unschooling untravel Buddhist Dzogchen Tibetan

As a bee seeks nectar
from all kinds of flowers,
seek teachings everywhere.

Like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze,
seek seclusion to digest all you have gathered.

Like a lion, live completely free of all fear.
And, finally, like a madman, beyond all limits,
go wherever you please.

From: The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen (Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy – accelerated path to self-perfection)
by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

It’s no coincidence that I encountered these wisdom-filled words (and books) recently. This is how our life’s journey has been unfolding over the past few years that we started unschooling Pari; Avie quit his job; I conceived Sufiana; and then we traveled to Goa – to give birth to my Sufi baby.

Each and every thought expressed in those verses are full of meaning and message for me and my family.

So, what does each thought convey to me in light of our current life journey.

(Oh, and there’s also a NEWS I’m sharing with you folks…!)
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Curating art at book fair with children

I try not to miss a visit to an exhibition or a fair. More so – an art exhibition or a book fair. There’s so much for a child (heck, there’s so much for me!) to capture in such spaces – the sights, the sounds, the opportunities to interact, ask questions, get questioned in turn, click pictures, come back and reflect on. And….

….and, the lively conversations that Pari and I have – on site. Yes, through these conversations, we learn, debate, explore, contemplate, educate, clarify, form a perspective, and understand each other’s perspective.

In this riot of colours and images, a child will capture and learn much more than she’d in a classroom – with a bag-full of text books.

Above all, we learn to see from the lens of an artist or a writer.  

Sharing some breathtaking art that we spotted (and curated) at the book fair – from around the world in Children’s literature. Also, snippets of conversation between Pari and me, while we were soaking in all that creativity.
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birth art affirmations love baby womb motherhood

I feel that art helps me express and articulate some of the most inexplicable and intangible thoughts, ideas and feelings. Thoughts that even I may not be aware of. Feelings that may not be able to surface with the help of words. Those expressions present at the subconscious level float up when I express with paint and brush. Or, a mere gel pen – to doodle.

And, I’ve never felt the force of art more powerfully than during my pregnancy. Right from the first trimester when I started pottery and painted my dozens of clay creations to avid Zentangle doodling to the 30-day Leaf Art Challenge during the eighth month.

And then, just a week before Sufiana’s birth - some more leaf art – this time art on leaves itself. And, affirmations. This is something I haven’t shared with you yet. And, I thought, this Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to share these artful creations that I made with tremendous love for my baby – to welcome her in and with overflowing positivity.
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A Birth in Goa

by Rashmie on January 7, 2014 · 34 comments

in Holistic Living,Nurture & Culture

spiritual birth

The red circle in this picture represents the ‘yoni’. Yoni is a Sanskrit word meaning vagina or womb. It is also the divine passage, or sacred temple. The word can cover a range of extended meanings, including: place of birth, spring, fountain, home, nest and more.

It’s been three months here since I last posted – the 30th day Leaf Art (of the 30-day challenge). Autumn has long gone and we’re bang in the middle of a bone-chilling winter out here in Delhi (and so many other regions around the world); 2013 is old calendar as I get used to begin my diary entries with 2014. The topic of passionate discussion these days, across country, has changed from Cricket to Politics as the Aam Aadmi Party is writing new chapters of governance in Delhi.

So, will I say “time flies” as we’re so used to saying?

Well, I guess not. Not this time at least. For, those last three months was a slow and deliberate journey. We were in absolutely no hurry to reach the ‘destination’ or the ‘goal’. Each of us savoured every moment. We ‘lived’ every experience that came our way. And, we took some life-changing decisions. What am I talking about, you might wonder? Well, I’m referring to the event that followed the 30-day leaf art  (the birth art), you see!

Read on to know some tid-bits from the birth story. And, of-course – pictures! :-)
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Illuminate Soul Artwork India Peacock Watercolor

I’m actually feeling illuminated as I completed the 30-day artful journey yesterday! Not sure I can find appropriate words and ways to express my feelings but I’ll try….I made 30 paintings in the past 30 days; bonded with and closely understood dozens of trees; soaked the music of nature and the songs of birds, and not the least important – have connected with my inner self – my spiritual being. This inner journey has given me the precious opportunity to love my soul, understand her, heal her, and nurture her. The soul that is sensitive, resolute and intuitive and yet innocent and vulnerable.

So, in this 30th day painting, it was but natural for me to reflect on and portray the illuminated state of my soul. And – the light rising from my baby’s soul – as we live in close harmony with each other – in my womb.

Check out the full post to read the many legends behind the Kadamb Tree portrayed in the art. Read some thoughts and quotes on What the Soul is. Explore some links to Peacock-related art and craft. And, finally – as usual – more pictures to view.
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Nature Leaf Journaling Silk Cotton Tree Golden Oriole Bird Watercolor

Today’s art reflects all that a home is and can be – not merely a place but a person – with a tender, caring heart; a lively, colourful, and creative nature; and a warm, welcoming soul. This home – the nest – can never be empty – for its residents will keep coming back, no matter where they go – to soak this warmth and love.

And, I painted that bright yellow bird – the male Golden Oriole – to portray how the male of the family can help build and nurture the nest. I deliberately painted the male of this species also because I wanted to express my gratitude for the partner that I have – my hubby  - Avie – who like this bird has totally supported me in nurturing our home and its environment.

Even though I feel somewhat shy and hesitant as I write this publicly….but well….today’s leaf art, I dedicate to Avie – my soul-mate, my friend and the best father Pari (and our new one!) can have. He’s not in town these days so he doesn’t even know (yet), what I’ve made, but it’s a gift for him for gently supporting me all along this past one month.

Read some more about the bird and the gorgeous Silk Cotton tree (Semal). And, check out some fun and creative nest crafts to make with children.

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yoga yogini aura art leaf journaling nature spiritual

I’ve been doing some yoga for years now but am no where close to being a ‘Yogini’ and reveling in that state of enlightened bliss and aura. I sure want to get deeper and deeper into the yoga practice but more so after my baby’s birth for I cannot do many of the yoga postures or pranayams right now. What I’ve portrayed in this art is my vision for myself. I hope this art will help in motivating and reminding me of my goal.

Check out some more pics and some musings on yoga, pranayam, aura (of trees) and more.

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music nature art journaling leaves Rumi poetry

My day begins in the balcony where I stand and gaze into the open sky and listen to the sounds of the birds and breeze and leaves. There’s nothing more soothing and pleasing to the senses than soaking in these musical notes. Today morning when I woke up, the birds were particularly more sing-songy and that’s when I got the vision for this art. And, the way I’ve been devouring Rumi’s poetry these days, his words and thoughts on music were already on my mind. So, the two have really come together to lend me artistic satisfaction.

As such, music is an essential part of my day and Pari’s, and we listen to all sort of music from different cultures and regions. In this post, I’ll share some soothing music that you may like to listen to in the morning, at bed time or when you’re working. Also, check out more pictures of the art.
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“Whatever You Are Looking for Can Only Be Found Inside of You” (Rubais of Rumi)

by Rashmie August 28, 2013

Well, this is what every book of mine looks like when you open it! Yes, you’ll find leaves pressed between every other page. Leaves from yesterday, from weeks back, from months and years back. And, every leaf has a story, a memory associated with it, which gets treasured along with the leaf itself. So, no […]

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Sufi Whirling Dervish – The Beauty of Rumi’s Poetry and the ‘Buddha’s Coconut’ Leaves

by Rashmie August 27, 2013

When I listen to this soulful song (do listen to it – it’s divine music), I feel a trance descend over me, and Pari breaks into a dance – most graceful and elegant. This song also inspires a spiritual rising within that wants me to do the Whirling Dervish – the meditative, spiritual spinning of the […]

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