“When the smells from the kitchen
Overtake the awareness,
Reading the menu loses its appeal.”
~ Wu Hsin
Since I started sharing some food snaps on Facebook, several of my friends have been complaining. They say I should be giving them samples of the dishes I prepare. Simply tempting them with attractive photographs is unfair. Providing recipes is not enough either. They want the real thing.
There is no substitute for the experience.
Because food is such a sensory experience, it is easy to understand their point of view. From the sizzling sounds of a saute, the aromas of a curry, the vision of a decorated dessert, the texture of a perfect paratha to the overwhelming satiation of the taste buds by a delicacy – food leaves you no choice. You are seduced into wanting to ‘know it’ and will not settle for less. You will not settle for poetic descriptions or well captured photographs. That is the power of our senses and their hold on us.
But there are matters of deep importance that do not present themselves as loudly, and yet remain a persistent voice in the background. The fundamental questions that lurk in every heart. Such as:
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- What does all this mean?
- Is there a purpose?
- If so, what is it?
- If not, then what?
Your list may vary a little, but I am sure you get the gist.
More than looking to arrive at conclusions, exploring these in itself has great merit.
And as you pay attention, your answers will change over time. As will you.
Most of us tend to park our inquiry aside for another day, but I choose to question this Retirement plan.
The above quote from a non-dualistic teacher had me remembering how I used to feel that fully engaging with life and non-duality cannot go hand in hand. But my experience has taught me otherwise. It seems it is time to live from an awareness of the simultaneity of wave and ocean. And for that, we cannot remain with intellectual discussion alone.
We read the books, we listen to the talks, we evaluate the newer teachers and choose our favorite points of view.
We debate for and against. Succumb to the lure of captivating concepts.
And never test the waters.
Life is best understood in the living.
As Wu Hsin goes on to say,
“[Likewise,] one cannot learn to swim
While remaining dry.”
The nuts and bolts of everyday living test us and remind us throughout the day. And if we are honest with ourselves, most of us on the path would find places we are still working on. Its not as easy as it is sometimes made out to be.Where ‘awareness’, ‘unconditional love’, ‘forgiveness’, ‘letting go’, ‘allowing’, ‘accepting,’ and ‘Oneness’ are not simply intellectually and emotionally appealing concepts – but something you attempt to live in every moment.
When we fail to apply it, we become victims of our own jargon, reducing the wisdom to cliches that end up resulting in self sabotage.
So the invitation is to dive in deep – test the waters for yourself.
Theory only helps us know about it.
To know it, we have to jump right in.
Whether hot or cold, calm or still, obscure or clear – I would like to experience this wave-ocean rather than simply talk(or write) about it.
How about you? Wouldn’t you rather eat than look at the pictures?
Image Source: BoardingPass.Gr