The art of Mindlessness — Shunya
Conversations with a modern mystic
The neighbors garden looked better after the rains. The tropical rains are always good for the plants and well she has nurtured them well.
She enjoyed this morning routine .Her husband prepared the morning cup of tea and drinking the tea together in the balcony .
It was almost a year now since she started her Cancer treatment.
“A month..maximum Two“. The doctors had declared ..”Stage 4 ..Too advanced “.
Everything stacked against her but looking at her , if you ignored her bald scalp,you could not say she was fighting cancer .She had a air of peace , calmness and tranquility around her.
Well the truth is she never fought it.She embraced it and for her that was just another dimension in life.
Was it the 10 rounds of chemo and few rounds of radiation or the alternative ayurvedic medicines she started taking or her sheer mental fortitude and the love and blessings of her friends and thousands of students . Or maybe her deep dive into Vedas which altered her physiological orde. Nobody had any explanations .He was just happy ..as long as he had her besides
And he was happy .As much as the initial news shattered him,he was hoping for the best and prepared for the worst .
And he loved his morning debates /discourses with her. He had always regarded his life partner and admired her as a lady of wisdom.Being a retired Principal everyone looked at her with special regard. But last one year he had seen her evolve to a new high wrt her intellectual powers.
He : “So why do you say being mindless is good ? For many people used to the philosophy of being Mindful, this philosohy of Minlessness or what you defined as Shunya ( Zero ) comes as a surprise or contrary to the view”
She smiled and sipped her tea.
She : “You see dear ,all we look for in our human life is attachment. In our mortal forms we are connected to other human beings through emotions.You can define 8 forms of emotional attachment .Happiness , Sadness, Pity, Expectation, Surprise, Anger , Fear and Disgust.”
He: “Wait a minute ….I can see 5 of these as Attachments ..but Anger , Fear and Disgust..How do these help me attach.”
She :”Why not ..? You are attached to those who bring you joy cos you connect to them..You are attached to those who anger you as well…You form a bond a connection an attachment . And that influences you ..your behavior in the mortal form.”
He: “So whats the point..Attachment is bad..”.Is not that the basic of being a human?..being attached to fellow human beings..If i detach myself then whats the difference between a human and animal?”
She : “ The important thing to be aware is that you are playing a role..and you need to switch that role..As long as you don’t get attached to that role, you as human are fine.”
He :“I still do not get it..So i stop being attached ..Become a monk or a recluse . Is that what your philosophy of Shunya means ?”
She : “Absolutely not !..So as humans we cannot and should not ignore Attachment ..But remember you are but your body..Playing a role.When you are my husband you care for me and wish well for me…when you are Arun’s dad you do things for him.When i die you will play the role of a grieving widower “.
Unlike a year back where her remote allusion to her death would upset him but now the mention/indication of her death would not upset him as much which was surprising for him.Maybe it was not just her.He was also learning to be calmer.Maybe Mindless…. if he can figure out what that means .
She : “So..Think of it this way. If i told you early morning that we do not have milk to make morning tea , what will be your reaction be ?”
He: “Hmmm…Well.. i would get up go the nearby store and buy milk.”
She : “But if i told you the same thing when we are at Arun’s place ..Then ?”
He : “I would ask Arun’s servant to buy milk.”
She : “And if i told you the same thing when you were at temple ?”
He :“I would ignore that information as there is nothing i can do but will collect milk later”.
She: “So your action and thoughts change based on the role and context you are.As long as the roles are defined .And it does not need to be a single role. We human beings are evolved that we can define layers of roles.Mother , wife, teacher, mentor, shopper . But at every instance one role takes prominence and our actions are based on that role. But as humans as long as we are aware and we can switch these roles without getting too attached to these roles , that is true mindlessness.”
He: “Well , its time for me to go to Temple now.”
As much as he hated to leave her alone for 2–3 hours .he realised this time when he volunteered with Temple accounts was good for both of them. She used to read her Vedas at that time..while he found the temple a good social forum.
He: “BTW, seems your favorite cricketer has understood the concept much better .”
He passed her the Newspaper ..Virat Kohli out for duck !
“Well..in my role of a cricket lover ..i am disappointed..But then in my previous roles of Cricket lover he has given me enough happiness.”.she winked :)
Yes time for you to switch role . Mr Temple accountant “ . She smiled and finished her tea.