Have you identified the ‘knocks’ in your life

Most of us dream of living a life where you work and earn by doing something that you love to do.

At least once this thought has crossed the minds of most of the people who are in jobs.

I thought too.

But my thinking did not push me enough to quit my job and start doing business around something I love.

What pushed me was ‘life‘!

As melodramatic it sounds, it is actually true.

Since I was not understanding the subtle knocks on my head that life was giving, like-

  • no passion, no love in my work that I was doing in my job
  • no energy at the end of the day, stressed, depressed
  • no willingness or enthusiasm to go to office in the morning to work
  • no creativity
  • no exploration or expansion
  • no money left just a few days after the salary came (only one source of income)

Then life gave me the blow – basically in a way where I made certain choices which actually led me to a huge financial debt.

And then all the bulbs of my mind truly started to light!

I understood why I was feeling the way I was feeling. Why I was having only one source of income, why I was living a completely hopeless life just like anybody else  out there and expecting a different result!!

What I also understood was – the hints and the knocks  are always here given by life.

But are we picking up those hints and understanding what to do with those?

Or what exactly life is trying to tell us or rather teach us?

This is the reason which led me to pen down every practical step in my bestselling book 7 Steps from Shame to being Back in the Game that I have taken to come out of that shell and redefine and redesign my life which helped me quit my job, come out of the financial mess and earn by doing something I love to do.

Have you identified your knocks by life yet?

How to find your COURAGE

“I love you” (not knowing whether your feelings will be reciprocated)

“I am visiting a therapist for my mental health” (not knowing how this ‘alien’ concept will be accepted by family)

“I want to get a divorce” (Not knowing how it will be accepted in the family & society)

Have you come across any situation where you have found yourself to be vulnerable enough to run away and hide yourself somewhere BUT instead you stood in front of them and shared what you wanted to share for a long time but could not gather the courage?

How did it feel when you actually did it?

How did it feel when you got a blank reaction or a heavy one?

When we share something so important, close to our heart, we feel that we have exposed ourselves in front of people.

And an extra layer gets added when the person’s reaction is completely opposite than what you expected!

When this happens, you are showing your vulnerability.

As opposed to the perception that being vulnerable is weak, it has been proved and shared by Brene Brown, one of the greatest researchers in the world that

Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage. People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.” – Brene Brown

When you are vulnerable, you are choosing to be powerful. You are choosing to be courageous because when everyone hides behind the pain or any stupid reason and blame it to their lives and other people, they actually give the power away!

When you choose to be vulnerable then you are truly having the power to take the steering of your life in your own hands and change the course of your life for your betterment.

So remember,

Vulnerability = Courage

When you feel STUCK…

One day you get up from sleep and open your eyes. You not able to see anything. You switched on the lights, but still nothing. It’s pitch dark. No light. No sound. Nothing.

You scream. You ask for help. You cry.

No one listening to you. You get panicked.

In the darkness you are looking for a way out, to see something, to hear something, anything, anyhow.

But nothing you can see. Nothing you can hear.

You start running. You just know that you HAVE to get out from this darkness. You simply keep running.

But where you are going, what’s in front you, you don’t know since you are not able to see anything in that darkness.

Slowly after a lot of struggle, after a lot of head banging on the floor, after tons of tears that have flown, you calm down, you slow down, you sit down.

Your mind, still not clear and your eyes, straining to find a spec of light.

And then…

In that darkness, in that eerie silence, you can hear your thoughts now, you can listen to your heartbeats, you can feel your breath.

And there you are! You get a sudden strange feeling in that traumatic situation.

You become calmer, more relaxed, more aware of your breath, your existence.

You feel your breath, blinking of your eye lids, touch of the ground under your feet, touch of your tears rolling down silently over your cheeks.

You FEEL the presence of someone near you, beside you, within you. You don’t know who it is.

You FEEL your OWN PRESENCE.

You FEEL the presence of the UNIVERSE.

You realize you are the part of the same Universe.

You realize you the creation of the same Universe.

You realize you are nothing without the Universe.

You realize your FAITH in the Universe.

You heartbeat slows down, your panting slow down, your worry ceases.

You know that you are where you are supposed to be.

You know that you are the creation of the Universe with utmost potential.

You know that you have never realized your existence till today.

You realized that everything about you matters.

You realize that your breath is the parameter of your response.

You realize that your thoughts are the creation of your reality.

You realize that the only thing you need is your FAITH.

You realize that your FAITH in the Universe is unshakable.

You realize who you are.

You realize what you are.

And then…

You open you eyes and realize that you’ve got a new life. A new day.

A DREAM so big, so deep! A realization so strong, a thought so deep!

The reality is what we FIRST CREATE THROUGH OUR THOUGHTS.

The FAITH that we lost somewhere in our busy lives is restored especially when we are in deep shit.

Our own EXISTENCE becomes clearer.

Our PURPOSE becomes clearer.

Our THOUGHTS become clearer.

Hence…

Whenever you feel so damn stuck in life, always remember to connect with your higher self.

Always remember that nothing is permanent.

Always remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

You will see once you VISUALIZE the exact outcome that YOU WANT, IT WILL HAPPEN.

You will realize that once you have unshakable FAITH in the UNIVERSE, you will come out of that situation.

You will realize that once you believe and FEEL your existence, you will become unstoppable.

For more insights and practical steps to implement read my bestselling book – 7 Steps from Shame to being Back in the Game

Intensify Life!

This is why only MOTIVATION will not help you

“Can you give me some motivation tips?”

Someone asked me the other day.

I asked, “Why do you want motivation tips?”

“Because I am going through some challenges in terms of relationship hence I need some motivation tips.”

After listening to the challenges I asked, “Will getting few motivation tips solve your problem?”

“I think so.”

Has this happened with you too?

When we are in problem and in low-emotional phase in life, we think that getting some motivation will solve our problems.

Quick-fix is the go-to solution for majority of the people. Everything is wanted instantly like the 2-minute maggi noodles. But the irony is that it is never made in 2 minutes!

So how can you expect a quick fix solution to every damn thing in life?

The facts which no one tells are –

  • We have never been taught how to deal with problems and go through it instead of avoiding
  • We have never been told that failure is just a lesson and not the end of life
  • We have never been shown that we all are unique and we need not go by the society norms each and every day of our lives
  • We have never been said that we all have utmost potential to something great in life
  • We have never been said that we also need to sacrifice few things in life when we actually want something big in life
  • We have never been shown that success is for everyone who TRULY wants it

So, when any challenges comes in the way or even little issues, we think that the mountain has fallen on us!

Instead if you could just focus on the root cause of the problem then you can easily find the solution to it.

Most of the time the answers are always hidden in the questions itself!

It just needs a little bit of calmness, patience and the art of asking the ‘right and specific’ questions. Only then you will get the right and specific answers.

Other things to keep in mind

Motivation is temporary. Period.

If you are not self-motivated, you will always cry and crib when the time is not right.

It is like an addiction. When it is not there you feel like giving up!

Motivation will fly out of the window if you are not sure on your ‘why’, your purpose, your passion, your mission and vision on this planet.

You will always find something or the other to depend on.

Nowadays, you get so many stuffs on the internet to get motivated but then why do you think so many people still stay sad, stressed, depressed, complaining, crying etc?

I hope you got your answer why just finding some motivation from here and there won’t help you.

When you face any problems or challenges, remember –

  • To first check whether that problem even needs your attention, time and energy or not
  • Ensure that you have taken all the steps needed to find the solution to it
  • If you still haven’t found what to do that means you have not applied every possible options you have for the solution
  • If you are looking for a quick fix, you will always be in that same low state forever
  • If you want to develop mental toughness for any kind of challenges in life you have to develop courage and that can be achieved by going through the problems itself

And of course, patience, consistency and never-give-up attitude will always help you go through your challenges in life

I believe that the real learning happens when we get to know real life stories and experiences. If you also are a student of Life and want to learn more, listen to Intensify Humanity Podcast for more real experiences!

To get the real life examples and solutions read my bestselling book 7 Steps from Shame to Being Back in the Game.

Intensify Life!

New Year. New Mindset. New Action.

A surprisingly weird thing happened. Of course positive. Recently I noticed that whenever I open YouTube I search for videos which are useful for my growth. In other words fertilizer for the brain. Example, videos from Dan Lok, Jay Shetty, Dev Gadhvi, Oprah Winfrey and others.

Earlier whenever I opened YouTube, only movies and web series were being searched on priority. Now, I don’t feel like watching things unnecessarily which is not serving any positive purpose in my life. Some other shifts that have happened are there are only positive and like-minded people in my circles. Toxic people have been cut off. Brainstorming, discussion and continuous brewing of fresh ideas small or big are being discussed.

Story telling has been a major experience or learning you may say. It is a way you can express your most complicated thoughts.

In the last couple of days, hundreds of people have taken thousands of resolutions. Many will fulfill while some will forget in the hustle and bustle of life. Few of my friends have taken a new resolution of reading positive books for their mental and overall growth. They asked me to suggest some of the books to start off with.

Here are some of the books which they along with you all who want to nurture their minds and souls can go through.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

80% Mindset 20% Skills by Dev Gadhvi

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Attitude is Everything by Jeff Keller

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Crush It by Gary Vay Ner Chuk

Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

And many more…

There are lots of things you can do in this new year to see yourself at a much better position in the upcoming days. However, there is a small price you need to pay. That is, you need to take that first step.

There is a person who comes the gym near my place. He might be some VIP since there is a person who holds his bottle and towel, there is another guard standing beside him always while he works out. But ultimately after so many external help, he has to do the push-ups himself.

So let this new year bring a breath of fresh air and all this time the tasks you have been postponing and avoiding, start taking action for those. Take small steps. See the change in you. Be the better version of yourself.

Right time or right pace?

Have this thought ever crossed your mind at least once in life that you are too late to achieve success or anything that you want in life whereas others are way ahead of you in life? If yes, then congratulations! You are on the right track!

Confused? Let me explain.

Heard about Julia Child? She worked in advertising and media till her golden jubilee age in life. At 50, she launched her own cookbook and started her new desired career as a Celebrity Chef at the age of 51!

Sounds crazy? Here’s another real life example. Laura Ingalls Wilder started writing with the encouragement of her daughter at the age of 43. Her first and remaining several attempts were rejected numerous times. She went on improving herself at that skill for several years until at the age of 65, the famous ‘Little House in the Big Woods’ was published! She wrote the other series of ‘Little House’ of which the last one was published at the age of 76!

So if any thought crossed your mind that you are ‘too late’ in life even though you are struggling too much, just pause for a moment and realize the fact that ‘nothing is too late ever’. It is only a relative term, ‘late’, when you compare yourself with others. BUT our biggest competitor is just ‘us’.

If you feel like putting more effort in whatever you are doing, simply put more effort. If you feel like you need to pace up in whatever you are doing, then simply speed up, but because you want to achieve it and NOT because someone else is ahead of you in that genre.

Everyone is unique. So are the struggles and achievements.

Happy Life 🙂

Baggage with no benefit

When I first listened to these conversations, I was forced to think about it from a different angle. The event happened like this. My friend (a friend’s friend), Riya (name changed) and her roommate Sanaya (name changed) stay together in a sharing apartment. Just like any other sharing responsibilities, they had their designated set of works to do daily.

Since last few days Sanaya had been quiet all of a sudden. She recently had a break up hence was upset about it. Riya on the other hand tried to comfort her and change her mood in some way or the other. However, Sanaya was getting depressed day by day. Although she wanted to move on and be happy yet, she pulled herself back in some way or the other which only affected herself.

During that week, Riya had the responsibility of keeping the garbage/trash out of home for that particular week every morning. Instead of doing that, she kept piling up the trash in the same dustbin bag every day!

First day crossed, everything was as usual. Second day, third day crossed, everything same. Fourth day – Sanaya got up to a rotten smell in the entire house. She went to the dustbin and saw a huge pile of trash in huge quantity. She simply went to Riya and asked her-

Sanaya: Are you getting that rotten smell coming out of that trash?

Riya: Yes of course! My nose is very sharp 😉

Sanaya (confused): Then why are you so relaxed? You were to throw that garbage outside in the morning right? So why are you piling it up?

Riya (calmly): Yes I know. But why is that bothering you so much? Even though it’s trash and useless garbage, what’s the harm in keeping it inside?

Sanaya (more confused and now a bit irritated): Are you kidding me!? If we keep the garbage inside, only we are going to suffer and not the people outside or even the neighbours!

Riya(smiling): Exactly my point! How can you stay happy with so much garbage (burden) inside you? How can you move on smoothly and swiftly by carrying the useless baggage unnecessarily which is only imparting the rotten feeling within you?

Sanaya was stunned. Stood there for a few minutes without saying a word. She was absorbed in those simple words of her roommate. It took her no further time to understand the reality and basis of her life. With a huge smile she hugged Riya and thanked for clearing her mind off from all the unnecessary stuffs.

A simple yet a powerful message. Whether it’s a breakup, sack from job, losing a close one, business loss or any kind of failure under the Sun is a baggage which we carry from the past into our present and future. Although the context of this baggage remains the same, yet the weight of this baggage increases to become a burden which is in no way good for us mentally, emotionally or physical and also for the people around us.

So always leave or at least try to leave your unnecessary baggage in the past. Simply bring in the learning from the baggage into the present and future.

Happy Life 🙂

10-Day Vipassana Course, India

“The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live”

-Buddha

Before reading about this course, it is advisable to read ‘Vipassana – What? Why? How?‘ in order to understand more easily and clearly.

The 10 day Vipassana course is the beginner’s course taught at Dhamma GiriIgatpuri, Maharashtra, India. The registration can be done online and offline as well. My course was during the Monsoons and the best time in the Western Ghats of India. Picturesque breath taking views of Dhamma Giri and its surrounding areas is no less than a treat for the soul.

I came across it online and to my surprise it has been there for years without many people not even knowing about it! I decided to go for the beginner’s course to learn the actual technique and see for myself what exactly it is and how it works.

IMG_20180721_140113_HDR

At Dhamma Giri you need to reach one day before the course starts for the registration process. Hundreds of people from all over the World come and queue in for the course. Once the registration process is completed by approx 6:00 pm, everyone is given instructions for the upcoming 10 days.

Overview

You need to carry your own set of clothes and necessary items like medicines, toiletries, bedsheet, blankets etc. Although bedsheet and blankets are also provided for those who could not bring along. However, there are certain strict rules to be followed for the entire duration of the course :

  • No possession of any reading/writing material
  • No sacred/religious stuffs (for chanting, praying etc)
  • No music or any kind of electronic gadgets
  • No communication among fellow students (Noble Silence). However, you are allowed to speak to the Teachers for any query related to the technique and Dhamma workers(Sevak/Sevika) for any problems in accommodation
  • No eye contact with fellow students
  • No telling lies
  • No harming/killing (even insects!)
  • No sexual offence
  • No wasting food
  • No intervening in the opposite gender areas (Female and Male sections are entirely separated)

If you are able to follow these thoroughly only then you are allowed to be a part of the course. Moreover, there is also good reason about why noble silence is observed throughout the course. Will come to that later.

There is a huge gong that rings at the exact timings of the day (punctuality is nailed like anything!). The entire course is FREE of cost! Yes! The accommodation, facilities, food everything. The only fee/investment is that you have to be true to yourself. At the end of the course, if you feel benefited then you may donate something completely at your own will, if at all you feel like. The routine that needs to be followed for the complete course of 10 days –

4:00 am > Wake up Gong

4:30 am  – 6:30 am > Group Meditation

6:30 am – 8:00 am > Breakfast and Bath

8:00 am – 11:00 am > Meditation

11:00 am – 1:00 pm > Lunch and your personal time

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm > Meditation

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm > Tea

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm > Meditation

9:00 pm – 9:30 pm > Q&A with the Teachers

Looks a bit scary isn’t it? But to get the benefits and learn the technique in its pure form, discipline is a must.

Day 1:

The first day was exciting and confusing with all kinds of mixed feelings. The instructions are given in Hindi and English. When settled in the group meditation hall, a sloka in Pali language greets you (by Acharya S.N. Goenka , the founder of the Vipassana Centre).

It is made clear at the beginning itself, that Vipassana is not a religious ritual/practice or dogma or cult or any kind of blind faith. It is a proven science and technique of mind and body. The first thing taught is to just ‘observe’ the breath. The natural free flowing breath, without regulating it or forcing in any way. As mentioned in my previous article, Vipassana is all about seeing things as it is. As Nature has provided. The Universal Law of Nature.

So the first thing is to just observe the breath. Within few minutes you will realize that your mind has already wandered away here and there instead of focusing on the breath. How irritating isn’t it? Your own mind doesn’t listen to you when you tell it to do something, it does its own free will. Your entire body starts to pain for sitting continuously in the same posture.

‘The mind controls us instead of we controlling the mind”

Within few hours you will come across all kinds of thoughts, memories and feelings coming out like a volcano from your inside. These are all the thoughts that have been there buried deep inside from the time you actually have gained sense since childhood.

At this time, some people get annoyed, some become overwhelmed, some cry when not able to take the charge of these thoughts that flow like a river. The solution is simple – you just have to accept and let go!

“Nothing is permanent. Everything arises and passes away – The Universal Law of Nature”

The thoughts, the feelings, the pain everything is impermanent. Towards the end of third day you will be able to focus and observe your breath in a much better way. You feel much relaxed not only at the surface level but from deep within.

Day 2, Day 3 : 

Continuous learning to just observe the breath in its natural free form. The duration increases where you can focus on your respiration without the mind wandering anywhere! That’s the first happy and victorious moment of your inner struggle.

Day 4:

Vipassana – the technique is taught. The focus on your entire body from head to toe. The sensations of all kind whether gross or subtle, slowly and steadily you feel every kinds of sensations in the body.

“The sensations are always present, every second in every cells of our body. We just don’t feel it until any kind of pain”

The focus on the free flow increases and with deeper concentration. The mind becomes calmer and much sharper than it used to be. The entire process is like a deep internal surgery to get all negativity like stress, tension, worry, agitation etc out from oneself. In short, to get out from all miseries.

Day 5 to Day 9:

The extreme pain, discomfort slowly fades away and finally you feel much happier and relaxed. Each day is a test and each reward is much sweeter than the previous day. You realize that you can sit in a single posture continuously for over an hour without even flinching an inch! Mentally and physically you become more aware, alert and calm.

Day 10:

The ultimate day when the vow of silence is finally over! You smile. The people around you smile. And that is the moment you connect and feel only love and compassion towards every being. Hatred, anger all gone! A 10 day retreat to a better version of oneself. To know oneself in a deeper way.

Above I have mentioned that noble silence is a must to learn this technique. This is because –

Firstly, when you communicate verbally new thoughts and actions get created every moment which comes in the way of concentration of the mind.

Secondly, every individual experiences different emotions and feelings. So once you start talking, as per the basic human nature you start comparing automatically – ‘oh, he/she is feeling such gross sensations while am feeling only subtle, that means am missing something‘. No! that is not the case. Everyone experiences certain things differently and so this kind of judgement hampers the process of learning this technique in the correct way.

This day Guruji (Acharya S.N. Goenka) explains how to utilize this technique in our day to day life. How to help and spread this awareness to others who really need this approach for his/her betterment.

There is no criteria or category to share knowledge, show kindness, love and compassion. Personally I feel like every individual whether they feel like they are the luckiest person on Earth or the saddest person, everyone should know and learn this technique for the betterment of oneself. Creating peace and harmony and showing love and compassion is never too much for anyone. There is no limit to it. A little gesture goes a long way.

“However many holy words you read, However many you speak, What good will they do you If you do not act on upon them?”

-Buddha

But just by reading and listening from others never help much. The truth needs to be experience yourself, only then it’s a truth for you at the experiential level.

“Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam”

Be Happy 🙂

 

 

 

Vipassana – What? Why? How?

“You must experience the truth yourself. Only then it becomes a truth for you. Otherwise it is only someone else’s truth” 

 – Acharya S. N. Goenka

When the word Vipassana is uttered, lots of descriptions and myths come to surface due to ignorance. Some are like ‘Isn’t that something by which you can be a Buddhist?’ or ‘That breathing-concentration-exercise, ya I do it everyday along with Yoga’ or ‘you want to become a monk/nun by practicing Vipassana?’ , and the list goes on.

Well, just to remove this dust from the facts – Vipassana is an ancient technique founded in India around more than 2500 years ago by Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha (the enlightened one). Here I would like to explain in very simple words and try to keep it as brief as possible, since this is a vast topic and one can write a lot about it!

What?

Vipassana is the technique by which one concentrates on the mind and body and the sensations that arise and pass away. It is the way to see things as it is – as Nature has provided. Dhamma or the Universal Law of Nature lets us see and feel things as it is. It is important to realize that nothing is permanent. Everything has to pass – the good and the bad too.

Human beings are the most rational and intelligent beings on the Earth. However, people most of the time remain tensed, stressed, unhappy, worried, depressed, etc. Somewhere or the other they look for happiness and contentment outside. But just hold on here! Are you really looking for the most important feelings outside your mind and body? Think again.

Whatever we feel inside – stressed, agitated, excited, satisfied and all other feelings that we feel inside our mind and body are same that we experience and see outside too. This is purely science which explains that when we are happy and content, the sensations in our body changes and so the breath. The sensations are pleasant at this time while the breath is subtle and relaxed.

On the other hand, when we are angry, stressed and depressed, the sensations are totally different and so is the breath. It becomes faster and restless. This makes us react differently making things worse most of the time. What is inside us, the same we see outside too.

Also, have you ever noticed that instead of you controlling the mind, the mind controls you? Try the simple experiment – focus and concentrate on your breath (the natural free flow of your own breath as it is), without thinking anything else. How long could you concentrate? 2 seconds, 5 seconds or 10 seconds? Your mind stays with you on the breath for hardly few seconds and then it wanders off to its own free will here and there. Your own mind doesn’t listen to you! You become agitated and impatient on this behavior of your restless mind. But calm down and relax! Everything has a solution, a practical proven solution. Vipassana it is.

“Meditation brings wisdom, lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads your forward and what hold you back and choose the path that leads to wisdom”

– Buddha

Why?

From the time of his enlightenment, Siddhartha Gautama – Buddha wandered from place to place, year after year overflowing with love and compassion, he taught Dhamma to the people in the villages and most of Northern India. The theme in all his addresses was the same – sila (morality), samadhi (control over one’s own mind) and panna (wisdom, insight, purification of the mind by wisdom). He taught a practical technique to help mankind to come out of all suffering and misery and lead a life of peace and happiness.

For all different kinds of feelings that we feel within us especially the negative ones like depression, anger, agitation etc, we find a quick fix to these in the outside world. Example, when we are stressed, we try different stress busters – eat the food that we love, music, dance, reading books, going for a long walk, talking to the loved ones,etc. Yes! it works. But these solutions are just on the surface and help deal with the situation momentarily. But what happens when the same thing happens over and over again?

What if we get a deeper solution to our negative feelings and thoughts? What if we could control our own mind and thoughts for our betterment everyday? Sounds great isn’t it?

It’s very much possible through this practical technique which has been tried and tested by millions of people over thousands of years! It is not a quick fix but a deeper cleanse.

Vipassana is not merely a concentration technique. It is “observation of truth within from moment to moment. You develop your faculty of awareness, your mindfulness. Things keep changing, but you remain aware – this is Vipassana. But if you concentrate only on one object, which may be an imaginary object, then nothing will change. When you are with this imagination, and your mind remains concentrated on it, you are not observing the truth. When you are observing the truth, it is bound to change. It keeps constantly changing, and yet you are aware of it. This is Vipassana.” – as described by Acharya S. N. Goenka. To know more details about this angel who brought back this technique to us in its purest and original form read here.

How?

To achieve something great and deep in life, one has to abide by some rules. In this case they are discipline, being true to yourself and learn the exact technique as it is as taught by the Vipassana Master himself without customizing it a bit for our ease and comfort.

To learn this technique in its truest form, there are Vipassana centres all over the world by Acharya S. N. Goenka. The first learning is necessary to be learned in the centre because of few reasons – let’s take an example. When we need any surgery, we go to hospital, for learning any new course we go to schools and colleges of that particular subject or interest. Similarly for learning Vipassana, we need to learn from the place where the environment is only for Vipassana and nothing else.

To train and tame our mind, we have to concentrate on something. Buddha chose it to be the ‘breath‘ after trying out different things. We can concentrate on any other object like candle flame or chanting in our minds – but in this case the object is outside and mind would concentrate on that ‘something’ else. But ‘breath’ is the only thing that stays with us from our birth till we die. ‘Breath’ is the only thing that’s present with us in the ‘present’ time without any external factors.

Hence, focusing on breath, the natural breath (as it is) as it is coming in and going out, without regulating it a bit is the first step. Simply observe the breath. Every breath that comes in and goes out is never repeated. Every breath is a new one. This observation points to the very important reality of ‘arising and passing’. Nothing is permanent.

Once the focus is stable and our mind is not wandering here and there, we start observing the sensations in our entire body, from head to toe on the surface level. We feel and observe every kind of sensations that arise and pass away – heat, cold, itchy, gross, subtle, pain, pleasant and tons of other sensations that are continuously happening in our body at any given point of time anywhere. Slowly once we feel this, we go a little deeper and feel and observe the sensations inside our body and not merely on the surface level.

Once you understand and grab the technique you realize how impermanent our sensations are. And how directly these are related to our feelings in the real world. This shows and explains us the nature of ‘craving’ and ‘aversion’. How craving for any pleasant sensation leads to clinging to it. Similarly, how we dislike any unpleasant sensation and avoid getting through it. It gets clear how this actually helps in real life to deal with everything happening with us and within us all the time. Once you start practicing Vipassana, every outlook in the real life changes to a positive one and you start feeling the positive change inside you miraculously!

As mentioned in the beginning, the truth is true when you experience it yourself. Only theory will never help in learning Vipassana or any technique for that matter. Only through disciplined practice one can come out of all miseries and sufferings in life which are buried deep inside us without our knowledge.

How I began learning about this technique and the detailed explanation to its basic 10-day course of Vipassana (Igatpuri, India) is penned down here.

 

 

 

A broken Idli

You must be wondering what I am talking about. This is not just a regular post but something I thought I should share. The other day while I was travelling, I decided to eat something before boarding the flight. Went to the South Indian food corner and ordered a plate of idli. The gentleman who was in the queue before me ordered the same. After receiving the token we both went to the section of self service to take our individual plate of idlis.

In a minute suddenly heard a shout from the gentleman. “How dare you give me this broken idli? You don’t have any decency? Is this the way you serve here?” The rudeness and the hate in his voice was so distinct that the poor fellow serving the idlis went blank for a few seconds.

At that time, I offered to take the served plate (with a single broken idli as it was perfectly fresh and so soft) and he got a new serving.

A thank you with a smile – a simple gesture needed to bring a smile on someone’s face.

After that I started wondering was it really necessary for that gentleman to react like that to that minor incident. Practically, the idli was so soft that a corner (not even in half) of it broke while picking up with the tongs.

At any sudden situation do you ‘react‘ or ‘respond‘? If the situation doesn’t prick your so called satisfaction buds, is it justified always to react and make it worse?

Not at all! The only outcome is you end up losing your peace of mind and that of others’ too. Most situations in life need a response from us, not ‘reaction‘.

Let us see what exactly the difference is –

We react to something on the heat of the moment, mostly reflex action which in most cases end up making things worse. Whereas when we respond, we do so to the living being after analyzing about the situation for a moment. It helps to analyze and rethink on what could be said or done. This not only helps in rationalizing the situation but also not hurt someone else or even oneself.

In our surroundings in every day life, we just need observe ourselves how many times we react and how many we respond to a particular situation. This small step is a big first step towards becoming a better person each day and everyday!

Happy Life 🙂