Peace- II

We are blessed with beautiful pure souls by our Creator which thrives on peace. So why would should that be tarnished with the madness of everyday? Our innate thoughts and ideas manifest into the world we create for ourselves. It’s like as you sow, so shall you reap. The input affects the output. When there is peace inside, there is peace outside. And we could definitely do with some “World Peace” but not the kind you hear on beauty pageants. It’s the little drops of water which make those majestic oceans, we are all those little droplets pooling in together to make that world we live in a truly wonderful place. It will become our legacy that we leave behind for our future.

Daunting as it may seem, I do have a few suggestions which may hopefully help you usher in the inner peace we all search for and also further translate into world peace. Before reading further, try blocking out the pessimistic thoughts which often likes to discourage us from being the better version of ourselves.

Basics first… focus on bringing back the humility in our approach to life, as it defines our approach to striving to achieve peace. By humbleness one isn’t supposed to assume that they are incapable, it’s avoiding the trap of arrogance. A quote I found which sums its relevance,

“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” Saint Augustine

For perspective, here’s a thought, in this great big planet that we live in, we are just another one of the “Homo Sapiens” walking about. In the plethora of flora and fauna created by our Creator, just one specie we are. So brush off that arrogance and look at life again. Humility becomes thus the first step to achieving a clear heart. A clear Heart finds peace swifter.

Next step is working with patience in come what may. This is tricky. Some days we work well, some days we don’t, it’s the days we don’t that augment the agitation of the soul. Find the cause and work out plan B for that situation and feel the difference. Have a sip of water, count, sit down, look away, wash your face, any little action which will calm you down and distract your seething storm. It will help you gain focus again and find your plan B.

Following the base built by Humility and Patience, comes in gratitude. This not only strengthens the other two but also paves the way for peace to start making a permanent nest in our lives. Thankfulness reminds you of the good already present in your life and in that process, you draw closer to contentment. Gratitude also extends to the wonderful favours of our Lord on our lives too. Breathing, being alive, the wonderful eyes that you’re reading with, the pet you have or the wonderful world the Creator created just so you could have that picture perfect sunset. It’s mentioned about the Prophet David, when he sang songs of praise of the Lord, all of nature sang with him. That is the ultimate manifestation of gratitude. It’s contagious. A chain reaction whose effervescence goes on with goodness after goodness.

Share! There is a huge gap in the world between the haves and have nots, (Not just in the economic sense).Start with food, it’s the easiest to share, In Islam there is a saying, “food for one, is enough for two, the food for two is enough for four..” So go on. Gladden your heart with the exultation of sharing, share a joke, share a laugh, share a smile, share a load, share the joys, share the lows, share courage, share trust, or simply share your wonderful company. The satisfaction of having done that will hearten your heart and strengthen the foundation of that peace you yearn for. After all what goes around, comes back around. Share some love around, it will find a way back to you, for the world is round after all.

Simplify, simplify, simplify. We all run after the big things and in that great big run up we overlook the little things that make all the difference. Have you seen a little child, whose happiness lies only in a cuddle from the parents, or splashing in that puddle of water? Have you seen the happiest people are often the ones with the least amount of things? Have you seen that the most generous are the ones who have little to call their own? Opulence makes us stingy and lazy more often than the other way around. So try simplifying your life and you’re one more step closer to Peace!

Make a peace corner. A little drama can sometimes go a long way in encouraging the pretence to become part of the reality of the character. Bring the outdoors in, some pretty plants and flowers, a water feature, some scented lights or just some soft furnishings on your favourite chair, sit down relax and unwind. Half an hour of that Zen-like setup works wonders on the nerves and brings back the Peace you thought you lost battling the great big world.

But above all, we all need to learn to be fair. Empathy is often misunderstood as its cousin, sympathy. We can’t truly find peace, if our hearts and souls are unfair. You can’t really be fair without bringing empathy in the picture. Empathy is about putting ourselves in the spot of others and walking that mile, feeling each little pebble underfoot and the distance between each footstep. Till we truly empathise its hard to be fair. But we can all try and eventually we will get there. We need to break the selfish mould the world likes to throw us in as we run along in the rat race. In the end we all have to die, so let us leave the world behind a little happier, a little better, a little more at peace than yesterday.

Little changes to our lives can go a long way in bringing the inner calm to our souls. Once you have found your inner peace, you become that symbol of serenity slowly spreading that wonderfulness we crave called, “World Peace”.

I hope to see you there,

Peace and tranquillity reign where,

Across the stormy seas of turmoil and restlessness,

Beyond the plain of unreasonableness,

Past the valley of selfishness,

I hope to see you there,

Peace and tranquillity reign where,

Sublime splendour enraptures the eye,

Serenity descends from the sky,

Sincerest spirit of amity becomes the glue to our tie,

I hope to see you there,

Peace and tranquillity reign where.

-SpiritualZain

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Peace-part I

Pent up inside,

The magma of emotions,

Burst onto the world,

Charring everything in sight,

Dispersing a melancholy of life.

The shockwaves go shuddering down to the very core of our existence.

Shaken, stirred and poured all over.

In that moment the mind believes, C’est la vie.

And the vicious cycle continues.

Not the prettiest picture painted, making one wonder, is this truly our existence every day? Let your sight wander, what do you behold? A rushed parent is dashing, the distance to the school, work and home, an agitated man driving and dishing out a few wonderful words to anyone who dare cross him, then there’s that old man who nobody says a kind word to anymore, scowling at the happy kids skipping. And further up is that woman just walking about without a care, not looking at what she is stepping over or knocking over and if you stop her, there’s no telling what your ears may have to suffer. We are these mini volcanoes waiting to erupt at the slightest provocation.

Why?

Why is it so easy to roar yet a struggle to be mellow?

Why are the turbulent waters always within reach yet the placid waters a distant vision?

Why do we complicate our lives by reacting instead of simplifying it with ignoring the drama and moving on?

Why does the search for serenity begin only in far flung exotic isles, when it actually could be within easy reach?

Peace. You can spend a lifetime searching for it and yet you will not find it, but it really is there, waiting for you to perchance upon it right there.

Throughout history, a quest that has met with moderate success has been the quest for Peace. From religion to philosophy to sociology to warfare, the quest for peace has remained a common theme. From symbolism, culture, fads to treaties, there’s something to dedicate to peace. Today peace comes under a whole domain area of knowledge to be studied along with its partner-conflict. The two together are keeping each other alive like a symbiotic relationship, where there’s conflict you want peace, when there is peace for too long, conflict feels left out. Long term existence seems inevitable. So it made me wonder why is that Peace is so hard to achieve?

We live in turbulent times, North, South, East or West, there’s hardly a place with no conflict that is sneakily ousting the days of peace. The Utopia of a peaceful world that was probably envisaged by the previous generation is edging closer each day into a nightmare version of it. We are edgy, anxious, materialistic, selfish, stingy, impatient, insensitive, negligent, cynical, and agnostic far more than ever before.

This “volatile cocktail of emotions” is that which fuels the unethical plans of the truly wicked elements of the society, whose only goal is to ensure peace can never prevail. The more conflict, the more the wicked elements flourish, while we the commoners suffer. The business of the powerful thrives on the lives of the ordinary who are petrified of the thoughts of having their routines being disrupted. This fear is slowly piece by piece taking away the “Peace” of our lives and in due process of the world.

And thus we are rapidly bidding adieu to the idea of World Peace in the Concorde. It crash lands or lands in the middle of the “Pacific” it couldn’t bother us anymore. It’s not the most agreeable notions to conjure, however as this thought does tinker the grey cells, a rather perplexing conclusion arises. When “Our” individual souls aren’t at peace, how can the world find peace? After all, ‘We are the World’. It’s when the inner circle is all about peace, does the ripple effect work its wonders and spread that peace everywhere it touches. The shackles which hold us back, which tie our souls to a selfish thought process can be broken. The mindlessness of just living can be altered to living with a purpose. And that purpose of living doesn’t have the painted with the paintbrush called ego. We are all capable of being in harmony with nature’s wonderful spectrum of seven. And when the sight beholds the rewards of that harmony, it will make you want to do more, be more and add that extra sparkle to your individual hue. Fairness and equality seem to be a thing of the past, its all about “me , me and some more me”. Even though its about “me”, that me is not at peace. Perhaps it could be that the “Me” moment has been achieved by stealth and thus the uneasiness.

It is pretty much a straight-forward process to find that peace again, provided you make the intention to find and stick with it. Almost every major religion of the world encourages the attainment of peace, yet the masses struggle. While some take a dramatic take on achieving it by renouncing the world, I found something simpler stemming from the values I’ve grown up with.

In Islam, one of the attributes used to define God is the Arabic word, As-Salaam-The Giver and source of Peace, the Perfection. In fact, the word Islam itself is derived from the word Salaam, and means submission in peace. Think about it, if you are at peace, you are in “perfection”, what more could you desire if you’ve found peace?! After all, this is what we spend our entire lifetime in pursuit of…that one moment of peace to last a lifetime perhaps. Taking “Peace” further, the Islamic greeting is “AsSalaamualaikum”, “May peace be on you”. Numerous times a day this greeting is exchanged around, yet we are so far from this peace. The Holy book Qur’an, even talks about hearts finding peace and contentment in the remembrance of God, yet how little do we remember!

We sing, sob and shout out about World Peace occasionally because it is fashionable and the world would like us to believe that, it is their agenda, yet it is like that fleeting mirage in the hot desert, nearly within grasp, but disappears when we get up close.

So is our modern lifestyle making peace unattainable? Do we give up our pursuit of peace because it is complicated or perhaps you need to be a “Goody two shoes”?

Of course not! At the end of the day you do want to be able to lie in peace in your bed, so let’s just try a little bit more. Our modern lifestyles of hurry and doing more are not just compounding our wealth, so are our health issues. And interestingly most of them are linked to high levels of stress which is an absence of…you guessed it, peace!

Peace is to our Souls like Oxygen is to breathing, where our Survival is linked to the inhalation and exhalation. This is what Peace has to the potential to do and does.

 

Stay tuned for Part-II, which delves into easy ways to bring back the peace.

Love

We all think we know love. Of course we do. It’s one of those innate emotions that we are all blessed with by our Creator, making it the most basic of human emotions. One of the sweetest sounds that you can ever hear is the cooing of a baby looking up in love at the parent. The season of spring ushers love in perhaps the most natural way. The sight and sounds of life starting afresh, stir the heart and the mind; the cooing of pigeons in love, the mew of the mini kitties, the soft woofs of the pups, the gentle bleating of the lambs…the fresh sprigs of green wonder spring in from the earth, the pop of colour blooming around. It is Mother Nature, doing what a mother does, setting us up for the challenges of the year with warm fuzziness and happiness. Sprinkling bits and pieces of beautiful love brimming with promise here, there and everywhere.

Love is also a warm mug of coffee, warming the body inside out. Love is a bite of chocolate, made just right to release the happy hormones. Aah the happy hormones… Our creator clearly comprehended as he created us… how often we would require a high sans the “stuff” not encouraged. Or perhaps he was aware of our struggles each day and gave us a natural mechanism to cope with all that and more. And thus the totally marvellous “Happy Hormones” were placed in our neurological wonder. Not being a biology buff, always assumed that the happy hormones were just what the name suggests. There is more to them than just the name, there are four kinds of happy hormones endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. Apparently they aren’t all real hormones, but more like neurotransmitters sending happy signals to and fro. Each one of them serving a specific agenda which altogether work to keep us uplifted and carrying on. Endorphins function like natural paracetamol masking our pain to keep us kicking. Chasing the blues, serotonin has got your back. The dope on dopamine is that feeling of satisfaction you get after having achieved what you set out for. The fuzziness and mushiness of a warm hug comes courtesy our “love hormone”, oxytocin. (It is an actual hormone out of the four happy hormones.)So the four working together work as nature’s natural healing for our troubled minds and souls. How convenient that actually is but above all isn’t our body a wonderful work of art by Our creator? Love functions like the real fuel to our machines, called Homo sapiens.

Where that “love” disappears as the seasons pass on is a wonder! Our sensitivities, despite the abundance of language to express, are boxed into compartments that we deem as the end all of those feelings. It is like living believing the myth of the World being flat. Out beyond our ideas of a horizon, lies this great circle called Life, wherein a progressive rediscovery of our emotions goes on. The discovery of passions hitherto undiscovered. The discovery of ideas hitherto unthought-of by our minds, which are capable of so much more if we only try a little bit more. The realisation that what goes around comes back around.

In all spheres of life, there is one or the other form of love; sometimes known, sometimes unknown, sometimes apparent, sometimes enigmatic. One such enigmatic love is the Love our Creator holds for us. Religiously speaking, in Arabic one of the attributes of God is Al Wadud-the most loving. It is said that the love of Al-Wadud is more than any mother could ever love her child. And this love manifests itself in every single thing that we say or do. Look around, these eyes that you are looking around with, this neurological wonder making you think and make connections, your existence are all evidences of God’s love for you. God loves you so much, that this world and all its things were created so that you could benefit and live comfortably. The innumerable variety of our sustenance, the plethora of beauty in nature, things around us that you didn’t even know existed. The mysteries of the ocean to the mystique of the sky, it’s a wonderful world out there.

When you really love someone, don’t we go all out? Promise the stars and the moon and what not. So why wouldn’t our Creator who loves us more than any could ever, do even more? Our Creator, in the “love” for us created this exquisite world with all its wonderfulness that we are still discovering.

So shouldn’t we reciprocate that love? And exactly how you may wonder is that possible, well, its simple, give some love back. Share a moment with family or friends, light up someone’s dark life with your wonderful smile. Share the joy of trust, benevolence and courage. Let someone trust you to be there for them. Share your privileged life with someone not so privileged. Build the courage to stand up for what you believe in, the courage to brave the winter of life, the courage to repel the forces of evil and maliciousness.

Let us help to make this world a little warmer, a little better for you and for me and the entire human race.

SpiritualZen

Hope

To live without hope is to not live at all. It is like being in a permanent winter, dullness and greyness abound. However even the coldest winter ends. Remembering a line of Shelly, “when winter is here can spring be far behind..?” That’s how our Creator designed the world. Every winter leads to a beautiful spring. And that spring promises a beautiful summer ahead. And as one walks through spring, looking at the shoots shooting out of the earth, the beautiful blooms blooming, they all fill the heart with hope. Their colour a refreshing hue chasing away the blues of gloom and making the heart roused up again with excitement, hope and positivity. That little bud of colour energises the soul to feel alive again after the spell of dreariness, making it one of those wonderful moments when the vibrations of our heart and our neurological wonder work in unison.

In our quest called life, we often burn the candle at both ends to light what we presume is our endless winter. And in that light we fail to see what the shadows hide. Probably, because of the inherent fear of the unknown and whatever is out of sight is out of mind.  The muted glow of the candle veils our view of this marvellous creation called nature. With every sunrise and sunset, a new day flows in, bringing with it, a change from yesterday. And each change of season heralds new perspectives on our myopia of life. If we only change the view from our lenses, a whole new avenue opens up for dealing with our everyday uneasiness. A calm mind takes better decisions. And that’s what nature wants to do, placate our ruffled neurons, arouse that hope, that life is to be lived.

Look around at the first blooms of the spring season. They are mostly a fantastic shade of yellow. It’s like our creator knew we needed the cheering up…so daffodils, crocuses abound with their cheery yellows amongst other happy hues. Continuing the cheery brigade the cherry blossoms begin blooming their elegant pinks, looking like little pieces of amethysts glistening in the showers. When all these meet the eye, it’s like sheer bliss, a little piece of heavenly peace, and the soul is stirred with contentment. And that fuels the hope that life is better than yesterday.

But we’ve forgotten this natural therapy that Our creator endowed our realm of existence with. Our winding down instead is with inorganic contraptions, which eventually trap us in their web of never-ending fixes to our problems. A saying I came across and indeed is profound,… “It is so simple to be happy, but it is so difficult to be simple…”.

We have complicated our lives with the evolution of the human race, and forgotten if Our Creator, created us, then is also well aware of the possible complications that may arise timely and thus equipped us with means to ease as well. It’s all about opening our minds and eyes to understand that and see that.

The rains bring the rainbow and eventually give way to the warm sun shining down positivity. That is hope, the clouds depart, the sorrows end, but once hope departs, that is the end. Pause, reflect, unwind, nature is oozing with positivity. A snowy shower in spring doesn’t stop the blooms business of blooming away. Icy cold winds don’t deter the deciduous leaves from making a comeback. When nature doesn’t give up…why do we give up hope?

The new Idiot on the block

Drum roll? forget it.
Ladies and gentleman,  I would like you to welcome the new idiot on the block,  The Educated City Slicker.
It’s ascent to this position has been phenomenal and unprecedented. Years ago we had our ancestors fighting for education for all, then we had those fighting for female education and then we had make everyone atleast literate.
The last of the lot of these has been the one bringing in changes manifold but losing it’s basic purpose.  Literacy has most certainly been achieved but there has been a degradation of the wisdom of the educated.
We have created a generation of people who can ofcourse read and write and even add but cannot think, reason intelligently. We have today, courtesy the internet wise cracks who believe they understand world problems and issues from their myopic expensive laptops. And these wise cracks pass judgment and ideas without having even looking at the shoes forget walking in them for even a few seconds.
The internet sure has bridged distances, however it has increased the actual, real, physical contact with people, situation and things.
Formerly the village idiot was notorious for not thinking things through or being able to read between lines. Today, the position has been taken over by the city slickers who get fancy degrees but are no better equipped in their mental faculty than the Village Idiot. Infact there can be occasions when the former turn out smarter than the latter.
It could be attributable to the fact that the Village Idiots perception is uncorrupted by the prejudices of modern times.
To the few who still have their reasoning uncorrupted it sure gets frustrating at times to watch the buffoonery of these smart Alec city slickers.
It makes one wonder where really are we headed with this’ majority’ of smart Alecs!

Clandestine Amour

I do. I sure do, in sickness and health, in good times and in bad, in success or failure and in joy as well as in sorrow. However all of this is subject to a teeny tiny asterisk, marking the terms and conditions that come in package with it.

Je t’aime…Life! My amour.

However, I can’t escape this nagging feeling that I don’t get to love you as much as I would. It seems living with you and loving you a task “burdened” with multiple roles and wanting. Each making our romance one filled with such ordeals that I may be coerced into thinking, do we really love each other as passionately as we think we do.

“Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms”. ~Khalil Gibran

I am sure he didn’t live in our situation or I don’t understand what our love is all about. I guess I should begin from the beginning to understand how I fell in love with you and how I seem to be in the state that I…well, seem to be in.

It was a coy start. I remained cocooned till I collected myself and was ready to put my best head…eh foot forward. You were there at the end of the beginning, beckoning me to come. You lured me out. There I was a bundle of unspeakable happiness in my parents’ hands having my first real good look at you. The joy that you brought with your enticing made me fall in love at first sight. I will never forget how you looked at me, reassuring me that this was the better end. You made me the reason of elation, of celebration of satisfaction and mercy. If you could make me do this, I knew you were someone I wouldn’t ever want to let go.

Little by little, day by day, you only brought me in acquaintance with awe and wonder, with adventure and risk, with love and bonding and with spirituality and consciousness.

Every day from then just followed with uninhibited meetings and brushes with you. Little did we know that this was the foundation of a love so strong that come what may nothing could uproot. But then again one can never be sure.

I got rushes every time that I was hand in hand with you. You took me along the fun and the games and the learning and growing. Candidly, we breezed along, till there came a point when I became “mature”. When I realized that my free will was only leading me to causing displeasure and discomfort. My spontaneity was only adding to fixes from which I couldn’t squeeze out of without alterations to me. You seem to have started playing hide-and-seek. And this led to our first lover’s tiff. With all that I was getting into, lifestyle changes, attitude changes and expression changes, you also decided to be the icing on my cake. I couldn’t understand you anymore. From enticing me to free will you were now asking me to succumb to people, places and systems. There were now two of me functioning. The one which you were leading to nirvana, and the one that you were leading into shackles. Little by little, day by day you only strengthened the shackles. Chaining me to the decorum of the society and system that I was living in. I was now a slave of the system. Going in day in day out with the monotony like that of a housefly. Insignificant and very very dull…

Anger and frustration built up. I did not know what to and how to deal with this sudden deluge of conformity. It was suddenly goodbye to all things that were dear to me. And above all it was suddenly a separation from you. I was at the mercy of my emotions. I was succumbing to the sin of anger. I hated everything. And this only led to indulgence of things I would be later ashamed of and I was. With you not the same that you were, I was suddenly this river which had lost its way in the desert. Rapidly drying up, desperately hunting for a reservoir of safety. I presumed you didn’t love me anymore. All our times together were merely things to do to get by. And this is when I found something which led me back. It was my anchor which weighed me down from drifting into the sea of endless despair and doom.

I met God. I was suddenly in a different plane. It was like opium rush through me. It was an inexplicable elevation. Breaking away from all that was there and I realized that I can’t give up like this. It brought me to embrace our love again. I began to understand our amour. It was not about companionship. You were trying to lead me on, I just wasn’t ready to follow you along like I used to.

“It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.” ~Khalil Gibran

Mind, body and soul I connected with you. Just when I was ready to renounce this world and you is when God salvaged my adrift soul. I was now able to see a different perspective. Our love was now truly cemented. Changes which I was hesitant to accept now made sense. I was apprehensive on making a choice, taking up a stance. I felt I had lost all power over myself. And that’s when I realized;

“Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can’t prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you’re presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power.” ~ Blaine Lee

I made the choice. I took myself back in control. And I am trying to keep the power in my hands. Its new, its raw and needs a lot of getting used to, but then again wasn’t it like this before too? Except perhaps I didn’t so consciously have to make those decisions. And now that I’m doing, I still have my doubts but I am now standing with renewed vigour and outlook. I want different things now. I wasn’t ready for that deluge of challenges that the world rained down on me. Now I stand with a new definition of success, love and dreams.

The road down spiritual awakening is alone and tough which is what puts doubts. However now that I look back I wouldn’t want to change a thing. That’s primarily because I wouldn’t have learnt the lessons I did. I wouldn’t have been so sure of our love as I am now. My doubts about our future are gradually fading into the black of our past. I wouldn’t like to sound too excited lest I cast an evil eye on our love, but I can assure you that I am definitely going to be around. I want to leave with having achieved a purpose and you alone are going to be the sole catalyst in my reactions to the world.

I would like to reach the pinnacles of success, but not in the way the masses perceive, the following sums it up beautifully;

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

And that is when I will stop living but not loving you. Our clandestine love shall never be known but will always keep my flame in this world burning bright.