of my mom's told her we missed seeing you
later and your husband won the raffle and they were
calling his name for a long time and they'll call
you. I'm not surprised at all that my dad won that raffle.

I knew one of us would.

These experiences are beginning to get very
eerie.

No, it's not eerie actually. I used the wrong word.
There is a little bit of fear inside actually with
these experiences. The same fear I felt in that dream
of the Buddha statue opening one eye, fear of a realm
that feels new (even though it isn't, it's as old as
Life itself), it feels new, and therefore a fear of
the new, the unknown.

I have also felt this fear as a child, in moments of a
strong connection to the Universe, of "wanting"
moksha, and then a feeling that I'm actually "getting"
there, and then a fear, a "I asked for this and I'm
getting it and is this what I really even want? No,
maybe I'll retrieve into the mundane, the ordinary."

The experiences continue. I was thinking about my
kathak teacher from India who came here in the summer
of '96 and wondering where she is, and I look her up,
and find out she's been coming to Seattle every summer
to teach, and she's performing with her students in
Seattle next weekend. This woman is a professor in
Delhi and lives there. I thought of her after  years,
and she's performing 1 week away, 3 hours from me,
just enough time for me to make plans to go meet and
reconnect with her, maybe.

I emailed an author I'm very fond of, out of the blue,
3-4 years ago, Irene Vilar, found her email address
online. She wrote back. We've exchanged a few emails.
I told her of my depression as a teenager and how her
writing had helped me, so she got worried about me. I
wrote her back a few months ago, she responded, but I
didn't write back - inertia. I was just thinking, I
should let Irene know that I'm fine, why let her worry
about my suffering, and got another email from her -
THAT SAME INSTANT (after months). She said, she had
been thinking of me, hoping I'm doing OK.

I can make myself fall sick, at times. I have told
people that I'm feeling like I'm catching something, a
fever, not feeling well, when in fact I've been
feeling completely fine (I have said it to gather some
TLC, some attention, pity?) - Yes, I've lied. But 24
hours later, I'm actually sick and have a fever. The
pretend becomes real. This has happened more than
once. If I claim I have a stomach ache, it becomes a
stomach ache, if I claim I have a fever, it becomes a
fever, I can choose. I don't lie about being sick
anymore. Manipulating people that way was a bad idea
to begin with.

The fear rises and dissolves. When it dissolves, I
want to merge into the ocean, a flame that
extinguishes, and I'm willing to see clearly, with
deeper and deeper mindfulness, into my feelings,
thoughts, desires, conditioning, lives, karma, the
cycles. I will merge, I will disappear.

And if he is intuitive the way I am, and I know he
is, then he will know what I'm saying here, he is
hearing what is said and also what is left unsaid.

Paths of life

Did the Buddha say that to reach Nirvana, one has to take on the life of a renunciate and become a monk or nun? That is, is it possible, according to the Buddha, to reach Nirvana, be enlightened, while living the life of a householder? I do understand that after one is enlightened, one may live as a householder, or a renunciate, or neither… But I wish to know about the life of a person who is seeking enlightenment and his/her greatest desire is to seek an end to suffering? I imagine the answer is to reach Nirvana, one may either be a householder or a renunciate. Once you reach the other side of the shore, you have no need for the boat. Whether that boat was that of a householder, or a nun, or something else altogether. Yet, I’d like to get this knowledge from those who are experienced and speak with mindfulness.

Re-surfacing

I’m here. I’m alive. I’ll come back. I’ll write again.

I fell into a hole of inertia.

I am climbing my way out.

I tried to hide.

But Life found me.

“sloth”

The Buddha called it “sloth” . I have no energy, I want to contract not expand, I want to hide not show. I don’ t have the means to move, I want to lie down, curl up. I want to disappear. I want to dream.

I need to get up. I need to get moving. I need to be active.

I try, I try.

Cherry blossoms bloom in spring

Cherry blossoms bloom in spring

Spring is now gone. Summer has brought with it an abundance of sunshine, yet I long for the fleeting moments when cherry blossoms bloom. Spring. Printemps. A brief opening of the red-pink flowers, a taste of heaven, a taste of love.

More flowers bloom in spring.

More flowers bloom in spring.

A decision

A decision. Need time away from him and us. The “us” is falling apart. It’s all uphill, and contempt abounds. Need to figure out how to earn a living then move out, even if temporarily. This is no way to be in a marriage. Too explosive. Need/want a bubble of peace, time, quietness, serenity, and breathing space.

No more on the edge, unsure. Now, this is a difficult decision, but needs to happen.

Journaling

He is oh so busy lately, sleeping not till 2 am, with work, his mom, lunches, vedic astrology, outings. No time for me, to talk to me.

And the one I live with swings between anger and lust and friendship. I feel tired around his energy.

I want to curl up and sleep a dreamless, content sleep.

I am so aimless, where is this life heading? I want to run away. Start over.

Sadness is creeping over me while I’m waiting for the medicine to do its’ thing.

Much metta to me, to all tonight.

Did you know that one little pill can make me happy?

sadmadglad.

little white chemicals, more serotonin in my brain,

less sadness in my heart,

more smiles,

less moments of feeling overwhelmed.

If I forget those little chemicals,

I drop into a pit of depression.

Spinning around with loneliness, aimless, anger, melancholy.

I bought my pill.

I’ll be ok.

I am ok.

I am.

Buddy 150-cc scooter (Olive Green)

Buddy 150-cc scooter (Olive Green)

We bought this Buddy 150-cc Italia scooter yesterday. It’s olive-green, a 2-seater, and I feel like the little girl I was in India, riding behind my dad on his Bajaj scooter. The fresh air in the face, the feel of the road as we go along, I love it all.

A red Vespa was my dream; but who wants to pay an extra $1500 for the brand name, the image.

I’ll get back to writing earnestly soon.

Junctions

I am always at a juncture in my life. I know that this is Life, right here, right now, under my feet, yet I’m waiting for something to happen, some new day, for Life to truly begin. Why am I waiting? What for?

This marriage was a mistake. I admit it.

Now what?

Do I stay in it?

Separate and go our separate ways?

He doesn’t understand what this is about, to him it’s about not rocking the boat.

I love someone else. Always have. Never stopped loving him from the moment I made contact with him. Realistically, he will never be mine in this lifetime either. But I’d rather be alone, than in a marriage built on a faulty foundation.

I pray for presence of mind, mindfulness, wisdom, strength, and courage through this process.

It’s no news that gas prices are skyrocketing in the U.S. The average in my area is around $4.20 per regular unleaded gallon lately, and I see the numbers climbing not falling in the near future. Most people seem to consider this an abomination, the worst thing that has happened to humankind, unfair, obscene, you name it. I don’t enjoy paying more for gas myself, but, pause for a moment. Have you considered the positives of these high gas prices?

Americans are also driving less directly as a result of these prices. ABC News published an article on June 16, 2008 titled “Record-High Pain at the Pump Leads More Motorists to Park it / Over Half of Americans Cut Back on Driving Thanks to Soaring Gas Prices”. Isn’t this a good thing? Americans are notorious for over-driving, polluting the environment and clogging up roads.

Public transportation is up in many corners as well due to these gas prices. Read this recent article on OutsideTheBeltway.

And then here’s an article that reveals that carpooling is up thanks to gas prices also.

How can all this be a bad thing?

In my personal life, we have been talking about upgrading one of our cars (my husband’s ’97 honda civic) to a newer model; we considered a BMW Z4, a hybrid SUV, an Outback, but you know what we settled on finally? We decided to keep the Civic, and get a 150-cc scooter instead that’s drivable on the freeway also. The gas prices were definitely one of the reasons for our decision – along with the fun to be had on a Vespa!

I drive less nowadays, think before I take a trip, and combine my errands much more often.

Public transportation isn’t easy in my neighborhood, the closest bus stop is over 2 miles away. If it was more convenient, I’d definitely take the bus more often. I do hope to start driving to the nearest park and ride and take the local train more often.

Next week, I’m taking a little vacation with family, and instead of renting a car to drive from New York to Washington, DC, we’ve decided to either take a train or a bus. Part of the reason had to do with not wanting to pay a lot for gas.

I’m seeing real, measurable changes in my life and lifestyle due to the increase in gas prices, and they are all good ones.

It’s high time Americans realized that cars aren’t meant for 1 person to ride in most of the time, and there are other better, smarter ways to get around too.

Hooray for high gas prices!