Saturday, December 28, 2013

The only place I want to see is inside myself.

I just returned from a lovely trip to Jaipur and Delhi. It is Christmas week in the Christian world so I got the opportunity to take some time off. My main reason for going to these two cities was to see some friends, Annu and her daughter Naina in Jaipur, and Deepjot and Arvind in Delhi. Since I had never been to Rajasthan, I organized some sightseeing in Jaipur and one day in Pushkar (I won't go into the trip to Pushkar because it was a total disappointment...for those Indians who have seen the great movie 'OMG - Oh My God', Pushkar was a total OMG anubhaav - experience). 
Anyway, I was a little reluctant to leave Rishikesh...on one hand because I have my daily yoga classes with Usha Devi that I really enjoy but more than that, I was not feeling the desire to visit new temples, monuments, etc. As I told my Didi (big sister in Milan), the only place I feel the need to 'visit' is inside myself. Of course, I was very happy to see Annu, Naina, Deepjot, and Arvind...that goes without saying...but now that I am back home in Rishikesh, I can honestly say that I am done with sightseeing. And as much as I can appreciate the beautiful structures that man has built over the centuries (let us not forget I grew up in Italy!), the only places that really move me are the natural ones...the mountains, the seas, the forests, etc.. And sightseeing is so superficial. Running around with a guide just to hear about some ancient times that have nothing to do with who I am now. Dates and names that I will soon forget. It is one thing to live in these places, as I have lived in Italy, France, Spain, and now Rishikesh...one gets a feel of the culture and its people...it is a totally different and, at this point in my life useless, thing to 'sightsee'. I would have been just as happy to sit in a café and chat with my friends all day. 
So I am done with sightseeing. 
To be honest, what is on the outside has only brought misery. And having seen everything on the outside and nothing on the inside, my only choice is to go inward. 

What is on the outside has brought me nothing eternal. Nothing truly meaningful. That which is on the inside is everlasting and it is there that I must go. What is on the outside is boring at best, torture at worst and in both cases, a waste of time. Time is of the essence if I am to come to any kind of understanding in this lifetime. Who knows how long it will last? 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My life is an illusion

One moment happy, one moment melancholy, one moment agitated, the next calm. Feelings fluctuating like the ripples in a pond. Superficial emotions changing from one day to the next for no reason.  My life is an illusion. I am evermore certain of this. I look at these ‘feelings’ as they come and go, detached... even amused. I smile as I ride in a rickshaw in the center of Rishikesh, my heart is light and full of joy...for no reason....yesterday, my body felt heavy, my mind foggy...for no reason. Silly and intriguing emotions.... not a real part of me. I can see this very clearly. I know it.
These little waves of emotions only touch the surface but below, the joy is deep, the well of calmness is forever present and all I have to do is dive down inside of myself to be part of the Me that never changes. The part of me that is love, peace.  It’s tangible. So whatever happens in the superficial world outside, I am not bothered. It is an illusion. An amusing illusion. 
A good astrologer would say that these changes in ‘mood’ are caused by the moon and I agree to some extent however, it’s what does not change inside of me, no matter what happens on the outside, that is drawing my interest. Yet how can I be so drawn to a part of me if it is me?  When will I no longer feel that part as something separate? Because if it is Me then I should not be drawn to it, I should just be it. Shoulds, woulds, and coulds….they don't exist in love so they must not exist in Love and Existence.
I am closer. How do I know? Because the highs and lows are not so distant from each other. They are nearing the centerpoint, never too extreme in either direction....no matter what happens around me.  And the joy I feel inside is constant.  
Have I gone mad or am I leaving the mad world?


Friday, December 13, 2013

Discard all that is not yours.....

I just came upon this perfect thought that Indian sage Nisargadatta Maharaj said in one of his many discourses in Mumbai. Such poignant perfection. (Sotto, in italiano)

"Just as a man digging a well discards what is not water, until he reaches the water-bearing strata, so must you discard what is not your own, till nothing is left which you can disown.
You will find that what is left is nothing which the mind can hook on to. You are not even a human being.
You just are - a point of awareness, co-extensive with time and space and beyond both, the ultimate cause, itself uncaused.

If you ask me "Who are you?", my answer would be: "Nothing in particular. Yet, I am.""

How many lifetimes will it take to shed all that is unnecessary? Is it what it is and I can only do by best in the life that I have.

In italiano:
Scarta tutto ciò che non sei e vai ancora più in profondità. Come uno che scava un pozzo evita tutto ciò che non è acqua, finché non raggiunge la falda, così tu devi scartare ciòche non ti appartiene, finché non ti rimane più niente da disconoscere. Allora scoprirai che quanto resta non è niente a cui la mente possa aggrapparsi. Tu non sei nemmeno un essere umano. Tu sei e basta. Sei un punto di consapevolezza che può estendersi nel tempo e nello spazio pur essendo al di là di entrambi, sei la causa ultima non causata. Se mi chiedi: "Chi sei?", la mia risposta è: "Niente in particolare, eppure io sono" 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

विज्ञानभरैितन्त्रम V्ijnana BhairavaTantra

My dear friend SwamiJi told me about this beautiful text that is a conversation between Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. In it, he conveys 112 meditation methods to achieve enlightenment. I find this one particularly poignant. I wish I could read it in Sanskrit. Perhaps in the next life. ;-) 

इन्द्रजाऱमयं विश्वं व्यस्तं िा वचिकमिध त ।

भ्रमद्वाध्यायत्सिंऩश्यतश्चसखोद्गम्॥१०२॥

Meditating on the manifest world as imagined or illusive, like a magic show or a painting, and seeing all existence as transient, happiness arises. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Not everything must be done for a reason. Yoga for the pure joy of personal discovery...now

I was talking to a very dear friend of mine the other day about yoga and the subject came up about me becoming a yoga teacher, to which I replied that I didn’t believe this to be my true calling. Many people with whom I have practiced yoga have suggested that I should consider becoming a teacher.
It is true that I have a tendency to ‘teach’…I am in the communication’s field. And every astrologer who has taken a look at my stars has told me that I have a natural knack for teaching. I have known myself long enough to know that this is true. I have a tendency to want to guide or teach, especially women with whom I cross paths. And as I share what I know, I am also learning more about myself and life from the people that I meet. It is enriching to share what I have come to understand through my own experience. However, I have also known myself long enough to know that I am not cut out to teach in any ‘classic’ way, that is, I would never want to open up a school. I love my freedom. And, even though I work in radio and television so I am used to large crowds, I prefer to talk to people on a one-to-one situation. I connect with them better that way. My energy flows smoothly when I can focus on the person in front of me.
Another aspect is that I have not yet found 'my' teacher. Of course, there is Usha, the reason I come to India is to study with her but she does not want to train any teachers. So, it is obvious that becoming a yoga teaching is not in the cards right now and I cannot think about something that does not exist.
'When the pupil is ready, the master appears’. Let’s see when and if I will ever be ready. So for the moment, I will continue to practice my yoga for me. Just for me....and that is more than enough.
I do think it is our responsibility, in every aspect of life, to share whatever knowledge we have with anyone who asks for it. So if anyone asks me and if I do have the knowledge, I will most certainly share it. 



Friday, August 9, 2013

Letting go of coffee. No more attachment!

I am trying to quit drinking coffee. I used to drink a large, cup of Italian coffee in the morning and then, in the afternoon perhaps a large, strong, green tea. The idea of quitting came to me a couple of months ago. Out of the blue, my body started telling me it was time to quit this addiction. Yes, addiction. I cannot wake up or function properly without my dose of Italian caffeine in the morning. And I just love the taste. Even when I travel, I always (used to always) take my Italian moka coffee pot and Italian coffee with me. I can adjust to anything else, but just the idea of not drinking my coffee would send a shiver of panic down my spine. Now you know why I want to quit. No attachment means these small things, too.

 Let me give you some background here. I am a strict vegetarian (ex-fish/sushi lover. I am half-Japanese). I no longer drink alcohol (ex-professional Italian wine sommelier).  I practice yoga asanas and I meditate every day. I left the big city (Milan, Italy) to move to the mountains (Chamonix Mont Blanc). All of these things happened to me quite naturally because I am flowing back to the Ocean, back to the Mother, so any decision that was made happened because it was the right moment and my entire being was in harmony with these decisions. There was no struggle on my part. My body and mind needed to be cleansed and quiet so the rest came easy. It was only a matter of time before my body and mind informed ME that the coffee had to go. It was (is) the only thing left.
Reasons:
I don’t want to be dependent on anything. I do not want to be attached to anything. I do not want to need anything, except peace of mind.
I want to know and love my own mind and this is impossible if I am filling it with stimulants.
I want to know and love my own body and this is impossible if I am filling it with toxins.
I do not accept that something exterior wakes me up or makes me perform better. I can do that by myself but I must allow the self to work for me.
Right now, my entire body is screaming  and sweating for some coffee but my mind is laughing! My mind is happy with this decision. There is a clear separation of the ME that is content and the physical body that is behaving capriciously. I am understanding what it means to look at the body from a different perspective. I am not suffering, quite the contrary, I am feeling happier, cleaner….it’s the body that is suffering (a little, let’s not exaggerate here…I am not a caffeine crazed addict). The more my body wants the caffeine fix, the more I realize that I have made the right decision. No turning back now. I want to be 100% free of any kind of attachment, as simple and insignificant as it may appear.
For the past two days, I have significantly reduced my coffee intake and in moments of ‘crisis’, I have allowed myself a cup of green tea. Tomorrow, Saturday (no radio show to present), I will completely stop the coffee. I will try not to drink green tea in the morning. Perhaps just one in the afternoon if I am feeling too much withdrawal. We shall see. Or perhaps I’ll book a 5 hour private yoga class with Alejandra (Campos)!

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger J