Friday, July 30, 2010

Invitation to Commune

This is a mail I sent to a bunch of friends. This invitation to open to all you readers too! :)


Hello everyone,

I am writing to you all to express a strong intention in me to interact with you all more regularly on a much deeper basis. With our busy lives, we seldom get time to interact with each other on a level which is more than small talk (though deep interactions do happen in small pockets here and there). While I totally enjoy the fun part and certainly want that to continue, I also believe that in the long run, if we are really sincere about establishing meaningful and deep relationships, we need to open up to each other more and for that we will have to often have conversations / interactions that are so much more deeper than small talk, which usually hovers around movies or complaints about road / weather / politics / bosses or ipods and other gadgets, and other forms of frivolous fun.

In addition, I believe it is vitally important to take ourselves and our lives so much more seriously and have a vision for ourselves (beyond having family / apartments / careers / fun). I believe only through such sincere efforts, which is not easy, can we find meaning and purpose in life to keep us going in an increasingly maddening, fragmented and violent society. I strongly believe that such a sincere attempt in consciously evolving towards a universally inclusive higher self is true religious practice. While it is great to have fun in the short term, if our lives lack meaning in the long run, we are going to end up living one long dreary life, running from one job to another, one relationship to another etc, leading to all sorts of complications / drama / violence for ourselves, for people around us and for society as a whole. This is an arduous task primarily because the conventional norm in the society just does not let it happen. Having lived in the society in a fairly unconscious manner for such a long time, many of its stifling practices and beliefs have found its way into us too. Only when we acknowledge this to ourselves can we begin to change. This really requires us to understand that we are not perfect and that we need to change and many times at fundamental levels and not be satisfied with looking to change by merely saying, Ill eat healthy food and do more exercise. While these might also be important, I believe the kind of transformation that needs to happen so as to enable us to have deep inner peace and live harmoniously with all of creation is far far more deeper.

Towards this common goal of finding fulfillment / completion in life and to live a totally peaceful and harmonious life, we can all get together and engage with each other and try and find motivation and inspiration to deal with our own dark sides. Of course, only when we are able to establish a lot of good will and trust amongst us, will we be comfortable mutually to open up to each other - to open up our dark sides (fear / desire / anger / pain / lust / jealousy / hatred / whatever) in particular and to receive constructive support / criticism regarding the same. Most of the time, most of us run away from our own dark sides and escape into a million different activities - which could be books for some, loud fun for some, sex for some, apathetic silence for some or career / money pursuits for some or fantasizing about the future for some (there are countless other escapes). We have all ran away from our dark sides so much that, we have totally forgotten their existence. We have all started wearing masks after masks (eg: successful person / intellectual / beautiful person / failure in life / failure in marriage / rich person / accomplished person / god seeker / atheist) over our faces that we hardly know our true face anymore. The masks may temporarily hide the dark side, but the dark side will obviously show up in other forms. It needs courage to see it and acknowledge its presence. Having people who have also recognized their own dark selves and are sincerely attempting to deal with it around if really helpful and if they are also people with whom we can connect, it helps tremendously. While at the beginning this does seem like a daunting and impossible task, I do believe that if we can sincerely attempt at dealing with it and transcending our smaller self completely, the transformation in us is certain to happen. I am reminded of the story of the sincere sparrow from Ramana. So, kindly take this request seriously and lets attempt to meet and evolve together towards more meaning in life.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have met so many wonderful people and that too with so many of you in such close geographical proximity. It would be really fantastic to engage with all of you and continuously go deeper without setting any arbitrary limits on how deep we can get in our relationships. Some of what I have written here may be totally unintelligible jargon for some, trivial for some and meaningful for some. I kindly request you to step back from whatever is your instinctive reaction to this and get back to me when you can respond more consciously, in an effort to engage / evolve more meaningfully from here on.

A few of us in this mailing list know of the saturday meetings that a bunch of us are trying to get to happen here in Chennai every saturday. The main purpose of it is to create a space to assist this evolution in us. But, many of our schedules are quite orthogonal to other's and hence it simply might not be possible for all of us to get together at the same time. The geographical spread of the city also does not make it easy either. But, this need not prevent different groups of people from meeting regularly and continuing the process of personal evolution and establishing deep relationships. This calls for a lot of commitment and awareness. The so called 'saturday' meetings need not actually happen on saturdays either :). It could also happen on other days. There could also be parallel meetings in different places! The few meetings we have had, tended to be more on the talking side and it has its pros and cons. With more people coming in, we could have have more variety of ways to engage with each other - yoga / dance / healthy cooking / gardening / food distribution / beach cleaning / drama / movie screening etc.

Once people get back to me about this mail, Ill try and set up a google groups through which all those who are interested can communicate. Though the mailing-list, might be a very handy tool, I would like to reiterate, there is nothing like the real thing - one on one personal interactions. If you dont really resonate with what I have written here, firstly thanks for reading through and secondly, do let me know and Ill immediately take you off the mailing list and prevent you from being spammed. Also, please feel free to add anyone whom you know whom you think would be interested in this. Ill send out a mail later on regarding tmrws meeting. Though some of you whom I have mailed are not even in the country (and some not in the city), I feel it is still possible for us to engage each other positively through whatever electronic means available! It would be great to have your inputs too! :)

Tata and thx for reading through such a lengthy mail!

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