Swordplay in the Market Place

by Sw Prem Giri

he sun was slowly setting in the western sky, lending a calm over Spanish Banks in the hour before sunset. I had come here to forget the rigours of the day. The combination of sand, mountains and ocean, canopied under a Vancouver evening sky, has a unique alchemy of timelessness, strength and calm to it. In this setting, it becomes easier and more natural to let go of narrow personal concerns and again enter the universal stream.

In the ideal world, we are all full of bliss and on the verge of enlightenment, just a few flaws from nirvana. In the real world, most of us are struggling with desires, wants, unconscious expectations. And we are mostly adamant to not let any sonovabitch interfere with our neuroses. Sitting with my back to a log, I breathed in, breathed out, mostly breathing out, letting go, slowing down, less tired by the day’s events than by my own unmet expectations. The market place goes its own way and it is a constant lesson to learn to go the market’s way rather than try to make the market go my way.

My eyes swept the Vancouver evening sky, which was tinged with that reddish sunset glow that spreads like a calm, warm blanket over the bay. In the distance, my eyes lighted upon a fluttering of wings, darting this way and that. At first I could not make out the kind of bird it might be as it continued hovering, positioning, darting. Suddenly, its intent became clear as it began a dive-bomb into the water, and in that split-second before it began its descent, the unmistakable silhouette of a kingfisher revealed itself to my eyes. Streamlining its body, the kingfisher surrendered completely to the pull of gravity and disappeared into the water.

I waited expectantly for it to emerge with its prize and soon enough the lone hunter re-appeared back into the air element and climbed strongly up, up, up. Its beak however, was empty. If there was disappointment, it was mine, not the kingfisher’s. With vigour and skill, it quickly ascended and returned to its purposeful, graceful dance of hovering, positioning, watching. And in short order it again began a rapid descent, pulling its body very tight in the second before entry. As before, the kingfisher emerged out of the water with a grace and strength that pulled me out of my narrowness. And for a third time, the kingfisher began a purposeful descent plunging into the water. As it emerged and quickly flew off to the north, an unmistakable shimmering, silvery wriggle in its beak reflected the light of the quickly setting sun.

The kingfisher’s complete disregard of anything but the intense moment made it clear that disappointment and frustration are part of the human, not the kingfisher world. As I watched this mystery unfold, this Bodhidharma of the sky jolted me and I saw that we can choose to be kingfishers in our worldly affairs.

For many years now I have had a deep desire to immerse myself completely in the market place. The market is a very frustrating place. Or rather, the market is where we bring our frustrations. There seems to be something foolish about this need to be in the market place, aside from the need to make a living, for it is perfectly obvious that the world is a very ephemeral affair and our stay in these regions is of unknown and fleeting duration. Osho teaches that the search for the real is the only thing that really matters. And when we find the true, the false drops by itself. It is not that we need to, or for that matter, can drop the unnecessary and unimportant. It drops when we understand.

I do not know why, I only know that I am deeply drawn to the market place. I also know that obsession with the worldly can only lead to disappointment and frustration. But there is a big difference between obsession and totality. Obsession means I can’t come out of it. I am a prisoner to it. Totality means that in the moment, I am entirely available and surrendered to the process but the inner freedom is there to come completely out of it the next moment.

I like the intensity of the market place. It provokes the warrior in me and when the warrior is provoked, I feel more alive. The market place is, in a way, like an intense Osho group such as I experienced at the ranch. When vitality and intensity surround me, it becomes easier to tap into my inner aliveness. With aliveness comes inner clarity. Clarity cannot come from the outside; it is so inner and individual. A sign of clarity is that quiet, deeply satisfying calm that accompanies it. I then take this inner clarity and with it mark my intent in the market place, like a hawk surveying his kingdom for prey or a wolf pissing out the boundaries of his property or like the kingfisher. And woe betide the intruder that thinks he can enter this territory with impunity! In a land of warriors, one had better be alert and aware not to be fodder for the next warrior’s grand scheme.

And all this for no better reason than the sheer adventure and fun of it all! If I must work for a living then why not have an adventure of it? If I am to be in the market place, then why not be the best? Why not put Dynamic-meditation-type intensity into everything? Why not crank up the intensity by committing completely so that nothing is held back?

After intent comes surrender. Without surrender intent is only a decoration for the ego and at the level of ego things are not very satisfying. Not at all. The more real I become, the more satisfied I feel. If I spend a lifetime dressing up my ego, I will inevitably suffer when I am forced by life to let it all go. It never was real and I invested everything in it. Why not utterly drop personal ideas about how things should be? Let everything be God’s problem – what Osho calls the great existence. Let existence sort it out!

Of course I forget again the very next minute and get right back into my neuroses, they are such precious possessions. But the moment I again remember, I can again surrender. The real warriors are those that can surrender, for they can tap into something much greater than their small lives. The real is all around, and available but for our investments in the unreal. Tapping into the real is more important than anything else in this world. And if it can be taken away, it is not real. Through the eyes of the beloved, through the body, through dance and music, through action, through risking, through complete stillness and surrender, the ways of finding the real are as myriad as the seekers that seek. It has everything to do with our inner sincerity and intent and precious little to do with outer circumstances. Whether we are aware of it or not, we all hold each other’s hands in this great journey as we dance our way to God. There is nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. When I am right with myself, everything in the world is just fine exactly as it is.

(God, through Giri, has set His intent on Giri’s company becoming the best-recognized farm estate planning company in Canada by 2002. He will bring to market a definitive book, “The Canadian Farm Financial Management Guide for the Twenty-First Century,” over five years in the making. So much for God’s plans. Now watch Giri come in and screw it up. Either way, immense fun is being had along the way.)

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