Thursday, 25 September 2014


The cover of the book came yesterday, and two awesome blurbs :

Kamla Kapur has created a Sikh parallel of Homer's Odyssey in the re-imagining of its founder's spiritual journey, cleverly recounted in the voice of an impish acolyte.  As with that work, the prose melts into melifluous poetry, music to the soul.  In company with the Sikh spiritual leader, Guru Nanak, we travel from magical place to magical place throughout India and are reminded again and again of what values should inform our life. You wait until the saga is over to exhale and still wish there were more.  A ripping read.

Thomas Hoover, author of Zen Culture and The Moghul
 Rich imagination, anchored by the spirit of the Janamsakhi tradition, brings alive the story of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. Kamla Kapur has written a gripping book in a style that is both simple and lucid. Her reinterpretation of the Janamsakhis should find wide resonance among readers.
Roopinder Singh, author of Guru Nanak: His Life and Teachings


Watched the sun like liquid light spreading over the tree outside the window, slowly, without pause, flowing like the Hirub over the leaves and down the bark of the deodar and before I knew it, there it was, streaming through the east window, lighting up the room, and turning Bhalli’s black tail, where she slept on her down bed, into a lovely russet red. The unwellness was pneumonia and today, after my fifth dose of azithromycin, I am returning to my life as I live and want to live it. Yet these periods are necessary preparation for the time when I will be have to assent to my life and energy being taken away, in mid note, as with the repeatedly remembered lesson learned from the flute from that anonymous teacher so far back and away. She told me I hold my flute too tightly. I should hold it so lightly that if she reached for it at any point in my playing it should fall into her hands easily. Most of the time I was peaceful, in another zone, without thoughts or worries, just the realization of the need to rest, rest, and rest. Did not get out of bed, or bathe, though brushing the teeth felt absolutely essential, did not go downstairs because it was so difficult climbing up again, could not speak or listen for lack of energy (realized how much energy it takes to listen). But I did have the silent energy to go through the edits of the book, respond, provide sources, which was a huge task,  and correspond with my editor, Courtney mainly through cell phone email. Yesterday I sat briefly by the stream, in the sun, working on the book but I was so tired out that I had to return to bed. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


While walking around the garden, having a wonderful time, though slowly, laboriously, I thought of a quote I read somewhere that sounded like the title of this blog. I experienced the quote, actually. I don't know if I will return here next year -- one never knows! -- but I worked towards a vision of being here ten years hence, living to see the sapling cedars grow up to be healthy teenagers (at best. I know I don't have that long and deodars are slow growing) but working as if all these were my last acts. Very liberating, this working without attachment.


Is this (to repeat): to read (even literacy is not required for this) the true needs of the Godlike Psyche in union with the Godlike, human body. When to do what, when to rest, when to move, how much of each of these ingredient to mix in the recipe for joy, like the joy of kites and pelicans as they catch the current to fly effortlessly home!


When we are not dead while resting in God, or as long as we are alive, movement is essential and pleasurable. But there are different definitions of movement -- it is a mistaken belief that movement always has to be energetic and vigorous. Stretching out that one limb that asks to be stretched, in my case this morning, just my aching right wrist, paying attention to it, then making that one small movement to nurture it, stretch out the palm of the hand,  massage a little balm into it, is tremendous movement.

I write about this today because I have been sick for a -- it feels like! -- a long time; at least a week. Listless, indigestive, lung infected. Though I have taken the time out to do some necessary things, like a bit of yoga, at least, being content even if I did 5 minutes of it, sitting in bed and reading (a wonderful thing to do if you are not too sick to do it), getting ideas in my head about my many writing projects, taking notes, converting old files, this morning I felt immobilized, dizzy from medications, but not quite content to be in bed, either, it being such a lovely, sunny morning after over a week of being damp, rainy, cold, I went out into the garden intending to do some yoga when my body signaled it was sick of being in bed and wanted to move. (What a long sentence, Payson would complain, but I joy in the long, winding ones!). But the garden, neglected during the rains was screaming for attention and one thing led to another and I was in it for two hours, walking very slowly and carefully, like an old lady with her stick (loving the image) taking out the time to sit now and then, drink some juice, and getting the help of our driver, Uttam Singh, and Raju, our cook, who I commandeered from other tasks. Though I barely had the energy to talk or walk, I got a lot done. Very soulful work, too, like gathering six or ten varieties of moss from shady areas and placing them on the soil beneath the deodar trees I am trying to bonsai, and planting some succulents and ferns in the walls of the grotto. I even believe it contributed to my healing and I feel all the healthier for it.

Such a lovely art, the highest, perhaps, in being able to read the true needs of the Godlike Psyche in union with the Godlike, human body.


What do you do when you don't want to do anything, when none of your projects interest you and all you want to do is do nothing but don't know how to, being much too much of a workaholic? This is the most urgent issue in the Third Life. The body wants to rest, the brain won't let it and you end up working yourself into a tizzy that is both terrible for your health and your peace.

For those of us with spiritual streaks in us, that want to believe and have more faith as we age and move  gracefully towards the Event Horizon, who trust and believe in the energy we call God, or the Universe, or the Higher Power, there is one wonderful option. I am learning to REST IN GOD. Those of us who associate this phrase with death, are afraid of it. I don't mean death by this phrase in the least, though it is what we are ultimately destined to do and the sooner we accustom ourself, or better, befriend this certainty, the better off we will be, not only at the time of our death but here, now, in life. I mean an activity, a conscious choice to rest, not simply for its own sake (though that itself is also a great achievement) but for the sake of being in the presence of the Loving, Embracing, Nurturing Presence we call Mother Father God. as soon as I say, 'I'm going to rest in God,' the process of deep resting begins. There is a cuddling in this resting that helps up arrive at the very verge of carefree, healing sleep.