Status Check

UN : This isn’t complacency, no no.

The Buddhas : Well, then what is it?

UN : You tell me. You should know.

The Buddhas : Hmmm, let’s gather the facts.

UN : Let’s.

The Buddhas : You start out early.

UN : Yeps.

The Buddhas : Read spiritual literature over 25+ years.

UN : Yeah.

The Buddhas : Do various spiritual practices, again over 25+ years.

UN : Yawn.

The Buddhas : And now you’ve landed with Buddhism.

UN : Lucky me.

The Buddhas : You’ve got power. You can pull. Also, you are able to connect directly.

UN : Do I still have to do all the reading?

The Buddhas : Study has the stamp of authenticity.

UN : You’re saying that during direct connection, there might be an element of doubt…

The Buddhas : …yes, sometimes, you mightn’t realise when your mind is playing tricks on you.

UN : I’ll give you that. Study is fine, but I’d like to go at my own speed.

The Buddhas : You’re letting it come to you, aren’t you, in a pre-digested fashion?

UN : Bottomline is, that I’m assimilating. In a different manner, but learning nevertheless.

The Buddhas : Also, you’ve always been unorthodox, so we’re not surprised.

UN : Let’s plane out the complacency angle, can we?

The Buddhas : Lingering and not doing Gongyo and Daimoku, what is that?

UN : Fear of overdoing.

The Buddhas : You fear that even this might go away, like your other spiritual practices?

UN : Yes. I want this to stay. So, not overplaying the card. Going with the flow.

The Buddhas : Hmmm, you can go all out but aren’t, we see.

UN : As of now I’m just happy taking whatever time windows open up.

The Buddhas : And you’re not pushing to create extra windows.

UN : Exactly. I know my game, and I know my game’s pitfalls.

The Buddhas : So you’re steering clear of the pitfalls.

UN : Yes.

The Buddhas : Ok.

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Dealing with no Seat

I don’t have a fixed seat for chanting.
 
I can create it with force, but don’t wish to. 
 
I want the seat to come naturally, whenever it does, in unison with the happiness of my immediate family.
 
Till the seat comes, a virtual one can be created almost anywhere.
 
So, iPad out, link open http://youtu.be/LYC15nHTAL4 , I do Gongyo along with. Simple?
 
After that, I can chant. Slow, fast, suit yourself. I use this one for rhythm https://youtu.be/rVr9BzGijPU , it wakes me up, gets me going, and once the rhythm has developed, I can continue on my own. The Gongyo in this one is a tad too fast, but you can actually feel the horse galloping. I love the rhythm of the Daimoku in this one. 
 
At times, I remember the image of the Gohonzon in my mind. Once the image is there, a mental conversation with the Gohonzon develops. 
 
Sometimes I forget to thank the universe and the founding fathers for giving me this opportunity. 
 
However, I carry my virtual seat, with me, wherever I go, with dignity, and with gratitude.

When There’s a Prick, I Start to Chant

The Buddhas : There you are again.
UN : You got me there. I’m in pain. Thus my chanting intensifies.
The Buddhas : And you don’t chant as intensely when not in pain. 
UN : Yes. You got me there.
The Buddhas : Why exactly not? We want to know.
UN : When I’m in physical or mental pain, I wish to return to my normal asap. 
The Buddhas : Then you don’t hold back, is it? Why do you hold back when normal?
UN : When normal, I don’t wish to overdo. But I still do.
The Buddhas : Hmmm. Your chanting when in pain is 6 times in comparison. 
UN : You wish me to increase my chanting while normal?
The Buddhas : We’re just noting the discrepancy in the ratio. 
UN : Normal chanting brings Karma to the fore, to be dealt with. 
The Buddhas : And the happy Karma you take as if its your birthright…
UN : And the painful Karma makes me crib… and then go beserk chanting. 
The Buddhas : This going beserk and the cribbing part needs to be altered. 
UN : Meaning?
The Buddhas : Don’t waste time cribbing. 
UN : Fine. Then?
The Buddhas : Go straight to Gongyo and Daimoku. Lay out your issue. Then chant.
UN : I then get extra vigorous. I’m greedy for quick resolution. 
The Buddhas : Vigorous to the extent to falling ill is a fault. Greed and haste are faults too. 
UN : So I’ll chant with attenuation, without thinking of resolution?
The Buddhas : Chant for the Karma to play out with maximum ease and evolution. 
UN : And them move on with the additional strength coming from the evolution?
The Buddhas : Yes. Move on to bigger game. 
 

Why is Daimoku happening to me?

Good things are assets, so why do I even need to ask such a question? 

I was just wondering… 

I was spreading goodness before it happened. 

It was a quiet meaningful life. 

There were gaps to reflect. Recreation was ample. 

I was content. 

Then I fell sick. 

I wrote to one of the charities I patronize about my illness :


Dear Friends @ OGQ,

Congratulations on your successes. You are on the right path, and have crossed the baby-steps stage. Now, as favourable results start trickling in, it’s time to buckle up and ride to the maximum. Well done!

Today, I’d like to share with you, that I’m hale and hearty, and fully recovered from a lung surgery in late January. 

My illness came in a flash, out of the blue. It turned our lives upside down, and was a harrowing time for the entire family. One moment, I was fine, and in the next, I was in deep trouble. 

An exceptionally violent single bout of very quick and convulsive vomiting led to a tear in my food pipe, through which food and liquid leaked into a lung. By the grace of God, the other lung was mostly intact. I was hospitalised under great pain, and found it very difficult to breathe, because each breath was very painful. 

Though the hospital was able to stabilise me, they could not diagnose the condition for five days, and the lung was kind of diminishing in size as per the X-ray. I was then transferred to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where I was immediately correctly diagnosed, and underwent thoracic robotic surgery, which is relatively minimally invasive. 

The stroke of luck was that in Sir Ganga Ram hospital, they had the technology for this kind of surgery. The other option would have been a huge cut, cutting through the rib-cage, and manual cleaning of the lung with gloved hands and water. Recovery from such a surgery would have taken over 3 months, and might not have been a full one. As part of the aftermath of the  thoracic robotic surgery performed, I was put on the treadmill 8 hours after returning from the operation theatre, so that the contracting lung would start to expand. 

It was quite a sight and experience. Here I was, with four pipes coming out of my body, 2 machines connected, 3 biggish to big wounds on my upper body, in pain, hungry and thirsty (because nothing was allowed through the mouth), doing treadmill 4 times a day, half an hour each time! They made it very clear, that if I wanted a full recovery, this was the only way. I squeezed out every drop of energy and will-power left in my system, and puffing and panting and moaning and groaning, I went through the regimen. To lessen the pain, there was an epidural in my back, and I was supposed to push a button in my hand, which would inject painkiller into my spine. This continued for five days. Then they removed the epidural. Pain had stabilized, and was controllable though pills. Treadmill regimen continued, and I was being made to climb seven floors of stairs seven times a day in addition. Still no food and water, only nutrition through food-pipe going straight to the small intestine, drop by drop, five times a day, for 4 weeks. Lost 15 kilos.  

Meanwhile, let me narrate more about my good fortune in this whole thing. Dr. Arvind Kumar was leading the team of surgeons. He is the best man in India for thoracic robotic surgery, and he was available at the hospital I was in. He was not travelling. He created space for me in the operation theatre. I responded to the minimal sized tubes, and they did not need to scale the surgery up. Upon onset of high fever after the surgery, they were fearing return of infection and did everything in their power to make the lung expand instead of contract. When fever was not coming down, they resorted to boxing the operation site for half an hour on two occasions, so as to throw secretions out of the lung through force. This worked, and fever came down. Was excruciatingly painful, though. Nevertheless, I’ll take it! Once fever come down, recovery set in. 

Upon discharge, I looked like a prisoner from a concentration camp. Slowly, all pipes and machines were removed. External food pipe was removed too, and I was started on small quantities of liquids for 2 weeks. Then I was allowed soft food for another 2 weeks. Currently, I am allowed to eat everything, as long as it is not edgy and very hard. 

I do reflect upon my good fortune of getting saved without any lingering ailment or negative effect of surgery. Worst-case scenarios didn’t happen. I’m whole again. Why was I granted the good fortune? Many people prayed for me, some extensively. A few undertook pilgrimages. Why for me?

Then it dawned upon me. It’s because of my charity work. Charity makes one a pivot point in the lives of others. Take away the pivot, and many lives are affected, not just the pivot. Nature thinks very, very hard before taking away any pivots, or even before allowing pivots to diminish in energy. Nature wants its pivots to grow and glow. 

As OGQ members, you are pivots in the lives of your athletes. You are also pivotal for your country. You are doing a great thing. Now do it with 200% more conviction, after having read the above narration. 

Best regards and sincerely,

Uday.


I left out in this story that chanting by Vasant, Mandira and whoever they shared this with actually lifted me out of my predicament at all crucial points, when things could have gone the other way. I do believe this is true. 

I reasoned with myself. There was gratitude. I decided to give it a try. Leaders started appearing, three actively, fourth ready to act. I started to chant. Gongyo through YouTube. Life got busier. Gaps got filled. No time left to ruminate. Only time to act. I act with full fervour. 

I was a small beacon earlier. 

Through whatever little chanting that has taken place, I’ve become a slightly larger beacon today. 

That’s probably why! 
 

One on One with the Chant

UN : I would like a seat.

The Chant (TC) : Make a seat for yourself. You have a big house. 

UN : I would like a seat which is not at the cost of something else.

TC : So you want a seat for free?

UN : I don’t wish to sacrifice family harmony in lieu for a seat.

TC : Ok. Seat will open. You need to get some family Karma out of the way before it opens. 

UN : Also, I don’t want a seat at the cost of my profession.

TC : Why? 

UN : I’ve fought very hard to put my profession together. 

TC : Fine. You’ll need to get some professional Karma out of the way, then.

UN : Before seat opens?

TC : Yes. 

UN : I mean, the current window for a “seat” is a bit of a killer.

TC : So what? I need to see how steadfast you are. Cling to me.

UN : On the treadmill, at 6 kmh, balancing, puffing and panting, and chanting – what if I fall?

TC : Cling to me. You’ll be fine. 

UN : Can’t it just be a straight-forward seat?

TC : It will be. First prove your steadfastness. Also, get your Gongyo going properly.

UN : Gongyo gets going properly with proper seat.

TC : Oh, a trade-off, is it?

UN : I do have some kind of say in it, or not? And what about meeting windows?

TC : What about them?

UN : I’ll need to show up at a meeting some time or the other. When does that window open?

TC : Do you want to show up?

UN : I don’t mind, but not at the cost of professional appointments or family harmony.

TC : And if those two are not affected, then do you want to show up?

UN : I’ll definitely give it a try.

TC : Over a one year period, some meeting windows will open. 

UN : When do they start opening? 

TC : Over the next six weeks, at least one meeting window will open.

UN : And be successfully utilized?

TC : Yes. 

UN : Ok, thanks, bye.

TC : Bye.