In search of meaning or not?

Birth was not a choice, but living life should be and is a choice. There is no inherent one meaning for life, just because there is no one way of living life. Your meaning of life should adhere to your way of living life. However, the space where our lives are contained is a shared space. Therefore, we create some rules to abide by so that our distinct subjectivities don’t collide up to the point that we crush (which unfortunately is happening). The ordinary monkey way of living has evolved in such a way that we let these rules rule our inner selves so much that we can’t find our inner selves anymore and everything feels like a burden. Life feels meaningless. Think about it.. when you were a child, you were mindlessly roaming everywhere, probably was not giving a damn about the meaning of life. Then why do you give so much damn about meaning now? Because we are just bored, everything feels the same, we can’t change things, we feel helpless, we can’t create, we don’t know where we are heading, it all looks like a fog. But I can argue that if you can start thinking like a baby again, you will see you would feel differently. But I know it’s not easy. Time is a forward-moving trajectory. So, if you choose to live, it’s probably better to live the way your mind and body is in a union which then generate joy and fulfillment. There are some known facts from past experiences, scientific discoveries through neuroscience, yogic science, what can lead to the betterment of health and mind that we can follow to live longer and happier. Even though your body shares a lot of genetic memory, your mind already inherited a lot of baggage from the past, it’s probably always better to believe in the fluid nature of mind that can change and strive towards bringing good for you and others. And if you definitely need a meaning for yourself to move forward, just create one. I believe in taking the full responsibility for this life I am carrying.

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Music, Hippy & Spirituality

I find music as something that can give some bliss, satisfy me. It definitely depends on what you listen and how you let music touch your heart. But there’s always a kind of music that can fit with your mood. There are so many amazing talents in the world of music who want to reach through their vocal genius. I am always drawn to a song with good lyrics and good music. Even though I have fascination for rock music, I try to listen every genre as long as it satisfies the two criteria- some good poetic, musical, rhythmic words and the awesome enchanting music – which means I feel the joy. If I think with which I have spent most of my young and adult life- during my time of joy and sorrow, it will definitely be some form of music. Some music just refresh me when I wake up, some just push me to work a little bit harder when I almost give up, some are inevitable in my tired evenings and some just can soothe me and put me to sleep. When I was at my late teen years, when I started exploring the world, when I left my country and started my traveller life, it was the music which accompanied me on my way, it was those headphones that I used to wear everywhere and shake my head in a crowdy train platform surprising everyone. I was always a boy who loves to express where ever he feels to. I felt like a hippy so many times, I discovered the bohemian in me through the music, I realized my spiritual connection with nature through music. Some music are imprinted in my brain so deeply, I can just close my eyes and I can time travel from one corner of the world to other corner, I can fully explore my imaginary world, music works for me as an emotional vehicle, gives me wings to fly, fly higher. I am lucky to have learnt several languages like Bengali, English, Japanese, Hindi- and all these four cultures admire music so much. I wish if I could add Spanish to this, that would be perfect. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy the similarities and the differences of these different music of different culture. Bengali, being my mother tongue, touches me and caresses me. Most of my crucial teen years, when I was dashing, Japanese music gave me the strength, gave me the power to think broadly, inspired me to explore. And what can I talk about English music – they are just my life in one sentence. From classic rock to alternative rock to pop rock to country, everywhere I swing depending on my mood. And my young life back in Bangladesh was mostly surrounded with Hindi music. No wonder why my romantic me has so many different moods, lol.. I feel like a Bengal tiger, then a Japanese samurai, then an English traveller. I am going to share some music which are very integral to me, has always been with me for some very real reasons, remind of specific time and I will continue listening to them till my last breath.

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Adversity can be blessing

Adversity is not always bad. In fact, adversity or lack of something provoke you to come up with some useful solution. If everything you need is right at your reach, it may feel comfortable but I am telling you that it’s delusional to think that state as a sustainable one. It’s not a stable situation where you don’t feel the lag or emptiness. It’s probably only an utopian state where you get everything ready, prepared, arranged or organized around you. So, the lack of something, the emptiness may bother us, frustrate us, bring anxiety to our psyche but then those same feelings force us to do something, do something to fill the gap or the void. And sometimes we may turn out to be really creative that can impress our own selves. Innovation at its heart depends on the desire to solve an issue, a problem and being passionate or motivated towards implementing those solutions. And when we have absence of something we truly want; the shortage, the scarcity of the elements, materials or instruments; the unavailability or deficit of the required things turn on our discoverer us to flow, move, interact, look and experiment. It’s not always alright to have vertical structure, sometimes we need to inspect horizontally. Going deeper and deeper may sometimes make us at a loss when we need to look widely. One important thing adversity tells us that you can solve anything you want with only the things that you have at hand. Focus on the things that you have and carefully examine, investigate whether there’s a possible scenario to create. When you are smart, adversity is blessing in disguise. I realize more now the words of Steve Jobs

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

“The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

I am seriously thinking about starting meditation again. The peace of mind is quite rare to obtain these days. I find myself very easily distracted, find it really hard to concentrate, find it hard to remember, find it hard to forget. I was reading about meditation and it’s different form. I loved some of Sam Harris’s quote (original post) and am reposting. I will elaborate the part that intrigued me when I have some time later on.

Although the insights we can have in meditation tell us nothing about the origins of the universe, they do confirm some well-established truths about the human mind: Our conventional sense of self is an illusion; positive emotions, such as compassion and patience, are teachable skills; and the way we think directly influences our experience of the world.

 

The conventional sense of self is an illusion [and] spirituality largely consists in realizing this, moment to moment. There are logical and scientific reasons to accept this claim, but recognizing it to be true is not a matter of understanding these reasons. Like many illusions, the sense of self disappears when closely examined, and this is done through the practice of meditation.

[…]

The feeling that we call “I” seems to define our point of view in every moment, and it also provides an anchor for popular beliefs about souls and freedom of will. And yet this feeling, however imperturbable it may appear at present, can be altered, interrupted, or entirely abolished.

 

The self that does not survive scrutiny is the subject of experience in each present moment — the feeling of being a thinker of thoughts inside one’s head, the sense of being an owner or inhabitant of a physical body, which this false self seems to appropriate as a kind of vehicle. Even if you don’t believe such a homunculus exists — perhaps because you believe, on the basis of science, that you are identical to your body and brain rather than a ghostly resident therein — you almost certainly feel like an internal self in almost every waking moment. And yet, however one looks for it, this self is nowhere to be found. It cannot be seen amid the particulars of experience, and it cannot be seen when experience itself is viewed as a totality. However, its absence can be found — and when it is, the feeling of being a self disappears.

 

We wouldn’t attempt to meditate, or engage in any other contemplative practice, if we didn’t feel that something about our experience needed to be improved. But here lies one of the central paradoxes of spiritual life, because this very feeling of dissatisfaction causes us to overlook the intrinsic freedom of consciousness in the present. As we have seen, there are good reasons to believe that adopting a practice like meditation can lead to positive changes in one’s life. But the deepest goal of spirituality is freedom from the illusion of the self — and to seek such freedom, as though it were a future state to be attained through effort, is to reinforce the chains of one’s apparent bondage in each moment.

 

The ultimate wisdom of enlightenment, whatever it is, cannot be a matter of having fleeting experiences. The goal of meditation is to uncover a form of well-being that is inherent to the nature of our minds. It must, therefore, be available in the context of ordinary sights, sounds, sensations, and even thoughts. Peak experiences are fine, but real freedom must be coincident with normal waking life.

 

Those who begin to practice in the spirit of gradualism often assume that the goal of self-transcendence is far away, and they may spend years overlooking the very freedom that they yearn to realize.

 

[This approach] encourages confusion at the outset regarding the nature of the problem one is trying to solve. It is true, however, that striving toward the distant goal of enlightenment (as well as the nearer goal of cessation) can lead one to practice with an intensity that might otherwise be difficult to achieve. I never made more effort than I did when practicing under U Pandita. But most of this effort arose from the very illusion of bondage to the self that I was seeking to overcome. The model of this practice is that one must climb the mountain so that freedom can be found at the top. But the self is already an illusion, and that truth can be glimpsed directly, at the mountain’s base or anywhere else along the path. One can then return to this insight, again and again, as one’s sole method of meditation — thereby arriving at the goal in each moment of actual practice.

 

It is very difficult to imagine someone’s not being able to see her reflection in a window even after years of looking — but that is what happens when a person begins most forms of spiritual practice. Most techniques of meditation are, in essence, elaborate ways for looking through the window in the hope that if one only sees the world in greater detail, an image of one’s true face will eventually appear. Imagine a teaching like this: If you just focus on the trees swaying outside the window without distraction, you will see your true face. Undoubtedly, such an instruction would be an obstacle to seeing what could otherwise be seen directly. Almost everything that has been said or written about spiritual practice, even most of the teachings one finds in Buddhism, directs a person’s gaze to the world beyond the glass, thereby confusing matters from the very beginning.

But one must start somewhere. And the truth is that most people are simply too distracted by their thoughts to have the selflessness of consciousness pointed out directly. And even if they are ready to glimpse it, they are unlikely to understand its significance.

 

Embracing the contents of consciousness in any moment is a very powerful way of training yourself to respond differently to adversity. However, it is important to distinguish between accepting unpleasant sensations and emotions as a strategy — while covertly hoping that they will go away — and truly accepting them as transitory appearances in consciousness. Only the latter gesture opens the door to wisdom and lasting change. The paradox is that we can become wiser and more compassionate and live more fulfilling lives by refusing to be who we have tended to be in the past. But we must also relax, accepting things as they are in the present, as we strive to change ourselves.

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Happiness and suffering, however extreme, are mental events. The mind depends upon the body, and the body upon the world, but everything good or bad that happens in your life must appear in consciousness to matter. This fact offers ample opportunity to make the best of bad situations — changing your perception of the world is often as good as changing the world — but it also allows a person to be miserable even when all the material and social conditions for happiness have been met. During the normal course of events, your mind will determine the quality of your life.

 

The human nervous system is plastic in a very important way — which means your experience of the world can be radically transformed. You are tending who you were yesterday by virtue of various habit patterns and physiological homeostasis and other things that are keeping you very recognizable to yourself, but it’s possible to have a very different experience… It’s possible to do it through a deliberate form of training, like meditation, and I think it’s crucial to do — because we all want to be as happy and as fulfilled and as free of pointless suffering as can possibly be. And all of our suffering, and all of our unhappiness, is a product of how our minds are in every moment. So if there’s a way to use the mind itself to improve one’s capacity for moment-to-moment wellbeing — which I’m convinced there is — then this should be potentially of interest to everybody.