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How the Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy of Dzogchen Applies in My Life (plus, a News!)

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…!)

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

We want to learn from diverse experiences, people, places, ideas and sources. We believe that learning happens in every moment, by living fully, in awareness and in curiosity. Learning is not confined to books or classroom.

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

Being busy is not so cool after all. We want time to be able to do nothing; to just reflect on all that we have soaked. We want to pay attention to our thoughts and listen to the inner voice. Be mindful and live fully in the moment. We want to day dream on the bed an hour extra in the morning. What’s the hurry? There’s no school bus to catch, nor any rush to pack breakfast or lunch. We want to stay up late in the night to gaze into the night sky, imagine pictures and stories in the moon…

Like a lion, live completely free of all fear.

We want to take risks; take the path less traveled; stand up for our beliefs. We do not want to act out of fear, but act out of awareness – inside out. Failures are inevitable. But, we don’t want that to deter us from trying something new or going after what we fiercely believe in. We don’t want to stay in the comfort zone – rather break those mental barriers and allow ourselves to realize our true potential.

As a parent, I want to protect my child if and when she’s bullied instead of leaving her to fend for herself. In protecting her, I may bear the brunt of friends or family or neighbours, but I don’t want to fear them and leave my child distressed and lonely…

It’s okay not to please everyone at all times. It’s NOT okay to ignore the calling of your heart and soul.

And, finally, like a madman, beyond all limits,
go wherever you please.

We want to be able to travel as much as we can; where-ever our calling leads us to. By traveling we want to learn, have fun, seek adventures, explore our country, volunteer our services. We want to have a home for sure. But that home could be where-ever the heart feels young and playful and curious and creative. It can be one place today, another place few months later. Why restrict? Why stay put when the whole wide blue-green earth can be your home. Why call those four walls your home when you can tent your gear on the beach and allow the waves to sing and rock you to sleep.

Yes, why not make that your home where shells clang to ring your morning alarm.

para sailing beach goa

That’s why we’ve chosen Goa as our next home. We’re moving from Delhi.

We listened to this heart’s calling – to be close to nature, water, waves, sun and sand.

Play is crucial for children

We realized our children need to play – play to their heart’s content in the rain and mud. They want to chase butterflies and pluck wildflowers. We want to create a magical childhood for our children. Knowing that they’ll be little for only so much time makes me want to hurry and create all those spaces that I dream of – for them to play unhindered. That’ll be the best gift we can give to them as parents.

natural open-ended play mud pie kitchen

I want to create memories that will keep my heart healthy and my soul peaceful.

So, folks, we’re moving to Goa on March 13. South Goa, to be sure. We chose South Goa over North for its beautiful country-side, pristine beaches and laid-back aura.

sunset goa1

I’ll write more about our Goa migration once we move and settle down a bit.

For now, I’m excited beyond words. But, also somewhat nervous about this migration project with little Sufiana in tow.

Wish me luck, love and blessings. I’ll be collecting each and every wish that you send my way – like one shell at a time in the picture below!

shells beach goa


Here’s some more on the Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

And, some important books by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu:

Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light

In Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu gives instructions for developing clarity within the sleep and dream states. He goes beyond the practices of lucid dreaming that have been popularized in the West by presenting methods for guiding dream states that are part of a broader system for enhancing self-awareness called Dzogchen. In this tradition, the development of lucidity in the dream state is understood in the context of generating greater awareness for the ultimate purpose of attaining liberation.  (From Amazon)

Dzogchen Teachings

This book is a rich collection of precious teachings given by the renowned Dzogchen master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu to his students around the world in order to benefit their understanding of the Dzogchen tradition and its value in the modern world. Dzogchen, or the path of Total Perfection, is the essence of Tibetan Buddhism; it is not a religion, tradition, or philosophy. As Chögyal Namkhai Norbu says, “Dzogchen is the path of self-liberation that enables one to discover one’s true nature.”

Dzogchen:The Self-perfected State

Our natural condition is self-perfected from the very beginning. What is necessary is that we reawaken and remain in our true nature. Through understanding and practice, we can rediscover the effortless knowledge of the self-perfected state that lies beyond our habitual anguish and confusion, and remain in this uninterrupted flow of contemplation, completely relaxed but fully present through all activities.

I need help sustaining this blog…

Dear blog readers – It’s been exactly eight years now that I’ve been writing on this blog! Yes, eight long years and hundreds of articles. From art, creativity and learning; to food, health, gardening, travel, sustainable and mindful living, natural birth. In our un-schooling life, as we go on introspecting, questioning and evolving, I’ve strived to share our stories and experiences with as much honesty, care and sincerity as possible.

I spend hours writing an article – and often write and rewrite many times before it rings true to me and sounds worthy of your time to read.

The most important thing for me is to keep this blogging endeavour authentic and true to my values. This blog has been my sacred space to express, share, feel empowered and contribute. Hence, I do not like to support businesses that don’t align with my values. So far, I’ve rarely taken sponsorship from brands and companies. I haven’t placed any ads on my blog, though there have been multiple offers.

Infact, I’d like to keep this blog ad free unless something truly meaningful comes across.
Yet, there’s a cost to running this blog. The basic cost of keeping the domain alive, and hosting all this content on. I spend roughly INR 10,000 (USD 173) just to keep this blog up and running. So, I need to cover this cost. Plus, it’d be nice to bring in some income for our family of four. And, this is where I request your support.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • wecallyourmlmleads March 4, 2014, 1:11 pm

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  • Pallavi March 4, 2014, 2:40 pm

    Beautiful post like always. And when you said news, I was pretty sure you are moving into the mountains or somewhere in the nature..and I was thrilled to read about Goa. Good luck with this move and starting another chapter of your life. ( just one regret though, couldn’t meet you while you were so closer) but then again very very happy for you!!! God bless :)

    • Rashmie March 18, 2014, 6:22 pm

      Pallavi, you wrote – “when you said news, I was pretty sure you are moving into the mountains or somewhere in the nature.” I’m amazed – by the connection we share even though we haven’t met in person. Thank you for your wishes, support, love. Means a lot really. I hope we meet in Goa soon :-)
      BTW, our move got delayed due to some pending stuff. We now move in the first week of April. Will keep you all posted here.

  • ami bhuptani March 4, 2014, 4:18 pm

    all the best Rashmie
    its great to see people hearing their inner callings and responding to them! inspirational ! would love to come n meet you when we travel to goa next! :) bin bulaaye mehmaan!
    wishing you lots of luck with your migration!

    • Rashmie March 18, 2014, 6:25 pm

      Ami, you’re welcome to visit us in Goa whenever you’re there. :-) Bin bulaye mehman mat samjho khud ko! How wonderful it’ll be if I’m able to meet my blog readers in real life! It’s taking the relationship many levels up.
      Thank you for being here!

  • Madhu March 4, 2014, 6:46 pm

    All the best Rashmie. You never fail to amaze me. You decided this at the spur of a moment? I would love to do something like this; Maybe when you have time, I would love to hear about how you guys manage the financial aspect of your family. I dont mean to pry but how are you guys able to leave everything behind and move? Also read Avie quit his work. How are you guys doing this? careful financial planning in the initial years? I am at loss as to how you are able to implement this practically. I really wish I could meet you (and Pari and Sufi) one day. I think my Megha (2 years old) would love to have Pari’s company.

    • Rashmie March 18, 2014, 10:54 pm

      Madhu, I could write a long, long comment/article on all the questions you’ve asked. Don’t know if I have a short/direct answer….
      Well, you can say we decided this on “the spur of a moment”. Moving from Delhi has been in my heart for years but NEVER did we fathom Goa. I mean, we did fancy this place but it seemed impractical given hubby’s work parameters wouldn’t be fulfilled. Goa is more tourism-driven. Hubby is a consultant in the IT/management sphere.
      Even when we were there for Sufiana’s birth, I wished and wished that we wouldn’t have to leave Goa and kept telling Avie if that was possible somehow. But, we couldn’t see how we could do this. So it was ruled out. Then, we come back home (Delhi) and over dinner one evening, I told Avie that I’m okay if he has to go out of town for work (workshops that he conducts) for 10 days in a month or so. “Yes. That Much. Not more”, I told him seriously and laughingly. He said, with that much travel, we can totally manage. Not make looooot of money but can have a good living and quality of life. So, that was it. Once we knew it can be possible, we took the plunge. No more calculations, no delaying matter till we’d have some savings, till we could make ‘some’ more money being here in Delhi.
      As of savings -no! We have hardly any in the name of savings. We’ve been traveling so much that saving hasn’t been possible. I’m totally not a financial planner. It hasn’t been Avie’s forte too.
      When Avie quit job, we were living almost hand to mouth. Honest! But, in our heart of hearts we knew that he’d make it. Within months, he started earning a name for himself in the field that he was working. (Agile workshops – http://www.agilebuddha.com). He’s been earning pretty decent from his workshops. But, we’re okay with the fact that some months it’ll be a drag and other months will compensate.
      I’d say, it’s a sheer faith/trust that what we believe in from the core of our hearts, will work out. The amount of affirmation is huge. There’s almost no fear. And finally, our team-work is incredible – Avie’s and mine. We support each other without fail and seem to share each other’s souls’ missions.

      This sums up my thought process. :-) I’ll request Avie to share what he has to say on this. ;-) Will ask him to post a comment underneath mine.

      • Sunita March 21, 2014, 10:26 pm

        @Rashmie – My husband is also an IT guy who works from home, which is how we’re able to live in an “untraditional” place. We don’t have near as much money as if he had a “proper” job, but we are very happy with the simpler lifestyle we’ve chosen for ourselves in a beautiful small town close to nature. I find that all the people who make the decision to live where we live have had to build unusual jobs for themselves, and get creative with their income sources, and learn to make-do with less, and I think it makes for a much more interesting community! I think you will find that too!! (Side note – my husband is sure he just read something interesting on Hacker News from Agile Buddha).

        • Rashmie March 31, 2014, 4:32 pm

          Sunita, yes – “getting creative with income sources” also means that you’re more likely to do what you like doing. One might have limited money, but more time means one can do more fun things in frugal ways. And then, having fun does not have to do with doing a lot. I can go on and on…. :-)
          So glad to hear about your story of life and living…

  • Fab March 5, 2014, 5:53 am

    Congratulations, Rashmie!! That is exciting news!!! And thank you so much for sharing this information about Dzogchen. I had never heard of it before, but now I think I’d like to read more about it.

    • Rashmie March 31, 2014, 4:33 pm

      Fab – I hope you find the Dzogchen books/thoughts interesting and relevant. Let me know more when you read one of those books…

  • Sunita March 7, 2014, 7:24 am

    WOW! That’s really exciting news! I think that with every liberating step we take in life, we become more and more able to hear the voice inside ourselves until it eventually becomes one unending song! Congratulations on following your hearts and adding to your personal symphony of life!

    • Rashmie March 31, 2014, 4:36 pm

      Sunita – I like how you said, “personal symphony of life”. You’re a poet at heart! Tell me you write poetry? Tell me….!

  • Param March 13, 2014, 12:29 pm

    Great news Rashmie . Wishing you and your family lots of happiness . I hope goa brings lots of joy in your life. The two years that I lived in Goa were the most relaxing and beautiful moments of my life. Once again all the best. Lots of love to pari and sufiana.

  • Rashmie March 31, 2014, 4:38 pm

    Sorry for the late reply. It’s always a joyful feeling to hear from you. Yes, I remember you telling me way back that you’d lived in Goa and you guys had even published children’s books while you were there. How amazing!
    Where were you in Goa? Share away any tips that you might have… :-)

  • ashwini.br June 16, 2014, 9:26 am

    We are homwschoolers from Bangalore.We homeschool our son.You write well with colourful beautiful pictures.We also thio kids.
    think similar ways.Leading simple life which is holistic.
    lots of love to Pari and sufiana.
    I had written a mail long back.We even met your husband Avinash in Khandala homeschoolers conference.

  • ashwini.br June 16, 2014, 9:43 am

    There is some typing error.Sorry for this.