The 'Heliotropic' Conversation


“What are you thinking about? Looks like the training program has given you some food for thought” Lulu, my parrot, asked as he nibbled at chillies.

“Yes, I was attending a training program. The trainer asked “When have you experienced extraordinary abundance in your life?” I am still thinking about it.” I said.

“So what did you say?” Lulu asked me.

“I told him an incident when I helped a person. There was such a happiness in his eyes! It was doubled in my heart. It was a high!”

“You have to fly high like we parrots do. That’s the way to experience great abundance. You have to glide on the wind streams. That is how you will experience, quite literally a flow” said Lulu. “You men stand on terra firma; you cannot experience what I am talking about.”

“But that does not take away the pleasure we experience. When we experience it, it is something that can’t be described.” I continued, “I think in order to experience extraordinary abundance, we must cross some mental barrier. It is like an aeroplane crossing sound barrier. It was perhaps experienced by the man who successfully crossed Niagara waterfall – he did rope walking over it. Or perhaps like Sergie Bubka who does breath-taking pole vaulting and clears new heights.”

“You are right. One always competes against himself. That is another way to experience it.”

“But I guess the results are better when you make a difference to the lives of others. I do not know if I will have the same feeling if I win a lottery.” I said.

“Nice to see that you want to earn your money. As for winning lottery, you don’t have to do anything except spending a few rupees to buy a lottery ticket and then leave it to the blessings of the God.”

“Hmmm… “

“Do you realise that when the success factor is not attributable to yourself, you don’t experience the kind of pleasure and happiness? In a sense you must ‘earn’ your experience of abundance. Will winning a lottery give you a high like you got from that incident?” Lulu thought aloud.

“Let me win a lottery and then answer that question!” I said.

“The trainer asked you to narrate an incident about experiencing extraordinary abundance in your life, right? What did your friends say when you told them about the incident?” Lulu.

“They appreciated it and moved on to tell theirs.”

“Did anybody ‘fish for compliments?’”

“Fishing for compliments? Oh, not at all, not at all!” I said.

“That is the difference, you see.” Lulu said, “When you work on contributing to others’ lives meaningfully, you move an inch towards enlightenment. You don’t depend on others’ encouragement to draw energy. You don't have to! You get so self propelled. Do you get me?” Lulu asked me.

“The trainer said that when you focus on ‘contribution goals’, like those you mentioned, you turn ‘heliotropic.’”

“Oh…Life is actually simple, trainers complicate it!” Lulu said as he offered Guava to me.

Vivek