Recent Poems

The Cosmos

When I say nothing to myself,

I hear the cosmos.

 

When I hold no images in my mind,

I see the cosmos.

 

When I hold nothing in my hands,

I touch the cosmos.

 

When I recall or project nothing,

The cosmos presents itself.

 

 

When I want nothing,

I have everything.

 

When I do nothing,

Everything happens by itself.

 

When I don’t feel that I am someone,

I am the cosmos.

 

Vinod D Deshmukh

October 22, 2017

 

The Dissipative Reality

The sound of breath dissipates into

The silent reality.

 

The movement of breathing dissipates into

The stillness of reality.

 

All lighted forms and recalled images dissipate into

The simple plein air reality.

 

All negative feelings dissipate into

The spontaneous joy of bare existing.

 

The scared and defensive ego dissipates into

A stable and unshakable being.

 

All mental activities dissipate into

The limitless foundational awareness.

 

All perceptible and describable experiences dissipate into

The ineffable and timeless reality.

 

What is left after all this great dissipation?

The ever-enchanting reality!

 

Vinod D Deshmukh

October 24, 2017

 

In The Present Reality…

In the present reality,

Both transient and sustained events

Occur simultaneously.

 

In the brain, the transient is called the phasic activity,

And the sustained is called the tonic activity.

Both phasic and tonic activities Occur simultaneously

In different types of neurons and neural networks.

 

What we experience depends on

The time-space frame of reference,

That we choose to attend and observe.

It also depends on our perspective, bias and expectations.

It is like looking at the famous ambiguous figure

Of the old and the young woman.

 

It is also like looking at

The foreground or the background of a painting;

The wave or water of the ocean simultaneously.

 

Whether we experience –

A part or the whole of the present reality –

Depends on our momentary focus and the mode of being.

 

In order to understand the whole of reality,

We have to be in the holistic mode of being;

We have to become the undivided whole.

 

In fact, we are always whole,

But, we don’t realize it, because we get distracted

By the dominating events of the current moment,

Our ongoing internal talk and the recalled memories.

 

To understand the present reality,

We need to realize and appreciate

Its gestalt or the wholeness of now;

The wholeness of Life itself!

Vinod D Deshmukh

October 26, 2017

 

The River of Experience…

 

The river of transient experience;

Of incessant change;

Of names and forms;

Of words, thoughts, images and emotions.

 

Step back a little, and just watch

These “white-waters” of ever-changing situations;

All these Changing scenes and events that we often experience daily.

 

Pause for a moment, mentally;

Watch what’s happening now;

Make peace with it, and then, let it go. Let it be.

Hold onto no passing waves of experience.

These waves of experience use up our attentional energy; they endure for a while,

And then, dissipate by themselves onto the “beach” of our awareness.

 

What remains, is the fathomless and changeless “ocean”

Of an ever-new awareness, generated by the fully refreshed brain-mind.

It is always energetic, unmoving, speechless, fearless, insightful, and blissful.

It is the “sacred ground” of all human experience and existence.

Just stand on that ground of ever-fresh arousal-awareness-being and be fully present.

 

Let this river of experience –

This “me, mine and my world of experience” flow, as it may, naturally.

Just witness this ever-intriguing “play” of the conscious-subconscious mind.

Let it renew itself, often; and so it will!

Vinod D Deshmukh

November 1, 2017

What does it feel like?

 Veiled face 2

To be a form in the Space?

To be a moment in Time?

To be a silence in the Silence?

To be an activity in the Energy?

To be an awareness in the Awareness?

To be one-whole in the Whole?

To be a field in the Field?

To be a seed in a Fruit?

To be a living being in Nature?

Veiled face 1

To be a self in the Self?

To be a being in the Being?

To be a presence in the Presence?

To be absent and not even be?

What does it feel like?

Now?

Veiled face 3

Vinod D Deshmukh

January 19, 2017

Nature

Nature is

The unfathomable source and sink of

Human experience and existence.

Our body, mind and ego are

The secondarily perceived events.

Nature is

The sphere of holistic presence.

It is the hub and spokes of

Preconscious awareness and

Our conscious life.

sphere-of-presence-010817

The hub is the holistic

Energy, awareness and being.

The spokes are the potentially

Directed attention that result in

A personal and dualistic

Conscious experience.

Nature is

The common ground,

The timeless spring,

The shared ocean and the spacious sky,

Which embeds all existence including us.

Nature is

Energetic, ever-new and creative,

Sentient and responsive, as well as

Supportive and benevolent to all Life,

From an amoeba to a human.

We are in Nature and

Nature is within us.

Thus, our true nature is

Nature itself!

Vinod D Deshmukh

January 11, 2017

Dawn of the New

The dawn declares the rising Sun,

And the beginning of a new day,

With fresh conscious energy and awareness.

We are fortunate to experience

This wonder every morning.

The Sun-within us is in synchrony

With the solar system and the cosmos.

We may or may not realize it,

But, our body, mind and the conscious being

Are continuously renewed and refreshed

By the circadian cosmic energy and information,

Like a timeless spring that flows incessantly,

And creates our phenomenal experience.

During morning meditation,

I use a few hand gestures* also known as Mudra,

Which help me to be fully alert, present and calm.

It is to realize the spontaneous,

Stillness, silence and serenity within.

The hand gestures change,

But the pair of hands remains the same.

It is like our face;

Our facial expressions may change,

But the face remains the same.

The timeless flow of energy

Makes everything possible in the universe;

Like the immeasurable movements

Of countless galaxies, stars and planets;

Like the growth from seeds of

A variety of beautiful plants and trees,

And the incredible growth and development of

All organisms, animals and us, human beings.

I don’t know,

If this timeless flow started with the big-bang,

Or it has always been existent and creative.

Except for a rare feeling of

The wholeness of existence,

Who knows? And who will ever know?

In the meantime,

Let us celebrate the dawn of

This New Year, 2017.

Happy New Year to all!

20161228_165716-1 20161228_165759 20161228_165823 20161228_165834-1 mudra-1 mudra-2 mudra-3 mudra-4 mudra-5 mudra-6

Vinod and Sunanda Deshmukh

January 1, 2017

The Spectrum of Mind

 

Mind seems to have evolved

From the twinkling of sentience in a bacterium,

To the fully developed human self-consciousness.

However, its evolution is still continuing!

Sentience is a primal feeling, a quale or a sensation,

As distinguished from a perception, a thought or an action.

All living organisms are sentient.

It is the basic responsiveness of all Life.

Awareness is not only sensing and feeling,

But also knowing one’s own existence.

It is a primordial feeling of being.

Scanning is when an organism

Becomes aware of its surroundings,

Frame-by-frame and moment-to-moment.

It is, in essence, noticing a stimulus-pattern

Without interacting with it.

Attention is a vector of awareness,

A magic arrow that instantly creates the duality

Of the attendee and the attended,

A space-time-event.

minds-communicating

Consciousness includes sentience, awareness,

Scanning, attending, evaluating and interacting with

Whatever is judged to be of value.

It may be a pleasant or painful experience,

A Good or bad news, or a love and hate relationship.

Consciousness is always about something –

Some content, some experienced object or event.

Thus, there is a sequential processing of subject-object duality,

With perception, feeling, memory, thought and planning,

Followed by a variety of reactive or proactive behaviors.

Conscious activity is further enhanced by

The evolution of linguistic and symbolic communication.

Thus, humans have become incessant communicators,

Talkers, writers, thinkers, inventers, creators,

And artists of the past, present and future.

But, deep in our hearts,

We long to return to that Tree of Life,

To integrate ourselves with our ancient roots,

And to realize that we are essential participants of

A living holistic Existence.

It is like a mature fruit realizing within its seed,

The presence of the whole original Tree.

Vinod D Deshmukh

December 28, 2016

Joyous Feeling

During meditation,

I realized spontaneous,

Relaxed-alert awareness,

When the body was relaxed,

And the mind was fully alert and

Present to the whole reality.

It was a joyous feeling.

When I went to swim at the gym,

I had a similar feeling.

The body was swimming at-ease, effortlessly,

And the mind was without any conflict or fear.

I was internally still, silent and serene.

I was aware of myself and the surroundings.

It was a joyous feeling.

On way back from the gym,

One of our friendly neighbors, on our street,

Had arranged an elaborate scene

Of several reindeers eating their food and

Santa bringing gifts for all children.

We stopped and talked to our neighbors

And took pictures and a video of

The 12 year old Joseph,

And his 8 year old dog, Bella.

That was a joyous feeling.

joseph-and-bella-122416

Today, most of the world is celebrating

The birth of Jesus and his message to humanity

Of joy, peace and love for all,

And the endurance of the positive

Over the negative feelings.

Love for all Life and Nature!

Merry Christmas!

Vinod D Deshmukh

December 25, 2016

Life Pulsates

symphony-painting

This afternoon,

I was swimming in

An indoor, heated pool,

At the gym.

At times,

I was alone in the large pool.

It was relatively quiet.

I was swimming with back-stroke,

Going back and forth.

I was mindful of

My synchronized breathing,

And the limb movements.

I was intentionally swimming slowly,

So that, I could be aware of

My stillness, silence and spacious awareness

Between each stroke and the breath.

The silence and peace were spontaneous.

Gradually, the swimming became

So natural and effortless,

That I blissfully forgot myself.

Then, I realized,

That the whole Life also pulsates

At different frequencies,

Both within and surrounding

All living organisms, including us.

Human body pulsates

With each heart beat and

The spontaneous respiratory rhythm.

With each cardio-respiratory impulse,

The whole body’s electrochemistry changes,

And the human organism gets rejuvenated.

Even the purpose of our sleep-wake cycle

Is to refresh and rejuvenate us and

To give us a fresh start each morning.

What a natural gift it is

That we receive daily, unfailingly,

Throughout our lifetime.

As a matter of fact,

All life on this planet earth

Pulsates and synchronizes with

The infinite natural energies like

The solar, lunar, geomagnetic, wind, and

The spectrum of cosmic electromagnetism.

It seems that not only the known life,

But, also the whole universe pulsates

To its own self-organized beat.

No one knows how or why.

But, it all happens as a holistic movement,

In one spontaneous orderly fashion.

To learn more, we should just listen to

This timeless Cosmic Symphony

Within and around us.

the-symphony-of-science

(Note: The above two images were taken

From the public images collection of Google images).

Vinod D Deshmukh

December 20, 2016

The Art and Neuroscience of Presence

By presence I mean

Being whole-heartedly present in the Now.

It is a self-integrated, holistic state,

Where one ceases to be a self-centered individual,

And gets absorbed in the wholeness of Reality.

Presence is not just mindfulness or witnessing,

Which is usually a dualistic activity

With preserved individuality.

In presence there is complete

Synergy, synchrony and synesthesis

Between the self-aware being,

And the Natural Reality.

The neuroscience of such a self-integrated state

Involves biological homeodynamics and adaptation

Between the self-sentient organism

And its current surroundings.

The three crucial neural networks,

Which mediate such self-integration are:

The Reticular Formation that defines

The present state of the organism;

reticular-formation

The Limbic System that defines personal emotion and

The state of the psycho-social surroundings;

And the Neocortex that processes

Cognitive information, symbolic and linguistic communication,

And memories of the past and anticipation of future.

These three networks are densely interconnected

Via the Central Tegmental tracts.

central-tegmental-tract

In the state of whole-hearted presence,

One actualizes a psycho-physiological integration

Of calm and alert mind and brain with Nature.

The holistic presence,

Generates optimism, friendliness, equanimity,

Compassion and love for Life and Nature.

It blossoms into creative intelligence,

And an insightful wisdom.

In total Presence,

One is at-ease with oneself,

And at-home in Nature.

It is the natural bliss!

References:

  • Brodal Per, The Central Nervous System, 3rd Oxford University Press, 2004. Pages 333-348.
  • Noback CR, Strominger NL, Demarest RJ and Ruggiero DA. The Human Nervous System: Structure and Function, 6th Humana Press. Totowa, New Jersey, 2005. Pages 387-404.

Vinod D Deshmukh

December 16, 2016

The SEA of Conscious Life

The Spontaneous, Effulgent and Aware

Paintings only 052310 002

Oil painting by Vinod D Deshmukh. 2010

The SEA is the same

Throughout our conscious life,

Whether we are asleep or awake.

The SEA is

Spontaneous, still, silent and serene.

It is selfless or ego-free.

It is all Life together.

The SEA is

Effulgent, efferent, essential,

Energetic, efficient and expansive.

It is limitless in

Space, time and being.

The SEA is

Aliveness, awareness and awakeness.

It is selectively attentive to details,

 As well as to the global ambience.

DSC05270

Water color painting by Sunanda V Deshmukh. 2007

Periodically,

The SEA appears rough and stormy.

It generates our dreams,

Daytime stories and life-histories.

It is a memorized record of

Our personality and personal life.

At times, the experiences and memories

Remain unresolved and subconscious.

But, the SEA continues to be

What it always is:

Spontaneous, Effulgent, Aware,

And ever-new!

Vinod D Deshmukh

December 15, 2016

The Ineffable

All this is outside, the laptop,

The body, mind, ego and its world,

And the natural Universe.

I am within myself, antastha अन्तस्थ,

Intrinsic, spontaneous, blissful,

Formless, nameless, timeless.

I am the source,

The origin of all experiences.

I am the source of the river of perceptions,

Which are all downstream.

I am my own parent.

I am the ancient ancestors,

The primeval energy-aware-being,

Within all living beings.

I am Life itself.

I am the face.

All facial expressions

Are momentary and on the surface.

Ultimately, however,

Me and my expressions

Are the same, just like

The ocean and its waves,

The flame and its colors and heat,

The source and the sink.

I am all this, both

Within and without.

But, all these are just words,

A collection of symbols and images.

Truly, I am none of this.

I am myself,

The ineffable!

sunset

Vinod D Deshmukh

December 4, 2016

Tao of Love

pink-magnolia

Tao is an intuitive understanding of Life,

And the natural order of the Universe.

It cannot be conceived and described in words,

But, it is evident when one is whole-heartedly living.

The ineffable feeling of love

Has been expressed in many ancient dualities like

Purusha-Prakriti, Shiva-Shakti, Radha-Krishna,

Being-becoming and the Yin-yang,

In modern language, it is the complementarity between

Organism-environment, human beings and Nature,

And the innumerable human and animal relationships

Between each other with harmony and love.

When our relationship with our self and Nature

  Is loving and harmonious, we can experience

A feeling of inner peace, silence, bliss,

And finally the love for all.

It is the genuine love

For the whole Life, Nature and one’s Being,

Which truly is the Tao of Love.

sunset-120216

Vinod D. Deshmukh

December 2, 2016

Touching the Cosmos

Touching the Cosmos by

Feeling the whole biosphere,

Using the electrochemical sensors,

With each breath.

Touching the Cosmos by

Seeing the whole Milky Way,

Using the photo-electric receptors,

With each gaze.

Touching the Cosmos by

Listening to the infinite silence,

Using the phono-electric sensors,

With a silent and peaceful mind.

rivers-edge

Touching the Cosmos by

Feeling the background heat and

The breeze of the global wind,

With the whole surface of our skin.

Touching the Cosmos by

Enjoying the fragrance of the Earth,

By standing firmly on the ground of our being

With a feeling of wholeness.

Finally, touching the Cosmos by

Being the Cosmos itself,

As we truly are made of the cosmic dust.

We already are the Cosmic beings.

tall-trees

Vinod D Deshmukh.

November 29, 2016

The Holistic Process

There are innumerable constituent micro-processes in Nature,

Yet, Nature behaves like a single holistic process.

Burning is a process.

A candle burns and affects its surroundings.

The fuel in a jet engine burns

And can carry people across continents.

Atoms and molecules collide

And transform into new compounds,

Releasing excess energy.

Yet, the total cosmic energy remains unchanged.

Life depends on complex electromagnetic and metabolic processes.

All organisms, from an amoeba to humans,

Are an integral part of this vast Natural Ecosystem.

Human physical and mental performances

Depend on the nested brain-body-environment interactions.

Our very sense of being an individual-in-existence,

With a variety of conscious and subconscious experiences,

Depend on these biophysical and psychosocial events.

tall-trees-3

The whole universe is

A self-organizing and dynamic system.

It includes all spiraling galaxies, stars, and planets.

Our planet earth with beautiful biosphere and its inhabitants

Is an integral part of the Cosmic Eco-system.

It will be wise and graceful for us

To appreciate and accept

This holistic process-view of Existence and

The Life as a whole with its spontaneous expressions.

It is the greatest wonder

Of a Living Universe!

tall-trees-4

Vinod D Deshmukh

November 25, 2016

A garden path…

garden-path-111716

I have walked on this path,

Several times during this month.

But just this morning,

It really caught my eye,

My brain-mind, and

The very core of my being.

I took several pictures with my camera,

Using different angles and compositions.

My mind finally settled on this particular image.

This image, after all, is an after-thought.

I can’t convey to you

My actual feeling or qualia, at that specific moment.

It was an intense and fresh state of being aware,

An ever-fresh fluid presence,

Where the seer-and-seen duality

Had resolved spontaneously.

It was a holistic experience.

That’s what makes the difference

Between “walking on a garden path”

And “being the path or the present moment itself.”

Walking or any conscious activity can be

A truly holistic experience,

With one’s full presence.

That can be an intuitive revelation.

Vinod D Deshmukh

November 17, 2016

Love being self

Love being self,

Myself, not only at the self-centered surface,

But also, at the unfathomable depth and width

Of the infinite energy-aware-being.

Love being self

Not only body, mind, ego and the experienced world,

But also, being the spontaneous and profound

Stillness, silence and serenity of

The limitless and timeless

Energy-aware-being.

pink-flowers

Love being self,

The whole ocean of Life,

Which includes all rocks, plants, animals and us.

Life is a spontaneous and holistic movement,

That creatively expresses and self-organizes itself.

It is self-aware through us all and rejoices its own creative existence.

unnamed-5

Life is the greatest wonder,

Which all of us are an integral part of.

In fact, we, as self-loving living beings,

Are the Life itself.

We just have to learn to love

What is truly the whole Life,

 And its natural creative flow!

unnamed-4

Vinod D Deshmukh

 November 16, 2016

A falling leaf…

A leaf falls perfectly

On its shadow and shatters

The illusion of duality.

What remains is,

What always is.

Vinod D Deshmukh

November 7, 2016

Like a full Moon

 

A feeling of wholeness

That includes all.

Nothing or no one is an outsider.

It is an all-awareness.

A feeling of spontaneous exuberance

For no apparent reason.

It is blissful.

A feeling of being complete in itself,

With no desire to change

Oneself or others.

A feeling of fullness of the heart

That is so content,

That it has nothing more to wish,

Or anywhere to go.

Where will it go anyway?

It is all here and now,

Looking at this perfect full Moon.

A feeling of fluidity

With breath flowing in and out.

In fact, there is no in and out.

As all elements flow

Within the holistic Nature.

A feeling of being silent naturally

With no words and images, lingering.

Silence within is one with the silence without.

The whole existence is a perfect unity.

The expression of this poem

Is also a play without any special purpose,

Like the effortless shining

Of this Kojagiri full Moon.

full-moon-rise-091516-2-1024x576

A feeling of blissful freedom and relief

From the long-standing attentional fixation

On “I, me and my world,”

With amazing lightness and clarity

Of the natural all-awareness

Like the clear sky with full Moon of

This of Kojagiri night.

Vinod D Deshmukh

October 15, 2016.

River and a Lake

नदी आणि सरोवर

A river is lake

That is in a hurry

To reach the ocean.

नदी हे एक सरोवर आहे,

की ज्याला समुद्राला भेटण्याची

घाई झाली आहे.

A lake is a river

That pauses

To look at the blue sky.

सरोवर ही एक नदी आहे,

की जी निळ्या आकाशाकडे बघायला

थोडा वेळ  थांबते.

A river carves out of time;

A lake reflects on eternity.

नदी विश्वकाळात कोरीव काम करते,

तर सरोवर अनंताला प्रतिबिंबित करते.

20160922_191822

A river knows the Time.

A lake knows the Timeless.

नदीला काळाची ओळख आहे,

तर सरोवराला अकालाची जाणीव आहे.

A skillful mind

Can flow like a river,

Or stand still like a lake.

20160922_191639

कुशल मन

नदीसारखं धावू शकतं,

किंवा सरोवरासारखं शान्त बसू शकतं.

It depends on

The terrain it faces

At the present moment.

असं मन

पुढे काय आहे ते बघून

पुढचं पाऊल टाकतं.

It lives

With a spontaneous joy,

Sometimes like a river

And sometimes like a lake.

असं मन

उत्स्फुर्त आनंदात जगतं,

कधी नदीसारखं,

तर कधी सरोवरासारखं.

20160922_192358

Vinod D Deshmukh

April 14, 1995.

विनोद धुं. देशमुख

सप्टेंबर २२, २०१६

(Photographs taken by Vinod D Deshmukh on September 22, 2016).

Nature at-play!

Painting with the shades of

Blue, white and gray.

The clouds are moving.

The river is flowing leisurely.

It’s raining intermittently.

nature-at-play-3-2

Two manatees

Are playing together joyously,

In tune with their primal nature.

The blue sky, beyond the clouds,

Remains empty and untouched.

nature-at-play-2-2

Spontaneous self-awareness is enjoying

All that is happening and also

What remains unchanged naturally.

Nature

Dances and rejoices,

This timeless play,

With her own creative energy!

nature-at-play-091316-2

Vinod D Deshmukh

September 13, 2016

On a swing by the river

After cooking breakfast

For our grandchildren,

I went to the river

For some peace and quiet.

I sat on the swing by the river,

And just immersed myself

In that wonderful moment.

swing-by-the-river-2

It was calm and quiet.

There was a gentle breeze.

The sky was clear blue and

The St Johns River was flowing calmly.

on-a-swing-by-the-river-2

I felt like meditating.

So, I sat still and silent,

And attentively listened to

The sounds and silence

Around and within me.

Soon, I forgot myself,

In the wonder of the moment,

And just enjoyed the natural bliss.

The river and my awareness continued to flow,

But, the sense of time and

The consolidation of experience and memories

Had paused spontaneously and momentarily.

It felt serene,

To be on the swing by the river,

And to meditate and appreciate

That blissful silent presence.

Vinod D Deshmukh

September 11, 2016.

 

 

Swayam-prabha : Vishwa-prabha

Individual energy : Universal energy

स्वयंप्रभा: विश्वप्रभा

DSC02548-818x1024

Self-luminous, self-aware,

Spontaneous, and holistic,

Arousal-energy-being!

 

It feels to have

No beginning or end,

No specific space or time,

No center or surround, and

No I, you or the other.

 

It is the attentional energy

That flows in many directions

To this or that.

 

When this flow

Of the egoistic mind pauses,

And one abides in oneself,

In an effortless, serene silence,

Energy reveals itself, by itself.

 

It is ever-present.

It is alive, loving and universal.

Swayam-prabha is not different

From Vishwa-prabha.

Sunset-050915-006-576x1024 - Copy

Vinod D Deshmukh

September 4, 2016

 

A Professional Swimmer

 

I was swimming alone at the gym.

I was quiet, silent and listening to

The voice of silence within me.

It was serene and energetic.

 

Then, a professional swimmer came

To swim in the lane, next to me.

He had a bagful of gadgets,

Which he arranged nicely along the edge.

 

He had two yellow fins, a pool-buoy, a chest-strap,

Two red hand-paddles, a hand-board, goggles,

A swim-cap, a bottle of Gatorade and, of course,

A stopwatch to measure time to the millisecond!

 

It took him almost 10 minutes,

Just to get ready and to start his swim and the stopwatch.

He was, of course, an accomplished swimmer.

He was also in excellent physical health.

 

But, his mind seemed to be too preoccupied

With himself, his body-image, his performance,

And his ambition to beat his own as well as the world record.

 

After his swim was over, I asked him about his activity.

He said that he was training for a triathlon,

Which is an athletic contest in long-distance

Swimming, bicycling and running.

One has to swim 2.4 miles, bicycle for 112 miles,

And run for 26.2 miles, as fast as one can.

It is quite a task and an achievement!

download

I was surprised to hear

That almost 3000 athletes compete

In such a race, on the West Coast of Florida.

 

After, he left,

I continued to swim slowly, at my own pace,

And enjoyed the effortless serenity!

It is timeless, limitless and priceless!

It inspired me to write this poem!

 

Vinod D Deshmukh

September 2, 2016

 

Who should I listen to?

 

I went for swimming yesterday to the gym.

Initially, I was alone in the pool and it was nice and quiet.

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But then, the coach for the Ladies Aquatic Class came,

And set up the loud speakers for her aerobics class instructions.

By now, nine ladies entered the swimming pool,

And started dancing to the rhythm of Brazilian music.

The instructor was showing them the different bodily moves

In synchrony with the drum-beats of the music.

 

I continued to swim in my lane,

Walking one way and swimming back-stroke the other way.

During my back-stroke, my ears were under water,

So, I was relatively protected from the loud voices of Samba.

 

Then, I was faced with a big question:

Who should I listen to?

I had a choice of listening to one of the three ‘V’s.

 

First choice was the loud external Voice of Samba,

Which I did not understand and wasn’t particularly fond of.

But, all the ladies and the coach were happily dancing to its drumbeat.

 

The second choice of ‘V’ was for Vinod’s wandering mind.

My own mind and the internal voice,

That usually talks about the past or the future,

Depending on whatever memories, thoughts, associations,

And emotions happen to dominate it, at a given moment.

 

But, I intentionally decided to be fully present,

And pay attention to my movements and breathing.

I synchronized my limb-movements with quiet breathing.

I made sure that I paused after each breath.

 

Soon, my mind became quiet and silent,

And I could hear the spontaneous sound of a quiet mind.

In the yogic literature, it is called, “Anāhata Nāda.”

It was very relaxing and also energizing.

 

It created a spontaneous and limitless feeling of

Serene energy, awareness and being.

I just stayed with that peaceful feeling.

It was not disturbed by the sounds of the ladies’ Samba dance,

Nor by my own limb movements or the natural act of breathing.

 

This, I thought was the third V, the sacred Voice of Silence,

Sometimes called, “Vishņu-padam” or the abode of peace.

I forgot myself in that speechless serene state,

Where silence was listening to Silence effortlessly.

 

When the ladies’ class was over, I asked the lady-coach,

“What kind of music was that?”

She said, “She didn’t know, but, she didn’t like it.”

We both laughed freely.

 

Then, I went for a shower,

After a blissful swim.

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Vinod D Deshmukh

August 26, 2016

 

The Lines

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This morning, I went for a walk at the gym.

It was relatively quiet.

There was no one playing on the basketball court.

 

From the second floor,

I had a full view of all the colored lines on the court.

These lines were of different lengths, colors and shapes.

They were defining the court-floor for different games,

Like the basketball, volleyball, badminton, and paddle-tennis.

 

It was interesting to notice

That the same court-floor was arbitrarily divided,

By these colorful lines to demarcate the courts for different games.

The players would know exactly, where to stand in the court,

Which lines to respect, and how to play to win.

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These lines and the rules of these games

Are arbitrary and made up by some sports committee.

The rules are agreed upon by the players and the referees.

If one changes or ignores these lines and the rules,

There would be no real game to play.

 

The same is true of all the Olympic Games that we just watched in Rio.

The rules for each game were set by the Olympic Committee,

And they were strictly followed by the players and the judges.

The performances were measured accurately to the millisecond,

And the winners were honored with medals.

 

This arbitrariness is also true

About the lines that we draw for measurements

In the scientific research and in many of our life-situations.

By drawing artificial lines, we limit and define a particular event,

Like the Higgs boson, the Big bang, or the bending of star-light at the lunar eclipse.

 

Arbitrary lines may be drawn

At the microscopic, macroscopic and the telescopic levels.

After all, that is how we define a particular event or an object for measurement.

 

All humanly made lines are arbitrary and transient.

Some may last longer like the hieroglyphs or famous portraits,

Whereas, others may be momentary like the ones drawn

On the sandy beach, the ocean-water or the clear blue sky.

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Not only this, but we also draw dividing lines

Between human individuals, families, societies, nationalities,

And even the religious and the linguistic groups.

These lines often divide humanity for centuries.

 

In the big picture of cosmic reality,

There are no hard straight lines.

The whole reality functions more like a unifiedfluidsystem,

That maintains itself by its natural homeodynamics, meaning

The reality appears to change, and yet it remains about the same.

 

On a sandy beach, most people play for fun, for hours,

Without any strict lines, rules, or expectations.

They get along well with each other and their natural surroundings.

The returning tide washes off all old lines and sand-castles.

It levels the playing field for all visitors again and again.

 

The natural cosmic cycle goes on, as if, forever.

Nature seems to enrich life for all living beings.

This is why we are often left with a fundamental question:

Where and why should we draw a line in this amazing nature?

In this here and now? In our pristinepresence in this wonderful world?

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Vinod D Deshmukh

August 25, 2016

 

Swimming Meditation

20160806_200547 

(Photograph of this evening’s sunset on the St Johns River

By Vinod D Deshmukh, Aug 6, 2016)

 

I try to swim almost daily at a local Gym.

I usually go to swim at about 1 pm or 6 pm.

This is a good time, when there is less crowd,

And I can find a lane to swim by myself.

 

Today, there was no one in the large pool.

The water was still and undisturbed,

Transparent, yet reflecting like a mirror.

I had the privilege of dipping my toes

In such a calm and unperturbed pool.

 

The water temperature is usually 850 F.

Still, it feels a little cool in the beginning.

Once I get used to the temperature,

The water feels so natural and wonderful.

 

The pool is only about 5 feet deep throughout,

So I can easily walk one way,

And swim the other way, on my back.

 

I walk and swim slowly with full awareness.

I synchronize my slow and quiet breathing,

With the movements of my hands, legs, and the body.

 

I speak to no one.

I even stop talking to myself,

Recalling or thinking about anything.

I just swim and listen attentively.

 

During that quiet and silent awareness,

I have no words or thoughts within.

I may hear Anāhat nāda,

Or the sound of spontaneous, silent energy.

It is an internal cue of a quiet and alert mind.

 

I enjoy the unhurried relaxation,

And the natural peace and tranquility.

I usually walk and swim in the pool for about 45 minutes.

 

Sometimes, during such a speechless silence,

New ideas, words or thoughts dawn on me,

Which may be surprising solutions

To what I have been working on before.

 

Today, it occurred to me that most cognition

Is about transfer of information

Between two cognitive agents or sources.

It may be a conversation,

With some person or with oneself.

 

During meditation, all such conversations pause momentarily

And the mind remains clear, serene and bright.

 

It also occurred to me

That by directing attention

We define our world of experience,

And that the world, in turn, defines us.

 

In such a meditative silence,

The limitless mind, both conscious and subconscious,

Becomes integrated and creative.

 

There is no pressure of time or success,

No particular goal to achieve,

Nothing to prove or disprove,

Nothing to talk or brag about,

But, just to swim, listen and watch the wonder!

 

Time really flies

In such a blissful state

Of a swimming meditation!

I love it!

 

Vinod D Deshmukh

August 6, 2016

 

This Morning!

 

This morning,

I looked in the mirror

And saw the wonder of Life.

This human face

Radiating with happiness,

A spontaneous smile,

And natural presence!

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What more do we need?

But, to wake up each morning

With a smile and be amused

By the infinite wonders of

Life and Nature!

 

We are in Nature and

Nature is within us.

Nature always

Heals, renews and rejoices playfully

By her beneficent presence in all of us.

 

Appreciate

The endless wonders of Nature,

The limitless beauty of Life and

The infinite love of all beings

For Life itself!

 

Love Life.

Love Nature.

Appreciate the wonder!

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(Photos taken by Vinod D Deshmukh on July 25, 2016,

At the Gunnison River Farms, Colorado)

 

Vinod D Deshmukh

July 31, 2016

 

The Mind Flows

 

The mind flows incessantly,

Both consciously and subconsciously.

It is a tripartite phenomenon involving

The brain, the body and its environment.

 

The brain is embodied in an organism and

The body is embedded in its surrounding reality.

The brain interacts with the body and

The body interacts with the external, socio-cultural milieu.

The three together form a bio-cognitive system,

And the self-conscious mind.

 

There is a continuous homeodynamic flow

Of biophysical energy and information

Between the brain, the body and nature.

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The energy of conscious arousal and awareness

Is ever new like a perpetual spring of fresh water.

Its flow is both sequential and parallel.

 

There are no partitions in the flow of mind,

But, it has two modes of functioning,

Namely, “flow” and “pause.”

In the flow mode, mind may appear as a multi-faceted experience

With changing events and contents,

Otherwise, it may be still, silent and infinitely the same.

bubbler

It depends on an observer’s perspective

Of itself and its world.

It is like a river emerging from a spring-fed lake,

Where the water-flow constantly changes,

But, the spring-source remains the same.

 

The conscious mind flows continuously.

What we experience depends on

The mode of our being, energy and awareness.

It can be like a turbulent river,

Or a calm self-reflective pool.

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Thus, to a self-aware mind,

Which is in blissful, silent presence,

The timeless infinity is realized

Naturally!

 

Vinod D Deshmukh

July 19, 2016

 

Monkey Meditates!

 Spider_monkey_-Belize_Zoo-8b

Monkey meditates

When he pauses to jump

From one branch to the next,

From one situation to the other,

From one thought to the next,

From one mindset to the other.

Monkey meditates

When he learns to pause mentally

And to stay still briefly.

 

Monkey meditates

When he pauses before screaming

Out of fear, anger, disgust, hatred,

Pride, arrogance and lust.

images

Monkey meditates

When he learns to stay still, silent and serene,

And enjoys being peaceful.

 

Monkey meditates

When he pauses to react emotionally

To every sight, sound and touch automatically,

Like a mindless robot, programmed to react instantly.

Monkey meditates

When he learns to be quiet and happy

On the branch that he happens to be.

 

Monkey meditates

When he forgets himself and his last bad fight,

And does not worry about the next one.

Monkey meditates

When he sees no evil, hears no evil,

And screams no evil.

WonderwordzFunny_9

Monkey meditates

When he feels at-ease with himself and others,

And at-home on the tree that he is nested in.

 

Here now, on this very branch,

He meditates and plays happily with his family and friends!

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Vinod D Deshmukh

July 13, 2016

Fountain of Simultaneity

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This is a fountain in the form of a tree.

The water circulates continuously

Through its roots, stem and branches.

 

All of the branches squirt water

In different directions and force,

Creating unique transient patterns

On the surface of the pond.

 

The pond and the fountain act

As an ever-fluid whole, a holistic movement,

That overall remains the same.

 

The dynamic process of the universe is

Both sequential and parallel,

Timed and timeless.

 

It seems to evolve,

Yet, it remains the same.

What we experience at a given moment,

Depends on our own mind-set.

 

If we continue to hang on to a “twig,” being scared

To let go of the momentary contents of experience,

Then, we will have a very limited view

Of the spacious nature of reality.

 

If we learn to jump from one twig to the next,

Then, we will have a broader perspective

And a wider experience of

Ourselves, others and the world.

 

If we forget ourselves in the act of living

And play innocently like a child

On this amazing “Tree of Life”

Then, we may become an integral part

Of this great natural wonder and bliss.

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Some people describe “Time”

As a point, a moment or a snapshot.

Some call it “a window of simultaneity.”

I prefer to call it, “The fountain of simultaneity.”

 

We have to learn to let go

Of our grip on little twigs of “I, me and mine,”

Just be fully present from moment-to-moment,

And play whole-heartedly this drama of life,

In this ever-renewing and dynamic reality,

This incredible “Fountain of Simultaneity.”

 

(Author’s photograph was taken near the fountain by Abhijit V Deshmukh

At the Madoo Conservancy, Sagaponack, New York, on July 9th 2016.)

 

Vinod D Deshmukh

July 11, 2016

 

ती                                                        She

 

ती विश्वशक्ति                                         That universal energy

विश्वाचे रहाटगाडगे                                   Moves the cosmos

फिरवणारी,                                              Through cycles

जगन्नाथाचा रथ                                      And enables

ओढणारी.                                                The whole universal process.

 

ती विश्वशक्ति                                         That universal energy,

आपल्या मायेने                                        In her mystique,

सगळ्यांना भुलवणारी,                                Perplexes all of us

स्वतःचे रूप                                             By ever-transforming

सदैव बदलणारी.                                       Her form and mode.

 

ती विश्वशक्ति                                         That universal energy

कधी वीज म्हणून कडाडते,                         Sometimes appears as lightning

तर कधी ढगांना                                       And other times

पळायला लावते.                                       Makes the clouds chase each other.

Lightnings Nature's Fireworks 090215 079

Lightning 071015 018

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ती विश्वशक्ति                                                   That universal energy

कधी अंतरिक्षात धूमकेतू फेकते,                            Darts comets in outer space,

तर सप्तर्शीना                                                     And even directs the Ursa Major

ध्रूवाकडे बघायला सांगते.                                      To revolve around the Polar star.

 

ती विश्वशक्ति                                                   That universal energy

पृथ्वीवरच्या साऱ्यां प्राण्यांना,                                Enables all earthly living beings

सकाळी उठवते, दिवसा खेळवते,                            To wake up in the morning, to play

आणि रात्री झोपवते.                                            During the day, and to sleep at night.

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ती विश्वशक्ति                                                   That universal energy

तान्ह्या बाळाला                                                 Enables a newborn to breastfeed

दूध प्यायला, पालथे व्हायला,                                And to turn on its belly,

बसायला, उभे रहायला, धावायला,                           To sit, crawl, stand and run,

बोलायला आणि विचार करायला                             To speak and to think,

शिकवते.                                                           And to learn throughout life.

 

माणसाचे सारे                                                    All human behavior,

आचार, विचार, आठवणी,                                      Thoughts, memories,

वागणूक, करमणूक, फसवणूक,                                        Actions, entertainment, deceptions,

सत्गुण, दुर्गुण, तहान, भूक,                                   Virtues, vices, thirst, hunger,

शरीर-मन-वाचा-बुद्धी                                          And all activities of

आणि त्यांच्या साऱ्या वृत्ती                                    Body, mind, speech and intelligence

त्या विश्वशक्तिवर                                              Are dependent on

अवलंबून असतात.                                              The universal energy.

 

ती विश्वशक्ति                                                   That universal energy is

विश्वाची जननी, जगन्माता आहे.                           The creative force, the universal mother.

तिच्याशिवाय काहीच हालत नाही,                          Without her nothing moves,

किंवा काहीहि घडत नाही.                                    And nothing happens.

 

ती आदी शक्ति, नैसर्गिक शक्ति,                          She is the primal natural energy,

सदा सर्वत्र कार्यरत आहे.                                      Ever engaged, everywhere.

तिचे साऱ्या जीवांवर                                             She loves all sentient beings,

आईसारखे प्रेम आहे.                                           Like a compassionate universal mother.

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आपले अस्तित्व तिच्यांत आहे,                             We have our being in her,

आणि ती आपणांत कार्यक्षम आहे.                         And she always empowers us.

 

अशी ती विश्वशक्ति,  तत्वशक्ती,                          Such is the universal energy.

तीच आपली चिदात्मशक्ती.                                  She is also the self-sentient energy.

 

तिचे आणि विश्वात्मतत्वाचे नाते आहे.                   The universal principle and energy

हे “ते – ती” चे नाते                                            Are closely related

अगाध आहे.                                                      In an unfathomable way!

 

विनोद धुं देशमुख                                               Vinod D Deshmukh

जुन २, २०१६                                                     June 6, 2016

 

ते                                                         That

 

ते आहे                                                   That is

अखंड अनंत,                                           Incessant, infinite,

नित्यनूतन,                                             Ever new,

स्वयम्प्रकाशी,                                          Self-radiant,

स्वसंवेद्य.                                               And self-sentient.

 

इथे                                                        Here,

ऐकणे-बोलणे एकच,                                  Listening-speaking are one.

पाहणे-दिसणे एकच,                                  Looking-seeing are the same.

सुरवात-शेवट एकच,                                  Beginning-ending are one,

आंत-बाहेर एकच,                                     And inside-outside

एकुलते एक ते!                                        Are the same.

 

 

हे सारे तेच,                                             All this is that

जे येते जाते,                                           Which comes and goes,

सारखे बदलते,                                         Changes continuously,

नि खेळ खेळते                                        And plays the drama of life.

ते हेच.                                                             This is that.

 

हे आणि ते एकच.                                    This and that are the same.

मी आणि ते एकच.                                  I am that.

आपला संकुचितपणा,                                When our narrow mindedness,

वेगळेपणा संपला की                                 And the feeling of separateness end,

सारे एकच!                                              Reality is one.

 

एकच                                                     One

प्रशान्त                                                   Serene,

प्रसन्न                                                    Cheerful,

प्रज्ञ                                                       Intuitive and wise

आत्मतत्व,                                              Primal being,

आत्मस्वरूप,                                            Our primordial nature,

ते तेच!                                                   All is that!

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विनोद धुं देशमुख                                     Vinod D Deshmukh

जून २, २०१६                                           June 6, 2016

 

ती

 

ती विश्वशक्ति

विश्वाचे रहाटगाडगे

फिरवणारी,

जगन्नाथाचा रथ

ओढणारी.

 

ती विश्वशक्ति

आपल्या मायेने

सगळ्यांना भुलवणारी,

स्वतःचे रूप

सदैव बदलणारी.

 

ती विश्वशक्ति

कधी वीज म्हणून कडाडते,

तर कधी ढगांना

पळायला लावते.

Lightnings Nature's Fireworks 090215 079

Lightning 071015 018

20160602_113411

ती विश्वशक्ति

कधी अंतरिक्षात धूमकेतू फेकते,

तर सप्तर्शीना

ध्रूवाकडे बघायला सांगते.

 

ती विश्वशक्ति

पृथ्वीवरच्या साऱ्यां प्राण्यांना,

सकाळी उठवते, दिवसा खेळवते,

आणि रात्री झोपवते.

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ती विश्वशक्ति

तान्ह्या बाळाला

दूध प्यायला, पालथे व्हायला,

बसायला, उभे रहायला, धावायला,

बोलायला आणि विचार करायला

शिकवते.

 

माणसाचे सारे

आचार, विचार, आठवणी,

वागणूक, करमणूक, फसवणूक,

सत्गुण, दुर्गुण, तहान, भूक,

शरीर-मन-वाचा-बुद्धी

आणि त्यांच्या साऱ्या वृत्ती

त्या विश्वशक्तिवर

अवलंबून असतात.

 

ती विश्वशक्ति

विश्वाची जननी, जगन्माता आहे.

तिच्याशिवाय काहीच हालत नाही,

किंवा काहीहि घडत नाही.

 

ती आदी शक्ति, नैसर्गिक शक्ति,

सदा सर्वत्र कार्यरत आहे.

तिचे साऱ्या जीवांवर

आईसारखे प्रेम आहे.

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आपले अस्तित्व तिच्यांत आहे,

आणि ती आपणांत कार्यक्षम आहे.

 

अशी ती विश्वशक्ति,  तत्वशक्ती,

तीच आपली चिदात्मशक्ती.

 

तिचे आणि विश्वात्मतत्वाचे नाते आहे.

हे “ते – ती” चे नाते

अगाध आहे.

 

विनोद धुं देशमुख

जुन २, २०१६

 

ते
ते आहे

अखंड अनंत,

नित्यनूतन,

स्वयम्प्रकाशी,

स्वसंवेद्य.
इथे

ऐकणे-बोलणे एकच,

पाहणे-दिसणे एकच,

सुरवात-शेवट एकच,

आंत-बाहेर एकच,

एकुलते एक ते!
हे सारे तेच,

जे येते जाते,

सारखे बदलते,

नि खेळ खेळते  

ते हेच.
हे आणि ते एकच.

मी आणि ते एकच.

आपला संकुचितपणा,

वेगळेपणा संपला की

सारे एकच!
एकच

प्रशान्त

प्रसन्न

प्रज्ञ

आत्मतत्व,

आत्मस्वरूप,

ते तेच!

विनोद धुं देशमुख

जून २, २०१६

 

 

विश्व – विश्वात्मा                                           Universe – Universal Being

 

 

विश्व बोलत आहे,                                              Universe is speaking

आपण ऐकावे ।                                                  We should listen.

 

विश्व भुकेले आहे,                                              Universe is hungry,

त्याला अन्न द्यावे ।                                          We should feed it.

 

विश्व गोंधळले आहे,                                           Universe is agitated and confused,

त्याला शान्त करावे ।                                          We should pacify it.

 

विश्व लाजरे आहे,                                              Universe is shy,

आपण आपुलकीने वागावे ।                                  We should befriend it.

 

आपणच विश्व –                                                 We are Universe –

आपणच विश्वात्मा                                              We are Universal Being

हा भाव असू द्यावा ।                                         We should have this feeling.

 

प्रशान्त विश्वात्म्याला बोलू द्यावे                          Let the serene Universal Being speak

त्याचा कोमल सुगंध दरवळू द्यावा ।                     Let its gentle fragrance spread freely.

 

हेच आयुष्याचे कार्य, कर्तव्य,                                This is Life’s work, purpose

आणि पूर्णता !                                                   And fulfillment!

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विनोद धुं देशमुख                                                         Vinod D Deshmukh

 

मे ३१, २०१६                                                                May 31, 2016

The Soul of a Pine Tree

For the past thirty seven years,

I have watched this Pine tree grow.

But, today I was touched by its soul.

By soul, I mean its totality, including

Its nonmaterial essence, the living principle,

Actuating cause, the spiritual and universal aspect.

I tried to take photographs of this beautiful Pine Tree,

Which stands tall and silent in our backyard,

Along the majestic St Johns River.

However, I could not capture its soul.

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Now I am trying to express its essence

In the words of this poem.

But, even that seems ineffable.

I can’t see the tree’s roots,

But, I know they are there,

And they are functioning well.

We had to save those roots carefully,

When we built the bulkhead along the river.

I cannot describe to you

The infinite number of living cells,

Working incessantly and effortlessly,

Against the mighty gravitational force,

To pump the water, rich in nutrients,

All the way from the tips of the roots,

To the tips of Pine needles at the top.

At the top of the tree,

I had seen a couple of Ospreys

A few times, but they never built a nest.

The tree top is a great vantage point for them to fish from.

The Pine needles are stretching out to the Sun,

To capture the photons and convert them

Into precious food to survive and thrive.

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I cannot describe

How these green Pine needles

Are synchronously dancing with the wind,

Capturing carbon dioxide,

And releasing oxygen in the biosphere,

Which sustains all life on Earth.

How am I to demonstrate to you?

That this Pine tree, at this very moment,

Is receiving cosmic rays and gravitational waves,

From the farthest corner of the cosmos,

And that it is universally connected.

This tree is what it is because

The rest of the universe is what it is.

This beautiful Pine tree

Has both an individuality and a universality.

By individuality, I mean its total character,

That distinguishes it from all other trees,

As it has its own genome and

A long developmental history,

With unique scars, burns and annual rings.

By universality, I mean

Its quale, state and mode of sentient being,

Or what it feels like to be a living tree,

In this amazing Ākāshic field.

 I know that I was touched by its soul,

Its individuality as well as universality.

I felt its eloquent presence deeply in my heart.

But, how am I to express it in words?

I have tried my best to convey it to you,

By using a few words and pictures.

Hope you will see and feel its unique presence,

Its lovely universality!

Vinod D Deshmukh

Memorial Day, May 30, 2016

The Fifth Dimension

Rene Descartes formally described

The three dimensions of space,

And its coordinate geometry.

 Einstein integrated the fourth dimension of time,

Creating a complex picture of space-time reality.

Is there a fifth dimension?

Namely, the sentience* of an observer,

Who is observing a space-time event?

An event is defined by an observer.

It is something that happens,

In relation to an observer.

Isn’t the event and its horizon

Arbitrarily defined by an observer?

The event may be a brief Nano-wave or

The 13.8 billion years old cosmos,

Which presumably was started with the “big bang.”

Universe, by definition, is the whole body of

Things and phenomena observed or postulated.

Isn’t a sentient observer necessary?

For an observation and interpretation?

Does universe exist independent of an observer?

Do cosmic events occur spontaneously?

Whether they are observed or not?

It is like the Schrodinger’s cat experiment+.

Is the cat “dead and alive,” a superposition?

Or is the cat “dead or alive?”

This latter may be a matter of branching of events,

Depending on the mode and state of the observer.

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Does the cat observe itself (self-sentience)?

Or does the environment or an external observer

Observe the cat?

All of these are difficult questions.

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This evening’s sun has set and it just disappeared.

Maybe it has gone beyond my horizon of perception?

All of us hope the sun will rise again tomorrow.

May be it will, by the homeodynamic laws of nature.

But, there is no certainty of future events.

Is sentience (primordial awareness)

A fundamental unit of observation and interpretation?

Is sentience the fifth dimension of holistic reality?

Is there a single answer to the question,

What is real?

*(Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive or experience subjectively.)

+ (The two diagrams about the Schrodinger’s cat experiment are from Wikipedia.)

Vinod D Deshmukh

May 23, 2016

Wind and Sail

Does the wind move the sail boat?

Or does the sailboat harness the wind?

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Does the wind direct a kite?

Or does the kite capture the wind?

Does the wind shape a flag?

Or does the flag blow with the wind?

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Does an event dominate a situation?

Or does the situation create the event?

Does a particle actualize from waves?

Or are the waves created by a particle?

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Does the individual influence the society?

Or does the society shape an individual?

It seems there is always a reciprocity,

A complementary synchrony as

Between a mother and her fetus,

A Vector and its matrix,

An element and the whole,

Jīvātma (Individual) and Paramātmā (Universal)!

That’s how the Reality is, in one word,

Holistic!

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Happy Buddha Jayanti (Birthday)

And Poornima (Full Moon)

Vinod D Deshmukh

May 21, 2016

Peaceful Being

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During meditation,

We usually start with

A restless, reactive and talkative mind,

That is over-occupied, multitasking,

Time-traveling and being miserable

About me, him, her or that.

Then, for twenty minutes,

We just sit still and silent, watch and listen,

To our body, mind, ego and all else.

We become aware of our breathing,

Its spontaneity, slow naturalness,

And the pause between breaths.

With the pause of breath,

We too pause mentally and observe

The randomly flowing thoughts,

With accompanying reactive emotions,

About this, that or the other.

Then, we learn to pause again and again,

And learn to listen to the spontaneous

Sound of profound inner silence and

A brief moment of genuine peace.

We learn to dwell

In that silent mental peace,

Where there are no thoughts, no fears,

No memories, symbols or mental travel.

Here the mental time stands still,

Like a majestic river of life

That pauses to look at the blue sky!

That silent peaceful state-space

Has no limits or boundaries.

It is an undivided space-time whole,

 An empty or full, shunya or poorna plenum.

That silent, peaceful plenum

Has no me or the other in it.

It is non-individual, nonlocal and non-transient.

It is both the pristine numinous source,

And the infinite transient expressions of

One timeless and holistic spirit,

The energy-aware-being.

It is all of us,

All life, as one in nature.

It is a blissful singularity,

A numinous peaceful being!

Vinod D Deshmukh

May 16, 2016

Learning from Manatees

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We went to Crystal River, Florida,

To snorkel with manatees.

 

Our guided tour was at 7:15 am.

First, we were shown a video of manatees,

About how they live and thrive

In the crystal clear spring waters.

 

We were advised not to disturb them in any way,

Or feed them, but just to observe them passively,

Without any interference in their activities.

 

We had to wear wet suits,

Since the temperature of spring-fed lake water is

70 to 75 degrees, all year round.

 

After exploring some of their favorite places,

We spotted a family of manatees,

Consisting of a male, a female and a calf.

 

Our guide took each one of us

Close to them and videotaped us in their vicinity.

He also advised us to swim slowly and calmly,

Just like the manatees do swim.

 

We were amazed to see

How peaceful and friendly these animals were.

We saw the calf hugging her mother,

And the male was not far from both of them.

 

There was obvious bonding between them

With visible care and love in their behavior.

They were not scared of us.

As a matter of fact,

They were rubbing against us playfully.

 

We could appreciate their 10-12 feet long bodies,

With fine hair, three nails on their front fins,

Tiny eyes with purse-string like eyelids,

Two nostrils closed with skin-lids, which opened,

When manatees came to the surface to breathe.

 

They have no teeth. They are herbivorous.

They just munch on sea grass and small plants.

They do not threaten or attack anyone.

In fact, they are the ones who often get injured

By propellers of many powerboats.

Actually, they need protection from mindless humans.

 

We can learn from manatees “ahimsa” or nonviolence,

And also how to live a happy and loving family-life.

After all, the key secret of good living is

To love one another.

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Vinod D Deshmukh

May 11, 2016

 

This Evening

This evening,

I felt bored and a little low.

So, I decided to plant

Eight seeds of Avocado,

Which I had saved.

Each seed had a potential

To grow into a big Avocado tree.

Then, I went for a walk

On our dock on the St Johns River.

There, I noticed that almost each dark cloud

Had a “silver lining.”

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The Star Jasmine on the cabana

Was in full bloom,

And its wonderful fragrance

Was spread all over by the river-breeze.

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When I returned to the backyard,

I noticed my long shadow on the grass,

As it was time for a beautiful sunset.

I did not know that I was that tall.

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As the long shadow disappeared

With the setting of the sun,

My boredom and the low feeling

Also vanished spontaneously.

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I felt being back to myself.

All this creative activity cheered me up.

Nature is always full of surprises,

And it can inspire us most of the time.

So, it’s good to be in touch with

Yourself, your feelings and Nature,

Both within and without.

It will keep you balanced and happy.

Vinod D Deshmukh

May 6, 2016

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This evening,
The sky and the river looked ordinary.
But, nothing is “ordinary.”
Beauty is all-pervasive and ever-present.
It depends on our mood and mode of being.
The Sacred is everywhere, all the time.

Photographs and poem by Vinod D Deshmukh.

April 28, 2016

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The Glow Within

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(Oil on canvas painting by Vinod D Deshmukh 2015)

The internal glow is spontaneous.

It is driven by the circadian cosmic energy,

Acting on the brainstem-cortical activating system.

It is the intrinsic mental and behavioral source-sink.

The inner glow is active

Throughout one’s life.

In fact, our life depends on it.

The internal glow gives us

A primordial feeling of being alive,

And a sense of personal energy and awareness.

It is the state of one’s presence or vigilance.

The global neuro-electric readiness potential

Is correlated with vigilant attentiveness.

It gets dissipated by all behavioral activity including

The autonomic, motor, perceptual and cognitive.

Such dissipative structuring or patterning creates

The phenomena of interactive subject-object duality,

And an individual’s specific experience.

During meditation and mindful presence,

One frees oneself from one’s self-centered mindset;

In other words, one lets go of

All memory-based egoistic mentation and behavior.

What remains and continues is

The ever shining inner glow,

Free of all personal time-space,

Words, images and symbols.

The internal glow is the universal sentient energy

That radiates through all lifeforms.

It is our incredible universality,

 And Life’s Unity.

Vinod D Deshmukh

April 19, 2016

Virtuous Cycle

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During meditation and mindful presence,

Movements and breathing slow down

And reach a natural baseline of stillness.

When continued thus,

Stillness begets stillness.

During meditation and mindful presence,

Speech and thinking slow down

And pause to a natural baseline of silence.

When continued thus,

Silence begets silence.

During meditation and mindful presence,

Reactive negative emotions dissipate naturally,

And reach a pristine state of serenity.

When continued thus,

Serenity begets serenity.

The three qualities of being

Still, silent and serene,

Gain momentum and intensity.

One effortlessly enters a virtuous cycle

Of sublime beauty, bliss and benevolence,

Where all expectations, worries and search end.

The inner Peace reigns supreme.

Vinod D Deshmukh

April 18, 2016

An Approach to Life…

This morning,

I went for a walk on our dock,

On the St Johns River.

In the backyard grass,

I noticed something dark brown,

Almost like a small grass snake.

I paused and looked closely with curiosity.

It turned out to be a crooked stick.

I threw it out of my way.

In the cabana facing the river,

I noticed a strange rainbow-colored lizard,

Which I had not seen before.

I paused, but I have an innate fear

Of snakes and lizards; so, I chased it away.

On second thought,

I should have taken its picture.

After my walk, I looked up the images

Of lizards in Florida. Here is one close to it.

When I reached the dock,

The wind was very strong like a storm,

But, it was sunny with a clear blue sky.

I paused and took a few photos. I loved it.

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On my way back,

I noticed my own long shadow,

Right in the middle of the dock.

So, I paused and took this unusual picture.

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When I returned home,

I thought to myself;

We should learn to approach all Life,

Not with fear, disgust or hatred, but with

Curiosity, care, concern and compassion.

All natural life is wonderful.

Vinod D Deshmukh

April 9, 2016

Feeling…

Feeling of being…

Feeling of being here and now…

Feeling of being still, silent and serene…

Feeling of being timeless infinite…

Feeling of being at peace…

Feeling of being…

Feeling…

Vinod D Deshmukh

April 3, 2016

At Every Moment…

 

At every moment,

There is a possibility of

Igniting a fire of anger, hatred, rage,

Disgust, fear, lust or greed.

At every moment,

There is a possibility of

Losing oneself in daydreaming,

Or getting worked up by

Retracing a regrettable past or

Projecting a fearsome future.

At every moment,

There is a possibility of

Being curious, creative and discover

Something new, beautiful and useful.

At every moment,

There is a possibility of

Just pausing briefly and

Staying still, silent, serene and content.

At every moment,

There is a possibility of

Being selflessly kind to someone in distress,

With no expectation in return.

At every moment,

There is a possibility of

Appreciating the wonders of Nature,

Making peace with self and the world,

Being in love with the whole Life.

What does this moment feel like now?

It is like an unknown seed of time,

Which is sprouting spontaneously,

Into a whole new moment of reality.

It is always a mystery!

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Vinod D Deshmukh

March 15, 2016

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“Crescent Moon at Sunset on the St Johns River”

Oil on canvas painting

By Vinod D Deshmukh (2015)

  

River and a Lake

A river is lake

That is in a hurry

To reach the ocean.

A lake is a river

That pauses

To look at the blue sky.

A river carves out of time;

A lake reflects on eternity.

A river knows the Time.

A lake knows the Timeless.

A skillful mind

Can flow like a river,

Or stand still like a lake.

It depends on

The terrain it faces

At the present moment.

It lives

With a spontaneous joy,

Sometimes like a river

And sometimes like a lake.

Vinod D Deshmukh

April 14, 1995.

Primordial Peace

आदि शान्ति (Ādi Shānti)

Listening to the flow of life,

Listening to the listener until

Silence dawns as loving peace.

Being the spontaneous bliss

That effulges freely from within is

The loving heart of all life.

Vinod D Deshmukh

January 26, 2016

Self-Singularity

Speaking to myself,

About “me, you and others,” has paused.

Spinning of “me-and-my-world,”

Around myself, has stopped.

Observing the “other” has vanished,

In the spontaneous self-singularity,

Where no wish or fear dominates

The empty~full experience.

What remains is

The blissful Self-Singularity,

चिद्घन, Chid-ghana!

Vinod D Deshmukh

January 18, 2016

Parade of Events

There are many well-known parades,

Like the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York,

Mardi gras parade in New Orleans,

May Day parade in Russia,

Republic Independence Day parade in India,

St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, Ireland,

And Walt Disney World Christmas Day parade in Orlando, Florida.

Typically, all parades have participants and spectators.

Participants are colorfully dressed-up and decorated

To play their intended roles to entertain the spectators.

Spectators are usually in casual dress

And are there just to enjoy the show.

They have no stake in the event.

Come to think of it,

Each life is a parade of events,

From the moment of conception

To the last breath.

Most life events just occur,

In synchrony with the natural rhythms,

Like the lunar, solar, and geomagnetic,

And even cosmic cycles.

Most life events occur

Spontaneously and subconsciously

Like our breathing, sleep-wake, hunger-thirst,

Growth-development, sexuality and socialization.

Some events occur

Consciously and intentionally with a purpose,

As if we are playing an important role

In this parade of Humanity.

Sometimes, we are a participant,

Other times, just a spectator.

Many times, we get completely absorbed

In our role, and we forget

That it is only a small role,

Which we are playing in this

Limited parade of Life.

Sometimes, we get too attached and possessive,

And we want the parade to continue forever.

We forget that all parades have

A beginning, a middle and an end.

But, is there something beyond

These transient events?

Beyond our sequential human experience?

Is there a timeless living-being?

An unchanging experience of no-experience,

When one is the Living-Being, the Living Reality itself?

Yes? No? Don’t know? Don’t care?

I think

It depends on our self-and-world perspectives,

And our present mode of being

In this mystical parade of the transients,

The Anitya अनित्य and Anatman अनात्मन्!

May be we have to uncover the truth of

Our Being, Self, or नित्यात्मन्!

Happy New Year 2016!

Vinod and Sunanda Deshmukh

December 30, 2015

Universality

All of us understand our personality.

All of us have a personality.

It depends on our genetic make-up,

And life-long experience, memory, and habits,

With personal likes and dislikes,

Desires and fears, love and hatred,

Expectations, goals and ambitions.

All of these make us

Who we are as individuals.

Personality develops day by day,

Due to our self-oriented perspective,

And interactions, with our world and others.

It is like the iterative growth of a giant Fig tree

With many branches and aerial roots.

Universality is different.

It is who we are as an existential being.

It is still, silent, serene and selfless

Spontaneous energy-awareness-being.

It is the quale of our being in existence,

Our very aliveness in a living Universe.

It is non-cognitive, non-interactive and non-personal.

As J. Krishnamurti said,

“To be is to be related,”

We are related to all that exists,

Through our universality, our sarvãtmatã.

Sri Jnaneshwar expressed his feeling of universality

As “He vishwachi maze ghara,” this universe is my home.

He prayed to the “Vishwatmaka Deva,” the Universal Being,

For the happiness and wellbeing of all.

So, we need to be aware of

Our personality as well as universality,

And live a blissful life of

Compassion, Clarity, curiosity and creativity.

Vinod D Deshmukh

December 18, 2015

What am I?

Body is the elephant in this room.

Mind is a way to communicate and create.

Ego is the situational role that I play at the moment.

Am I the encompassing field

Of awareness, energy and being,

Which is ever so silent, still and serene,

Untouched and unaffected by any observable event?

I create and uncreate

The world of my experience.

I become and unbecome

All that I experience,

And yet I remain the same.

What am I then?

That, only I can know

And feel within myself.

What about you?

What are you?

Vinod D Deshmukh

December 16, 2015

River and a Lake

A river is a lake

That is in a hurry

To reach the ocean.

A lake is a river

That pauses

To look at the sky.

A river carves out of time.

A lake reflects on eternity.

A river know the time.

A lake knows the timeless.

A skillful mind

Can flow like a river,

Or stand still like a lake.

It depends on the terrain,

It faces at the moment.

It lives with spontaneous joy,

Sometimes like a river,

And sometimes like a lake.

Vinod D Deshmukh

April 14, 1995

Life Flows

Life flows with the energy of

a breeze between leaves,

a river between shores,

a lightning between clouds,

an ionic flow between living cells,

and the dark energy between galaxies.

Listen to the flow of Life.

Listen to the listener until

Your silence listens to silence.

Be the Infinite silence that is.

See the flow of Life.

See the seer until

The seer is the seen.

Be the Infinite space that is.

Experience the flow of Life.

Experience the experiencer until

The experiencer is the experience.

Be the Infinite being that is.

Life is a multiform

Energy-awareness-being.

Life flows timelessly.

One is Life. Life is One.

Live the One Life that ever flows.

Vinod D Deshmukh

November 23, 2015

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Oil Painting

by Vinod D Deshmukh

Nov 23, 2015

Sharing a Tree

I was out on my morning walk.

I noticed this live Oak tree,

Which we share with our good neighbor.

We both care for its survival,

And let it grow naturally.

How artificial it would be

To say that this branch is mine,

And the other branch is yours.

It is after all one living tree.

Yet, that is exactly

How we treat Nature.

This square foot of land is mine;

This oceanfront beach is ours;

This 12 mile radius around the island

Is our protected ocean territory;

And even the infinite sky is

Zoned into multiple nationalities,

And layers for airplanes and drones.

Of course, some limits are reasonable

To prevent accidents, clashes and wars.

But, can we not learn to share and appreciate

Most of Nature and her infinite wonders?

For instance,

This majestic river is being shared

By our good neighbors and the community.

Even a dead Cypress tree

Can share the burden of

A beautiful but, leaning Oak tree.

We share our stories and experiences,

And also share flowers

Like these Parijatak and Mums,

To enhance love and friendship.

We of course have to share

All of the natural elements,

Since our very life and existence

Depend on them.

We share the living planet Earth,

The air, the water and the biosphere,

The Sun and the Solar system,

And even the Cosmos beyond.

All living organisms

Sense their natural surroundings,

And manage the exchange of

Molecules, energy and information,

Because all life depends on such

Self-organization and homeo-dynamics.

We also share

Our lived moments of time

With our loved ones, friends and

All Life around us.

Thus, sharing is natural.

A shared life is truly

A beautiful life.

Vinod D Deshmukh

October 30, 2015

A Good Life

This morning,

I was surfing the Facebook.

I came across a sad news from a friend.

She had posted a photo of

Her grandfather with his grandchild.

Unfortunately, grandpa had passed away

After a struggle with cancer.

I wrote to her,

“I am sorry to hear the sad news.

He seems to be a loving grandpa.

Hope he lived a good life.

Our best wishes for peace in family.”

Then, I went for a morning walk to the river.

I started thinking, “What is a good life?”

I recalled Bertrand Russell’s statement,

That the good life is inspired by love,

And guided by knowledge.

But, how does love come to be?

For instance, I love myself, my wife,

My children and grandchildren, and

All of my extended family and friends.

I love my Life and Nature.

When I am in Nature,

I have a unique feeling of selflessness,

When I forget myself as an individual,

And I have an ineffable sense of unity

With an overall feeling of oneness.

Universe after all exists as one reality.

As David Bohm wrote insightfully,

“Space is not empty. It is full…

The universe is not separate

From this cosmic sea of energy.”

To me, this Cosmic Sea is

Not only of energy,

But also of matter and information.

Information is essentially a signal

For an observing organism, like us.

What is an organism?

It is organic matter with functional systems,

Which can integrate energy-matter-information,

And self-organize itself into a whole

 In its natural niche.

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All living organisms

Love themselves, their loved ones,

And their self-created, protective nests.

Like all living beings,

We are both individual beings,

 As well as integral part of the universe.

How we perceive ourselves and experience world,

Depends on our self-perspective.

So, to live a good life,

One needs to have a feeling of loving unity,

With self, others and the world,

Without any fear, jealousy, anger or greed.

This would truly be a good life,

Which all of us could hold dear to our heart.

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Vinod D Deshmukh

October 23, 2015

One Child

I create myself and my world,

From moment to moment,

From situation to situation.

I am my own child and also

My own parent.

It all depends on

The role I play in a given situation,

And the emotions, which color

My mind at that time.

Sometimes, I wake up refreshed,

With natural, slow and deep breathing,

And an effortless, silent and serene mind.

I usually sit in meditation,

First thing in the morning.

If I see emails and text-messages,

Before sitting for meditation,

My mind wanders off to reactive thinking,

And it keeps me distracted for a long time.

So, I keep the phone away, while meditating.

When I go for a leisurely walk

In natural surroundings like the river edge,

I get inspired by the unexpected

Sights and sounds.

Then, I feel like taking pictures,

And write an interesting story or

A meaningful poem.

In this sense,

My situational experience is

Of my own creation.

The experiencer is my own child.

I learn from my own experience.

Thus, I also become my own

Teacher and parent.

That’s why, I am

The creator, the creation and

The creature of my life.

Although, there are some things,

That happen to me naturally,

And are beyond my control.

Like my being alive and breathing,

Being awake, asleep or dreaming,

Being hungry, thirsty or satisfied.

I have no control over

These natural circadian events.

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In that case,

I am just a small part

Of the Big Picture

Nature’s one child.

Vinod D Deshmukh

October 19, 2015

Fluid-Structures

It had not rained for a few days.

I noticed that the branches of

The Impatiens plants were drooping.

So, I watered them, and within hours,

They perked up to their lively beauty,

As soon as the water in their veins and

Fluid-structure was restored.

Fluid Structure 101615 042

Come to think of it,

All living beings are fluid-structures.

Each of the 100 trillion cells in the human body,

Contains 70-85% water.

That is why each cell can move

With amoeboid and ciliary movements.

Each cell can survive independently,

For months or years, when properly nourished.

Human body contains

28 liters of water inside its cellular mass,

And 14 liters of fluid outside the cells,

Including 3 liters as the blood-plasma.

This fluid volume is critically maintained,

And blood, being well oxygenated and nourished is

Continuously circulated throughout the body,

Without it, we won’t be able to

Breathe, stand and walk,

 Or even think and be alive.

Fluid Structure 101615 030

We are an incredibly complex and

Amazing fluid-structure that is alive and well.

All living plants, trees, and animals are also

Efficient fluid-structures.

Water reaches from their roots deep in the ground

To the very top leaves of these tall trees.

Even the non-living systems

Like clouds, stars and galaxies are driven

By ionic flows, electromagnetic gradients and gravity.

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It seems that the whole Universe is

One giant fluid-structure,

Organized and maintained by

Nature’s homeo-dynamics.

This is the great mystery behind

The Universal Law and Order

Ritam ऋतम्.

Fluid Structure 101615 035

Vinod D Deshmukh

October 16, 2015

Life moves on…

Life moves on…

Let’s move with it,

Joyously, dancing with

The white waters.

For there is no turning back.

The red pods of this Rain Tree

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Can’t be turned into

The yellow blossom again.

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Life moves on…

 The exhaled breath

Can’t be inhaled again.

The spoken word

Can’t be swallowed again.

Life moves on…

A hateful frown or

A loving smile

Can’t be taken back.

We can’t be

What we were even

A day before.

Life moves on…

The whole Nature

Including us

Is riding on an arrow of

Circadian multimodal energies,

Following her own Cosmic Clock.

All Life moves with it.

Life moves any way

With or without our awareness,

Consent or resistance.

We may as well

Stop swimming against the current,

And just flow joyously

With the Life’s beneficent stream.

After all, we are not separate from it,

But an integral part of Life itself.

When we see this Big Picture,

And feel in our heart,

The blissful oneness of all Life,

We too can flow with it,

Fearlessly and even joyously

Like an innocent child.

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With my sister Manik,

(More than 70 years ago)

Why should we think of

Turning the clock back?

Just appreciate today’s red pods and

Be curious and welcoming for

The New Life to dawn.

Life moves on…

As always.

Vinod D Deshmukh

October 13, 2015

Prior to…

Prior to…

My world is me.

…this, we and they is I am.

…duality is non-duality.

…multiplicity is unity.

Prior to…

Movement is stillness.

…breathing is pause.

…action is potential energy.

…expansion is condensation.

…differentiation is integration.

Prior to…

Perception is awakeness.

…sound is silence.

…speech is Mounam, quietness.

…form is formless.

…time is timeless.

Prior to…

Attention is matrix-awareness.

…experience is no-experience.

…feeling agency is a living being.

… person is preconscious being.

…consciousness is selfless awareness.

Prior to…

Individuality is universality.

…personal emotion is natural calm.

…anger and fear is blissful serenity.

…Death is life.

Prior to all this is bare existence,

Or is there a nonexistence prior to it?

Who knows?

It is like asking what is prior,

Energy or matter?

Tree or a seed?

Salmon or an egg?

Brain or mind?

Light or darkness?

Sun and Shade?

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The list of prior and after

Can go on and on…

But, may be in the formless and timeless reality,

There is nothing prior or after.

But, is there a formless and timeless reality?

Who knows?

How could anyone know,

Without being formless and timeless oneself?

Vinod D Deshmukh

September 20, 2015

New Idea – New Poem

A new idea or a new poem

Suddenly flashes, as if, out of nowhere,

Like a beautiful lightning,

From the dark rainclouds.

How can one locate it?

How can one time it?

How can one predict it?

And chart its path?

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Lightnings Nature's Fireworks 090215 076

But, is it necessary to pin down the lightning?

To figure out its origin, duration and end?

Or to know all of its secrets?

Ben Franklin learnt with a kite experiment,

The basics of electricity from a lightning.

But, did the phenomenon of lightning

Lose its splendor? No.

Why can’t we just witness its wonder?

Learn about it and integrate its beauty,

Within our heart and mind?

When you see a bottle-lightning,

Take a photograph or a video,

And appreciate its speed and magnificence.

The same is true of a new poem.

Just be grateful that it dawned on you.

Appreciate the great insight that it gave you.

Just witness it with amazement,

And be amused by its spectacle.

It is Nature’s unfathomable creativity.

Appreciate and make peace with Her Laws.

Love Life as is in all forms.

Love Nature.

Vinod D Deshmukh

September 3, 2015

Sowing and Watering

This morning,

I went on my usual route,

Of watering plants around our house.

Watering plants is always a joy for me.

It is like visiting old friends.

Seeing how they are doing.

There are always some surprises on the way.

This morning, for instance,

I was excited to see the sprouted seeds

Of Honeydew that I had planted,

Just a few days ago.

They are like the newborns,

Still trying to hold themselves up.

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Some other recently planted seeds,

Mango and Jackfruit are now in their infancy.

They have learnt to stand up straight

Against the mighty gravity.

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It is always a pleasure

To see them grow and do so well.

It is like raising our children

And grandchildren with love and care.

We feed them,

Clothe them in beautiful clothes,

And try to protect them from any harm.

We, not only teach them

To stand, walk, run, and play sports,

But also try to teach them

Good manners and common values,

Like being self-dependent and caring,

Accepting and getting along with others,

And sharing whatever one has to play with.

Many times, it is difficult to learn

These simple lessons and human values,

Both for the student as well as for the teacher.

Gautama Buddha,

And many other enlightened souls,

Throughout human history,

Have taught us, with their own examples,

The eternal and universal values,

Like equanimity, cheerfulness, charity,

Friendship, love and compassion.

We can learn these values,

Not only from other people,

But also from animals, plants,

And amazingly from Nature-at-large.

Vinod D Deshmukh

August 27, 2015

Planting a Tree

 

Jayan, our seven year old grandson,

Visited us today.

When he came, I asked him,

If he would like to join me in planting a tree.

Although, he would have preferred to play a computer game,

He decided to come with me anyway.

We both wore gloves and proper shoes.

I carried a shovel and a potted Plumeria plant.

Jayan carried a small bag of cow manure.

I dug a hole in the ground, cleared the roots,

And asked Jayan to mix the manure in soil.

We took out the plant from the pot,

Loosened its roots and put it in the ground.

We made a little moat around it to hold water.

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I asked Jayan to water the plant with a hose.

He sprayed water on the plant,

And also on a few other plants nearby.

When he turned to spray other plants,

The Sunlight hit the spray, just at the correct angle.

Jayan was surprised to see a rainbow.

He was so excited to see the rainbow,

That he called me to look at it too.

We both enjoyed looking the beautiful rainbow.

It was a joyous shared moment.

Attending to an object simultaneously,

Is called “joint attention.”

With such a joint attention, a child learns from

His/her parents, teachers and friends.

Joint attention can also generate

A common feeling and bonding.

I took a few photos of the plant,

And downloaded them on my computer.

I showed Jayan,

How I edit, enhance and crop an image,

And how to make it black-and-white, sepia or even blue.

He was amused by the technology.

I shared with Jayan, a few of my recent poems,

Which were inspired on our last family vacation,

When he was with us too.

He enjoyed those photo-poems and the memories.

Hopefully, one day,

He too will plant a flowering tree,

With his own grandchild,

And be inspired to write a photo-poem.

In the meantime, we hope,

Our plant will grow into

 A fully blossomed Plumeria tree.

Vinod D Deshmukh

August 19, 2015

Feeling of Freedom

This morning,

I was at our dock on the St Johns River,

Watching these white clouds,

Against the clear blue sky.

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Suddenly, I had a feeling of freedom.

Freedom from pressure of time and personal schedules,

Freedom from demanding family obligations and

Freedom from personal worries, wants and expectations.

I was free from

Fear, anxiety and depression;

Free from anger and hatred.

I was what I was, nested in the present,

Beyond my usual mental clouds.

I felt that it was like

Coming out of these mental clouds,

Into a boundless blue sky,

Which is infinitely serene,

Beautiful and ever-present.

Overcoming the dominance of my mental stream,

The rushing thoughts, memories and images,

And forgetting for a moment,

My mindless inner talk, stories and dramas.

It was like

Letting go of all self and the other duality,

Going beyond this and that,

And being free from myself and my mental stream.

I was fully awake and mindful of

What was happening now in the ever-present,

Which was obviously blissful, limitless and timeless,

Like this amazing clear blue sky.

Vinod D Deshmukh

August 16, 2015

Pardoning a Snake

I was born on Nag Panchami,

Which is a special day celebrated by Hindus,

By worshipping an idol, an image or a drawing of a snake,

To obtain blessings from Nag Devata

To secure peace within oneself and one’s family.

I clearly remember

That my father used to carefully draw

An image of a Nag, on a piece of paper,

With his finger dipped in milk.

Then, our family would worship it on that day.

This Hindu tradition may have been

One of the ways to overcome

Our primal fear of snakes.

Although I was born on Nag Panchami,

I was afraid of snakes.

I would always panic,

If I saw one in our yard,

And would try to kill it out of fear.

As a matter of fact,

I have killed many snakes in our yard,

Including a baby snake.

I have distinct memories of all of them.

Probably, most of them were nonpoisonous.

This morning, I went for a walk

On our dock, at the St Johns River,

Which is a part of our backyard.

On my way back,

As I was walking on the green grass,

Suddenly, I saw a three-foot long black snake,

Crawling away from me in the grass.

I was taken aback,

But, I just stood still and watched it closely.

The snake would crawl, pause, look,

And then crawl away again.

Finally, it disappeared in the nearby bushes.

I was happy to notice

That I did not panic this time.

Somehow, I had accepted the existence of that snake,

And probably pardoned it subconsciously.

After all,

It is as much a part of Nature as I am.

It has as much a right to live as I have.

I realize that

Nature is an intelligent self-organizing system,

With justice and benevolence for all living beings.

The Natural Laws are complex and unfathomable.

They support and nurture all life,

Including mine as well as the life of this snake.

Vinod D Deshmukh

August 14, 2015

A Spider’s Web

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This morning,

We went with our son,

And two grand sons

To play golf.

On way to the driving range,

I noticed a large spider web,

Among the Palmettoes.

I paused and watched for a while.

Initially, the spider was at the center of the web,

Just being mindful of the whole web,

And staying still, doing nothing.

All was quiet.

Suddenly, an unlucky fly

Flew right into the web.

There was a lot of frantic activity.

The fly was trying its best to get away,

Whereas, the spider immediately rushed

To the site of the pray,

And started wrapping it perfectly,

With its sticky silk-threads,

Like a professional gift-wrapper.

The mama spider then moved up

The large wrapped gift,

To where her baby spider was resting.

The baby spider got excited,

And moved down to enjoy the feast.

This drama of Life,

Is not unlike many of our lifetime stories.

We too weave an experiential web,

Of our actions, perceptions, memories, and associations,

And live a mental life, embedded in it.

Our dreams, images and thoughts are like a spider’s web,

Where we play the role of the hunter-hunted,

Or the observer-observed.

Life’s drama continues on endlessly,

Until one day, we wake up to the reality of our timeless being.

After many good, bad and sad experiences,

We tend to learn to free ourselves,

From our self-created associative webs,

And fly freely and creatively in our life.

Most of our new brain or neocortex is devoted,

To keeping track of and connecting our associative memories.

In the Upanishads*

Rishis have used spider’s web as a metaphor,

For Life’s interactions and interconnectedness,

With our own mental being,

Firmly trapped in it.

We have to discover

The core of our timeless conscious being,

In order to free ourselves,

From our own apparently endless mental web.

Sorry, I have to leave now.

My family is waiting for me at the putting green.

Remember:

A family that plays together, stays together.

Thank you.

Vinod D Deshmukh

August 9, 2015

 

 

Shandilya Upanishad*

तन्मध्ये नाभिः | तत्र द्वादशारयुतं चक्रम् | तच्चक्रमध्ये पुण्यपाप प्रचोदितो जीवो भ्रमति ||6||

तन्तुपन्ञ्जर मध्यस्थ लूतिका यथा भ्रमति तथा चासौ तत्र प्राणश्चरति | देहेस्मिन् जीवः प्राणारुठो भवेत् ||7||

“There is a twelve-spoked chakra around an umbilicus. In that chakra, an individual being wanders, being driven by good and evil intentions. (6) Just as a spider keeps roaming in its own self-created web, living beings also keep wandering in their own (mental) web. In this body, the individual being rides on its breathing. (7).”

A Missing Gold Chain

During Diwali celebration, last October,

My elder sister gave me a beautiful gold chain,

As a symbol of her love.

I have been wearing that chain ever since.

Recently, I had a surgery under anesthesia.

According to the preoperative instructions,

I was advised to remove all metal objects,

From my body prior to anesthesia and surgery.

So, I removed the gold chain,

And kept it in a safe place.

My surgery went well,

And I got back into my routine again,

Of going to a local Gym for exercise.

Yesterday, after walking for 45 minutes,

I went for a shower.

When I started putting soap on my neck,

I suddenly felt the absence of the gold chain.

It was as if some important part was missing,

From my body, body-image,

And my brain’s sensory homunculus.

It was an unexpected experience,

Just like missing an amputated leg or

Feeling the absence of Florida Peninsula,

From the United States map.

Of course, I recalled clearly,

Where I had securely kept the chain.

I was happy to find it there,

When I returned home.

It is amazing,

How our brain and its complex networks,

Continuously change and adapt to our experience,

And its frequent repetitions.

The brain lets you know immediately,

When something is amiss,

Whether it be a precious ornament, a lovely place,

A friendly pet, or a beloved person.

Sometimes, it may take years for brain~mind

To readjust itself to the changed self-situation.

All of this unusual experience

Reminded me of a famous saying in Sanskrit:

आत्मा तु सततं प्राप्तः

अपि अप्राप्तवद् अविद्यया |

तन् नाशे प्राप्तवद् भाति

स्वकण्ठाभरणं यथा ||44||

“आत्मबोध” आदि शङ्कराचार्य.

“Atman is indeed an ever present Reality.

Yet because of our ignorance, we do not realize it.

When the ignorance is overcome,

Atman appears to be regained, just like a (missing) ornament,

Although it has always adorned one’s neck.”

From Atma-Bodha by Adi Shankaracharya.

Vinod D Deshmukh

August 4, 2015

The Silent Trail

 

After viewing the green valley,

Through a window in the passing clouds,

From the top of Whiteside Mountain in North Carolina,

I started walking down the rugged trail.

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Suddenly, my mind became quiet.

My listening and awareness became heightened.

I could hear the sound of my walking stick –

A long crooked branch,

That I had found on my previous trail.

The sound clearly changed, when the stick struck

The hard granite rock, pebbles, soft sand or mud.

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I could hear my footsteps with tennis shoes,

Alternating with the sound of the walking stick.

I could also hear my rhythmic breath,

Naturally synchronized with movements.

I paused a few times,

To take photos of flowering Rhododendrons.

They were in blossom all along the trail.

The beautiful buds were initially pink,

Which then turned into lovely white flowers.

The white petals had fallen on the ground,

All along this inviting trail.

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In front of me was an elderly gentleman,

Walking slowly with two sticks in his hands.

As he heard me getting close to him,

He stopped and asked me to go ahead.

I said, “Thank you, Sir.”

Then, we had a brief conversation.

He was a retired teacher,

From a Liberal Arts College in Atlanta.

He was a regular visitor on this trail.

Suddenly, I heard a few rain drops,

Falling on the high canopy of thick green leaves.

That sweet sound was a pleasant surprise,

And a real inspiration for me,

On this silent trail.

I realized that

Each sound leads to the great silence,

When followed quietly and attentively.

We have to learn to be quiet and vigilant,

To listen to various sounds of Life,

And experience the blissful silence,

That is ever present.

Silence is the matrix of all sounds.

Awareness is the source of all experience.

Vinod D Deshmukh

July 27, 2015

The Weeping Tree

The Beech Tree was called “The Weeping Tree”

Because it had drooping branches,

With “teardrop” leaves.

From outside, it looked gloomy and sad,

But from inside, it was ever so cheerful

And full of many wonders.

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Family vacation, NC 072215 162

The inside was like a secret “hideout.”

The cascading branches formed a perfect curtain,

And created a spacious secret playroom for all children.

When I noticed this wonder, I shared the secret,

With our six grand kids.

They thanked me for it, and played there happily,

For more than two hours.

With their imagination,

They created a “Palace” with security barricades of long branches.

They collected a pile of sticks and leveled the floor smooth,

For their secret meetings and playful conversations.

They climbed on the incredibly curved branches,

And also bounced up-and-down,

From a spring-like low branch.

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All of them were so happily engrossed,

In their perfect dream-play,

That they did not want to leave even for lunch.

I took lots of pictures, to my heart’s content.

As it happened,

This amazing Beech tree was not “weeping” at all;

It was laughing and making us laugh too.

It would be better to rename it,

“The Great Laughing Tree.”

Vinod D Deshmukh

July 27, 2015

Chain of Islands

 

Sometimes, a chain of islands

Is formed by a unique volcanic activity.

Some of the well-known examples are

The Florida Keys, Alaskan islands, Hawaii and Maldives.

Here is a beautiful picture of the chain of Maldives’ islands.

chain of islands 1

These chains of islands reminded me

Of the islands of our own conscious experience.

Our present moment’s experience

Is like a little, newly born island,

Where we find ourselves Interacting

With objects, people, and ideas.

These momentary interactions

Create our unique island of the present experience.

These transient islands

Are continuously created from memories of the recent past,

Which fade away into the projections of the immediate future,

Leaving behind a personal chain of events.

If we learn to pause mentally,

We may experience the Ocean in between the islands,

Which has been described as

Still, silent, serene,

Infinite, timeless, and blissful.

Here is a small diagram

That I drew in my journal this morning.

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It is up to us,

How long to dwell on an island;

Whether to hop from island to island,

Or pause for a moment in between,

And abide in the Ocean of Bliss.

Vinod D Deshmukh

July 18, 2015

Impending Death

It is mid-Summer now.

Temperatures are in the upper nineties.

 It rains almost every afternoon,

But, it is not enough for many plants.

I noticed that two of our plants,

Looked dehydrated and very sick.

One was a small, potted “Angel Trumpet” plant,

Given to us as a gift by a good friend.

Its tender leaves were drooping.

It was sad to look at.

The other plant was a “New Guinea Impatiens,”

A flowering plant that we bought recently.

Its beautiful pink flowers were closing,

And the leaves had started drooping.

It was also worrisome to look at.

I quickly watered both plants,

And the rest of our garden.

It was a life-saver for them!

It is hard to believe

That within an hour, both plants perked up,

And they looked lively again.

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All Life, including ours,

Always faces an impending death.

All of the Natural Elements,

Including the Sun, Water, Earth,

Wind, and the Sky

Have to be just right –

Neither too much, nor too little,

For all Life to survive and thrive.

Our body’s complex self-organization,

Has to work perfectly as well.

It has to achieve Life’s “homeo-dynamic equilibrium,”

A big word for an organism to constantly change,

And yet, remain about the same.

For us

To be alive, awake and aware,

Is truly a living miracle.

We should appreciate this great wonder,

From moment to moment,

And respectfully nourish all Life,

Whenever and wherever we can.

Vinod D Deshmukh

July 17, 2015

On Mindfulness

This morning,

These lovely flowers are

Blossoming beautifully.

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Happy 4th of July 2015 017

The Papaya and Jack fruit seeds

Are sprouting vigorously.

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Happy 4th of July 2015 015

My body is growing slowly,

Over a long period of time.

My mind meanders periodically,

At its own pace.

But, I stay alert and mindful

Of all that happens,

Within and around me.

This mysterious world is unfolding,

Like an ever-flowing majestic river.

I pause for a moment,

 In the serene silence.

How blissful the presence is!

Nature’s firework is spectacular

On this 5th of July 2015!

It reminds me to be self-aware,

And free myself of all mindlessness!

Just Amazing!

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Happy 4th of July 2015 020

Happy Self-Independence

On this 4th of July!

Vinod D Deshmukh

July 5, 2015

The Three Legged Stool

For a three legged stool to stand,

All three legs are essential.

It can’t stand on one or two legs.

It will topple easily.

Similarly, our conscious life depends on

Three essential components,

Namely, the level of conscious arousal,

Contents of conscious experience,

And the sense of self.

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The level conscious arousal may vary

From dreamless sleep to overexcitement.

The contents of consciousness may vary

From complete silence to the noise of a crowd;

 The perceived space may be as small as a single point,

Or as vast as the limitless starry night.

Our experience may also be

A lingering taste of a sweet mango,

Or the distant smell of a Night Jasmine.

It may be an intense emotion of a fear or a furor,

Or an unexpected bliss of an instantaneous insight.

The sense of self may be “autobiographical,”

Full of our own life-long stories and dreams,

With a proud sense of ego, self-agency, and self-identity,

Or it may just be a “core self” that interacts

With the present, external and internal environments.

Self may also be a sense of “pristine primal being,”

A peaceful and unmoving feeling of “I am.”

It is like being still in the middle of becoming.

zazen 2

Throughout our conscious life,

We are sitting on this “three legged stool.”

We can’t afford to miss a leg,

Lest, we may fall from

Our perfect Presence~in~Nature,

Realizing that the Sacred is in the “Other”

And in fact, there is no “Other.”

Happy “sitting” in your equipoise,

With the triad of

Stillness, silence and serenity,

As in Zazen, an “absorptive sitting” meditation!

zazen 4

zazen 5

Photo-Poem by

Vinod D Deshmukh

June 26, 2015

Hobie

While on our family vacation,

In the Florida Keys,

We rented a 16 feet, Hobie catamaran,

For the fun of sailing.

The sailboat had two large hulls,

A main sail and a jib.

It was well designed, lightweight,

And highly efficient.

We were sailing on the Bay side,

Within a large cove of ocean water,

Surrounded by a chain of small islands,

Almost like the Florida Keys,

Before they were connected,

 By narrow roads and long bridges.

When I was a mere passenger,

I could see and appreciate the wonder

Of some tiny islands with lone trees,

Flourishing on them.

The large islands had thick forests.

Then, I took over the control of the sailboat,

And started navigating it myself towards

One of the large islands as a defined target.

Since, the wind was perfect in that direction,

And the boat was almost flying,

It was simply an exhilarating experience.

I was one with the boat.

Not only that, but I felt

That the whole sailboat was

My extended body flying high

On the open seas.

It was like a “flow” state.

Similar experiences have been described

By many sports players including

Tennis players, snow-skiers, wind-surfers,

Blue Angel pilots and even “Wii” players.

It seems that the arrow of

Our wholehearted attention

Defines our momentary field

Of perception-cognition-action and awareness,

With ourselves playing an integral role in it.

Momentarily, we forget ourselves, and become “that,”

Whatever “that” may be.

Thus, we play infinite situational roles,

From moment-to-moment,

And yet we continue to be,

Who we really are –

Ourselves!

Try sailing a Hobie, sometimes!

You may enjoy the “flow” of flying!

 

Cheers!

Vinod D Deshmukh

June 19, 2015

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Essential Presence

When one is essentially present,

One can be without

A breath or a stir,

A word or a thought,

A memory or a motive,

A fear or an aggression,

A personal past or a future,

A self~body image or a mentation,

And a struggle to fit

In this amazing natural world.

When one is essentially present,

One can be spontaneously

Quiet, silent and peaceful.

One can also be self-at-ease,

 Whole-hearted, original and pristine.

In essential presence, which includes

Life-energy, being and awareness,

One is so completely and blissfully aware,

That it constitutes the whole reality.

The rest of the time, our life-experiences

Are like a fast moving train,

Carrying our load of personal scenes and memories,

With our ego constantly battling with

People, places and ideas.

The essential presence is

 Selfless, infinite and timeless.

It is the core of our being,

Fully alive, aware and at peace

With itself and the world.

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A Blue Heron

On top of a Bird Nest.

Poem and Photograph By

Vinod D Deshmukh

June 3, 2015

The Dining Hall

At lunch time,

My wife and I were having dessert, on our back deck.

It was sweet mangoes on mango ice-cream, our favorite.

Dining Hall 052815 017

Then, I noticed, through the corner of my eye,

A squirrel quietly eating nuts from a bowl.

We have three bowls for them, full of seeds and nuts,

So that they won’t fight with each other,

And bully beautiful birds like Cardinals.

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Sometimes, I have seen

A red Cardinal feeding his lovely bride,

Like a newlywed couple in Indian weddings,

And then happily bouncing

On a long dried branch of a Mimosa tree.

Osprey & Cardinals 052915 026

We have seen

Humming birds and butter flies

Going from flower to flower,

Enjoying the sweet honey for their lunch.

At a distance, along the river’s edge,

We often see an Osprey perched

On his favorite branch of a Cypress tree,

And eating a freshly caught fish,

Which is usually still wiggling.

Osprey & Cardinals 052915 041

Osprey & Cardinals 052915 043

Along the bank of the river,

I have seen a Little Blue Heron

Repeatedly tossing a big fish,

In order to make it numb,

And then swallow it whole.

It is quite a spectacle to watch,

Like a magician swallowing a long sword.

Osprey & Cardinals 052915 045

From the dock, we see Manatees,

Often with their calves,

Happily grazing on the green grass,

Along the river floor.

Our neighbor’s dog is barking;

May be because he is hungry for lunch.

We see some smoke rising

From our neighbor’s barbeque grill.

Looks like they are ready to have lunch.

So, this whole backyard, at this moment,

Seems like a huge, shared dining hall,

Where all are enjoying their favorite meals.

How large could this dining hall be?

It could be as spacious as the Earth herself.

After all, we are just one big Earthly family.

We need to overcome

Our fearful and aggressive survival instincts,

Learn to get along with each other,

And share willingly and happily all of Nature’s Bounty.

This may be just one of my day-dreams,

But, one day, I hope it will become

Our collective desire for a humane society!

Poem and Photographs

By Vinod D Deshmukh

May 28, 2015

Petty Little Mind

Here I am, sitting on a bench,

By the St Johns River, this morning,

Watching this lovely blue sky.

Blue Sky 052315 001

A small question arises in my mind,

“Where shall I draw

A line, a shape, or a picture?”

This apparently naïve question

Inspired me to answer it,

As well as I could.

Honestly,

Where shall I draw a line,

In this clear blue sky;

In this glorious glow of the daytime;

In this sweet, life-giving fresh air;

In this ever-flowing river,

And in the vastly enriched Earth?

Where shall I draw a line,

Between me and this lone Cormorant,

Quietly sitting on this piling?

Blue Sky 052315 006

Where shall I draw a line,

Between me and my memory,

Between mine and all these other things,

Between my spontaneous silence and rushing thoughts,

Between my natural peace and my agitations,

Between my given life and death?

Where shall I draw a line,

Between my personal point of view and yours,

Between my philosophy of Life and yours,

Between my real and present experience,

And its endless descriptions?

The fact is

That this petty little mind of mine

Is unable to handle

This Infinite Present Reality, as is,

Which I am facing Now, and of which,

I am just a small but an integral part.

I guess,

I am not alone,

In this universal human predicament.

All of us have inherited it and shared it,

Through a long and arduous evolutionary process,

Of Life’s constant struggle for survival,

Fear of the Unknown,

And frequent avoidance of “Strangers.”

Now, leaving all the past aside,

And by not self-enclosing oneself now,

Can I really wake up to this moment,

And just be wholly present?

May be,

There is no need to draw any line;

Since, All is Infinite!

Vinod D Deshmukh

May 23, 2015

One Life-Within-LIFE

Reintegrate with Nature, again and again,

Like a fawn joyously dancing all day,

And falling asleep effortlessly,

On a bed of grass on the forest floor,

With a complete trust in the beneficence

Of her mother and Mother Nature.

She lays all night peacefully,

In a perfect camouflage,

With no stirring or movement,

No sound, cries or calls,

No dreams, scenarios or thoughts,

And thus no anxiety, remorse or fear –

A perfect self-mergence and unity

In her own natural being.

It is a natural loving union,

And a reunion, again and again,

Between a living being and Living Nature,

Expressing itself in spontaneous

Stillness, silence and serenity,

Embedded in perfect harmony and bliss.

We should learn a few lessons of life

From a one-day old duckling trusting her mother,

And jumping off from the nest, high up in the tree,

All the way down to the bed of leaves on the forest floor;

                                             Or from a newborn elephant,

                             Who instinctively struggles with all of its energy,

To stand straight and start walking,

Behind her vaguely seen but fully trusted Mother;

Or the newly hatched baby turtles,

Rushing instinctively to the mighty Ocean,

To replenish the water they lost during the hatching process,

By following the nanoparticles of water,

And the sweet inviting scent

By following our heart,

And trusting the core of our Primal Being,

We too should return

To One blissful Life-within-LIFE,

Again and again,

After so much iterative dancing,

In our precarious daily lives.

Vinod D Deshmukh

May 22, 2015

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“River of Humanity”

Original oil painting by Vinod D Deshmukh, 2015

Self-Understanding

Seven Short Poems

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Life-within-LIFE

Original oil painting by Vinod D Deshmukh 2015

Ten Words

 

I understand

Myself clearly.

All in Self,

Self in All! ||1||

 

Otherness

 

Is a reactive feeling

Due to misperception;

When it is resolved,

Self remains

One Whole! ||2||

 

Life-within-LIFE

We are in Nature;

Nature is within us,

Like life-within-LIFE,

As One Reality! ||3||

 

Breathing

 

By breathing,

We are connected to Nature,

And sustained like a newborn

Instinctively feeding

On mother’s breast! ||4||

 

No-Mind

Mind is just

A thought, a memory, a distraction;

In Pristine Presence,

There is No-Mind,

That obscures! ||5||

 

Living

 

Living heartily,

With self-absorption,

Peace, Joy and Love

Freely for All! ||6||

 

Speaking

 

I speak not,

When I drink;

I speak not,

When I listen;

I speak not,

When I meditate,

Silently, Serenely! ||7||

Vinod D Deshmukh, Inspired at dawn on May 14, 2015

Staying or Traveling?

Are you staying or traveling?

Are you staying present here and now?

Or are you traveling mentally

To there and then?

This is the crucial question

That we need to ask repeatedly to ourselves,

To find out where and when we are at this moment;

Because what we experience

Depends entirely on our momentary locus and focus

Of time-space awareness.

We may experience

A sequence of events like en enchanting video-clip

Or just a single spectacular event

Like a lovely snap-shot.

There are neurobiological limits

To our instantaneous perceptivity of time,

From a few milliseconds to several thousand seconds,

Without any repetition, rehearsal or memory.

There are also neurobiological limits

Of our space perceptivity,

From a few millimeters to several miles to the horizon,

Without the aid of any instrument.

With such limits to our subjective human capacities,

We can experience only a limited space-time event,

At any given conscious moment.

The stream of our conscious experience

Looks as if it is flowing like a river,

Or standstill like a reflecting lake.

It all depends on the mode of our being;

Whether we are standing still, silent and serene,

Or we are rushing hurriedly from place to place,

As if in a dream or an imaginary travel trip.

We are capable of experiencing both.

Wish you all a safe mental journey

With an inspiring pause!

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers!

Vinod D Deshmukh

May 10, 2015

I am.
I am all this.
This is all that I know.
What else is there?
I don’t know.
But, I am watching.
Let’s see.

Vinod D Deshmukh.

May 8, 2015

Life

Life Loves Itself. 
 
Life Knows Itself. 
 
Life Energizes Itself. 
 
One is Life Itself.

Sunset 041915 001

April 20, 2015

Life and Death

 

The Loquat trees are loaded

With ripe, golden-yellow fruits, just now.

So, I picked up a basketful,

Washed and shared them with my wife.

We figured out that there was

An easy way to peel the fruit clean,

And taste the soft yellow belly,

The sweet and sour pulp inside.

After the pulp is eaten,

A few beautiful, bright brown seeds pop out.

There may be one to five seeds in each fruit.

We saved all of the seeds,

As I wanted to plant them in our yard.

In the afternoon, I took a long spade,

And started digging small holes and dropping few seeds in each,

All along the fence of our two acre property.

I must have planted over hundred seeds,

And absolutely loved doing it.

Suddenly, along the river shore,

I noticed a dead body of a raccoon,

Simply lying still on this good Earth.

I had seen this raccoon wandering in our backyard,

Just a few days ago, searching for food, I presume.

I was taken aback and paused for a moment.

Then, I decided to dig a hole in the ground,

And buried the limp dead body,

With a feeling of dignity and respect,

For all the living and the dead.

I wondered about the incredible capacity of Mother Earth;

She, not only accepts all seeds of Life,

And nurtures them to grow into beautiful tall plants and trees,

But, she also accepts and assimilates all the dead Life,

And slowly and gently caresses them

Into New Life again.

What a revival that is!

Thanks to Mother Earth for

Our Life as well as Death.

Happy Easter to All!

Vinod D Deshmukh

April 5, 2015

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Pulsating Life

 

With a lightning impulse,

The heart pumps out, with all its might,

The fresh blood from its chamber,

To every nook and cranny of the body,

Renewing the vitality of life.

With rhythmic electro-chemical signals,

The brainstem medullary neurons

Activate the respiratory muscles,

To take in oxygen from Earth’s atmosphere,

And to return the used-up CO2 back

To the life-sustaining Earth.

A mighty weight-lifter

Synergizes all of his voluntary energy,

To synchronize his breathing, posture and body,

To lift instantly a weight of 472 kg,

And sets an Olympic World Record in the year 2000.

A masterful vocalist

With her skillful presence and vocal power,

Effortlessly produces a perfect high note,

In a widely applauded encore.

Like the tidal wave of an ocean,

We too interact with our surroundings,

Physically, mentally, socially and spiritually,

To weave the fabric of our personal life.

Like a little bird, we grow in our cozy nest,

Both consciously and sub-consciously.

It seems that the whole living reality is pulsating,

Like the Lord Shiva dancing to the pulse of Life,

 Totally absorbed in His endless Creativity,

Being perfectly filled to the brim with

Divine Love and the Bliss of

Timeless Being.

Atma Jyotih Shivosmiham 033112 008

Vinod D Deshmukh

March 13, 2015

Play of Memories

 

Memory of my body swimming,

And coordinating breathing with backstroke.

Memory of me drinking hot masala tea,

With a hint of ginger in it.

Memory of lighting incense stick this morning,

And the soothing effect of its sweet fragrance during prānāyāma.

Memory of the evening light coming through

The canvas of our oil painting, “Synergy.”

Memory of the vast colorful sky at sunset,

Caressing the entire visible world.

Memory of making notes in my journal,

And intending to write this poem today.

Memories are created and reactivated

By a narrowly directed, arrow-like attention,

Whereas, the omni-directed, sky-like attentiveness

Is not contaminated by any image or memory,

Other than its own innate reality.

Memories can be as real as the reality itself.

They usually dominate our daytime wakefulness.

This web of memories creates the drama,

And weave the story of our life.

Some memories are deep rooted

Like our first name, face and autobiography.

Is it possible to be free

Of this habitual memory-mode,

With its distracting intrusions?

Not easy, but possible.

That is where the pristine self-spring is.

Here, I am in the ever-fresh now,

Unhindered by any shadow of

The past or the future.

Being fully present now,

With a feeling of peace,

I am happily concluding this poem,

Unaffected by the fluid play of memories.

Vinod D Deshmukh

March 9, 2015

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River of humanity and the ever-new Now!

Original oil painting by Vinod D Deshmukh

February 2015

Self-Understanding

 

By noticing one’s absent-mindedness,

One actualizes one’s presence.

By realizing that one is day-dreaming,

One wakes up to a new day.

By ceasing to play the endless roles of ego,

One may act lovingly as the self-of-all.

By realizing that one doesn’t know something,

One is likely to learn new things.

By accepting one did not tell the truth,

One may achieve honesty.

By not thinking about one’s limited ego,

One may act from one’s limitless self-source.

By acknowledging one’s lack of love,

One is likely to love someone truly.

By watching one’s restlessness,

One may learn to pause effortlessly.

By listening to the sounds and words,

One may reach a state of spontaneous silence.

By seeing the infinite forms on a canvas,

One may notice the formless everywhere.

By clearly observing a single event,

One may realize the eventless continuum.

By realizing how short and vulnerable one’s life is,

One may actualize the timeless truth.

By minimizing imperfections one may actualize

The perfect presence that ever is.

 Rocks in a pond

Vinod D Deshmukh

March 2, 2015

Self-Synergy: Ekātmatā

 

‘Syn’ means together.

‘Energia’ means energy.

Synergy means working together.

Synergy is the creation of a whole.

It is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is holistic energy.

Synergism is a natural process,

Existing in or produced by nature,

Rather than by any human intent or effort.

It is our innate and natural capacity.

Synergy is the key to self-organizing systems.

Self-synergy is

Nature in-action within us,

Within our living body, mind and self.

It is our integrated self-conscious being.

.

Self-synergy gives us a sense of wholeness;

A sense of one energy~awareness~being.

It is spontaneous, endless and ever-present.

We have to learn to pause mentally and stay

Still, silent, serene and present-minded,

For the ever-present truth to reveal itself.

Self-synergy is Ekāgrata.

It is an intense arousal~awareness~being.

It is a unique, calm, clear and unified

Self-Awareness or Ekātmatā.

Synergy is ubiquitous in nature,

From particles, atoms, molecules, cells,

Unicellular and multi-cellular organisms,

Their societies, ecosystems and

All cooperative inter-actions and relationships.

We are an integral part of nature.

The primordial feeling of self-synergy may lead one

To sense a cosmic synergy – a universal oneness.

That is what the Indian sages called,

“Sanatana Dharma” and Einstein1 called it,

“The Cosmic Religion.”

Vastu-Shanti Rahul & Sujata's Home 021615 056 b

A family worshiping together in synergy,

According to the Sanātana Dharma.

Note 1: Albert Einstein wrote an essay called “Cosmic Religion,” which was published in the New York Times Magazine on November 9, 1930. Einstein wrote about three levels of religion – “that of fear, with a God who protects rewards and punishes; a second (level) related to morality, like that of the Ten Commandments; and a third level he called the ‘cosmic religious sense.’ Einstein explained that, unlike an anthropomorphic concept of God, here, at this third level, a person feels the nobility and marvelous order revealed in nature and the world of thought. The person feels that individual destiny is a form of imprisonment and seeks to experience the totality of existence as a unity full of significance. We might define Einstein’s third level as spirituality.” (Quotation from Heilman KH and Donda RS. (2014). The Believer’s Brain: Home of the Religious and Spiritual Mind. Psychology Press, New York, NY. p. 102).

Vinod D Deshmukh

February 26, 2015

The Wellspring-Within

Ātma-Sphūraña

It is the source of

I-me-mine.

It is the source of

All experience and behavior of

Our body-mind-ego.

It is spontaneous and effortless

Arousal~awareness~being.

It is natural and blissful.

It is the origin of all feelings, thoughts,

Speech, memories, imaginations,

Motivations and willful actions.

It is the primordial feeling of

One’s living body,

Embedded in the Nature.

It usually reveals itself during meditation,

As stillness-silence-serenity or Atma-Shanti.

It is continuously present, powerful and

Perfect in itself.

It has no perceptible

Beginning or end.

It has no specific form or duration.

It is an infinite, timeless and ineffable Unity.

It is the Source, the Primordium of

One amazing Life.

Vinod D Deshmukh

February 21, 2015

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Sunset 022115 031

Form and Formless

 

This morning,

When I wanted to meditate,

I faced an empty altar.

 Vastu-Shanti Rahul & Sujata's Home 021615 024

We had taken the idol of Lord Ganesh,

From the pedestal to our son’s new home,

For Vastu-Shanti worship and blessing.

Initially, I was baffled.

 Then, I realized that the sacred Form of Lord Ganesh

Was only a symbol and a reminder of

The Infinite Formless.

Therefore, I should still continue to meditate on,

What is Omni-Present.

At our son’s home, we as a family,

Joyously worshiped the sacred idol of Lord Ganesh,

Who is presumed to remove all obstacles,

And bless us all for a happy and prosperous family life.

We respectfully celebrated the sacred Form.

 Vastu-Shanti Rahul & Sujata's Home 021615 055

This worship

Brought us all together,

In peace and blissful synergy,

Including our three lovely grandchildren,

Who participated whole-heartedly in the ceremony.

All of us and the new home were blessed.

 Vastu-Shanti Rahul & Sujata's Home 021615 056

After the worship,

We brought the sacred idol home,

And re-established it with our parents images,

On our home altar.

 Altar 021715 003

Next morning,

I

33 thoughts on “Recent Poems

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    Cheers!

    Vinod

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