Saturday, April 28, 2012

For A Moment

I've been invited to a host puja being held at the Hindu Temple of Rochester tomorrow. While this is obviously a good thing for me, it took me a while to realize just how...momentous this is.

I's like my struggles for societal acceptance and confirmation of my good nature have been rewarded. It's like I'm finally getting somewhere on fighting those internal demons that have always told me of how useless and/or evil I was...I can finally look those demons in the metaphorical eyes and tell them to shut up.

For most people attending this host puja I can imagine it's more mundane than that. But for me, this host puja is what I need to silence those inner demons...if only for a moment.

Still, for someone like me, that moment can be an eternity. An eternity in an hour...just like the poem by William Blake.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't Think, Just Let it Flow

(My apologies to the electronic music group The Chemical Brothers for stealing the title of their latest film, called Don't Think, for the title of this blog entry. However, it's an appropriate fit, as you will soon see.)

Sometimes I think about if I'm doing enough for the world - doing enough good to justify my existence. Yes, I know this is a question I've brought up many times before on this blog. And in some ways, I've already answered it, by saying in previous blog posts that the fact that I exist is enough justification. But that doesn't mean I should be complacent, not striving to do better. And sometimes I wonder exactly what doing better actually is. Is it self-maintenance? Is it seva to others? Giving myself to a cause greater than myself?

My role in the universe is often a concept that escapes me, simply because I have no clue what it is. But it took a performance that I saw today of a classical Indian dance group, the Bharata School of Arts (check them out at their official website here at to really expose to me a way to approach the problem of figuring out what my dharma, my role in the universe, really is, and how to gauge my performing of it.

In summary, the approach is this: don't think. Just let it flow.

Allow me to elaborate. Any performance of any kind requires practice of some sort. When you perform something the first few times, you have to think about how you are doing it. But the overall goal is to get to that point where you can do it without thinking. Sometimes I wondered what went through the minds of each of the performers of the dance tonight. Regardless of what any of them were thinking, it didn't get in the way of doing what they were meant to do: dance. They just let it flow.

Sometimes I wondered if my mind was in the right mindset to observe and appreciate such a great performance. I even wondered if I deserved to see it at some points. I tried to contribute in a way I knew how, by writing about it, but unfortunately the only place I could put my writing about the event this time around is in my blog. (I got a piece of mine about this group published elsewhere previously, but my efforts to do so this year weren't successful.) So I was thinking: did I really do enough to support this show to be able to enjoy it?

Did it stop me from attending the performance this year? No. I wanted to go, so I didn't let those other thoughts stop me. I just went, and the friends I saw there were happy to see me. I didn't think any harder about it. I just let it flow.

To this day I still haven't figured out what my role in this universe is. But as those dancers demonstrated to me, I shouldn't think about it, or at least don't let those thoughts get in the way.

Just let it flow...and it will come to you.

Here's to the flow of life, and it delivering purpose to those who've yet to discover it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Void Inside

I realized something important about myself just now - that I seem to have a constant feeling of emptiness. Unfortunately it's of a negative kind of emptiness. I know there is a positive kind, that positive kind being the sort that allows one to learn and experience the world around them (i.e. "my cup is empty"). However, my emptiness is more of a longing: a longing not to be alone. It's a longing for human contact, but not just any contact - it's a hunger for contact with new, different people.

I just realized this is sort of hard to explain in mere words. But I guess it sort of explains some of my posts here in Light Club, those asking for input from my readers. (Like my last post, for example.) I'll try to explain this void in the best way I can anyway.

One thing I can tell you is that it's a void that cannot be filled by the familiar - it has to be of new experiences or it doesn't seem to count at all. And this void also cannot be filled by just anyone, but someone who can give me a better idea of who I am. This sort of dovetails into a few more reasons Hinduism works better for me as a faith than Christianity: Hinduism is already accepting of the notion that God(s) can be whoever you want him/her/them to be, and Ganesha in particular appealed to me because of His exotic nature and appearance, one that seems to prove to me that others who are radically different from me can still accept me. (See the blog post "Why I'm Into Ganesha" for further explanation.) Furthermore, the mantra chanting of Hinduism seems to be very effective in giving me at least the feeling that I'm talking (well, chanting) to another being. As for why Christian prayer doesn't seem to give me that same feeling, it took me a while to figure that out, but the fact that Jesus is supposed to be a mediator between oneself and God can also mean Jesus can act as a barrier. I understand Jesus isn't a barrier for everyone, obviously this philosophy works for a great number of people. But if I have to choose between talking to a mediator for God, or talking to God directly - even if it's just an aspect or piece of God in the case of the deities of Hinduism - I'd choose the latter.

But I digress. Bottom line is, the void I'm talking about that exists inside me is loneliness. And for some reason it is a void that can only be filled by constant new input. I'm calling it a negative emptiness because it seems to make me never satisfied with the life I have. I know it's good to seek out new experiences, but at the same time I know I need to be happy with what I have already.

Is there some way to make these feelings not mutually exclusive? Is it possible to want more without really needing more to be happy?