Amrit | امرت

Synonymous with Ambrosia, the Drink of Gods, Amrit has been understood as a substance to be ingested, having qualities of being alive forever. Having a Sanskrit origin, it does anchor its meaning to immortality.

However, Amrit, really is the nectar of consciousness. The very seed that we plant between moments of silence and chaos, the space between the in and out breath, the movement between the switch of one foot to another in a stride, the moments of silence when a glimpse moves into a gaze, the miniscule stillness before day break…

For instance, drawing one’s attention to a largely automatic breathing regime, also slows the breathing down. Its only when we are conscious of the sound of breath, or the movement of the lungs and abdominals is when we focus in the presence of just the moment. It is often said that during moments of external or internal chaos, unsettlement or disagreeability we should try and breathe. And the counter defense often is, but are we not breathing all the time?

 Yes, we are breathing but with little or no presence. And our breath is the easiest of the tools, honing in, dissipating the mind chatter, diluting the external noise – and then targeting our entire being towards the breath, slowing down if need be, closing our eyes if that’s what the situation demands and giving a large enough pause before our reaction is what amrit is! Rarely is the case that attentiveness to our breath, gives any room for the mind to wander…

“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation” Rumi

I would imagine that Amrit is often thought of as aliveness and a plausible reasoning could be that when we become conscious of the present, we essentially create space, internal landscape widens, external sensorial stimulations are at their lowest, the past weakens its hold on us and the fear of future releases the grip… enabling us to sit down, accept the moment – discarding all internal and external threats so that we can breathe a little better, think with more clarity and take action with purpose . The process surely seems long and tedious, however, with practice, the space between responses does increase – whether the space is between thoughts, words or actions – amrit helps us to make better decisions, leading to emotional satiation, which eventually leads to calm nerves, connectedness and peace!

Featured Photograph: Wazir Khan Mosque –  The iconic mosque, with its faience tile work, incredibly placed in the heart of Lahore, Pakistan

Khamoshi | خاموشی

Last year I was at a gathering where the chatter across the room was reaching unsurmountable heights, primarily in terms of noise. I was straining my ears to try and comprehend at least some part of it, as expected I failed miserably.

When the room did go quiet (some Godsent silence cloak) I managed to whisper “ I think we don’t know how to listen, we listen only to…” and before I could finish my meagre sentence there was an uproar of “I knowwww riggghhttttt.” Instantly I adorned a smile and squirmed back into my social shell (which, by the way I have started carrying with me everywhere now).

Agree that there is much to say, and once said, we are instantly preparing responses to our own verdicts rather than waiting , breathing and just letting things be.

We often say things to receive a response, however the reception of that response is often pre-conceived, in our own fabrications and notions. The actual words never reach our ears, because long before, they have been robbed of their subtle element by the artillery called ‘impatience’ and what really does fall on our ear drum is just a beat that we chose to play.

But then how do we tune into our own broken strings if there is a perpetual hum drum on the outside?

Listening requires effort, because it is a mix of patience, non-judgement and complacency that we don’t have to respond if we don’t have anything substantial to say.  But the human ego only gets massaged when it is heard loud and clear, the need to be heard is always jumping leaps ahead than the patience to hear.

When we fail to listen to others’ patiently, we must realize that we are ignoring our own inner clankings as well. Perhaps our confusions want a solution, or maybe our body is sending a message or perhaps our emotions want an ear. Sometimes the emphatic denial of our inner voice makes our outwardly voice so strong that we are unable to listen to others and us!

Featured Photograph : Kotor, a quaint, picturesque little town in Montenegro