Highways and Bye-lanes


I had an opportunity to listen to a music concert and enjoyed the music coming out of the various kinds of flutes. Remembered then – “Life is like a flute, with many holes of emptiness. Work on it to play melodies of life”. As we pass through life with stress, we need to pass through silence. We come across walls of obstacles at times built by glass and rocks. In order to overcome stress we need not break those walls; better to pass through them.  I ardently listened to music from the flute that gave me a conduit to pure essence of life’s experiences.

“It is not enough to be busy like the ants” – David Thoreau.

Just look at the ants. Deborah Gordon of Stanford University says – Ants aren’t smart; ant colonies are. These colonies have lasted tens of millions of years, feeding fighting reproducing following simple rules nearly clueless of what’s going on. They work on adapting behavior. Look at us! We tend to understand life by over thinking, creating mental blocks that limits us to explore.

When I went for the morning walk I found four wooden chairs and decided to sit on one of those. It was bliss that followed – listening to the breeze and the whispers of the birds from the nearby trees and looking at the sun rise. The same day my daughter took me to her work station. We walked within the premises and came across a pool of water above which bridges were built. Those bridges resembled bye-lanes of paths, around the trees and away from the highways of stress. Water flew creating ripples enriching the ambience. These visuals stopped the monkey in my mind. I enjoyed. These walks enriched me to listen and fill the void created in my stressed mind. Just like the flute – from nothings of emptiness to rich tones.

Focus brought calmness to the heart and un-locked fullness of mind. I was able to set my mind free from the routines that gets pre-occupied by a trip on these bye-lanes. She too mentioned that in an environment that she attends as a daily routine on the highway, she found happiness on the bye lanes.

As we pass through the walls of hindrance, a factor that impedes is regret. One medicine for regret is forgiveness. Mark Twain wrote – “Forgiveness is the fragrance that violet sheds on the heel that crushed it”. The bottled up feelings of regret are set free in a new scent.

We need to enjoy the journey, not only the destination. In most cases the expectation of the outcome in our minds creates heart burns. We recreate drama in our own lives. Detours make us aware of our mind sets. The flute and the bridges helped me realize there are alternative bye-lanes towards destination.

For this to happen we need to change our minds. Minds are hard to change. But human mind makes changes. This happens very slowly in most cases and abrupt changes happen in circumstances that are phenomenally different. We can change our own minds and change other’s minds.

It’s Jean-Baptiste who said – “We are responsible not only for what we do; but for what we don’t do”.

In understanding our mind sets we need to resolve ourselves from resistance to resilience and to resonance. We need to create resonance in the melodies of ragas from the flute and piano and merge with tweets of birds and the sounds of ripples of water. This creates music in our lives and around us.

One way to change ourselves is by making an effort. Diverting and deviating from the mundane routine makes it possible. We have to be involved fully in appreciating the way we want to think. Like a piano player, what you get out of it is how you play it. Black piano keys represent the sad moments and white the happy ones – playing both in balance produce the best outcome. Life is like playing piano, first using the key notes of the rules and then from the heart to create your own music in your own life.