Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Persian New Year

Today (Sunday) at 7:20 p.m. the new Persian year, 1390, starts. This coincides with the start of Spring and Spring equinox. Sima and I are making "samanoo" for the "haft seen". We started half an hour ago (9:45 a.m.) and making "Samanoo" takes 8-12 hours, so hopefully it will be ready for the "tahvile saal" :)


A few days ago (the day of previous post) Sima told me about her yoga class, and that their teacher talked about "detachment" (of body parts, especially around a joint) that is necessary for achieving some yoga poses, and that the idea also extend to life. The, Sima suggested that I have to attain a degree of detachment from my thoughts. Later on, a few experiences and incidents convinced me that she is right, and I have started practicing "detachment from thoughts". I do not know exactly what it means, but I simply try not to pay attention to my thoughts. I decide on a course of actions, and no matter how I feel or think, I do them.


The more fascinating and engaging my "thoughts" are, the more damaging and disappointing they become later on!


Here is a summary of what I have learned this past year. I write them here, and hopefully, I forget about them :)


At the center of what drives our lives is an "essence" that has different names in different cultures: Inner peace, belief in God, inner harmony, personal power, divine wisdom, good luck, etc. This essence manifests itself in virtues that are common across most cultures: Patience, balance, harmony, moderation, acceptance of imperfections and vulnerability, beauty, letting go of attachments, love, passion, being present, etc.


The questions is, "How can we find, polish, and empower this "essence"?"

Here is my conjecture, which is common sense :) Practice these virtues in small, everyday tasks of life. The "essence" is self-enforcing. That is the beauty of it. You plant its seed, and attend to it, and over time it will develop into a strong tree that will enrich all aspects of your life.


There are, probably, many ways to achieve the goal. Here is a suggestion:
Acceptance: We accept imperfections in our life and do not aim at changing everything at once.
Moderation: We adopt a moderate approach to change by choosing a small doable task.
Focus: We put one of the virtues (beauty, balance, presence, detachment, ...) as the focus of our practice (doing the simple task) for a while.
Patience: We let our practice develop and add new virtues and new task over time with moderation and patience.
Detachment: We do not over think the task (and forget about the philosophy behind it). We pay more attention to the process of doing the task rather than the result.


When I tried to implement this, I realized that for me it is difficult to choose one task and focus on individual virtues for a while. I have tried to do "every task" this way and keep "many virtues" in mind! So my life has lacked the focus :)


I wish the new year brings us closer to the essence of our life.

زکوی یار می آید نسیم باد نوروزی . . . از این باد ار مدد خواهی ، چراغ دل برافروزی 


  1. Making samanoo is a big task; time consuming and hard but very satisfying at the end. I love samanoo. I think it is very delicious. I've never made it myself but have helped my mom couple of times.
    This was a very insightful post. Thank you.
    I also wish you and Sima a very good year ahead of you. I wish to bring you happiness and peace. sal-e noe mobarak.

  2. Daisy Jaan,
    You are right and I already decided to make "samanoo" next year too, it is a lot fun and I love "samanoo" so much :)

  3. oh! the Samanoo part for sure pushed my jealousy button. I love Samanoo but this year, we didnt end up going to Toronto to buy 7 Sin items so I replaced Samanoo with peanut butter.

    Thank you very much for the very insightful posts you share and the thought provoking comments.

    Good luck on "detachment exercise". I know how difficult it can be.

    Sal e no mobarak my friend.

  4. Thanks Shadi Jaan, making samanoo is a good meditation, maybe next time you try it :)

  5. Dear Lotus,
    Sale no mobarak.
    I'm glad you enjoyed making Samanoo, it is definitely categorized in the zen genre of the kitchen activities ;)

    Let me thank you for sharing your inner experiences with us, and for all those beautiful music pieces, and your thoughtful comments. I hope next year brings you "fal nikoo, mal vafer, hal khosh"...
    Keep writing so that we can keep reading and enjoying them :)

  6. Nava Jaan,
    It is nice to see you after so long. I hope everything is fine with you and your new little love :)


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