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“How would you like to die?”

June 11, 2015

I was looking through a blog I wrote in 2008, in answer to a Proust Questionnaire game on the now closed Gaia online community.

How would you like to die?
With a smile on my face, I wrote.

How interesting! With the recent transition of my mother, death is again taking center-stage in my life, and recently I was wondering if I could introduce this as a topic in our regular Tuesday circles. It’s interesting also, because it shows me again why Prof. Park Jae Woo’s teachings about  a world where smile holds center stage, for living, healing, meditation, and more, has so resonated with me ever since I encountered them in 2012. Very quickly, it seemed to me that I have always ‘known’ what I was learning. I was staying with my mother for three months, accompanying her as my father had passed two years earlier, and we sisters took turns to be with her. That was a precious time, but also emotional as I was torn- sad at being away from my own daughter, happy to be with my mother – just her and me, rare for a middle child.

I realize that speaking of death disturbs people. “How morbid,” one said, when she heard me and my children in a moment of lightness talk about how they would not know what rites to do when I pass away. “Of course,” said my daughter, “you’re immortal, so we’re just talking,”  and we hugged and laughed. At a recent death of a friend’s mother, she had burst out: “I can’t even imagine what it is like to live without a mother. I would want to die.” I couldn’t understand this, until I am face to face with my mother’s passing.

They co-exist: the feeling that our parents are immortal, for of course we’ve never known life without them, and the fear that they are not. My mother was 91, frail yet courageous, physically dependent on caretakers, yet uncomplaining, gentle, gracious, participating in what her daughters suggested, yet becoming more and more remote. Ebbing. So I thought we were prepared for her passing, even for grieving.

Some weeks before she passed, I found my belly crying, as it had before my father passed. Gut feel is not just a phrase. Two days earlier, I found myself gardening after a long time, and remarked to my husband: Now I know Ma is dying. She used to love gardening, and is making me do this again. It was intense. Shall I go to her? She never felt complete until her children were all with her. Circumstances prevented me; and once I realized I couldn’t go I was at ease, because her youngest was with her.

Prepared? No. Nothing can prepare. Ma passed on a Tuesday, and I held the usual Tuesday circle at my place, since that has a life of its own. A momentum of its own. I had gone to work that day, as usual. At work, people thought I was suppressing my sobs; in my circle, even as they said I had delivered a master class on dying – I have no recollection of the words – the ‘least meditative’ participant empathically burst out, much as the child in the Emperor’s New Clothes – “You have sadness today. You are looking different.”

Can we anticipate how we will respond? It seems strange to be in a world where the mother who gave birth has passed, I wrote. On the fourth day of her passing,  we had a remembrance in the morning calling in to the observance in India  [“the phone is a wonderful invention”, Ma used to say]. At a healing workshop that afternoon I remarked that my mother’s passing is showing me the difference between grief and mourning, bringing to life an unremarked difference between these words. I grieve, but I do not mourn, for she went with such grace and gentleness, blessing my sister who was with her, that we are uplifted as we accompany her onward journey with observances of the Shinnyo-En – the Mahaparinirvana teachings of the Buddha, given just before he passed.

Even that is not the whole story. After the fourteenth day observance, it struck. The sobbing. When I was completely alone, driving home from work, the light of my mother’s passing struck like a clean arrow, cutting through the inspiration, the upliftment, the love and beauty of the timing of her passing – to the well of grief. I sobbed, wanting to die, to merge once again in the mother who had given me life and birth. Sobs racked my body, each cell was in intense pain, and I felt I would never stop crying. I looked upon a whirlpool of unimaginable grieving, unending, infinite, a universe all its own. She was my guru, I realized, my mother. I had always marveled at the one-line teachings she had imparted, at my not being able to accept any other person as guru, at my constant, unsuccessful attempts of trying to be like her, behave like her, my perfect role model. She is my guru. I remembered her painting, and felt her move like the ray of light through my chakras.

I am blessed to have an early painting of my mother – and sorrowful that so many of the ones she presented to relatives in her youth are lost, unremarked by them. In this painting, a ray of light passes from the godly Prince Ramchandra to the simple forest dweller Shabri, who was tasting each berry for sweetness before giving it to the gracious Prince.

Shabari ke ber by Vimal Narain

Shabari ke ber by Vimal Narain

My husband and son surrounded me as I came home, comforting me wordlessly. I did not have to suppress my sobs and gradually that pain in the back of the heart subsided. Ma chose a time to go when her two daughters who have children, were at their children’s side; and her youngest, prepared for the ceremonies after death, close to her heart and soul, had flown across the ocean  to be at her side. Ma blessed her, said the mantra even as she was breathing her last, and gently slipped away. This is  death with smile. As she lived – loving, caring, silently wise, using few but powerful words, she passed.

May I say..? She is passing. She is ascending, visiting us with a lightness of being, laughing, playfully pouring sparkles of light in our Reiki circle, showing us a self that is vast, expansive, even as we sense the vulnerability as she finally meets her mother who departed in her infancy.

My earthly mother, I used to call her, as I was practicing the Gaia Minute wordless merging into Mother Earth. When her earthly remains flowed into the holy river Ganga, my earthly mother and mother earth have merged. She is now ever with me. The first words I wrote after she passed were the truest.

My beloved mother has merged in the eternal smile

They say she is no more. But from this distance, as I experience her, she is now more.

How would I like to die? I would turn that question around.
How would I like to live? With smile, so I may die in smile, merged in the eternal.


In the sync of time

June 9, 2015

In the sync of time, circumstance and Divine Will, a human soul takes birth. In the sync of time, it merges into the ethers

In the sync of time, season and inner momentum, a seed sprouts; with the sync of time it spreads its branches

In the sync of time, technology and inner guidance, souls meet in this life; with the sync of time, they part.

In the sync, is time. The sync of movement – of the earth and her planetary siblings, of the sun, moon and distant stars. Movement in sync is the dance of this universe.

In the sync of time, three daughters were placed exactly where they needed to be, as the mother of the infinite heart, who had spent much of her last years with the elder ones, allowing each to experience her all to themselves, now chose a time when they were away, with their children, and her youngest, the baby and the  guide, was with her as she breathed her last.

My great-grandmother, Barhi Naniji, the one who housed infinite wisdom in a small, self-literate person, the one who tended my mother, left motherless at a few weeks, taught us the meaning of time. Out of the timelessness of outer space, a miracle has been placed in our human being. It is the inner biological clock, that sense of time that can wake us without an alarm clock. Its setting is intention that moves like the dials of a watch to the exact time that you ask your body to wake the next day. “Pinch yourself”, she said, “and tell yourself – ‘I will wake up at 6 in the morning’, and you will.”  And we did.

“Always reach exactly on time,” Ma told us. Just a little early, not late. That has helped us three sisters to live effectively anywhere in the world.

“Half an hour after they are hungry, you should be able to feed a family,” Ma taught us, along with the skills to do so. This happens when you are totally with the cooking and the elements – leaving the fire to preheat the cooking vessel while the water rehydrates the pulses and you cut the vegetables. Working in sync, it is not you that needs to do all the work, it is the sync of elements that creates a meal.

They were of few words, my Barhi Naniji and Ma, and they packed a punch in each word! Much like the tiny seed that houses a banyan.

Today, that sync of many thousands who have felt the need for harmony, is sprouting into a movement. It brought together a nucleus of people around the seed of an idea planted by a Divine Messenger, Eli. The seed of a continuous wordless prayer project in every time zone spiraled out into the Gaia Minute, slowly branching out into the Hourly Universal Global Sync and who knows what else, as the consciousness of the Divine Mother Gaia unfolds on Earth.

The Mother knows that it is in the sync of time that a sperm can enter an ovum, a seed can be fertilized by another, that growth can take place. The mother knows that sync is harmony.

In the sync of time, my Barhi Naniji was made mother to my Ma, my own Naniji was taken to the afterlife, to guide newly transitioned souls and prepare for the passing of her child, and we met Eli, revealed to us later as Swami Shraddhananda, just as the online Gaia community was about to dissolve and he was preparing to dissolve into the ethers. In the sync of time, a message has come into this world.

Sync. It is time.

Ma's favorite avenue in Miami...of banyan trees

Ma’s favorite avenue in Miami…of banyan trees

The mountains are calling – again

November 19, 2014

I must go up the mount again
For the freshness of color and breeze
And all I ask is a forest path
A sparkling stream to guide my way

[thought to the beat of Sea Fever by John Masefield]

Five years. Just speaking to Eli, Swami Shraddhananda, or rather, listening to him as he spent his final months in this earth-world among us, and the yearning for mountains went away. I began to love what I’d earlier dismissed as Flat Florida.

It’s back. The yearning, I mean. But this time I don’t feel the need to go physically. I’m pursuing the mountains on the world wide web of wonder.

The seven peaks of perfection, surrounding Seoul, where Prof Park Jae Woo was born.

The mountains in Bcharri, Lebanon the birthplace of  Khalil Gibran.

Uttaranchal, where the Ganga flowed swiftly as my father’s last remains were consigned to the sacred river four years ago, very close to the place where Eli went back to the mountains, and in the same year that Professor Park also passed.

The mountains hold many memories, generously sharing them on the breezes that meet the traveler seeking the wisdom within. All I’m looking for is those fresh breezes….

You who wander

October 28, 2014

You who have wandered lonely as a cloud
Seeking others adrift on earth
Loved aloneness, connected with detachment
Loving humanity, shunning human beings
Flow now as the cloud misting this world with love

From the mountains that rise above the ground
Traverse the paths to the flatlands
As water reaches all dimensions
Spread seeds of smiles among the sands

You who wander the world wide web of wonder
Have you reached into worlds not of your vernacular?
Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, to Zulu
Journey into languages, dear traveler

Step out of the dream you are visualizing
and bring back the smile with you
step into this world that is dawning
and breathe in the fresh morning dew.

Img courtesy

Img courtesy

Gratitude to William Wordsworth, Google Translate and all who have shared their presence on the world wide web of wonder

©2014 Meenakshi Suri

Smile Always

October 21, 2014
A smile we have

A smile we have, says Journey to Wholeness….

A few days ago, I showed a friend one of my most precious possessions. Whatever you want from here, you can take, I told her somewhat grandly. But not this. This bookmark, made many years ago by my daughter, is precious to me. Priceless.

A smile we have

I woke up with a start as I remembered something yesterday. I was smiling.

When my daughter was smile [- ah, a typo that I will keep]- so as I was saying, when my daughter was small, she once wanted something that we did not buy for her. Perhaps it was expensive, perhaps it didn’t seem worth it to me, or perhaps she would be given it later. I am not sure. But the waiting period was difficult for her, so I wrote on a post-it note, the key to being happy while waiting.

A smile we have

Now, exploring Prof. Park Jae Woo’s Triorigin Theory, imbued in smile consciousness, I wonder ..can I express it this way?

A smile we have

As I understand it, something is Hetero, Homo or Neutro depending on one’s point of view. Today, this is my point of view. Others are jostling for expression, but let’s keep things simple. For now, this is enough.

I wanted – to write

I wrote

I am posting the blog

and all, with smile.

Life’s wonderful. Depends on how you look at it!

My seven year old showed me how.

But you told her first, you say? Depends on your point of view. Did the mother birth the child or the child birth the mother?

Smile. Always.


Hmm…how do I describe myself?

September 23, 2014

A few days back a group of us met for the first time, and each of us was asked to describe ourselves.

It was for facilitating classes in a holistic gym (intriguing, right?). So, as my turn is coming, those words are swirling around ..I want to say it in one sentence. I gave the words the task to form themselves into one simple sentence, so I could focus on what each person was saying.

When my turn came, I found myself talking about what I was offering.  Mudra, Mantra and Movement. And in my heart I thank Professor Park Jae Woo who has formulated a way of bringing many ways of experiencing and healing with energy, in a remarkable system.

One person said — Hmmm. How do I describe myself? She struggled with it a little, as she has done so much.

There is a point at which all the layers of our life jostle to find expression.

Then a little bird comes and says – Tweet! And somehow the sentence forms itself.

I offer sessions of Mudra, Mantra and Meditation.

Don’t be so sure…the gift of doubt

July 20, 2014

Don’t be so sure always, that you know why another person has responded to you as they have. The gift of doubt helps us to give benefit of the doubt to someone who hasn’t behaved in a way that we like. In this case, doubt is of a higher vibration than being sure that the other person is motivated by malice.

HIgher than doubt, of course, is faith – that always, the highest good of all concerned is being brought about. We may not be able to see why some paths are blocked and others open up, but…faith.

Higher than faith, or rather, more expanded than faith, is knowing. For that of course, we need to become aware, expand our perspective, let go of what binds us to ignorance.

I have always been drawn to the saying that is purportedly ‘Chinese’:

He who knows, and knows he knows, is wise – follow him.
He who knows not, and knows he knows not, is a child – teach him.
He who knows and knows not he knows, is asleep – wake him.
He who knows not and knows not he knows not, is a fool – shun him.
[Remember, back in the days, ‘he’ was supposed to embrace ‘she’]


I like to re-view things, so, fifty years after I first read these words, this is what I would say:

One who knows, knows s/he knows, tweets and shares, is wise – follow what resonates.
One who knows not, knows s/he knows not, and asks to learn, is a child – teach what you know.
One who knows, knows not s/he knows, and reveals wisdom, is asleep – waken by allowing universal energy to flow through you.
One who knows not, knows not s/he knows not, and tweets and shares, is unwise- let go.

The earlier one rolls off more easily off the tongue, but this one is more ‘today’.

So – it’s better to be unsure, and doubt one’s initial reaction than to allow it to ru[i]n our life!

What say you?


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