Saturday, February 13, 2016

Letting go!

When you leave,
weary of me,
without a word I shall gently let you go.
― Kim Sowol

Texture & Flavour

This is a very old post, from 2011 to be precise, which I am posting now... with slight modifications. 

Lately I'm getting more and more involved in food as a a topic of enquiry. Especially as I have been part of a group developing behavioural weight management program, with additional Mindfulness component to it. Here I learned about 3 main flavours which food companies exploit, or play around with, to get consumers addicted to their products: sweet, salty and fatty.

To think of my life, in a choice starved world of hostel food, I would occasionally have cravings for sugar. But now when I have lot more choices (on the market shelf or in the pocket) I have increased sugar cravings than I ever had in my life. Generally my weakness has been that of melted butter (on top of hot stuffed parathas;).

I was wondering about my increased snacking and read somewhere that some of the Indian spices reduce craving. Truly, on the days I have cooked some Indian food, I had little cravings. This reminded me of the precept of traditional India health system - Ayurveda. According to this system for a balanced diet, we need to have 6 flavors in our food - sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent.

As I try to be more mindful of my food, what I eat and how it feels like... I noticed a lot of sweet stuff in the market are smooth in their texture, a bit too smooth. Today I got some locally made muffins from farmers' market and the texture is so very different. This has the grainy texture, feels like grains but also feels more nourishing. I guess, often real organic products have similar individual personalities... almost like khadi cloth.

Khadi cloth might seem too rough for unaccustomed people, or those with very rich, modern, western sensibilities ... but it always has a good feel for me. Even when I almost always choose cotton, but khadi cotton (which I wore often during my graduation & masters days) has another notch of texture. It also has history, personal memories and cultures associated with it.

The idea of texture was brought out beautifully in the Hindi movie 'Sparsh', where a blind man teaches the nuances of touch and textures to his lover. It would be good if we sometimes for a change we close our eyes and feel ...

PS: Now I also think the craving for sweets is like craving for rewards, and often it also has an underlying longing for sweetness, affection and love in life :P

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Yogic Friends & Boy-friends

I was recently re-reading this article, 'The Problem with Zen Boyfriends' and smiled to myself because it felt so familiar... as the author describes...

"What defines a Zen boyfriend is the manner in which he skillfully uses spiritual ideals and practices as an excuse for his terror of, and refusal to be in, any type of real relationship with a woman. He is both too identified with his balls to become a celibate monk, and at the same time too little identified with the wider implications of them to take responsibility for them. The result: a righteous, distant and very intelligent substitute for a real man."

It was almost him. He needed as much space, like any other Zen boyfriends, "it was more like 98 parts space to two parts intimacy." 

And a similar excuse I heard... "I wasn't spiritual enough" as if he had read the manual of how to be Zen/yogic BF. 

The common conversation will usually turn to, how (his) "love is limitless and unconditional and therefore isn't limited" (to a relationship) 
And ... one should have trust in the universe, except when it comes to his work, projects and philanthropy. 

As Marianna complained, "I need to feel like you're really here with me, and not always so detached," and then felt in this relationship, with him around, "there is no one there to hold me if I cry". 

It is so familiar to feel alone with such people. There is a distance of light years, almost. 

It was almost like watching 'Seshachalam' range from the terrace, on a quiet night, where I only listened to a range of mythologies ... I would have preferred silence and fullness of presence. Instead it made me unsure, as if it was all a little empty. 

I know of few others like this, " (he) thought he had become enlightened ... and then "(proceed unsolicited to) try to bestow the same boon upon others". 


Marianna has said it so well ... "We live in confusing times where spirituality and neurosis are often seamlessly interwoven into a complex constellation of radiant wisdom and psychological woundedness. Yet in the end, I blame not them but myself. For as distant, arrogant, righteous and terrified as they were, it was I who sought them out, I who tried to open them in the ways that I wanted them to be open, and ultimately I who recreated my childhood pattern of not feeling loved by eliciting the same response in my relationships."