Cognitively framed close to 1400 days ago, these are now re-emerging as heart practices having taken their time to merge into bodily experiences. 2016, Startup Service, ESI, Ahmedabad — Some come to the Circle in exploration and leave with direction, some come with direction and leave for exploration. Projects have taken birth, ideas have been buried for good. Anonymous Gifting/Random Acts of Kindness are a staple practice within these circles and last day of the retreat, on the bed with touching a note was — The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection Post the retreat, experimenting with slow travel; I was staying back a night in Ahmedabad. The MBL community had graciously offered refuge @ their guest house. As evening was dusking, another house guest, asked about my religious leanings. Never having figured it out myself, I asked Why? He mentioned his need to leave for an evening Darshan with a traveling Jain Munni. An odd connection existed with Jainism. My best friends practiced principles of Jain spiritual life. Back in 2002, a road trip with the same friends, took us to Palitana (Jain Mecca). To this day, I remember the surreal experience of climbing 3750 steps in the heat, dehydration, sitting below a tree while my friends vanished into the flowing human mass at the temples; the community of monkey’s nearby— they too, waiting for material gifts from beings of higher intelligence. Finally the mass exodus from the hill top downwards towards late afternoon to ensure no mortal beings are present when the divine beings descend post evening. 2016, took me back to the holy city, when I did my 1st 10-day silent retreat. So NOW, this seemed more than just random co-incidence. Accompanying my new friend, I soon found myself, in a spacious pitch dark hall, sitting on the cold marble floor, 3 feet in front of a hooded voice. Unable to see the face, all I could do was to pay attention to the conversations. Some stories were being discussed about why Bhagwan did this and that, when suddenly I realized I was being spoken to. Asked Who I was and What I did? I attempted to express myself in Hindi and said something to the effect I was engaged with creating a tool/SAADHAN that could help humanity. After an eternally long pause, what was shared hit deep inside — ‘Itne Saare Saadhan Hain! Ek Naye Mann Ka Nirmaan Karo!’ (There are so many tools, ___ a New ___ ) The translation for the above sentence in English is very difficult. Mann — Heart/Mind/Consciousness/Man (Did he mean make a New Man of Myself or did he mean a New Idea of Man???). Nirmaan — Invent/Create/Emergence (Nir means Without, Maan means Respect … Did he mean Without Ego, With Disregard to seeking Respect, avoiding Dishonor???). Engagement with this Statement is still ongoing and seems like work of many Lifetimes. 2015, Grant Road, an old Pagdi Housing Society, with a central Kabootar Khana and Community Bathrooms — Programming to develop this Saadhan/Web Platform (that would soon to be abandoned!). More time was spent reading the Tao Te Ching and contemplation, then programming. Lunch was a one-pot meal cooked on an electric hot plate. 1 Ltr tiny pressure cooker, that would give me a hot satisfying meal in under 10 minutes. This was Life! Sometimes when the Mind is Free, it encounters Magic and Mystery in the Mundane! Filling water in an aluminum bucket from the common tap, I was just staring at it absent minded. Why Am I staring at IT? Something’s drawing me IN! What is IT? That’s when the Question began to form. As excited as Archimedes and helped by the same element — Water, I rushed with the pail and sat down to taste what was Emerging. Why do all cultures have Elemental Gods? Why are WE always searching for fundamental Elements? What’s Power of Creation do these Elements Possess? What’s One Common Between these Elements? Invisibility! Earth/पृथ्वी is NOT Brown, Green or Blue. It’s GRAVITATION (in Hindi गुरुत्वाकर्षण — Guru Tatva Akarshan: Attraction towards the Essence of the Teacher) and It’s Invisible. Air/वायु is NOT that which Blows. It’s the Potential pressure difference and Attraction from High to Low and It’s Invisible. Fire/अग्नि is not Red, Yellow or Orange. It’s NOT that which we See. It’s Energy/Heat and It’s Invisible. Water/जल is NOT Blue, Green or Black. It’s NOT even the transparent liquid we see in the bucket-that’s 1 of its 3 forms. What-A element. It’s the Medium for Life and It’s Invisible. Space/आकाश is NOT the gap between objects. It’s even inside the objects and is ALL Pervasive. It’s ALSO Invisible. Invisibility is the KEY! The mind is attracted to contemplate the Invisible. From the gross to the subtle to the most subtle. Invisible: In-Visible … it’s NOT something out of this world, it’s NOT something in another Dimension, it’ NOT beyond the visible spectrum. It’s IN THE VISIBLE: VizAble — That which can have Viz-a-viz … comparison, degrees, difference, flow. It’s InSide. BOOM! Scientific Explosion-All sorts of instruments, tools, machines, sensors to go inside, compare, measure … Milli … Micro … Nano … But WAIT! There is a 6th Element — I call it an Element because it is also Invisible! The Mind/Self/I/Mann/Consciousness/Soul/Being — being invisible it lends itself to contemplation too. So … Mind and Elements/Matter … all of these are Invisible. They are inside the comparison, measurement, difference, flow and no external instrument can penetrate that. The test of an instrument is its ability to compare, measure, track (precision included). The fact it was successful, operating is that it was able to do its job, but its job is based on its ability to compare. But the thing one is looking for is INSIDE the comparison. If a comparison is found, it means, there is more to go. If it stops comparing, we do not know, whether the machine is malfunctioning or it has reached it’s goal. It has no way of telling us. If it tells us, it means there is more to go! Then we try to measure inside that gap, by building a larger, stronger, more powerful, more energy consuming machine like the LHC|CERN … Yet the God Particle evades US. Contradictory! Paradoxical! Counter-Intuitive! Twisted! BULL***T God. No God. Independent of your beliefs, attitudes, values … the fact that you have read so far and are NOW reading this line, means talk of the INVISIBLE, is well … in someway meaningful to you. It makes SENSE to you. Well somewhat. Sensing is a function of the whole Bio-Organism. It means the 5 elements — Air, Fire, Earth, Water and Space are all physically sensed by the organism. Even the Mind is sensed, but in daily life, when the other 5 are more highly active and the lost in their cravings/aversions, it is hardly sensed (Here reminded of the story of Gambling from the Mahabharata … the Pandu’s / Five Senses are so lost in the Game of Dice/Luck/World … they are oblivious of the fact that Draupadi/Mind/Consciousness is getting unraveled … literally … luckily there is a higher consciousness/Krsna) … making the point here that our Body is the Ultimate Truth Seeking Instrument. Calibrating It, Tuning It, Increasing Sensitivity eventually opens the WAY, to penetrating the INVISIBLE. Body Movement Practices help to de-Condition the body, making it flexible, supple and sensitive. The right kind of nutriment also plays a great role in overall well-being. Yet, the Element of the Mind is Key Element for today’s times. We live on but One Earth. Despite the best of Foods, Clothing and Comfort’s our tendencies to War, Kill, Harm, Steal, Lie, Get Intoxicated have not diminished; only amplified. The Mind is the Element that can turn elixir to poison and poison to elixir. So What Moves the Mind? The Mind is embodied in Nature and the Elements. Hence movement / changes in the Elements cause corresponding shifts in the Mind. Till we being to observe Change and re-Condition the Mind with certain practices, it’s tendency to remain in Bondage, tied with the umbilical cord to Nature will always remain. As long as Nature is well, everything is well, when things go wrong as they always will, an unDeveloped Mind will not be able to ReStore Balance. So what are the Practices? Wind: Movement/Agitation/Vibrations /Restlessness/Twitching/Constant Need to DO/Problem Finding and Solving Attitude. When we encoutner Blockages/Barriers/Challenges/Obstacles in Life, just as the Wind encounters a Mountain, it experiences turbulence, eddy currents at the bottom and then begins to ascend… in the same way observe the changes in the breath. From being deep relaxed belly breathing, does it become short nasal breathing. Does it seem to move up into the head. Is Over-Thinking/Planning/Strategizing happening? Instead of concentrating and building ReServes & Power that will address the challenge or move around it or slowly erode it away, one is just getting worked Up! Constant Rise and Fall! Across traditions people hold the Wind magical and a messenger of God. Winds of Change — Calm before the Storm. Though the wind is associated with Flow and Change, the Invisible Wind is the Potential that is building Up. The Wind is actually that which WAITS. It WAITS in Hiding. Behind the Mountain, Over the Ocean, In the Trees. It WAITS for the right moment before it reveals its Gifts. Gifts of moisture laden Clouds, Rains on a Parched/Burning Earth. Practice WAITING. Practice PATIENCE Fire: Energy/Burning/Consuming/Destroying. Whatever Fire encounters in its Path, it consumes. Causes to Merge into It. All animals are afraid of it. Even the Man-imal is actually afraid of it. Being able to hold a burning branch did not make it the Master, rather the Slave. The Slave that would NOW, be consumed internally by it and develop into needing more and more of it. The day the Monkey, held up the flaming torch and walked on its two legs in TRIUMPH, it actually became a Donkey, that would not work to carry the Fire from here to there and everywhere. Even in places it is not needed. The thing with Fire is that once it consumes it’s environment, it dies, gets extinct. It has Nothing to Feed on. So the Art is of converting Rage into Anger. Anger (Angaar — Smouldering pieces of Coal, that can be used to multiply the Fire … Energy can neither be created, nor destroyed … it just IS). So whenever one bodily encounter’s fluctuations in temperature Hot/Cold … a build up of Anger, facing Hostility, feeling so Down, Depressed and Cold/ Nihilistic, realize Fire needs to be managed. In the Hierarchical Food Chain we were all taught, there is a Predator and Prey. Pre-Date and Pre-Y. One will see that the hierarchy is built by the older Organisms, that are Fittest, that have survived to actually feed on the newer organisms. There is a Dating to Evolution and those that came Pre-A-Certain-Date are higher Up. Evolution/Mother Nature has to constantly serve up a new Buffet each time and each time the young are at risk of being eaten up. Prey: Pre-Y is that creature that lived before it branched off/asked a question Why? in any form in its consciousness. When it branched Off, it evaded its Predator and survived. Its fascinating to understand Man and its relation in this Food Chain. If it is the top Predator, first Man was created (maybe landed from Mars) and then everything else came. Then given that Man came first and has/can eat anything and survive, we should not longer have cultural food habits, biases etc that become cause for conflict. All men should be equal and society should be non-hierarchical. We May remember our ancient Origins and feel liberated of the Compulsion to Survive, seeing the long journey we have made. If instead Man, it came last, then it would be a Prey for the rest of nature. But its fascinating how Tribals live within nature and are not a natural food for Wild Life. So this is quite a paradoxical thing. The Origin of Man. Leaving the above aside, by simply turning the ‘e’, upside down to an ‘a’, from a Prey one becomes a Pray (Positive Ray). So deep down inside of us, this primal Fire that burns, whose origins we do not Know or have to know Personally, this Race for Survival, this polar Predator / Prey mental state … if we simply connect with our bodies and Pray, then we turn DOWN the heat, come in Control. Con-Troll … whose Trolling Us? We can begin to see our Deepest Darkest Fears and Look them in the Eye. We convert smouldering inner fires to Cool White just about to be extinguished Angaars/Anger. Can be used for something productive/for necessities etc … if not needed, can quietly burn away and merge into the dust of the Earth. If done well, there is no trace of Ash, no unmet Asha (Hopes etc) … like a well-made candle that leaves no trace. Practice PRAYING. Earth: Heavy/Pulling Inwards/Stuck|Trapped then Wanting to Burst Free|Expand/Experiencing Gravitational Pull(Then a Big Bang)/Frozen/Indecisive/Blocked Creativity/Stiffness/Disproportionate Weight/Lethargy/Exhaustion … Practice WALKING. Water: Stickiness/Cohesion/Attachment/Kapha/Sluggishness/Indecisiveness/Confusion. Water is the Source of Life. In Hindi, money is called Paisa: Pai-Sa (Like Water). It is meant to Circulate. Originally Water was a Currency. Kings and Nobles used to control access to water. In ancient civilization like in Bali, the enlightened priests used to care for the Water Systems, ensure proper circulation all throughout the Island and ensure peace and prosperity. However, when water Accumulates and does not circulate, becoming stagnant, life in it starts Practice GIFTING. Mind: Practice SURRENDER. Space: Practice SILENCE. Earth - Metta/Maitri - Kindness - Right Atrium - Power Within Water - Karuna - Compassion - Right Ventricle - Power To Air - Mudita - Joy - Left Atrium - Power With Fire - Equinimity - Left Ventricle - Power Over Space - Pericardium   Earth : Metta : Direct/Experential Knowing : Right Atrium (Receiving De-oxygenated Blood)   Water : Karuna : Presentation/Creative Knowing : Right Ventricle (Pumping to Lungs)   Air : Mudita : Proposition : Left Atrium (Receiving from Lungs)   Fire : Upekkha : Practice : Left Ventricle (Pumping Oxygenated Blood to Body)   1. You cannot understand a system unless you change it 2. You cannot change a system unless you transform consciousness 3. You cannot transform consciousness unless you make a system see and sense itself water x earth - come with me (cohesion - extension) water x fire - take me higher (cohesion - energy) water x air - take me across (cohesion - motion) Dissolving the Self - Needing water. All kinds of salts. Polarity. Basic and Acidic. The harder the salt, the more water is needed to dissolving the self. Either water is external or internal. Compassion. Generosity. How Dharma works. Earth : Metta : Direct/Experential Knowing : Right Atrium (Receiving De-oxygenated Blood)   Water : Karuna : Presentation/Creative Knowing : Right Ventricle (Pumping to Lungs)   Earth - Metta/Maitri - Kindness - Right Atrium - Power Within Water - Karuna - Compassion - Right Ventricle - Power To Air - Mudita - Joy - Left Atrium - Power With Fire - Equinimity - Left Ventricle - Power Over Space - Pericardium Air : Mudita : Proposition : Left Atrium (Receiving from Lungs)   Fire : Upekkha : Practice : Left Ventricle (Pumping Oxygenated Blood to Body)   1. You cannot understand a system unless you change it 1. You cannot change a system unless you transform consciousness 1. You cannot transform consciousness unless you make a system see and sense itself water x earth - come with me (cohesion - extension) water x fire - take me higher (cohesion - energy) water x air - take me across (cohesion - motion) 2017 practices as we move from one yearly constellation to the other, we hope we fnd solutions to some of the problems that the previous constellation caused. we make resolutions-re:solutions. problems cannot be solved by the same mind that caused them. recently i met this jain munni who inquired into what i was doing. when i told him that i was trying to create a साधन (technology) that can assistin doing good. he asked whether till now all the साधन really created any benefits. one can see chaos all around. he said to be able to use the साधन the man also needs to be new. एक नया मन का निर्मान करो. when discussing truth, reality, death i mentioned how uncomfortable people get about death. they do not want to listen and align their lives for the better. he said that's the way it is. talk in terms of creating something new - एक नया मन का निर्मान करो. in making something new, we let go of the old. so this year is about creating a new man, एक नया मन का निर्मान through practicing 6 values, related to 6 elements. Water (Gifting) my entire life has been a gift uptil now. parents, friends, community everything came easily without an external struggle, but with a lot of internal struggle. One of the gifts that has come back is music and I'd like to share its story. I grew up listening to lot of music records, casettes and cds. When I was 16, I began trying to learn the guitar. Thankful that my father encouraged, payed for the classes and helped buy a guitar, albiet one so large my fingers could not cover the fret board. So I struggled to practice, play clearly. I would sit in the drawing room and he would comment play something musical; play a song. Teacher should teach you, tell them this that. This put me off. I felt hurried. So soon the guitar lay in a corner till after 7 years it was gifted away. I remember dreaming about singing, dancing having carefully observed others do it. I was good. I could analyse and teach too. When I came to SS for the 1st time, my heart was filled with so much joy to sing and hear real people, play real music for real pleasure. I used to steel sideway glances at Keshav, Homi anyone playing the djembe trying to understand where were the rhythms coming from. I was totally challenged in coordinating. Still am. But am giving myself the time and space. 2015, I was in dharamshala for 3 months. Lying there was a guitar and I knew I must pick it up. In the lonliness of the village, room and darkness I could be whosoever I wanted to be. I could let the Kabir sitting in my heaert, try to break through. So I made a lot of noise. Close my eyes and would try to feel the vibrations all around. Hand, Heart, Head. Then for a whole year I was without a guitar. Each time at SS I thought to again touch the guitar, but was fearful of the noise I would create. 2016 I was in a very dark space, literally. I did not know when I would get out. I din't understand where I was, who I was and who to trust. But I knew I had to play along. Once again the guitar would come to my solace. But this time, I had lot the noise. The moment I played, words seem to pour from my heart. Some dam had broken inside and I was free to let it flow. During the 45 days that I was away, I had been able to compose 10 - 15 songs and bring light to many around me who needed it. Coming back I knew I had to get my hand on a guitar. So I was really grateful when Nikhil connected mewith Avinash who gifted me his guitar. Since then its a different story. So this guitar is really a gift. Anyone who touches it and spends time with it with a pure heart will find answers. Mayuree connected me to Parag with whom I went on a 2 hour peace trip. But the guitar has been tagged. So it must move on its own journey through many arms. So I place it as a gift within the circle. Earth (Walking) In the startup service retreat at Ahmedabad heard the story and met Arun Dada who has never worked for money, walks almost everywhere and has raised a family too. Very inspiring. There was another story of when Vinobha who was asked by the 1st planning commission to come and assist them. He said do you meet again in 4 months or can you wait. They asked why. He said because it would take him 4 months to walk there. Everyone knows salvation is only possible by being born as a human, but then too it takes many life times. So the key is to be born a human again and not do anything to be born as a cockroach. Problem is I have realized all this too late. Many sins have been committed. Not sure in current kalyug who is at the helm. If god was, he would have said at the pearly gates, son I need good people down there. Wait for a while, float around, see others passing through, talk to them, learn something, then when you are ready I will send you down again. If I was to reach the dungeons of hell, the devil would have been quite happy, but would have stopped at something in my resume and exploded. Volunteering, wanting to change the world, do good, leave peacefully. Reject. Sitting with eyes closed when there is so much light outside to see. Reject. Drinking soup, reject. Too slow. Reject. So he too would not send me back up and I would continue to float in the realm of invisible spirits. So I know my destiny. No mukti, only waiting. Problem in the spirit world is there are no cars, bikes, airplanes. Not even spirit of horses to ride. All spirits are learning for their own good, so no heirarchy. So it will be tough adjusting. Here I am fed up with more transport than needed, there I will be for the lack of it. This life max 30 - 40 ore years. Spirit realm no idea. Better to prepare and adjust now. So my faithful active stead has now been gifted and I choose to use as much of my own two feet as possible. Fire (Prayer) If you look at the food chain / web of life you see relations between predators and prey. Darwin saw the world as a survival of the fittest. Man believes he is at the top, is the top predator, so he preys. He preys on others who are weaker, slower, gentler than him. Even in his prayers he is actually preying - god give me this, give me that. Make my children this, bring this calamity to others. What if we turn the 'e' around. It becomes 'a', a ray. So people become prayers, persons who offer a 'ray of hope'. So I pray that I might kindle within myself a ray of light that many shine on me and those who need it. Wind (Wait) When you read the alchemist, there is a scene of the protagonist being confronted by enemies. The only way he can save himself, lead the others to believe in his prophecy is to become the wind. Across traditions, people have held wind to be magical and a messenger of god. Winds of change, calm before the storm, breathing, sitting and breathing and waiting. Waiting and waiting. Though the wind is associated with the flow and change, actually the wind waits in hiding. It hides behind mountains, over oceans, in the trees. It waits for the right moment, before it reveals its gift. It waits for the other elements to make their move, before it goes about its dance. So I wait too. Space (Surrender) We are always complaining not enough space, personal space, professional space, relational space, mental space, heart space. We create boundaries and then fight maintain the small piece of land, house or car. But of all the elements, how does ont measure space. Space is not volume. Displacement of water is displacement of water. It is not the space within the stone. In Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene writes about the various theories to understanding space. Finally scientists are converging to something called "String Theory" The universe, space, matter, anti-matter everything is made of vibrating strings. So how do we hear the cosmic sound. Most of us have an identity. I am a C string, D String etc. So only certain notes, scales can be played. In combination too only certain chords sound good. How do we tune ourselves to the cosmic music. By surrendering to that which surrounds us. Sur-render: To render / recreate the sur that Sur-Rounds (Sur all around). Being like the stringless guitar, the soundbox for the tone that cannot be heard, but felt by the heart. Holding the empty soundbox close to your heart you can hear the music. The 6 strings could also be seen as the 6 blind men arguing over the elephant, or the 6 perceptions. It't time to surrender and stop arguiing. Songapitalize after period (She came to Me) Another analogy for stringlessness the is the bow and that Rama broke in Ramayana during Swayamwara. The bow was stringless and many tried to string it, Ram not only string it, but broke it too. The sound of which reverberated and the Rish came to enquire who broke the bow. Mind (Silence) Indescribable (In de-scribe-able) Before time, space and things exist (exist: ex-is-it) (Externally it is); yet there is, Why do you, an external thing in external space and time, Desire what there is described? Desire dscribing (de-scribing) of what there is, So you can scribe over what there is? Scribe over scribings by? Scribings cause change Change causes pain and suffering Pain and suffering cause scribbings This (There-is) continues till u become aware You become aware of becoming Aware of becoming from being Being aware of non-being Non being in awareness Awareness . where there is this, that comes to be with the arising of this, that arises when this is absent, that does not come to be, with the cessation of this, that ceases it is said sound does not travel in vaccuum. Outer space is said to contain vaccuum. Yet we pick up cosmic white noise. So vaccuum transfers sound. Things going in and somthing coming out. We can't see logic. Being like vaccuum. Transform the noise. Activity how many of you have played domino stacking. putting thigns against each other. that's how the whole world looks-stacked against each other. one push and it seems everything will collapse. but all of this stacking - externally, internally, in nature and in the mind is on 6 pillars. the carbon atom, what we are made of is also 6. so the 6 will always remain. they have from time immemorial. so pass these around and take a color you like. i have sat with these and prayed. we do the same. then pass. do this thrice. thus we go and gift the token to someone. whole week use the token and its value in your life. pray with it, putting metta into it. then next week gift it with someone. do not exchange. gift it. it no one gifts you, see what pops up and make a token. you are finally the source. there are some associations. water (gifting) - water, paisa, pai-sa, money. so money is like water. if you find yourself feeling scarcity, fear,l ack of abundance, drying up of your heart, begin to gift. gift your time, labor, listening, gifts, things, food, clothing, space, anything. it will make you feel abundant and at the source. earth (walking) - if life is going too fast, you are always in a hurry, not enough time, you are feeling stressed others will destroy the world, you want to save it, save yourself, but so little time - walk. fire (pray) - if you are feeling anger, hatred, destruction, pray so that your heart does not harden and your body does not become prey to disease, illness and bad karma. pray for others who are misfortunate. wind(wait) - tired, exhausted, not refreshed, not energetic, too much too do in too little time. wait. people a bother, trouble with someone, wait. let the high pressure wear off. when new winds blow, listen to the message they bring. space(surrender) - finding pollution around your space, want to clean up. wait. first surrender. listen to that which is not being said. listen. mind(silence) - becoming a goat lately. मैं मैं मैं. feeling domesticated, trapped in. wanting to break free. first practice silence. a silent mind can let the perception wirk in finding the door out/in or whereever. water - essential for life the container v/s Us function - to enable water to be carried without spillage, with ease, without spoilage and sustainbly from one place to another form - U shape or sacs (covers / handles) content - animal skin, stone, wood, clay, ceramic, glass, metal, plastic, the incorrect form or incorrect material will not allow the function to be fulfilled effectively. a flat plate even of gold cannot be used, nor a paper sac to hold water. why the problem of infinite plastic bottles, of all designs, materials? extraction -> production -> distribution -> consumption -> disposal energy producer -> primary consumer -> secondary consumer -> tertiary consumer sun -> grass -> grasshopper -> mouse -> owl