Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Living Without Being Special By Deepa Khanna Sobti

Living Without Being Special
By Deepa Khanna Sobti

[Deepa is a darling. You can't but fall in love, unbeknownst to yourself, with this charming, vivacious, sprightly and multi-talented girl the moment you meet her. Trained as a Financier and blossomed out as an Artist and Poet, Deepa is a mother with two children and a devoted wife. But she is a real-life example of an enlightened individual, living day to day, nay, moment to moment in full understanding of Non-dual Oneness. She summed up very appropriately that type of living in one word in one of her writings - Beauty. Every poem she pens and every painting she draws echoes the Non-dual message and invites everyone "to investigate their present experience to realize what reality really is." Her Web site is Emptiness Is Full. She donates 75% of the profits from the sale of her paintings to six charities. She regards her new life as an amalgamation of her  three loves - philosophy, art and philanthropy.

I am deeply obliged to Deepa for her ready consent to share her story in her own words
 at our Blog and giving us a sample of her poetry and award winning paintings. Her contribution is a  befitting celebration for us as we complete ten years of blogging and enter into the 11th year -- ramesam.]


Living Without Being Special
By Deepa Khanna Sobti


Deepa Khanna Sobti
Thanks for being interested in my story. Clearly the story doesn’t interest me that much. I don’t even think it has much of a flow to it anymore. And I’m unsure if anything that’s happening today has anything to do with the past at all. So it’s all a bit clunky as I think about it.

It is hard to take ownership of anything and try to ascribe reasons as to why life is the way it is, since everything happens mysteriously by itself.

I grew up spending a lot of time alone, mostly thinking and joyfully tending to the needs of our flower and vegetable garden. But life was generally full of fears of a scary world out there that I spent several decades trying to change, blame, or work around. 

I had a very troubled childhood. Told this face was not good enough for the blue blooded family I was born in. Mother very controlling. Basically a childhood full of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Constant anxiety and fears. Dad in the army so moving about all over the country. Constant fear of death. Abandonment. Lost my granddad suddenly at age 17. Went into a shock. Seeing death so closely. Got no help from anywhere. Finally these hands started writing sheets and sheets showing me how all my fears and drama were because I saw the world in a divided form and made some parts more special than others.

The Thought That Says 'Me'
Thankfully college started and regular fears kicked back in. Still searching for something someone to make me happy. Never happened. The perfect love. Never happened. Again at 24-29 through crazy relationship turmoil - a loving gentle voice - don’t struggle with life. Let everyone, everything go where they wish. If you have to fight or use words to convince someone to like you - it’s not the real deal. Only that which naturally flows to you is meant for you. That was the breakdown of the ‘me’ that ‘knew’ what ‘you’ ‘should’ be/do. Life became lovelier.

Through the intense suffering, it was seen that I already contained the entire story of my life within me which is the only reason I was able to perceive it in physical form. The seeing through of this subject-object nexus was a huge relief and led to several years of confirmation of this Oneness. This understanding occurred first while writing on a piece of  paper but took many decades to seep fully into behavior, speech and thought on a continuous basis.


The False Idea Of The Particular
  That’s all. That this is all the human condition(ing) was. And that the brain came prerecorded with its own set of warped past based false value systems. And that’s all it could basically ever see. Its own conditioning.

It was seen that no event happens in isolation and that there is no separate person out there who is trying to manipulate a separate "me" here.

Again about 5 years later - husband diagnosed with cancer and told has only few months to live. Unconscious freak out reaction. Followed by same gentleness coming in - nothing so special about your life. These things are common. They happen. A sweet acceptance happened. The outside world changes again. Husband got miraculously better. A fantastic love and trust for life was flowering.

Then got a copy of I Am That. Cried after reading the first few pages. Clearly this brain had combusted in the same place as Nisargadatta Maharaj’s. Also started listening to non duality talks on Urban Guru Cafe. Etc. Meanwhile the life story happening so beautifully without any seeking efforting on my part. The art career. Beautiful relationships. Apparent beautifying of the body. All by itself. 

No Way Out
Life continued to constantly make conscious deeply held beliefs about specialness for this body and it’s life through suffering. Slowly as the need for specialness was seen through, the following humility seemed to miraculously correct the life story in numerable instances. 

Tears of gratitude.  Breakdown of the arrogance to having ever known how any of this happens. Bliss. Love. Life. Joy. Tears at the ting ting. At the grain of the wood in the table where I sit. Such a miracle. Life. Such beauty. Everywhere. How can words or books ever capture this. What is there to seek or wait for? When everything around me now is so so beautiful and so alive. The life story still continues unfettered without a sense of personal doership and the mind-body effortlessly does what it is best programmed to do. 

In my case, the love for writing and  painting, traveling, admiring nature, a crazy sense of humor and the love for all things fluffy have flourished and are enjoyed greatly.


Thank you for your interest in reading this.

***

A Sample of Poems:

The World and Me


Is the world really apart from me?
Both the World and I rise together when the mind wakes from slumber
Both disappear together when the mind sleeps
The eyes see me and the other with equal clarity
My enemy and my lover are both uniquely mine
Can there ever be a winner without a loser?
Does the seeker exist without the sought?
The only place that I have exalted separate existence is in thought.

The Pursuit

Just when I know I have it, it pleases me no more
Then it seems to drift, be less mine
Then its out there, further away from me, and I want it more than ever
Then I work, I plan, I persevere, I progress to make it mine again
I create time, till it's mine again
But when it's mine, I say what's my next pursuit?
It seems like it's never the Thing
The Search, the Pursuit is all there ever is

Enlightenment

When the fruit is ripe, it must fall
Fall back to the very ground from which it began
Back to where it has no separate existence any more

When the ego has seen enough
It must question every concept
It must question its very existence
It must admit that as a separate person, it is lost in a world of so many others

It must finally see beyond thinking
It must fall back from separate existence
To dissolve itself into the impersonal seeing itself

Simply Non Existent

The realm at which the mind conjures human existence
Is simply incapable of comprehending the absolute happening or non happening in this moment
The moment’s flux is too fluid to be captured in images
And too seamless to be understood in parts
When the human realm teeters towards this understanding
It enters a field of non understanding
Which it cannot grasp
So it takes a step back
To a point
Where it renders itself simply non existent


Outside All Sides

1 comment:

Padma N said...


Ramesam garu, thanks for introducing us to Deepa.

It is always inspiring to meet a co-traveler on the no-path to no-where.:-)

Deepa, thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts in such exquisite poetry. So much of what you wrote deeply resonates with me - The "specialness" fading away, making room for humility and acceptance.

“Emptiness is Full” – you have beautifully summed up two profound teachings in one catchy phrase - the Heart Sutra and the Shanti mantra. Emptiness is Form - Form is Emptiness. Om, That is Full, This also is Full, From That Fullness comes This Fullness.