Live Deeply

Day 27: Unshakeable in the Self

Written by Ekras Gorakh

There is a way to be unshakeable in the face of adversity. I learnt it as a kid growing up in small-town India.

Today is day 27 of #LivingDeeply, and we will today learn about the game of marbles, and how not to lose all of them.

Mom bought my brother and I a box of marbles one year. We were in small-town northern India at the time, and playing marbles (goli) was not something educated kids did. Only street urchins and school-missing kids were into that sort of stuff. But somehow Ma bought it, maybe as a birthday gift, and we had a small Threptin box filled with marbles. We played a lot of marbles those couple years.

 

You have to shoot a marble ball with another, like marble golf, and try to get it into a hole in the ground. It’s the image of this hole in the ground that has stayed with me through my education and adult life.

 

Once hit, a marble rolls on the ground all over. Unless you hit it into the hole in the ground. When it rolls into the hole, it stays in. The marble feels at home, and doesn’t want to roll any more.

 

It’s home, and it’s happy.
The Bhagavad Gita talks about “Swastha” (established in the self), and in modern Hindi it usually means “good health”. But what it really means is that one must be so comfortable with one’s own company that nothing can shake them any more.

Swa-stha. Be-In.

When you don’t feel comfortable with your own company, you keep rolling. You roll from idea to idea, friend circle to friend circle, and ideology to ideology. You are never sure of yourself, and you hope that something will give you that stability you so long desire. But it’s all in vain. There’s nothing outside that can bring that stability.

A deep connection to the self allows us to weather all storms. Be unshakeable in the self. Then, nothing can get to you. You’ll never lose your marbles again.

PC: I spent a long time looking for the right photo. There were glamour photos of marbles, but nothing that showed the genuine fun of a game played with mud and glass. This video was a beautiful reminder of that childhood game.
https://youtu.be/6ZvNz4dd50Q?t=18s

 

About the author

Ekras Gorakh

Ekras Gorakh is a software executive and a yoga-meditation teacher living in San Francisco, CA.

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