Saturday, December 29, 2007

Seeking Completion

Just close your eyes for a moment and think,"What do you want most in life?". Different people seek out for different things. Some people wish to have a great career, some want loads of money and lots of fame, some want an understanding life partner, some want to find out the purpose of life etc etc... The list goes on.

But why is man involved in so many quests at the same time? Why does he need all of this in life? Lets take a look at what we need in life and why.
Some men feel that there is no joy in life till you have all the luxury of the world at your feet or till you are known by one and all. They feel incomplete till they do not experience/achieve all the materialistic things in life. Don't we frequently come across the line,"You should experience everything in life, atleast once"?

This is one of the prime needs for most individuals as it comes in the physical category. Sex involves the desire for satisfaction of a strong physical urge. If the urge for sex is continuously suppressed, the desire becomes very strongly prominent and one starts feeling more and more incomplete without gratification of the desire.

Partner/Soul mate/Friends:
Man seeks company of someone who would understand him and care for him. He wants a partner or a soul mate for sharing his deep emotional self, his feelings hitherto known to no one. Man without a partner feels emotionally incomplete and thus seeks emotional completion in form of a soul mate or like-minded friends.

This category of men are involved in seeking the truth... Trying to find out the purpose of life. Trying to answer the deeper philosophical questions. The world, to them, seems so incomplete without the knowledge of the truth. Questioning all the commonly known beliefs, they involve themselves in unraveling the bigger mysteries of life. The more they know, the more they want to know. Without complete knowledge, they feel incomplete.

Whether seeking one of the above or something else in life, what are we all actually seeking? Why do we want to satisfy the burning passion within us? If you look at any passion that you have in life and ask, "What will I get if I get this?", the answer would be a sense of fulfillment. We seek fulfilment because we feel incomplete. In these various forms, man is seeking completion for his various needs - physical, emotional, social or intellectual. The underlying basis of anything that you want in life is the need for completion. All of us want to be complete!

And for a man who knows that completion is what he is actually seeking, the next question would be "How do I become complete?". There is the famous story of the musk deer who tries to find out the source of a beautiful smell which is present all around it. It goes round and round in circles but cannot find what it is seeking. What it is truly seeking - the source of that smell- is the musk lying within the deer itself.

We seek out various external means for completion. We try to find completion by seeking something that lies outside us. But the truth is that all that we really need in life, all the completion, lies right within us. Looking out for this completion in any of the above forms or through any other external means brings only temporary satisfaction and nothing else.
The only means to be complete is to look within. And you will find the path unfolding on its own in front of your own eyes. Imagine a 3-D person being held up in a 3-D prison with no way to escape. What will happen if the person is given a fourth dimension? Can a 2-D plane of paper hold a 3-D object? Surely no. So, when you get this fourth dimension, you become free from the daily attempt in life to seek completion in various forms. And the fourth dimension and many more lie right within you.
Delve deep into your consciousness. Meditate. Look within. To know you are already complete!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Power of Breath

You stop when your breath stops. The only thing that keeps you moving, that keeps you alive is your breath. Even after your breath stops, your body will continue to exist. Then what role does the breath play? It plays the role of associating your mind, thoughts and feelings, that is to say, it plays the role of associating your complete life with your body.

Let us look at an example of how the breath associates thoughts and feelings with the body. Observe your breath when you get angry. Your breath would be heavier than usual. Or when you have run a great distance. You start taking quick short gasps of breath. Or when you are at total peace with your ownself doing what you enjoy doing. Just observe how the breath fluctuates.

Basically, the breath changes as per the thought, emotion, feel or even the state of exhaustion of your body. The breath is the reflection of your current state of mind and body, it is your present.

But this gives rise to a new question: Just as the emotion affects the breath, can the breath affect the emotion? Can I change my style of breathing and thus, change my current state of mind? Yes, I can! Just to think of it, we do this so many times in our regular life. Before an exam or an interview when one is too nervous, one starts taking deep breaths to calm himself down. Changing the breath pattern from short gasps to deep breaths changes your state of mind!

So, isn't knowing your breath the best way to control your mind? Indeed, it is! If we look at the Indian yogis, all their exercises lay a deep focus on breath. Yoga, which is said to be the union of mind, body and soul, lays immense stress on breathing correctly while performing the physical exercises.

The very core essence of meditation is breath. So, get in control of your mind, your thoughts, your feelings - your very existence through your breath. Use your breath as the tool to change your life for ever. Go meditate!

[The author strongly recommends the Art of Living course for anyone who wishes to learn meditation and get control of his/her own life through his/her breath
Breathing is the first act of our life. Within the breath is the secret of life. "
-Sri Sri]