Thursday, September 01, 2005

Walking Together

Walking Together

I'm feeling a bit contented after a full productive day of work. But I'm still behind schedule. Hopefully tomorrow will be another fruitful day for me. It's getting increasingly difficult for me to blog regularly but I'll try.

Let's not talk about work all the time. I'm becoming a very dull boy indeed. Perhaps we should discuss something more refreshing today: women and lust.

Men lust after women. The dynamics of lust shapes most relationships between men and women. At which point lust becomes love, it's often difficult to tell. However lust is not something that can last forever because the beauty of the flesh decays very fast. Hence lust can be a starting point but not reason enough to sustain a relationship for the long term. No matter how strong the lust of a man for a woman is, the novelty will wear off after a while.

How then can a relationship be sustained? Lust is a dynamic of the physical layer. A sustainable relationship must develop the higher layers too: emotional, intellectual and spiritual. When couples talk about "love", it means that they have forged a certain bond on the emotional layer. Intellectual bonding may and may not occur in many relationships. It is more important to forge a strong emotional bond based on mutual support, respect and trust. If this foundation does not exist, then a relationship will always be mired with jealousy, suspicion and unhappiness.

Couples spend their entire lives trying to work out that emotional contract that is mutually satisfactory. It is a difficult task because most people care about themselves first and their partners second. True love--if there's such a thing--is based on giving. Give and ye shall receive. But when one gives too much, suspicious begins to creeps in: is my partner taking advantage of my kindness?

So this ding-donging goes on and on in a typical relationship until the individual karmic forces are exhausted. By that time, a lot of pain would have been suffered; so many tears, fights and arguments would have transpired. If the relationship is still in one piece, then only can the couple transcend to the next level of evolution.

Marriage or any form of romantic relationship is good because it helps a person to work out his dormant karma. If not for the trials and tribulations of a relationship, he might not be able to untangle the karmic knots that are buried deep within his soul. Only by releasing this energy can he or she progress spiritually. Of course, they are less painful ways to work out one's karma. But that requires wisdom, which not everyone is blessed with.

Remember to always enter a relationship with equanimity . Know that, every pleasure you get out of it caries with it the seeds of pain. It may sound very pessimistic but it is the wisest thing to do. Get swept away by romance by all means but don't forget how to land on your feet again.

Better still keep your feet on the ground and walk. Ultimately, all couples will need to learn how to walk, together. One step at a time, hand-in-hand, moving forward. What could be more romantic than that?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Finding Balance

Finding Balance

The good thing about weekends is that you can work for longer stretches of time without being interrupted by phonecalls, SMSes or meetings. I always feel that it is a good weekend if I can finish off a major chunk of work.

Now hang on, if one has to work over weekends, when does one get to rest? Isn't rest important?

Of course, we need to find time to "sharpen the saw". But that need not necessarily happen only on weekends. If we learn how to sleep deeper (and I know a lot of people find that difficult), we feel fresher and more rejuvenated the next day. We must also know how to take short breaks in between meetings or major tasks. The mind must be given the opportunity to return back to its "original shape".

People who practise meditation knows how restful a session of deep meditation can be. It's the mental stresses and strains that make us feel tired. If we know how to release these clogged up energies from our minds, we will feel a lot more relaxed. We don't need to wait for long holidays or weekends to "rest". Rest equals absence of stress.

Sometimes we don't face mental stress but the physical activities that we do make us feel very tired. For example, taking flights can also be very tiring because of all the walking and queueing that one has go through at airports, not to mention having to drag one's heavy luggage around. But I normally get to rest very well when I get onto the plane because the monotonous drone of the jet engine during take off puts me to sleep very easily.

It's Sunday night again. I'm all set to tackle another week of intense work. I'll probably feel very exhausted by midweek but I'm sure I'll find a way to rejuvenate myself. Going for a morning jog is the best--my energy level increases tremendously if I get the chance to exercise and do some deep breathing.

I recall a book I read ten years ago: The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity by Daniel Reid. Not that I'm such a health freak, but I did learn a lot of good tips about healthy living from there. Taoists and yogis belief that energy is always there in the air in the form of chi or prana. Of course, it cannot exactly be proven by science yet but I'd like to believe that it's true.

Eastern medicine is all about balance. A healthy life is a balanced life. Balance work with rest, hot with cold, actvitiy with inactivity; then all the yin and the yang forces will be in perfect harmony. Finding that balance, that delicate point of dynamic equilibrium, is a skill that will take us a lifetime to perfect.