Sreenath Sreenivasan

Thriving Mindfully

Category: unconditional giving

On gifting sincerely

 

Recently my mother got retired from service. She organised a little get together   with all her colleagues and their family. And as the tradition goes, people came with gifts wrapped in shiny wrapping papers, bouquets and some envelops with money. The get together was warm and candid. It served the social purpose .

The next morning I was hoping to see my mom relieved and light since she didn’t have to go to office anymore. Instead I found her a bit lost sitting amid all those boxes and flowers and envelops wondering what to do with them. The minimalist she is, I felt all of these lovingly gifted things weighed her down than lift her spirit.
I looked at one of the envelops and I wondered, ‘ What if instead of money, there were a handwritten note from a colleague who expressed how she has helped them in their Journey together?’ That would lift her spirit and bring a smile on her face for sure.
Physical gifts occupy space in the house and seldom stay in the mind as a memory. A simple letter with an emotional investment stays in the heart for the whole life.
It takes just as much time to reminisce the past you shared and write about it as going to a store to choose something to gift.
The former costs nothing yet reaps you dividends of sincere love from the recipient.

The next time I give someone an envelope, it will have much more emotional investment in it.
A letter.
For I want space in their heart.

What do you think ?

 

 

Buddha behind the wheels

Riding on the highways can be tricky at times. As a cyclist, I have to be extremely careful about the traffic etiquette. I need to be on the leftmost lane all the time and give way to vehicles speeding past me in the other lanes.
While it has been pleasant bicycling in Thailand, today I was made to realise how particular I have to be while changing lanes.
In the afternoon, a particular gentleman in a pick up truck drove by quite close to me within a hair’s distance while taking a free left turn.
Thankful of being left unscathed, I wondered how I could ride better.

I have been avoiding riding at night since I do not have enough lights to keep me visible from afar.
I thought maybe my bicycle should have indicator lights!
I kept pedalling on dreaming about this.

Until I saw another gentleman standing near his pickup truck near a temple on the highway. I guess he had just come out of the temple after offering alms to the monks.
It was a strange sight to spot a white-western gentleman in rural Thailand.

I slowed down a bit as I approached him.

He handed a packet to me which I presumed had food.

He quickly got in his truck and left. He honked twice to wish goodbye as he drove past.

In some time I stopped to rest. I was hungry and hoping to eat what he might have given me in the packet.
Do you know what I found in the packet?
To my surprise,
I found a set of bike lights !

It seemed like such a spooky coincidence. I met a man for ten seconds on the highway. Without even exchanging any pleasantries, he offered me something that I might be needing the most and left without a trace.

I affixed the light he gave me for the bike, still blown away by the turn of events.

This gentleman didn’t only give me lights for my bike,
He enlightened me in many ways.
He showed me the light towards being kind for the sake of kindness.
To help without even wishing to be remembered.
To represent the undeniable light that shines in us all.

He must be God.
Or at least his gesture,
Decidedly Divine.

Brim with the spirit of embracing kindness as a way of life,
I pedal on…

 

Giving and Growing

As creative beings , we all get good ideas through our existence. And they come at unexpected quarters. Often we feel they are such good ideas that we try to hoard them. We think we will apply/use this idea when the time is right. We prize the idea too much to use it casually.
As a writer I experience this quite often. I have a good metaphor and I try to save it for an opportune moment to add zing to piece of writing I deem fit.
But today, as I cycled through a rustic village in central Thailand, I got to questioning this method.
All along the way there were mango trees lining the streets for miles and miles. Since it is the season for mangoes, all tress had abundant fruit hanging off of them. The trees exhibited an exuberant spirit of sharing their very best . They did not wait for the next season to blossom. They bear fruit the moment they’re ready and did so without inhibition. Watching such unbridled creative output was a spiritual awakening of sorts.
I got wondering as I witnessed this.
No tree waits for the next season to bear fruit. It express its life force as soon as the time is right. Because deep inside it has the belief that it can never run out of creative energy. It is a law of nature, the more you create and share, the more you mature. And you are in a position to be even more creative down the years.

Hoarding ideas takes up the mindspace that could be vacated for new ideas to blossom. Looking at the mango trees today, I realized, it is only natural to express your best ideas, your highest creative energy, now.
Only if you do that, you will have bigger and better ideas the following season.
It just takes trusting the subliminal law of nature,
Of giving and growing.

A beautiful bait

I am planning to travel outside India for the first time. As a custom, we seek blessings of elders in the family before undertaking a challenging task. Considering this, I had a natural gravitation towards my grandmother. I decided to go and seek her blessing before I embark.

On visiting her, I was met with her ever inviting eyes, as if they were already expecting me. I noticed that even though my mother’s eyes were apprehensive about my decision to travel, my grandmother eyes had a reassuring energy. She was prepared to let me go without any worries whatsoever.
She sat with me for a while, just looking into my eyes, with all the love that ever exists. I communicated as much as I could with in pidgin Malayalam. Her forgiving heart understood all matters of my heart that were beyond language. I spent the night in the ancestral home brimming with nostalgia. In the morning as I was leaving, I was awarded a few kisses by her. She’s 90. I couldn’t think of anything that I could give her.
She has reached an age where she only has good energy to give. There is no expectation of anything in return.
What do you give such a person?
All that I could give is some of my time.
There is little time when we’d coexist on earth after all.

As I sit at the railway station waiting for my train, I reach into my bag to check my belongings. To my surprise, I find a little bag of snacks she packed for me.
Oh that familiar aroma, clear as day, brought forth in a flash.
It tastes like my childhood!

I fall for the bait in this tender trap of affection. How could I not go back to her at the first opportunity?
To live a childhood again, in the little time we share on this beautiful earth.