July 12, 2014

Buddha's Middle path

There is a very significant event in Buddha's life, while he was searching for Truth. It is- when he gave up the company of five ascetics. This is considered an important turning point in his life. My “limited” understanding of this event is: Till then, he was looking for something outside of himself. Till then, he was assuming that the general principle of “barter” operates in spiritual search as well: X years of asceticism (“Tapasya”) will earn him Y amount of Realization (or Divine grace or spiritual insight); that one could barter with God or Truth, the same way, we exchange goods in a shop: hundred rupees for five kilo flour etc.

Once free of such assumptions, his mind turned within (“insight”), he saw the passing nature of thoughts (plus, every other associated phenomena), realized that ego does not exits as an entity (“anatta”) and became Buddha (the enlightened one). Yes, he returned to the five ascetics later on and tried to share what he had learned. Of course, the ascetics had thought, that Buddha had lost the path, given up sadhana, and had no moral right to preach to them!

Sometime I see a lot of parallels on the stammering scene too:
1. Practice hard for one year and you will be cured. Fact: There is no cure for the biological component of stammering. Let us say, we have a unique brain, compared to non-stammerers. It cant be changed. But yes, “stammering mindset”, which is a bigger problem, can definitely be changed. But can anyone give guarantee that it will happen in one year exactly?
2. Pws who practice some technique, think that those who dont, are “lost souls”. They think that you can buy “fluency” by “techniques”. They think it is something outside of them and can be achieved by this technique or that program or that therapist. Higher the cost, greater the efficacy; harder the work, surer the success - that is the unsaid assumption. Do I need to say, that TISA is full of people who have seen through that false logic and popular hype?

Middle path: Sometime back, I saw a few lines from Harish. He said – he is not practicing any technique. If acceptance could be called a technique- he is practising only that, may be, I think. He is no more interfering with words as they are coming out. Neither ashamed if he stumbles on a word, nor “proud” to have spoken without stammering for X minutes, in presence of Y people and in Z situation.

But let us say, he did not arrive at such a happy juncture over night. He must have done something to arrive at these conclusions. One thing, which he did for a long time, was: expressively writing out his thoughts, emotions and experiences- in and out of Samwad. He gave a presentation in the first NC: Write to Health (sounded like a bill in Parliament:Right to Health!). Expressive writing has been a mainstay of healing in many other conditions too (google and see). But was he doing all this writing, editing, reading to become fluent? Or was he doing all this to release what has been pent up inside for too long? To reach out to others who were in a similar situation? And there are many more such examples in and outside TISA..

So, whatever you practice, if your motivation is “100% cure” or “fluency at any cost”, you are setting yourself up for disappointment unfortunately... You are missing out the real point of opening the mouth in the first place: The real point is to communicate- not to prove that you are fluent* (see below). You can communicate, really well, only when you are at PEACE with yourself. Here comes the role of Acceptance. Many people just read this much and run- and sometime, purposely misrepresent. TISA is asking you to accept AND work on your communication skills. Practice techniques for that- in an intelligent mindful way. Not just sit back (and cry). This is the middle path. Dont go to extremes, dont waste money and time, please. Just follow the middle path. To learn more about it, join the nearest SHG or come to NC..
Aata kya Khandala? Khaynege, piyenge, haklayenge - aur kya?

*Rameshbabu from Hyderabad has told me (link): he attended a “Communication camp” organized by RKM and it benefited him tremendously. There were no therapist or therapies in that camp- just communication skills and communication challenges. This only goes to prove what TISA has been promoting for quite sometime. He has promised to write more about it..

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