Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wise words

There are times in our lives when too many voices seem to be pulling us this way and that. Our very confusion in such situations is a reminder to seek silence and centering within. Only then are we able to hear our truth.

Zen, or meditation, is the method which will help you to go through the chaos, through the dark night of the soul, balanced, disciplined, alert. The dawn is not far away, but before you can reach the dawn, the dark night has to be passed through. And as the dawn comes closer, the night will become darker.



Many times I have been in the jaws of death, starving, footsore, and weary; for days and days I had no food, and often could walk no further; I would sink down under a tree, and life would seem to be ebbing away. I could not speak, I could scarcely think, but at last the mind reverted to the idea: "I have no fear nor death; never was I born, never did I die; I never hunger or thirst. I am It! I am It! The whole of nature cannot crush me; it is my servant. Assert thy strength, thou Lord of lords and God of gods! Regain thy lost empire! Arise and walk and stop not!" And I would rise up, reinvigorated; and here I am today, living! Thus, whenever darkness comes, assert the reality and everything adverse must vanish. For after all, it is but a dream. Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Maya. Fear not, and it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Friday, April 03, 2009

My Stay in Australia - Melbourne

A month ago, we shifted from Melbourne to Sydney. And next week, we are going back home i.e. Namma Bengaluru.:)

The experience of visiting this country has been awesome. I might not have been able to put all of that in writing yet, but at least I wanna draw an outline of the cities where we stayed.

So lemme start with Melbourne.

When we came to Melbourne from India, I was both excited and nervous. This would be my first stay abroad. Before this, I had been to San Francisco for about three weeks. So I felt like a novice when we landed at Melbourne. I had travelled with my 1year old daughter and that travel itself had taught me a lot.

We found a small, furnished apartment at South Yarra. Furnished because we did not intend to stay here permanently. But then if you want a furnished apartment, you will have to shell out more for the rent. So with that high rent, we could afford a small place.

Initially, I had to keep my eyes and ears open all the time. I felt so raw and inexperienced. I felt as if I was almost in the same stage as my daughter in learning new things.:) I struggled to open the lock of the main door, struggled with the cooking on electric stove, and so on. But as days progressed, I got very comfortable with everything around me. Just to familiarize myself with the area and the people, I would put Tunga on the pram and roam alone. I would go to different streets everyday and window shop. I became
so familiar with my surroundings that I was actually able to give directions to others on how to go about in that area.:)

My daughter and myself made friends with the park and library respectively. Everyday we would visit them atleast once. I think I made the best use of the library. I borrowed lot of books and DVDs of english movies. I watched one English movie daily and I must honestly admit that I had never seen so many of them in India.:) My daughter, Tunga, learned to slide and swing in the park. It was here that her personality was initiated. It was here that she made her first friend.:) There used to be a possum that visited our compound after dark very night. Since we don't get to see it in India, we found it very fascinating. My daughter especially used to wait eagerly for the possum's visit.:)

Every weekend, we would set out to explore a new place ( besides visiting Safeway, Coles and Indian stores:)). We must say that we covered a lot of places because of our weekend explorations.

Hmm, lemme try to put some of the places that we explored in a list. It might help you if you are visiting Melbourne some time.

- Philip Island
- Melbourne Aquarium
- Werribee Open Range Zoo
- Bucchan Caves
- Mornington Peninsula
- Arthur Seat
- Cardinia Reservoir
- Great Ocean Road
- Ballarat
- Dandenong Ranges
- Melbourne CBD
- Chapell Street
- St.Kilda Beach
- Brighton Beach

Of course, except the aquarium, the rest of them are in the surrounding areas of Melbourne. It definitely helps if you have your own vehicle. We enjoyed a lot visiting all those places. Definitely, Australia is a beautiful country and there is no doubt about that.:)

After seven months of our stay at Melbourne, we had to shift to Sydney. We had made very good friends at Melbourne. So that included and our attachment to the place where we stayed and the library and the park, our hearts were a bit heavy when we left Melbourne. But then, we were happy and grateful for the opportunity given for being able to stay in such a beautiful place for some time.