Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Subconscious Fears - Train From Goa To Delhi

Over the past few years with the exceeding amount of terrorism in the world with 9/11 and the various other attacks and bombs that have been ignited around the world, it is natural to develop a subconscious fear towards those in target, mostly the Muslim community. I had a chance to experience this fear first hand while I was traveling on a 24 hour train journey from Goa to Delhi a few days back. About 10 hours into the journey, late into the night, I woke up to the sight of the empty train cabin that I had been comfortably riding in filled to capacity with Muslim fundamentalists. Now, after hearing of the recent bombings in Delhi and the Muslim connection my thoughts instantly went into a space of fear. For the next few hours, as they went through their prostration's, prayers and offerings my mind found itself in a humorous space. For the prayer, the thoughts went straight to the assumption that they were doing their final prayer before the bomb would blast us off the train. Then, I remember at one point, I saw one of the younger boys run for the sink and immediately I began to think that this was the final moment of my life. Smiling at the obscene nature of the thoughts, but still deeply rooted in the fear, i decided to break the boundary and go have a conversation with them. I must say the air was a little thicker then normal and I really do not believe that it was due to my unconscious fear. I truly believe that Islam has become a religion in the world that has been so saturated, publicly, by violence and suppression that one can naturally feel a sense of heaviness surrounding the people associated with the belief system.

Sitting with them for a length of time was truly a gift of love. I was embraced by their intensity and devotion and although I was not swayed by their constant cunning and preaching of Islam, I found myself to see the love behind each and every word that came out of their mouth. They kept repeating the mantra, "God is Great" and I truly agreed. I just send infinite blessings that they will see and accept the other channels of faith and devotion in the world, then, their will be no need for violence and suppression. I am wholeheartedly grateful to experience this natural phenomenon of the conditioning of the human mind first hand. In truth, all beings just want to experience GOD!! Our labels and judgments add nothing to the light of the world. The best thing we can do is walk into that fear and judgment with an open heart and embrace all those, no matter what association/caste/religion they belong to. This is the only way we will bridge the gaps of unconscious human separation. LOVE!!!!!


Why does union only occur when two people depart? HMMMMMM. Think about it!!!!

Deepa Mehta - Revolutionizing India Through Film

India is on the rise of a sexual revolution and it is beginning to show it's face in the films and music that paint the country. Many of the offerings is crude and adolescent imagery that placates the youth and arises there desires, thus catapulting them into the same mentality that has destroyed much of the Western Youth, but intertwined in the nonsense is always an artist whose art speaks so loudly, the masses shutter the grasp the possibilities of the realism. Deepa Mehta is that artist. Last week, I was able to enjoy two of her beloved offerings. Fire, dealing with the rise and intensity of human desire and Water, dealing with the struggle for freedom in the most far-fetch of circumstances. I have been told that both movies have been banned by the Indian Film Societies and are refused in movie theaters, thus perpetuating the problem that is so evident in Indian Culture, the constant suppressing of sexual desire. When is the world going to open its eyes wide and realize that the resistance and suppression of our ability and tendency to create life is the one thing that is making sex the main focus in all of our lives. People do not understand sex and the energy of sex and the realization of that it is possible to go beyond sex in our lives. The only way for this to happen is through the experience of and acceptance of the actual act itself. i am reading a profound book by Spiritual Master, OSHO, called "From Sex to Super-consciousness." I believe in the transcendence of the sexual act to the ultimate state of pure bliss, in all we do. He says many profound things in the talk, but one that I find most deep seated is that the reason we strive so much for sex is that it is the only way in which we experience EGOLESSNESS and TIMELESSNESS, something everyone on earth is searching for. The blessing is that there are other ways including self-awareness, meditation and connection with nature that can give us this same bliss, but we circle around our lives like wild animals, trying to pro-create with anyone (thing) that we can!!! Anyways, back to the films, just see them if you can, especially is you are Indian and you have a hang-up on the ideas and restrictions of your own culture and heritage. Last, take it light-heartedly, the movies can be quite emotionally stirring. Allow yourself to feel the changing universe, Deepa Mehta is only a gateway of change for a deeply ingrained thought pattern. Love and lightness!!!!

The Finest Apartment In Goa - For the Price!

If you want to come to Goa, get away from the hustle and bustle and live in your own space for some time, you must come to Jorina Mansion in Benaulim. It is only a few KM from the Madgoan Railway Station but light-years away from the chaos of Goa. The host John Rodrigues is more then accommodating. The apartment consists of two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living area, fully furnished! In the off-season, the rate is 400RS a night and in season, October to February, the rate is 800RS, still a hard bargain for what you get. There is an local market within a KM that you can purchase all of your cooking needs. Local fruit and vegetable vendors are plentiful and scattered throughout the town. There is only one necessity and that is...You must rent a SCOOTER!!! There is no way to get around or even see Goa without one. Walking is lovely, but having a scooter makes life, and your pocketbook much lighter and easier.

During my stay, I spent most of the time blissed out that I could prepare a loving meal in the confines of my own space. The kitchen is enormous and equipped with all the essentials.

There is only one downfall (which might be a blessing for some). John runs a wine shop downstairs from the space. If you wish to be away from the noise, then take the back house, which is a little smaller, but just a sweet. He closes the shop by 9PM which is a blessing, but on weekends it can attract an interesting crowd for a very short period of time. Don't let it discourage, it was quite entertaining to be honest.

Jorina Mansion
H. NO: 1701, Vasvaddo, Vigrabhatt
Benaulim, Salcete - Goa. 403 716

Call John in advance: 9890491595, hm. 0832 2771284


Ganapati Festival - Mumbai

What a blessed opportunity I had to be a part of the celebrations of Ganesh, the Hindu god of Protection. After going through a deep state of resistance toward Aditya, the young man whom invited me to his place a few times before I agreed, I ended up embarking on an incredible journey into the heart of devotion. It happens so many times in our lives that we have something amazing right in front of us that every part of our being in is in a state of resistance toward. I feel those emotions come simply because it allows our experience of what's to come that much sweeter. I knew deep down in my heart that I would be immersing myself in something special, as it always is in this country, but I had no idea I would be carrying the Idol, performing a pooja, leading and Satsang and again carrying the Idol to the sea for immersion. How many people can really say they experienced this holiday to the core of it. What an amazing gift from god.

So the festival begins with the pre-purchasing of an Ganesh Idol and pickup of the idol for transit to the house. Many people do an elaborate transfer and play the drums and sing loudly during the transit, but we took a milder version in the car and saved our screaming and hollering for the final day. As I carried the clay version of Ganesh back to the house, I was met with a stream of thoughts ranging from "Why the hell am I doing this" to "This is the most magical thing I have ever done". The devotion and love that goes into these replicas is astounding to say the least, my heart was wide open and my mind was shut off. Our night ending with a placing of the idol in the center of the room in which it would be waiting for the final decoration of it's 1 and a half day resting place on an large alter located at the entry way of the door. At around 3 AM in the evening, the decoration crew LOUDLY arrived at the house in a frantic scurry to prepare the space for the morning pooja. When we woke, only a few short minutes after the decorations embassy left the space, the family was met with some shocking news. Now, in India, when someone dies, the family must go into mourning for 10 days, performing no religious rights and such. So, being that this was the first day of the 11 day Ganapati celebrations, you could imagine the shock to the family when the Brahman, who came to the residence for Pooja, told them that they must not perform Pooja or celebrate any of the festivities for the holiday. And, with this comes along the horrific news of covering up the Ganesh for the the 10 days that it will remain in the house. No one who enters the house will be able to see the Ganesh. Now, Aditya and his family believe in tradition, but, the fear that this brahman instilled with speaking such things as, "Bad things will happen to you if you carry on," sparked a little bit of hesitancy to believe in such a tale. Immediately, Aditya's mother got on the phone and called 3 other Brahmans and received the comforting news that they could carry on, under special circumstances. Pooja and ceremonies would remain in the house, but nobody from the family could perform Pooja, touch the Idol, or lead in the chanting. This is where I would come in.....

My first line of duty was to perform the Pooja. I felt confident and up to the task but was pulled at the last minute when they brought in a family friend to perform the ritual. I was able to take part in the offerings and be a poojari for the ceremony. The whole experience of it drew me to stillness in which I carried through most of the day, speaking only when necessary. That evening I led the family and a large group of friends and loved ones through Satsang, singing Ganesh and Shiva mantras. The next day I was invited back in the evening time to do the immersion of the idol on the shores of Chowpatty beach. I sat in the back of the truck while all the young boys and girls chanted Ganesh mantras and sang and danced the night away. The ritual is to place the Idol, that has been the center of prayer and worship the previous days, in the back of a truck, sing and dance your ass off as you slowly escort the Idol back to the sea, where you perform the final pooja and immerse the figure into the sea. It is a little bit of an emotional experience, especially for the Idol. Honestly, the face of the Ganesh changed when we were carrying it out to the sea. I could see a tinge of sadness and loss in the clay figures face. Astonishing, really. A few passerby's made comments that the whole scene was like Jesus carrying the Ganesh. I laughed in the humor and love in the situation.

There really is nothing like an Indian Ceremony and the faith and energy that is restored in the act of it. If you have not had a chance to partake in such an venture then please, get yourself to India, there is always a festival of some sort going on. immerse yourself, without the blockages of the mind in whatever comes your way and you will see the pure love and harmony that resides in these ancient rituals and traditions. How Could I Be So Blessed, even after the Resistance? I thank GOD for the opportunity to become one with this remarkable festival.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Finishing Shantaram

As I finally turned the last pages of this epic offering of modern literature, I cannot help but recommend the gift to all walks of life. It would be easy to write the book off as a fantastically violent, over-dramatized collection of thoughts. But, I must say, linking into the pure, unfiltered energy of this offering, that all stories, as far-fetched as they seem, all took place in this man's world. David Gregory Robert's ability to create imagery with his words lock the reader into a state of complete submersion. With each passing sentence, I witnessed myself sinking further into this man's world. Deeply in love, repaying the karma of his past, Shantaram experiences the depths of the Actual Dark and So-Called Dark worlds. His profound awareness in each breath point me to cower in the sharing of my visits in the sphere of the globe. It is evident that this man was placed on this earth to tell his story, a story that has made shaped my mind as I walk the streets of South Mumbai. I now see the slum regions as the most intriguing places on the planet, knowing from my experience and his, that there is more love and interconnectedness in the very few torn down acres of poverty then exists in all the material wealth in the planet.

This book drove me to tears, to sexual desire, to deeply heart felt compassion, to hatred, to empathy, apathy, terror, fear, longing, and most of all to LOVE, of everything in this planet. At this point in my life I do not foresee such a deep seated karmic battle in my journey for freedom, but I can relate to the struggles and unbelievable happenings of this life. May it be a past life that I was in a similar situation or may it be that this man's actual experiences are the experiences that we, as a collective consciousness, experience in some way, shape or form, everyday of our lives. I believe this is a book that can shape a generation, if seen through the eyes of consciousness and not as another violent channel of human torture. I must say I am grateful to have such a gift of human struggle open the eyes of our nation, world and universe. God Bless Shantaram!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Goa During Monsoon - The Ideal Time

Imagine the most heavily tourist place in India looking like this!!! Well, it happens this time of year. All of the tourism packs up and heads for home and all of the nature comes out to play. There is no description that would justify the color of green that omits from the leaves, plant and trees that line this profound coastline. I must say that I find this the best time to be in Goa!! The perectly paved roads are empty which makes for ideal scooting around the island without fearing for your life. You can get yourself a 2 bedroom guest house for about 400 RS which will leave you a block from the beach and give you enough space to cuddle up during those night time rains. Who doesn't love the rain!!!!

I just finished a weeks stay and cannot even begin to express the bliss of being able to capture the awe-inspiring scenery, the stillness of tourism and the complete indulgence in natures gift. Come to Goa during monsoon, it will change your life!!!! It has mine!!! hehheehe. LOVE!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji - September 11th, 2008

Yes, I have just made the best Pav Bhaji that I have ever had. So, you Mumbaites who long for the indulgence of the buttery feast, well, you haven't had nothin until you come over for some Pook Bhaji. I will share my recipe because it is no secret, the love and devotion to the flavors is the real punch. Here you go, give it a try:

Pook Bhaj

Follow the recipe on the back of an MTR Pav Bhaji packet!!!

Then, get creative, colorful and savory.

Make sure that you do around 50 extra Surya Namaskars after indulging in the feast.

All My Love and Blessings,



Criticism - September 11th, 2008

Oh the dagger of criticism to a hungry ego. You will know if you have truly risen beyond the I the next time the you receive criticism for something that you have done or accomplished. Watch the patterns of mind move into a space of covering up and self-preservation. Observe yourself wanting to prove the strength of your offering by telling them to listen like this, see like that, or taste with this. It is so easy to attach onto our creations when we believe that WE are actually the one whom is creating them.

Being there is no absolute truth in any situation, I will give you the relative truth of what keeps the smile on my face day by day, even in the heat of deep criticism. I am a devise! Simply, I am a instrument for the Divine and that great force, GOD, sends the messages through me for those of whom are supposed to hear them. Some people think the music that comes through my being is ****, others have been touched deeply by it. Maybe it is lacking in something, maybe it is perfect the way it is, as all things are. For a little perspective, there are 6 and a half Billion people on the planet and they all have an opinion, and, one day, that opinion will change! So, how seriously will you take there criticism. Put the trust in the Divine, God, however you believe it. heheheheh. Love!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy Teachers Day!!

Oh beloved saints of the earth!!! Thank you for taking up your dharma and living in line with the path that was meant for you. In reality, we are all teachers of some sort to someone at some time. Every situation we are graced with in the presence of a human being is a chance to learn and grow, thus making each and every one of us a teacher and a student at different times in our lives. I would like to thank each and every person that has crossed my path this year and send them love and lightness!!!

Keep on living your life, you are a teacher for someone, even if you do not have the title!!

On a personal note: This young boy/teacher above is living on the railroad tracks in South Mumbai. He has had quite a life in his few short years, watching his mohter die in front of him and constantly being expossed to the realities and hardships of street life. With this, His affectionate and penetrating presence and smile taught me more then any words could express. His dynamic nature, persistant love and affection and unwavering joy deeply ingrained the lesson of CHOICE. Happiness is a choice in our minds and, even in the worst of situations, we can make that choice. Love!!!!