The Rich Vegetarian

SIMPLY BEING

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Larger Purpose

Yesterday I heard someone say on the radio: I realized that music had a larger purpose.

I went, huh? Why should music serve a larger purpose? Isn’t its very existence THE purpose? How can there be a purpose larger than itself?

The idea of a bigger purpose is so exhausting. I spent a good number of years brooding over my “larger purpose.” And I am none the wiser for all that mental activity. Does a tree think about its larger purpose? I doubt. (Oh, but you aren’t a tree, Ta-Da!) A tree is busy drinking in the light, sprouting forth into leaves and blossom, shedding extra baggage when it needs to, going to sleep. And to us humans, it seems that the tree serves its purpose because it generates oxygen, prevents soil erosion, provides habitats, etc. So, the tree really serves OUR purpose but I seriously doubt if it cares a damn about any of that.

But I am human, so I start to care. Do I have an impact on society? Am I making a difference? Do I have a legacy?

I don’t think I have much of an impact. (I am a loving daughter and sister and wife and friend, and that’s the extent of my impact.) I don’t think I am making a difference. And I don’t have a legacy to pass forward.

If I stopped to think of these questions, I’d have no time to live, end of story.

I am simply living, being, sprouting into leaves and blossom when the Sun rises, going to bed when the Moon appears, flowing into the world, retreating. And perhaps in this business of living, I might have a teeny-weeny impact on your life, on the planet. So be it, Tathaastu.

Life IS its very purpose, its sole raison d’être. A life of truth fulfills its so-called purpose.

I Want to Write

“I want to be a better writer.” “I want to write better.”

“I want to write more.”

“I want to write.”

In my case, it isn’t even a case of “I want to write” but more of “the writing is showing up.”

I realized a long time ago that mine was a case of doing itty-bitty writing on the side (in form of journalling, Morning Pages) as I waited for THE writing to show up. (I don’t want to be a snob at all; all writing is sincere for me.) However, “I want to be a better writer” and “I want to write better” both sound highly vague and undefined to me. “I want to write more” is a tangible wish because a writer (or me) experiences a certain coming-together, an experience of beauty/magic as they write… and they may want to experience that special feeling more often.

Now, “I want to write” is mostly guided by the love of/for writing. But then again, you wanting that special experience is only half of it. The Love has to show up too. So, even while I write on bits of paper, sheets and pages — morning, noon, night — it feels like I am waiting. Like a devoted partner in this unusual (or not) relationship, the one that waits and waits, ready to serve, and be served in return.

Corona Notes: Gratitude

I see a lot of messages asking us to be grateful in these Corona times. Let’s be grateful that we have a warm home, that our family is with us, that there is food in the fridge, that we are healthy, and so on.

Here is a question.

Are you thinking, “Thank you, God, for my family and health and food!,” or are you going, “Thank you, God, for having spared me the hardship others are going through.”

There is a real difference between the two.

If what we are grateful for is home/health/heating/food/fridge, we would feel the same way, pandemic situation or not. If a crisis (and another’s difficulty) is precipitating the gratefulness, then what we are experiencing is plain relief. Relief that we have been spared the difficult times. For now, at least. Who can say how things will be tomorrow, next week?

I think practising happiness may be a better idea than practising gratitude. I am happy that I have warm water; I am happy that I can breathe easily; I am happy that I can take a walk in the cool Spring air. Being happy is NOT being ungrateful. In fact, it may be a lot closer to what we actually feel than this idea of gratitude.

Corona Notes: Privilege

These are the days when we speak and hear a lot about privilege. How privileged we are that we may work from home, that we can afford to maintain social distancing, perhaps even forego income temporarily, and so on.

I feel rather awkward around these conversations.

For one, I can never presume to know what another is experiencing… Just like no one can truly know or understand what I am experiencing. This is because our experience is wholly internal/invisible; it isn’t something the world can see, let alone comment on.

Does someone feel an acute lack of privilege? Who am I to be a judge of that? Now, I can use my limited experience and unlimited imagination to craft a story of need, privilege, comfort, scarcity. We do this all our lives, and we get really good at it. Sometimes we term it as “empathy.”

All I can do is be present, and trust fully in the action that emerges. Rest is endless conversation and storytelling, either to myself and/or to the world.

(Posted on Instagram, Feb 12: I am now beginning to understand the difference between activity and action. It’s all Osho’s wisdom, really… slowly integrating, assimilating. Activity is relentless, ceaseless, endless… and it results in exactly zero outcomes. In fact, it is its own outcome. Action is something altogether and entirely different. It is quick, swift, decisive. Even if a particular action looks like it may be the outcome of much thinking/weighing/analyzing/measuring, the truth is that it is an independent entity, more governed by the moment, the space of that moment.

In fact, activity builds on itself ad infinitum but action has its own momentum, and it dies instantly… whereas activity endlessly perpetuates itself, generating stories and narratives.)