“Make of yourself a light,”
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal — a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire —
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.
I do not get pains or aches like you, but I feel dryness and shrinking sensation in the sternum while doing backbends. This is how I have learnt , old age sets in. The sternum is known as a dry area, where energy recedes. Even a doctor will tell you this area is a bony structure and movement is very little. When shrinking goes on, naturally the life force does not reach there and so the life energy starts getting contracted. When the life energy starts contracting, the top ribs get smaller and smaller. There is no room or space for the energy to occupy. They get dried out, and the energy does not flow to the extremities. The lifeline becomes short and evaporates at the last moment.
Even today when you see my backbends, I do them more in the area of cervical spine than the lumbar or the thoracic dorsal spine, because the dryness is only here. This is what this age is teaching me, that life is shrinking and warns me to be careful. Do not allow the part to become dryer than what it is now,...
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…..
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit,...