Friday, November 30, 2007

Brand new or same old?

I was recently catching up with a good friend of mine in the US, after a long time. She was telling me - life is the same old, the same old PhD, the same old exams, nothing majorly exciting as such, to share. I am sure we have all heard this many times and surely many of us have said similar things before. Why is everything 'the same old' to us?

Remember the times you did something for the first time, the excitement within - be it your first time in an aircraft, your first outing with your spouse, the first day at office. After a few days, the same office or person becomes 'the same old'. Why? It is not really the aircraft or the office or the person causing the excitement, but the freshness of the experience.

The same excitement and energy flows in an artist, every time he paints or in a poet every time he composes a poem. During these moments, he/she is giving birth to something new and the creativity expresses. What stops us from feeling this all the time? The answer is simple.

After a while, we start taking things for granted.

Swamiji gives an example of how if we go to a beach, our heart longs to buy one of those beach side chalets. Once we own it and visit it a few times we start to think - 'the same old beach', 'the same old house'. Our mind has taken it for granted.

So how do we make sure this same creativity and energy bubbles through us all the time?

In this post, instead of stopping with an analysis of ourselves, let me share with you a practical technique from the Shiva Sutra that Swami Nithyananda gives in one of his discourses. It's a simple and beautiful technique.

For the next few days, just become a baby, an innocent child which is just put into this world and see everything for the first time, with freshness.

When we see anything only our eyes see it, but when a child sees it, its whole being sees it from deep within. Am sure you agree. If you watch a little child closely, you will observe a sparkle in its eyes, a smile of awe and deep joy.

Just try this for the next one week. When you see anything, be it a plant, a flower, your food, your books, whatever... Just treat it with freshness, curiosity and loving awe, as though it is the first time you are seeing it.

As Swamiji says, this will open up a new dimension within. When we take things for granted, we become dead and dull. When we open ourselves for the freshness and creativity to flow through, we become alive!


Phalgun said...

Well, I guess you should also write about _how_ one can become a baby. It takes a lot of effort for some people I know to give up their idea about themselves and 'act like a baby'. And yes, I get wierd looks when I try this. And I sometimes give wierd looks also when some1 else around me 'acts like a baby'!

Ma Nithyananda Arpana said...

Nithyanandam Phalgun!

Haa, a nice point. What you wrote about weird looks applies when someone is 'childish'. When I said become like a baby, it refers to the child-like attitude and not the childish attitude.

The qualities of innocence, softness, freshness and enthusiasm displayed by a child somehow wear off over time and we start to behave with social ego and what not.

If you cry to get attention, yes it is childish. But if you immerse yourself like a child in whatever you do and enjoy its freshness, then who will give you looks? And why care about looks that others give anyway?