Me & Bobby McGee…Live!

That spooky stage....

That spooky stage….

This post fits bang into the “mundane” aspect of our blog title…but it also deals with the greatest foe we each must duel on the long and winding road to freedom — voila, Monsieur EGO! 

I made my debut as diva at the age of four. Garbed in virginal white, I stood brave as a soldier on the auditorium stage of our lovely school in Bangalore, run by British, Scottish and Indian nuns. I resisted the urge to flee backstage as the curtains rose and the spotlight focused on my terrified little face—and, according to my mother, burst into a faultless rendition of an old hymn known as Immaculate Mary.

Other kids followed my opening act with a variety of performances—for an audience comprising a vast throng of parents who clapped and cheered decorously at the end of each piece. This was Parents Day, and obedient kids that we were at the time (I changed radically), our chief desire was to impress our anxious elders.

10270747-high-jumpI was also the top athlete in my class: high jump, long jump and the hundred meters sprint. Never a team player, I did not succeed at playing basketball or any sport requiring cooperative effort; today I suspect my debut on that dark stage spoiled me—after that, nothing would do but to shine as the lone star in my own constellation. Continue reading

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Demon of Eclipses & Illusions – Part 7/9

addiction_cartoonI once confessed to a guru that I suffered from an addictive personality. He startled me by roaring with laughter. “You and everyone else on the planet, Mira,” he retorted. “Anyone not fully enlightened is an addict of samsara.” Today I interpret his words this way: some of us are outright addicts to a range of substances. But there are subtle addictions too — to a particular lifestyle, a work routine that massages the ego, a favorite person, a diet, attention from others, sexual gratification, the consuming need to be appreciated by the world — and the list goes on, ad nauseam.

Substance addictions are the most easy to spot — and therefore easier to heal. Stop smoking, for instance, and you instantly halt the addiction. But subtle addictions are far more slippery: how to deal with the egoic compulsion to impress others with one’s beauty, intelligence, talent or wealth? Especially in an increasingly insane and plastic world, where we are encouraged to live artificial lives and are held to false standards, and where the workaholic, film star or billionaire is lauded and applauded? Continue reading