Thriving Mindfully

Tag: Learning from nature

A Song for Silence

I see a solitary ant, carrying a sugar cube huge,
Marching on to its colony, its homely refuge,
Oh this tiny being, what a wonder !
Never does it let out even a whimper.

I see a little sapling with leaves but two,
Fighting its way up, to a world bright and new,
Oh this son of a seed, brave with no fear,
Never do a rustle from the hustle do I hear.

The wind and the waves, riding on time,
Travellers forever with no reason or rhyme,
Oh these vagabonds, to every man’s intrigue,
Never do they speak of a weariness or fatigue.

Spinning and revolving around the sun,
Maybe ever since time had begun,
Mother of seasons, with a tilt, so busy,
The earth doesn’t ever speak of being sunburnt or dizzy.

Never is the sun too hot, or the moon too blue,
Hidden somewhere, there’s a subtle clue.

Look at life and work from another lens,
Let the music to your work be but silence.

Why shout, in stillness should you rejoice,
For in that silence will your work, find its own true voice.

Don’t let work be loud, let it be loved instead,
Toil in silence and have the heart to leave things unsaid.

To foster grace, let that be your purpose sole,
And work shall find harmony with the song of every soul.



The wisdom of a Tree

I was riding my bicycle merrily in a lush park in Bangkok. In an upbeat mood, I started to hum my favourite songs while breezing through a tunnel of trees.
I looked around at the trees and wondered,
‘ I wish the trees could also move,
I wish they could sing and dance when happy !’

I stopped under a mighty Peepal Tree and rested myself against its bark.

‘Why do you seem so low all of a sudden my friend?’ asked the tree, swaying to the wind.

‘Oh Mr. Tree, I wish you could also sing and dance. Travel freely and enjoy looking at the world beyond your vistas.
While I am grateful I can sing, and dance and travel around, I feel bad that you cannot.’

‘My friend, Thanks for your concern.
You are right. I cannot sing, or dance or travel freely around the world.
But I choose to not feel sad about it.
Instead, I grow with complete devotion and faith in my ability, in the universe.
You know what happens when you do that?’

‘What?’ I inquired.

‘ By growing with all my creative energy, a voiceless tree like me becomes an arena from where the birds choose to sing with all their heart every morning.
Yes, I do not have a song to sing,
But I foster so many mellifluous singers in my canopy!

I cannot travel. But when a traveller spots me from afar, he is brim with hope. He gets shade and shelter in my shadow.
Yes, I cannot travel,
But I foster faith in travellers to keep travelling, assuring that trees will provide a resting space once they’re tired.

I do no let my limitations bog me down.
I stay true to my own nature, grow with all my heart, and I foster people to do things that I myself am not able to.’

With the blowing wind, the birds sang, assenting to the wisdom the tree shared.
Resting in the tree’s cool shade,
I made a little choice in my heart,

To choose to sing when I can.
And if I cannot,
I should become the arena that fosters singing.
The stage that enables others to thrive.

Swaying gently,
The tree flirts with the wind.

No wonder, Buddha got enlightenment while meditating under a Peepal tree !

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Groggy eyed, I woke up early in the morning. I crawled out of the tent slowly into the domain of dawn.
Yawning and moaning I looked around to orient myself better.

I thought to myself,
‘Hmmm, I wonder what day is it today?’

I thought maybe I should ask the dutiful bird singing the night away.

‘Hey little birdie. How do you do?’

‘Hey mister human. I couldn’t be any better! A beautiful day isn’t it?’

‘Yes indeed my friend.
I wanted to ask, what day is it ?’

‘What do you mean , I don’t understand’ the bird replied.

‘Is it Monday or Wednesday or perhaps Sunday?’

‘ Ah, I don’t know about all of this.
All I know is that it is Today !
The best day of all.
It repeats everyday.
Once the sun rises, it will be today again.
And I love to live every ‘today’.’

‘Yes indeed !’ I wondered.
What a perfect answer.

The birdie flew to another branch celebrating ‘today’. The whole clan of birds roused the world to a lively beginning to the gift of a new day.

And finally, I awoke,
Not to a day of the week
But to

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.

The bird of your choice

The morning was made mellifluous by the enchanting birdsong. We have more and more birds in the forest these days and the airwaves are brim with their curious chatter.
Since it was morning I couldn’t help but think about the rooster. We always think of a chicken waking us up with its cock-a-doodle-doo singing. But we don’t like this bird so much. It mostly ends up on our plates after all ! Also it has a bad metaphoric reputation. When someone is being cowardly, we called them to be ‘Chickening out’.

Then there is another bird. One that most of us would never see with our own eyes. The penguin. We associate them with a friendly and sociable demeanor. They’re seen as cool headed, relaxed and calm creatures.
I recollected an interesting metaphor about penguins.
When the water is cold and there is fear of predators lurking in the ocean, there’s always that first penguin who dives in the water braving all these fears. Once he jumps, everyone else follows.
Being the first penguin,
taking initiative ,
a leap of faith in the face of uncertainty.

In life we face challenges all the time. And it is then that we choose what we want to do. Do we ‘chicken out?’
Or do we become ‘the first penguin?’

It is our choice,
To choose the right bird.