The mind and the body often don’t age together.
The vessel sometimes grows weary of the wanderings and seeks to repose much earlier than the spirit is ready to settle down. And sometimes, it is the soul that matures rather quickly within a body that is not yet ready to relinquish its youthfulness.
Thus a conflict arises within one, where the matured self waits for it’s completing half to catch up. It waits, patiently yet longingly, to sing in unison with the chords gone astray.
In the modern world teeming with distractions for the weak at heart, this inner struggle sees no end. The youth is drawn to power, passion and adventure, like addicts to that dose of nicotine. This conflict, that keeps the youthful self from aligning itself to the mature soul, I believe, is very often the root to a state of un-satisfaction, where nothing is experienced in its fullness.
However the need to grow out of this unsatisfactory life is what eventually pushes one towards maturity.
This is not something that occurs once in a lifetime; it’s repetitive. The body and mind take turns to outpace the other. And everytime this happens, the internal conflict sets in motion the process of aging. Hence at any given moment we are either younger or older than the candles on that cake that we just blew out.
Close to a year now, I have befriended a familiar voice in my head that has been drawing my attention towards this phenomenon called the Buddha. At first a curiosity, then a thirst for understanding, followed by a desire to feel nothingness (I understand that the word ‘desire’ in itself stands out of place in this context, but I choose to use it bravely) and now a call for awareness. While this has been in strange contradiction to my life goals and way of living, the cry-out cannot be ignored.
The Lotus has taken a very special place in my heart, one that I am yet to fully understand. I see it everywhere. Rather my eyes take note of it everytime I see. The Lotuses I collected for many reasons over the years, have now gathered themselves artfully in my garden. They hang from the ceiling of my dreams and float around in the mythical river of my origins.
If I were to delve deep into the Buddha’s words, a Lotus can represent one of the three; fortune, purification and rebirth. And I would like to believe that it’s the Lotus of rebirth that has set it’s heart on mine. The rebirth can be ‘a change of ideas, an acceptance of Buddha where there once was none, the dawn after one’s darkest day, a renaissance of beliefs or the ability to see past wrongs.’
I realize that an internal conflict is rife within me. An aged soul sits meekly, smiling, while the body rages against the dying of the youth. That which is wise dwells without resentment or urgency, and yet the flesh yearns to understand. A treatise for alignment must be made, sooner or later, for peace to reign over once again. For that I spend what time is left in the day after ‘living’ trying to understand the Why.
Like Will Smith in the Collateral Beauty, I seek the Why. Why I woke up this morning. Why I ate what I ate, wore what I wore. Why I do all the things that make me who I am. I am sure there is a Why.
Do I think I am on a path towards Buddhism? No. Although Buddhism is less of a religion and more of a way of life, it is still a set of rules men constructed to fit into what was believed to be the best form of propaganda for this peaceful cult. It’s a doctrine, a set of laws, sacred scriptures and rituals with a need to conform to it. And most importantly it comes with a label. I don’t require another label.
Buddha is more personal. It is a part of who we already are and yet unaware of. It is about shedding the skin of the ‘self’ and finding peace in the nakedness. From what little I have gathered so far, I think there is more to Buddha than Nibbana or Dhamma. Just like there is more to Love than Passion or Commitment.
The Lotus in me is yet to open it’s eyes. The first petals have taken shape but remain reluctant to break the kiss from the bud. And I do not intend to step in. Force is a dangerous companion on the path of Truth. Let Time take care of that. For now I just wish to meditate on what is.
Today, a part of the world celebrates the birth of the Buddha. I am informed that the celebration spreads across many dates this month in many countries, owing to the variations in the Gregorian, Chinese, Indian and Lunar calendars. Nevertheless, it can be safely assumed that this time in general is one for acknowledging the biggest blow that took ancient religions by surprise; the enlightened thoughts of someone named Buddha.
I however decided to observe this day for the first time, not because I believe even for a blink of an eye that a great soul was born on this very day.
But, only because I needed a day to mark the awareness of the strife within. And it is with my feet planted firmly on the ground and my eyes taking in all that this world has to offer that I say; I am happy to embark on this journey now even as the destination remains unknown. And that is all right. As long as I act, and not wait for life to pass by, it will be all right.
I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act. — Buddha