For no obvious reason he shifted into a new house, disposing his ancestral, which was almost twice bigger and comfortable than the house he had shifted into.

‘Well, that house wasn’t peaceful’ – he said, before I could ask him the cause. Some of his friends might have asked him the very question he answered to me without being asked.

‘But what a house has to do with peace, which is an inner thing.’- I commented

“Well, atmosphere affects us in so many ways and somehow I never found peace there. Agreed, this is a small house compared to that but this is cozy and I can sense peace all around.’- He claimed.

Do you really- I had wanted to ask but I did not out of modesty. I knew his assumed peace won’t last long. The change of setting neutralizes certain external associations in their absence; hence one feels a temporary peace. But what will he do with his historical thought associations that will soon bring un-peace. Unless, of course, he decides to confront his association, the energy source of unpeace and neutralize them within and in the process turn them into associations of joy.

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vrksasana by Crystal

In one of my long stories I happen to meet a man who seem like practicing hatha yoga, standing  on one leg, an impossible feat, twenty four seven. (I had picked up this character from an ancient book. This posture is known as vrksasana or tree posture in Hatha yoga but it’s performed like any other asana not for hours or days)  I saw people offering him money out of awe but definitely assuming this was a way of begging. I had some dialoging with him, in the middle of night, part of which I am reproducing here under:

‘For how many days have you been like this?’

‘It’s sixteenth day today’.

‘People call it hatha yoga, though I haven’t read any yoga practice like this, any posturing which continues for such a long duration. What purpose does it serve? Do you do this as means of livelihood? People do give you money.’

‘People do give me money and I accept it. But that’s not my purpose. I have a specific purpose and its helping me.’

I wondered what could be his purpose, if not money. Why would he take up such an impossible act for money? Why couldn’t he think of some better way for his livelihood?

But instead of confronting him directly with my questions I decided to approach him in a circuitous way.

‘If your purpose isn’t money then you could have practiced this in the privacy of your house? Why in this crowded market place? Are you doing it for fame, driven by a desire to see your name in some record book?’

He laughed in response. He said- ‘I am not averse to people giving me money. I accept it in all humbleness It helps me neutralize my ego. But…believe me sir… this isn’t my purpose. I am a moneyed man. I have inherited a fortune. I will give you an example and this might make you understand how my ‘act’ helps. Look, when I announced my resolve of standing on one leg, my friends and well wisher thought I have gone crazy. They couldn’t believe their ears. They couldn’t believe anyone having such a crazy idea in these modern days. Some of them knew I was struggling against how I lived or did not live, but they hardly cared. They cared for our evenings together, which were always an elaborate affair, a gratifying time pass, with exotic drinks of all sorts, assortment of delicious dishes, and expensive cigarettes. We used to talk to our hearts content, where ever our thought associations carried us.’

He took a long pause and few deep breathes, balancing his body on one leg which must be on the verge of refusing to carry his weight as it was seventeenth day.

‘This all must look crazy and impossible to you unlike others. Man’s feet, once upon a time, on the surface of the moon too were beyond imagination. Impossible is impossible until it’s done. Besides, my purpose here is not to create any history because I am actually fighting history. And fighting history, general or personal, is an impossible act. In order to fight your essence one needs to penetrate ones essence and transmute the ingredient. Believe me, despite my luxurious life style, I was fighting my history but in my mind and not intent. This was a grave mistake on my part. Mind is the protege of history. I tried various practices, tricks and methods but every time mind trapped me and dumped me in the lap of history. Tired, disgusted and desperate, I picked up this impossible practice, which to me isn’t a feat but an act of intent. Hatha, as such, means willful. And willingness isn’t just a desire or having means to fulfill a desire. It’s  putting to action, the intent and the ‘potential to act’ to application. I chose this willful act to unchoose any other option on the table. Here, the moment I had put this intent into action, ‘next’ lost all meaning and so lost ‘time’ its very existence. Can you imagine me thinking in terms of time, waiting for anything in a state like this? In the beginning time felt like expanding not unlike rubber. Later I forgot the sense of time.’

He took another long pause. I waited for him. I could sense his tired body, though, his mental faculties looked agile. He must be finding it impossible to balance his body on one leg, which I wondered, still had the strength to bear the burden of his body. He resumed talking after few deep breaths.

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Cocoon by slgckgc

‘I had read of many impossible feats people used to practice in ancient days ‘to neutralize associations’, the real cause of repetitive behavior patterns, old ways, stagnation. There is a definite law you know, call it ‘the law of associations’. This law determines, what we think, what we remember or forget, at any given point of time. All our desires, all our moods are subject to this law. These associations in turn become our energy source. We are energized to do what the associated desire drives us to do. We think what the thought associations compels us to think. We remember what associations remind us and what we forget for lack of availability of the associated energy source to remind us. They are not determined by the need of the hour or our resolves but accessible associations. Now how can a man change, if his thoughts, his desires, his moods keep on shunting from available associations to associations. How can a man find stability to attain any goal? How can a man find any inner unity of what we term oneness when he is assaulted by a ‘legion’ from within?’

He continued to talk-‘ First of all one must ‘see’ the law in collaboration with other laws such as the law of accident, supported by the law of cause and affect which determines where one is at any given point of time. But, my friend, ‘seeing’ is not enough. This realization will sow seed of an intent which shall engender an ‘intending self’. But how can an ‘intending self’ grow unless he has energy sources at his command? Needless to say, he will have to win all the associations from his desires, moods and all the impulsive selves who are historical in nature. The very purpose of winning associations necessitates his constant presence. This makes an intentional willful act inevitable.’

He took another deep breath in silence and said- ‘Now imagine, how would one feel after half an hour on one leg? One would want to sit or lie down and relax. Within thirty minutes on my day one- needless to say, it felt like thirty hours- I started longing for my rocking chair, my cozy bed I never thought of while they were easily accessible to me. I longed for the comfort of my house. I longed for my passive luxurious routine life. I longed for my friends. And they came the very first evening. They came because they thought my drive will die down within an hour of standing on one leg. Actually, as one of them told me- first they all went to my house, damn sure that they will find me waiting for them as always with tables laid. But to their disappointment they learnt from my help that I was still on this crazy adventure. They decided to come here and talk some sense into me. They came fully prepared and shot at me a barrage of arguments as regards what life is and how lucky I was to have everything any one can long for in any life time and that I should be thankful to almighty for being so kind to me etc, the same arguments I have heard from every tom, harry and Mary. They hardly had any idea of how unpeaceful I was. How unreal my life was. How much I suffered inside me. When they realized failure of their arguments as weapon, they coxed me to smoke which, needless to say, I flatly refused. Late in the evening when all the onlookers had gone back to safety and comfort of their homes and beds, they offered me drink and food, which they had brought with them, which, once again, I refused. And then they did something I thank them because this helped me win certain associations. They sat in a circle just here and had a feast before my very presence late into night.’

‘I had given up all choices because I had already chosen. And let me tell you, no one chooses no one. We have to choose our selves. That day my friends left feeling disappointed in me hoping a better sense will eventually prevail upon me. They appear every day, in group, try to coax me into my old way of life, and then have their feast, though their numbers are gradually reducing, their ego-concentric hopes dying. Some of them have written me off as a gone case. Do you know one of them dared to ask me the other day to see a psychiatrist? One of them, I am told, visited a psychiatrist but the fellow refused to come here claiming the patient has to be willing, has to come to me so as to show his positive attitude towards him and his treatment.’

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Intent by Alan Levine

‘Do you know which leg I am standing on?’- Suddenly he asked me.

‘Right’- I said wondering why he asked me such a silly question.

‘No. It’s the leg of intent. You know we walk on two legs. The left leg is the leg of mind. I am intentionally standing on right because that’s the leg of intent, trying to paralyze the left. Metaphysically speaking, people walk on one leg, the leg of mind though externally they all seem to be walking on two. Over the years the leg of intent gets paralyzed and we all become used to walking on the leg of mind. Actually, it’s not physical, it’s a metaphysical walk, which you can ‘see’ using your third eye. Can you see?

I ‘saw’. I saw the metaphysical logic in what he said but my mind said this is impossible.

‘But, my friend’- suddenly I heard him addressing to me, as I was about to return- ‘you can walk, believe me, on one leg of intent. Though, externally you can use both of your legs. The leg of intent brings you here, where your ‘home’ is. The other leg always transport you ‘there’ where dwells nolife.’

I had nothing more to ask. I was left with no choice, I sensed, other than to walk on one leg of intent.

 

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Live less out of habit and more out of Intent – anonymous

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not Intent on arriving – Lao t zu

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