3 ways to deal with jealousy.

Jealousy is a mix of feelings driven by selfishness -they have something I don’t have, I like what they have, why am I not getting it ?

Living with jealousy steals my time, makes me miserable, and disable me from putting good effort to things and people I care.

So what can I do ? What can anyone do about it ?

1) Metta meditation helps me hell of a lot. That meditation triggers spiritual codes of our minds. Doing it daily helps to keep the unwholesome states of mind in check .Settling down to a comfortable position, one can reflect…

May I be free from hatred
May I be free from aversion and irritation
May I be free from jealousy
May I be free from troubled states of mind
May I be able to develop a happy mind
May I be peaceful at all times.

This is the most sustainable effective path I found. I invest my time to do this in the morning, everyday.

2) Here’s a popular passive approach. The idea is to think- these people who are successful and popular looks wonderful and their social media posts are full of vanity, but we don’t know their actual struggles. They suffer too. So there’s nothing to be jealous of.

This is instant noodles, but not nutritious.

3) Another useful and practical ( and a bit selfish) approach is to look at other’s success and abundance as a support for your life. See, if people around you are poorer than you, they might come to you for help. But if they are richer than you, not only they will not bother you, may be you can get critical support when you want it, because they can. So there is a legit reason for you to be genuinely happy when someone you know do well.
A selfish thought process, I know, but a practical approach, kind of like a mix of 1) and 2) that will lead you to 1) .

1) and 3) helps me to quickly get away from that quicksand before it is too late. Life is too short.

Anyone can meditate.

I am no expert in meditation. What I am going to write here is based on my practice. I am sharing what worked and did not with the humble wish that someone ( you) might be able to improve meditation practice.

I have read many books on meditation, spent time with many monks and teachers, used meditation apps ( Calm, Headspace) and experimented with different ways to make meditation a joy. Meditation apps are recommended by many. But it did not help me. I think the main reason was the way the app rewards time logged in. Meditation is suppose to be a process of letting go, but with the app I was trying to achieve something, by doing more. Well it is opposite of what meditation should be, doing less and less. 🙂

I am sharing with you the guided meditation video by Ajahn Brahm that helped me find the joy in meditation.

If you listen ( with ear phones) to this video with your eyes closed on a comfortable seat, you will get immediate benefits. I did about 20 times, always with this video on my earphones, until I was capable of doing it on my own.

On days I have trouble fall sleeping, I meditate with this video on my earphones, and with in 15 minutes all the troubles in the world move away, giving me space to a peaceful sleep.

I hope you try it too.

If you want to find more videos like this, go to youtube, search “ajahn brahm guided meditation”

3 stories to massage your VUCA mindset.

Hello !

I had explained what is VUCA, why is it important, and benefits of a VUCA mindset, in my previous post.

Maintaining a new mindset is not easy. As you practice it, you will face multiple challenges that will throw you away. When mind is agitated, mind gets tired, just like our physical bodies. Just as we massage our bodies when we are physically exhausted, our minds need massages, time and again.

A good story is a great way to massage your mind.  I stumbled upon these stories in books, internet and in midst of conversations with friends. You probably have heard variants of these. So here are 3 stories to reflect ( massage) when your mind is fatigued with VUCA.

Finding calm at the meditation hall.

Image result for meditation hall

A lady went on a meditation retreat somewhere in England. On second day, she was starting to get some decent mindfulness. But then out of no where a man next to her started snoring. She lost her mindfulness, the stillness. She could not sit in silence, she was agitated and was upset that this man is ruining her blissful experience. As the meditation session was ongoing, she had to endure the torture for another half an hour. When the session was over, she went straight to that man and complained. That man was in shock. He said that he did not snore, in-fact he had a wonderful meditation. Then the lady realised that snoring sound was still around in the hall. A further inspection revealed that the sound came from the radiator of the heater in the hall.

In a split second she was released and apologised. Just the knowledge that the sound was coming from a radiator, not from a man, enabled the mind to accept sound with out judgment and irritation.

Same sound coming from a machine and a person have very different consequences.

Boat ride

Image result for man in the boat

A man was on a boat sliding down stream in a bit of  rough river. He saw a log coming at him. He steered his boat away from the log and avoided disaster. He was happy about his quick agility that got his boat saved, and his life.

Then further down, he saw a boat coming in his way. He saw few people in that boat. Furious, he yelled at people in the boat, ‘are you trying to kill me?’

People in the other boat started yelling at him too. Yelling continued until they were out of sight of each other.

Then further down the stream, another log came his way. He used his agility and manoeuvred the boat to safety, again. He felt proud, again.

Same challenge coming from an object and a person have very different consequences.

Old man at the market

Image result for old man at the market

Wife asked her husband to go to the market and bring a dozen of eggs. Husband was not a fan of shopping, but what can a man do when wife requests :)?

He was about to enter the market, when out of the blue, an old man appeared and started to scold him in filth. Husband was upset and got embarrassed, rushed back home. He yelled at his wife, “I’ve never been embarrassed like this in my entire life. You wanted to me to go market, that’s why it happened. How many times I told you to get eggs from supermarket?”

This wife was not like most of the wives. She listened to him calmly and asked “Is this man was wearing a red hat?”

“Yes”

“Did he had a large scar on his left cheek?”

“Yes”

“Oh, my dear, that is an old man who has lost his mind. He’s dwelling at the market place. That’s where he lives. People at the market let him live there out of pity. He has nowhere to go. He’s homeless and abandoned by his children. He has lost his mind and yells at every person.”

The husband immediately felt released, relaxed and thoughts of embarrassment was a thing in the past. He felt no feelings of embarrassment because now he knew the old man had a mental illness.

Same words coming from a sane person and a person with mental illness have very different consequences.

So next time VUCA happens in life, remember these three: the radiator, the log, and man at the market. Just remembering them will give you a different perspective to navigate VUCA in full awareness. It helps me everyday, I hope it will help you too.

Some people find these stories amusing, witty and sarcastic. Some find them insightful, transformative and therapeutic. How do you find them? Leave a comment below.

Thank you.

New attitude

pic credit 

Workplaces and our homes are now intensely complex. It’s hard to stay calm and be objective because emotions and residues from the past bounces most of us to get distracted and irritated. Obstacles are a way of life now. To embrace obstacles is the new attitude. I must try hard to

1. Control emotions to focus on objective

2. Filter out good in all situations

3. Ignore what irritates me and which limits me.

4. Be mindful in the present moment. Remove fear about future. Not to over think.

5. Only spend time on things I can control.

Daily workout and meditation in the morning is my fuel tanked full, for the rest of the day.

There’s a saying “if you want to make people happy, do not be a leader, sell ice cream.”

Leadership for me is to do the right thing, and if it feels right, get others to do the right thing too, so that they become leaders. Humans do not like to be changed. It is hard work. And it’s a choice.

Newsless for 9 days

quit-news

I wrote in this blog about fake news, how to decipher fake news and how to broaden our view of the world in an endless distracted content rich world.

Thameera asked me  “why you need news at all?” and shared this post on how I can go newsless.

I thought it is not possible, because I thought I need to know what is happening.

But then I realised most of the news I consume is not healthy for my sanity and have nothing to do with my circle of influence. They are some manufactured pieces of stories to keep my attention from real stuff that I can make a change.

It was time for a strict diet.

  1. I unfollowed all media twitter accounts. Did same for Facebook media pages.
  2. There were friends who were sharing news content too frequently. I ‘muted’ them on twitter, and unfollowed on FB, so that their posts will not get on my feed. But I am still following them on twitter and still friends of Facebook. No hard feelings, just that I am on a strict diet for a while.
  3. Signed off from all news portals I have subscribed to.

It’s now 9 days. Here’s what has happened.

  1. I was used to check social media and click on links that ushered me to news sites early in my day. Now, because I am on strict diet, and I had to form a new habit, I turned to meditation early in the morning. I would get up, and meditate after a cup of tea. Mind was all over the place. But I knew how to sit still and just watch the breath, because I have been doing it for a long time. Yet somewhere down the line, that habit of meditating first thing in the morning, gathered dust. 30 minutes of meditation activated that habit, and I am so glad.
  2. Then I would write my journal to get my agitated thoughts out of my system, or if my thought process is refined, I would just open a word document and punch on keyboard to create a blog post. Just like this one. And you can see I am still not on internet. So that is 15 minutes of writing.
  3. Then my mind is settled and ready for work. I take the most important ( usually the hardest) task in my to do list and do it for 15 minutes. Usually it is a simple mind map to gather my thoughts, an email or a report. So, 15 minutes of the most important task.
  4. During the day in breaks between work, instead of social media snacks, now I consume books. Real books, not e-books. I finished reading a fiction. This was after a very long time, I mean, last time I completed a fiction in straight go was more than 2 years back. That felt really good.

I cannot explain the soothing peacefulness I experience, because it is simply beyond words.

So much gratitude to Thameera for sharing that article.

How could you?

I was accused of something I did not. Truly, I had no part of it.

Because I wanted to be completely understood, I asked specific questions to see if what I think is the same what he thinks.

I explained that it was a total misunderstanding. He did not believe a single word I was saying.

I figured there’s no point, and also my blood is now pumping at a rate which is not healthy.

I moved away. Physically yes, but not mentally. Here’s how it went in my head.

“ How could he? Even after all my explanations? Does he think I am a liar? So,  he could only see this incident? And why he cannot see I would not do such a thing “

It is fun to be the right person in my head. But my blood is still on high speed.

I remembered an advise from a book and sat down. Closed my eyes and quietly slid in to meditation for about 10 minutes.

“May I be well, May all beings be well”

Then a smile crossed my troubled face.

“ How could I ? Even after all good things he did ? Do I think he’s useless ? So, I can only see this incident ? And why I cannot see I am capable of useless judgments on him?”

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned

~ Buddha