Hold it There
Hold it there - to prepare to stay calm – to readying the forerunning mind
By steadying, and emptying it – of what could be inclinations and prejudices
Of what could be the negative emotions of anger, hatred and jealousy
Of what could be the facets of high emotional attachments
Before setting the motion to turn on the thought processes
Before launching the processes of saying, writing or doing things
Before perceiving, interacting and decision making
To help you see things deeply in the clarity of true perspectives
In the light of wisdom, unselfishness and the sweetness of sublimities.
To help you understand the damaging effects of clinging to
The habit of seeing things through someone else lens
Because, in doing so you will be living his or her life – not yours
Do realize that such dependence – if the lens is dirty and ill-motivated
Distracts and drags one down.
Do take care to avoid being trapped into the lingering effects of
Unwholesome mental formations:
Delusion, restlessness, greed, conceit, envy, miserliness
Worriedness and sadness, laziness or sloth, lethargicness, and doubt.
Hold it there – to be in the relaxed pure state of mind
To understand the dynamics of observer-observed – subject-object relationship
To be calm – to not make hasty opinion and judgment of others,
To learn from – by reflecting on the rise and fall – and the birth and demise of:
Life’s processes traversing all different phases from the start to where you are
Life’s phases in the expanse of the traversed canvas
Life’s steps and the left footprints.
To realize that what you are at present – is what you have been in the past
Conditioned by TIME and the society where you live in
So understand, and be mindful at every step to create pleasant tomorrow
To chart future directions
By being conscientious, heedful and diligent
By being creative to generate new steps to take
By taking note of consequences of footprints they likely to cause.
See the light of wisdom that you are in different time
What was in the past – may mean different to different people
Examine traditions and customs passed down through generations
To filter and learn that some proudly withstood the tests of time
Those that are the sources of inspiration and strength,
Deeply understand the truths – that transcend time and space
The Natural laws that govern everything – the Systems of Fluid, Solid and Life
The ever presence of transience in the rise and fall of propagating energy
The interdependence of everything that happens – in the tangled ball of cause-effect.
That we all strive to find equilibrium – the symmetry, stability and happiness
That the efforts bear fruit when
Mutual respect and dignity define things
In the harmony of mind-and-matter fluxes – in us and around us
In the cradle of patience, love, compassion and joy.
Do not hesitate to question to clearly understand
That – some, while served the purpose at one time
Maybe out of date – unprogressive and a hindrance
Could have been brutal – even heinously cruel to some
Critically examine them to filter and identify the ones
That are too rigid in the kaleidoscope of time and space
Be open and brave to change
To the right direction of forward looking endeavors,
It may be unpalatable in the beginning – but wholesome in the long run.
Take it easy and do not over-stretch yourself to frustration and despair
If the pursuits to perfection – to achieving equilibrium
Do not produce immediate results to your liking
Because, despite all out efforts – more often than not
We are influenced by the surrounding – that we do not have control over
We tend to succumb to temptation – to unwholesome view of things,
Realize the fact that
The systems of Fluid, Solid and Life are a process rather than an end
The intertwined Duality of all existence - the Yin-Yang, the Wabi-Sabi
The universal driver of all existence - in Transience, Unhappiness and Emptiness
So, everything and everyone in transience and interdependence
Could only be near to perfect
Could be far from producing the zero residual
Unless one has achieved the tranquility and unity of NIRVANA.
So, do seek to find happiness and joy in each step of the pursuits
By overcoming the lures of incessant craving - by letting things go
By finding the right balance
This state of mind – in turn, does translate to harmonious living.
Hold it There
Hold it there – to remain calm to deeply realize
If you are lucky to sit on the bench of power and privilege
Holding other people’s strings in your hand
Note that you shoulder the responsibility to serve them
Not as a master but as a friend
Not as an arrogant fool but as a competent help.
See the light of wisdom to appreciate that your position
Is built upon the foundation of trust,
You may have earned it
But in many ways, it is the societal help that took you where you are
Feel grateful and humble to reciprocate
And act respectfully and responsibly to honor the trust
Feel accountable if betrayal of trusts has occurred.
Do understand that as you want to be successful – so do others
As you want to be supported and protected – so do others
That we are all different – and process things and respond differently
So be fair to not deprive others of their aspiration.
If you have the role to manage and lead
It is important to inspire all in the spirit of warmth and hope
By being aware of things that happen around
By acting compassionately toward all you serve and lead
In honest efforts of integrating people – rather than fragmenting them,
Shallow and light-headed actions and reactions – must not define your behavior,
Your integrity or lack of it
Defines how successful or unsuccessful things will be.
Hold it There – to Realize in Calmness
Hold it there – to realize in calmness
The necessity of harmony in personal joy and family deference
The necessity of maintaining harmony in Nature and the Environment
With all lives giving energy to the system and getting from it,
Realize that greed and craving take one in the downward spiral of despair
That money has both healing and destroying power
That everything has to be balanced
That an attachment without being attached is the way to go
To ensure the freedom of mind and Spirit
To ensure peace and happiness in the simplicity of things.
That, Health is the most precious gain and contentment the greatest wealth
Loving kindness makes the poorest house the richest home
There are no spells better than loving kindness and compassion
Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
And that, all trembles at violence, life is dear to all
As we love our life, so do all creatures – so be compassionate to all sentient beings
Be respectful to others—it benefits all—more than one knows it,
Because, one way or another – we are all related
All have the true weapon of virtues inside them to confront and change others
Often a small thing has the power to cause great change.
And, be aware, trusts are easily broken by a dishonest and vain person
Do not get swayed by bullying—be courageous to stand up and use the power of truth,
Trust that, determination wins admiration and respect
A rose by any other name smells as sweet,
When one overcomes jealousy and greed
The attained peace of mind is blissful irrespective of loss or gain.
And that, the sincere efforts of virtuousness are rewarded in ways no one thinks possible
The best of all triumphs is conquering oneself
It lets one to live in the abode of four heavenly states of mind:
Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity.
That, there is no crime like hatred
Appease a hateful person with non-hatred
And, unwholesome deeds bring shame – their damaging consequences are dreadful
Unwholesome deeds like animal sacrifice follow one like a shadow to usher in misery
Wholesomeness and righteousness are the most powerful of all
Even animals understand the virtue of gratitude, while humans fail.
It is wise not to be angry at things one does not understand and have no control over
Good or bad luck does not depend on jewellery, but on what one does.
And, be vigilant, deceptions could come from apparently trustworthy individuals
Hospitality and gratitude do not work one way – they must be reciprocated
Do not judge people by their outward appearance
A rogue by any other name remains as harmful
Poor indeed is a wealthy person who is unfair and shares nothing with others
A betrayer is trusted by none, sometimes not even by his or her mother
In the arena of interdependence, each entity by itself amounts to Emptiness of essence.
Hold it There – to Realize in Calmness
Hold it there – to realize in calmness
The necessity of harmony in social cooperation and world peace
The necessity of good governance, and that
Passionate desire drives people to act foolish
Be aware of temptation—do not underestimate its enslaving capacity
Do not be fooled by trickery of the greedy—that comes with all different colors and lures
The greedy loses all senses of seeing things as they are,
Even fails to heed to the sound advice of impending dangers.
A foolish friend can often be more dangerous than a wise enemy
Even the wise makes grave mistakes—when power and greed overtake them
Do not depend on foretells and speculations—when you know what actions to take
There are many things one can learn from people of all walks of life
Giving up power is more difficult than gaining and holding on to power
Attachment to power and wealth makes it difficult for one to be happy.
That, all things have to be measured, overdoing brings one’s downfall
Do not promise more than you can deliver
Do not fool yourself by getting puffed up by flattery
The powerful must rise above prejudice to ensure justice for all
To a great leader, the safety of his or her followers is paramount
When lost one can still win the heart of others by respecting and admiring the winner
There is safety in unity—and danger in conflict
One must be courageous to let peaceful means win conflicts
Give a chance to friendship--it has the power to bring enemies together
Explore alternative ways to win a war without violence and fighting.
There it is – something in the poetic frame of advocating for the common well-being – of all of us who share the same energy of the Sun and the same resources of mother Earth – irrespective of who we are in the widecanvas of multiple cultures and creeds. This something represents my attempt to synthesize some of the materials – portrayed in the formats of essays, poems, story-telling, master-disciple dialogues and Koans – presented in several articles of WIDECANVAS (links in Widecanvas Home Page). The premises they represent are worth paying attention to – if common human aspiration for longterm sustainable peace and harmony are really meant – by politicians, media and various seats of power in their rhetorical outpourings.
What have been laid out in this piece – may turn out to be soft and weak (not suitable for the real world, hey!) to some. Well, it’s all about perspectives, isn’t it? To an impatient individual glued on narrow perspectives – selfishness, conflict, fight and betrayal of trust are the answers to prevail. If one looks back, time and again one comes to realize how untrue this notion is. This notion is the root cause of personal, societal and world problems – as has been in the past – so in present times – as will be in the future. What have been laid out relying on the words of wisdom of many – may appear soft, or perhaps even weak from outside – but they are the sources of inner strength and power – like the power of water in motion.
Before finishing, I like to highlight a remarkable quote from Dr. BR Ambedkar’s (1891 – 1956, the Architect of independent India constitution) final speech to the Indian Constituent Assembly on 25th November 1949 . . . On the 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognising the principle of one man one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril . . . A remark like this, 2 years after India’s independence – shows how the vision seen by Gandhi to emancipate all Indian sub-continental peoples from the colonial rule, from socioeconomic hardships – was far from real. Dr. Ambedkar’s view of prevailing contradictions really defines all modern democracies around the world, or other governing systems – that sustain asymmetry, and promote skewed equilibrium in social and economic life of peoples. Does his question ever bother political processes – or any seats of power around the world?
. . .
The Koan of this piece:
How does one define the evil governing seats of power? That – pursuing whatever unfair means, misguidance and tactics – terming them as the required processes of politics to win and hold on to power – they must always ride the wheel turned by others. That, they can indulge in power play at the cost of people’s suffering – and must not be questioned for any of their incompetence and wrongdoings.
. . . . .
- by Dr. Dilip K. Barua, 26 January 2023