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Archive for March, 2017

Schools must have a counsellor who makes it a point to talk to the students rather than wait for them to come. Left to them, no child will feel the need to go talk to someone but when the person approaches them and talks, taps can run for hours.

At a recent programme conducted by a community development NGO, I was witness to school children chattering non-stop to their elder peers, medicos. In the one-to one that took place, many children evinced surprise and joy that someone wanted to talk to them and know things about them!

Sore pointer to times when no parent has time for talk. Blame it on gadgets or simply a fast-paced life, fact remains. No one is talking in most homes. Instead, the television is running and inmates are busy communicating with people not present there. No wonder one young teenager said so happily after the event, “Nobody has shown interest in my life and what I like to do!”

Another survey conducted among students studying for professional courses turned up quite a few results in which the respondent said bleakly of not feeling loved by anyone!

As our world turns more and more outwards and distant, bringing remote and exotic places and lives to our homes, the fascination with technology binds everyone across all ages. Advance of technology cannot be halted as many experts have warned. But it is up to us to direct its use.

Even more important is the need to train our younger generations to look inwards for peace and joy. Give them a glimpse of the unlimited joy within so that they do not go seeking that from the outside world. So that they do not need affirmation from outside. So that they do not take away their lives based on poor performance as judged by the world.

A holistic education where each child is acknowledged for his/her gifts is the need of the hour. And a real person who can talk to them and encourage them and console them. It is a fragile age.

 

 

 

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A BBC video on Planet Earth was shared on facebook. Fascinating and deadly it showed how a pack of lions hunted a giraffe in a desert somewhere south of the Sahara in the Dark Continent. The predators having marked out their prey set out on a chase, the tallest animal on the planet galloped for its life. The gangly creature was responding to a threat to its existence. But the pack of four or five lions had spread out in such a way to trap the poor animal.

Now what happened you can find here.

But my question is this: how did the lions get their act together? Did they plan it all together before sighting their prey? Marking where each would position itself? One in short point, another on silly point, another in the slip and so on. Did the first one shake her head towards the right asking the second to head that way? Never saw any such communication.

From lions to birds. Ever watched a couple at building nest? There is no chatter, no directions given, just silent teamwork that goes so much in sync. And lo! presto the home is ready for the little ones.

How do these creatures get it right without much ado, where we humans make a song and dance and fight over trivials? A simple thing like an unmanned traffic signal with the lights off are an example of our intransigence on all things big and small. Forget modern life scenarios where a couple plan and plan when they finally decide to have a baby! The whole natural act becomes so contorted and difficult.

Is it that we once had it all and lost it down the way? In the days when our ancestors roamed Africa and ventured further out like true explorers? Perhaps they hunted much like the lions and built the flintstone homes like the birds. And then suddenly something happened. Humankind lost it.

And now we are headed to some other place it seems. With bits of chips inserted here and there, humans will be more than flesh and bones in the next century according to Israeli historian Yuval Harari who writes in his book Homo Deus of the bionic human on the anvil.. Despite the complete power over the world, we seem to be no more satisfied than the stone age man, he notes. Scaringly he says you cant stop technology and a better job to address would be to see how this technology is best used. Get to know yourself better, says the historian who is happy with his meditation.

Know yourself. Bring peace within and it will reflect in the world around. Every individual can make a big contribution this way, as our seers have said.

Come a circle and reclaim our true selves. Can we?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It is the time of my life when I am being bombarded to be mindful. A book my friend gave me, ‘Full catastrophe living’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn addresses stress with mindfulness. A naturopathy yoga workshop online asks me to eat mindfully, observe mindfully, walk mindfully…

This is the moment. The only moment we have. Not the one behind or the one ahead. it is so easy to acknowledge, but difficult to live it. Constantly we are thinking of some moment ahead or past even as we are at work in offices or homes. Even when engrossed at work, ti is not exactly being mindful because most times we are doing things mechanically, without being aware of what we do.

I realised how difficult it is to sit and eat a fruit or bowl of rice slowly. The constant background music playing is ‘that needs to be done, i must ask S about that, did i pay R’ and before I know the pace of eating has gone back to normal stuffing and gobbling.

Doing things slowly, and consciously, is so so difficult. Though it is really very simple. Because of our habits! The deceleration can even bring a headache.

But I have begun to see the fruits of this labour. Whether it be in doing a body scan from head to toe, or in walking slowly but deliberately, aware of every part of the body, or in relishing nature’s bounty in a water melon, there is joy. Also in the act, like a child learning to walk, and also in being present fully.

I suddenly find I hardly need a roti or two to fill my stomach. I begin to relate to forgotten parts of the body while stretching and observing. And for some reason, there is a thrilling joy in these moments.

It is akin to decluttering a room. Keeping the mind free of thoughts and staying alert and alive this moment. Like a bird or bat that takes a nap and stays alert lest it fall down.

It is time to go slow perhaps. To stop thinking the world would collapse if I did not worry or do my bit. It is  time to enjoy being and the immense power that comes with being at peace.

Nothing really matters but to live in this moment. I am almost there, not fully yet.

 

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