Category Archives: Articles

My exploration of Meditation

My exploration of Meditation

If you are a beginner in meditation or have not started meditation as yet, this post will give you some insight into meditation, and you may get inspired to start meditation.

My journey of meditation began when I realized that I am not using my full potential at work. My personal life was good, but I wasn’t able to manage a lot of aspects that I wanted to, and I realized, I am becoming an outdated, husband, father, friend. This was turning in to frustration. I was fortunate enough to realize that there are other dimensions that must be explored to manifest my full potential. That’s when I enrolled in this course called Inner Engineering offered by Isha Foundation.

First of all, meditation is not about sitting in one posture and being able to have no thoughts. Meditation is also not about seeing some bright white or yellow light. That’s not what meditation means. I have heard a lot of people saying if you meditate, you will reach a point where you will not have any thoughts.  Thoughts are proof that our brain is working. I wonder why would people want their brain to stop working when the rest of the organs of your body are still working. 

So what is meditation? There are many definitions but the one which I have experienced is: Meditation is a state of being when your body, your mind, and your very life energies are aligned in one direction. Some people call this mindfulness as well. There are plenty of ways you can define meditation, but if you really see, once you are in a state where your body, mind and life energies are aligned in one direction, you start feeling life differently.

We all have this experience when our body, mind, and energies are entirely in sync. For some, this happens when they pray;  when they sing, dance, write, run, or study etc. But once in a while, we do reach a state where we experience this kind of mindfulness. This means that meditation is not something that you do, meditation is a state of being. Meditation has a direct impact on the very chemistry of our bodies. For example, according to the book The science of meditation by Dan Goleman, the four neural pathways which meditation transforms are:

  • Those for reacting to disturbing events- stress and our recovery from it
  • The second brain system for compassion and empathy
  • Circuitry for attention also improves in several ways
  • Our very sense of self
When these strands are of change are twined together, there are two major ways anyone benefits from the contemplative effort: having a healthy body and a healthy mind.

In the past few months I have tried different types of meditations. Fundamentally they all were same. They all emphasized on the fact that you don’t have to stop your thoughts you just have to keep a little distance from them and not judge them. You don’t have to identify yourself with your thoughts. The second aspect of meditation is you need to pay a close attention to what’s happening within you and around you.  Last but not the least, you need to be regular and keep practicing. Practice that you are able to hold your attention and will not judge or react to your thoughts.

Meditation is a workout for your mind, just like you workout to keep your body healthy.

Desire and its expression

Desire and its expression

I have always been intrigued by this phenomenon called Desire. I have experienced it many times. My Desire to purchase an expensive gadget. My Desire to travel. My Desire to marry. My Desire to have a kid. The problem has not been that I have desires for myself. I had desires from others and for others. And then the list goes on and on. Then I have heard someone say. You must not have a Desire. Desires are the source of all the miseries. Desires are an attachment. They are expectations with ourselves and from others. You must not have expectations. The conclusion – Desire is the source of all the miseries, and one must not have them.



So I decided that I will work on it. I will try not to have any desire. The question was where to start with, and how? Is it really even possible to not have any desire? Also, if for a moment, I decide not to have “Desires” from others, how can I not have “Desire” for me? That’s when I came across an exciting TedX talk on Desire in which the psychologist spoke about Desire at length and then there were few articles which I read. This post is a crux of all that I have discovered.


What is Desire?

Let’s first closely see what Desire is? The literal meaning of the word desire is

 a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.


We may want to have a simple meal. That’s a desire. We may want to drink hot water. That’s a desire. Tomorrow I may want to study from an elite institution. That’s a desire. I want to have a happy family life. That’s a desire. I am fed up of rodents and insects at my home and want to get rid of them. That’s a desire. The point I am trying to make here is almost everything in our life is happening because of Desire. In fact, a desire sets the direction of our life. Hence Desire is an essential tool, and it’s only a fool who will talk of destroying all the desires. Everyone has a desire. If you want to be nobody’s nothing, your “Desire” is to be nothing. 

Another critical point to note here is that Desire is not the source of misery, it’s unfulfilled desires which people suffer. Otherwise, desires fulfilled is a source of joy. Unfulfilled Desire is a source of suffering. 


What to do with the desires?

So, shall we kill all the Desires? If you want to kill all your desires, you will have a great desire to kill all your desires. “I don’t want any desire” this itself is a desire. Playing tricks with desires is not going to help. The energy which you call as Desire is similar to energy which you call as life. The only way to kill Desire is to kill yourself.

So what should be done? We must try to understand the nature of this Desire.


Desire is a continual process

One desire fulfilled, you have another desire. That’s a fact, and that’s what the nature of Desire is. There is something within us, wanting to be little more than what we are right now. Desire’s ultimate goal is unboundedness. The issue arises when we tend to give an unconscious expression for the longing of this unboundedness. We don’t have to destroy our desire, we have to make it a conscious process. We must always be conscious of What are we making out of our Desire.

Our desires are just a reaction to the social situation in which we are living. If someone has a hatchback, he wants to have an SUV. This is so because this longing to expand is finding an unconscious expression. If you make your Desire into a conscious process, then Desire is not a problem. Desire is a beautiful vehicle which will take you places. We just have to bring awareness to our Desire.



We definitely don’t have to shy away from our desires. We just have to become conscious of it. We must understand what we become tomorrow is a desire today. Only thing is are we aware of what we are becoming because of our desires. Once the desires are set, our actions have a direction and choices are more rational. I think the most crucial question that we must ask is – if our Desire is going to enhance our life and which dimension of it? What kind of human being we become entirely depends on our desires.

A life with no compulsion

A life with no compulsions

When I took my new role, there were a lot of challenges; the biggest challenge was to unlearn what I had learned in IBM and learn new stuff in Autodesk. I was compulsively doing things which I had been doing since the last few years. I wasn’t conscious of what I was doing, and my thought process as a result of my previous work culture. Nothing wrong in it, it’s just that new workplace requires you to change and adapt yourself.

The key thing to note is that things were happening compulsively to me. Let’s understand the literal meaning of the word “compulsive“.

Compulsion means an irresistible urge to do certain things, like a compulsive gossip who cannot keep a secret. If you are compulsive, you can’t stop yourself from doing something, like compulsive counting of the sidewalk blocks on your way to school.

I was curious to understand more about compulsions and figured out following  types of compulsions: 

  • Shopping
  • Hoarding
  • Eating
  • Gambling
  • Checking counting washing repeating
  • Talking
  • Daydreaming 
  • Sex and many others

What do these compulsions do? 

Simply put – these compulsions disconnect us from what we do, how we perceive things and make us behave only in a certain way which can be detrimental for us (for others too). Imagine you have a compulsive habit of eating junk food. Will you ever be able to lose weight? You have a compulsion for spending money. Do you think you will ever be able to stick to the budget? You have an urge to keep thinking something when you have an important task in hand. Do you think you will ever be able to focus? 

How to fight with this compulsion? 

The most straightforward answer is “Consciousness“. Consciousness is our ability to conduct ourselves the way we want. Our actions are no longer determined by the people, the situations, our likes, our dislikes, our preferences. Once we are conscious, suddenly we get empowered and conduct ourself in a way that works for us, not against us. So if you want to lose weight, we know we have a strong urge to eat which we shouldn’t eat. We know we are giving up to our compulsive behaviour. However, if we are conscious, we will not give away our power to chose what will work for us rather than what will work against us. 

Compulsiveness truly is darkness – you cannot fight with it. The only way to get rid of darkness is to light a bulb, is to become conscious of our compulsions. There is a portion of our energy which gets wasted in succumbing and fighting with compulsions. It takes time, effort and practice to understand our compulsions and conduct ourselves consciously.

Allow life to flow like river

Don't block the flow of life....

A man was confined to a 10X10 cell for 3 years before he was allowed to roam around in a city. For some time, he was happy that he could actually move out of that cell. Things were fine for a little while before the entire city suddenly started feeling like a cell to him. Soon things changed, and that man was allowed to roam in the entire country. Life was great for some time again when the entire country became a cell for him. He now desperately wanted to go out of the country.

We all are just a piece of life and life hates any kind of limitations. We don’t like any type of confinements. These confinements can be tangible and intangible. These confinements can be self-imposed and imposed by others. These confinements can be factual and purely based on assumptions. All these types of confinements just do one thing for us. They create misery. They take away our freedom.

The question is just this, are we conscious of these confinements, and what are we doing about them? 

7 things mindful people do differently

From my childhood I have always wondered what should I do with the constant rumblings which keep happening in my mind. How to control it ? And I have figured out that these rumblings are actually common to many people and it works differently for different people.  Also, these rumblings  affect our productivity. Something which is very much essential  and almost impossible to measure in Sales. You actually juggle too many things all the time and there is a lot at stake.

So I decided to take a course which was available in my company’s learning portal. And I am glad that I took it. After going through that course I figured out below 7 things which mindful people do differently :

  1. Approach everyday things with curiosity and savor them :  Trust me approaching your job with a long face and lack of interest is the saddest most cruel thing which you can do to yourself. Steve Jobs once said that your work is going to take the maximum amount of your lifespan, so it’s very important you do what you love. I say to be productive you also love what you do. There are few fortunate ones who know what they love and very few fortunate people who get to do what they love. So if you are not one among them, it’s important that you love what you do. And one for that you remain curious about what you do.
    You can remain curious for what you don’t know, remain curious to improve things, remain curious to innovate, remain curious to create some best practices. Whatever it takes just approach what you do with curiosity and learn to savor it.
  2. Forgive mistakes big and small :  We often confuse forgiving with forgetting. Forgiving is not forgetting, it just means not carrying the bitterness in your heart.  And to do away that bitterness you take whatever action is required.  Just ensure you develop wisdom to act in a manner which you won’t regret later. I practice this by talking to my mentors and peers  in workplace and with my relatives in my personal lives. Trust me it really helps me to focus on present. It helps me to see things through perspective which I would never have thought.
    Forgetting on the other hand means poor memory. That’s not a virtue. The sweetest and bitterest moments of your life you should never forget.
  3. Show gratitude for good moments and grace for the bad ones : I bet you can’t do it if you have something else going in your mind all the time and you have some negative emotions like anxiety, stress etc.  It takes practice to be in present and appreciate the moment.
  4. Practice compassion and nurture connections : To nurture connection you have to make new ones. We need to get out of that shell, that office cubicle which we get very comfortable with and interrupt people to know them.  Creating a connection is tough and nurturing it is tougher. I have been an introvert and I find very difficult to initiate a conversation. But when it comes to some help I am very good at breaking the ice and interrupting people.
    This happens when I meet someone who has something very interesting to tell me and which is relevant to me.  So the thumb rule is the more things and the type of things you are interested in, the more and better your connections will be.  So it goes back to point no. 1 of being curious.
  5. Make peace with imperfections both yours and others:  I see so many people who are better than me in almost everything I  do. I have been very uncomfortable of my imperfections and I wanted to hide it at all costs.  But not anymore because I have made peace with them by accepting them. I know I can always improve and I will still be lesser than someone.
    Similarly, I have seen people shouting at their peers, picking a fight with them and bosses even humiliate their subordinates when they don’t do things as expected. Yes feedback is required and it’s rare to find a person who don’t want to determine from whom and how should he get the feedback.  If ever  you happen to be at the giving end and if at it’s possible try to make peace with their imperfections.  Trust me it’s more to do your peace rather than the other person’s good.
  6. Embrace vulnerability by trusting others : Trusting others is not very common in corporate world. And by not trusting you  can’t survive. You have to have your own trusted sources. But we become very vulnerable when we trust people. And I guess we must still trust because only by doing this we will learn. So don’t be over cautious of whom to trust and whom not to trust. Trust people but at the same time, be prepared for the deceit. With time you will learn how to optimize the damage.
  7. Accept that things come and go: Come what may, there is nothing which is permanent. Good time bad time, nothing will remain with you forever.  Your success and your failures are relative and dependent only on situation.  So better not to get swayed by the emotions.

All these are my experiences being a sales person. I fight hard everything which is happening outside and harder with all that happens inside me.  But now that I know about mindfulness and how to practice it, it just a matter of time and practice to increase my productivity. What about you ?