A Mindful Journey

Human weakness starts with the thought involving our incapacity in changing ourselves. The thought that ‘Nothing is in my hands. I cannot do it’ stops us from even trying.

But if we look into Gita, it states that everything is in our hands. Gita says: uddharet atmana atmanam na atmanam avasadayet.

Only and only we can change our future. If we are incapacitated and unable to make a future then we wouldn’t be allowed to choose our actions.

Bhagavad Gita in chapter 6, shl 26 says:

yato yato niscalati
             manas cancalam asthiram
       tatas tato niyamyaitad
          atmany eva vasam nayet

Suppression isn’t what we are referring. The more we suppress our thoughts, the more strength they gain. Keeping the thoughts to the present is what we have to do. As soon as you watch the thought building up, either to the past or to the future, slowly bring it to the present. Keep it there.

Instead of looking at ways to be mindful, we are breeding the weakness by giving in to our senses. We all know belief structures determine our behaviours. They are formed through repetitions and reinforcements. And, Behaviours become more automatic with repetitions.

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To break that we need to teach ourself to replace an old response with a new response. Let that new response be ‘Mindfulness’. The objective is to change behaviours. Though beliefs are hidden, they will eventually change. Repeatedly practising will turn that to a habit. A habit which will do us good.

So, next time, when the mind takes you on a mindless tour. No matter how nice it feels at times, do not embark that journey. Do not entertain it. Consciously withdraw from that. You may have to do that repeatedly many times till it starts to live in the Here and Now. Being Mindful will only allow us to plan for our future with what we have in the present. It will not allow us to be tangled in those fantasies that are far fetched and loom in the disappointments.

In my last blog entry, I was pointing in to what Bhagavat Gitas’ daivic qualities are. It will be easy to inculcate those with mindfulness. Clearing the clutter will make room for more meaningful ones. Because mindfulness is all about acceptance, appreciation and gratitude towards oneself and life in general.

Remember there is nobody to take responsibility for our actions. The same ONE who has acted has to live the consequences of his actions. Now actions can be through our thoughts, speech or deed ( mano-vak-kaya karma).

We have a choice to live a happy or a hopeless life. The choice is ours. If we succeed to break free from the shackles of our weaknesses, we will LIVE else will just Exist.

 

 

 

 

 

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Children growing up between ‘Shoulds’ and ‘Wants’

Our children who are a part of this complex social environment that we built are fraught with emotional frustration. Constantly battling the conflict of ‘Shoulds’ and ‘Wants’.

Have we not unconsciously jailed them under the unwritten norms built on our stereotyped beliefs? Recent article in a Indian English daily read that the Municipal Corporation received around ten thousand applications from Post Graduates for the position of sweeper. Unemployment is all time high. Many Managers, Doctors and Engineers are on the roads, waiting to make a career.

I wonder are we also responsible for this state. Why only blame the government? Society is made up of individuals like us. Did we force our kids to take up what our friends’ kid is studying for? Worse still, are they not under the pressure of keeping up to our constant demands of excelling in what we chose for them.

You may say they lack experience and are yet immature. Can we answer the below questions with a Certain ‘NO’.

Don’t they have a right on their life?

How can we be sure of our choice?

Are our choices not colored by our personal lenses created by our own perceptions?

However, we pay a blind eye and keep imposing our ideas on them. We are also indirectly teaching our kids to conformity and never to question. Too bad, we are teaching our own kids to treat us the same way when we grow old. IMPOSE and NOT TO QUESTION.

Toxic social environments would not bring out their best.  Imagine how a child would grow up to be in such environment. Let us give a freehand and then guide them. They will put everything in what they believe and our support would only encourage them to reach their highest potential. Have we not heard the saying ‘Truth can be tolerated only if you discover it yourself’. If you want them to believe in your idea, have them identify with it. Lets not force it on them.

We have to guide them but it is incorrect to stop them from making a choice. In fact, we should be able to see what our kids are good at and motivate them to realize their dreams. A Sachin and A Messi would never be born if their parents failed to be their guides.

Children should be taught to make decisions keeping the ‘PRESENT’ in mind. This will allow them to create their reality and react to it better. Self-Awareness is what I am referring to. Quite a number research in this area. Be that be from Gestalt approach or to today’s Ellen Langers research on Mindfulness. All point us to BEING MINDFUL.

Is it not our responsibility in teaching our children to be receptive to stress. Also,Empowering them to make a choice between ‘Should’ and ‘Want’ will only better the relationship that we share with them.

Teach them to Meditate, to quieten the noise in their head. Harvard Research also second that. Please read their article ‘Mindfulness can Literally Change Your Brain. Link attached.

https://hbr.org/2015/01/mindfulness-can-literally-change-your-brain

Lets shoulder the responsibility in raising a moral child. I think this is the best contribution that we could do to build a Sane and a Safe Society for the kids tomorrow.