A Different Perception

Never give up and be persistent

Once there was a hare and the tortoise. They had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on route and started off the race. The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some tine. Then realising he was far ahead, he sat under a tree to relax for sometime and soon fell asleep. The tortoise overtook him and emerged as the winner.
The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race.

This is the version that we’ve all grown up with. But, here is an interesting version of this story I’ve come across, with a different perspective and can be a good performance enhancer in our life.

The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realised that he’d lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there’s no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.

The moral of the story:

1.Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady.

2.If you have two people in your workplace, one slow, methodical and reliable, and the other fast and still reliable at what he does, the fast and reliable will climb the performance chart than the slow and methodical.

3.It’s good to be slow and steady; but it’s better to be fast and reliable.

But the story doesn’t end here. The tortoise did some thinking and realised that there’s no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. He then challenged the hare to another race, but this time on a different route. The hare agreed.They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of miles on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

The moral of the story:

1.First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit to your competency.

2.Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed, but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement.

The story still hasn’t ended. The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends
and they did some thinking together. Both realised that the last race could have been run much better.
So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this rime. They started off, and this rime the hare carried the tortoise till the river bank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together.

The moral of the story:

1.It’s good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you’re able to work in a team and harness each other’s core competenicies, you’ll always perform below par.

2.By sharing resources and working as team will always beat individual performers.

With a change in perspective, we further learn 

In life, when faced with failure,
Sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in that extra effort.
Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try mething different.

And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.

When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform better.

There are always different perspectives, perceptions, and meanings. Be persistent in your efforts to strive for something better.

A State of Well-being

Well-being is accessible to each one of us. Our thoughts and emotions are our messengers and the key to understand them is through gaining awareness by means of meditation. Making meditation a way of life helps you to realise your intrinsic nature and also to respond in a constructive way. Practicing insightful meditation enables you to avoid impulsive reactions and to remain at peace and to be harmonious with the outside world. Welcoming each moment keeps you connected with yourself and others. Staying connected to your experiences helps you to a acknowledge your unchanging inner self which can be tapped into anywhere and anytime.
Following are the insights mentioned in various meditation practices. Setting the following insights into your meditation practice not only increases your concentration but also helps you maintain your focus to meet your goals.

Find your intentions

Meditating with right intentions develop focus, determination, patience, and perseverance. Intentions are agreements you make with yourself and then express through your actions in your daily activities. if you don’t set firm intentions, you will eventually find yourself wandering and might lose sight of the reason you are meditating.
Intentions set can be small or large. Aim is to discover your genuine intentions and affirm those with certainty in your meditation practice. Express each intention in small phrases in present tense as if it is true. This enables your subconscious mind to register them as actualities. Resolutely follow and affirm your intentions for they enable you to overcome all trials and suffering.

Feeling of being

Practice meditation not to become whole, but to connect to your existing wholeness. Realise that wholeness is your birth right and are more than a limited individual. When you connect to your existing wholeness, other aspects of love, kindness and peace arise naturally. During the practice stay
focused on the sensation and experience of being, this will eventually turn off the negative thoughts.
By experiencing the wholeness you start to be paying attention to the present moment.  Just being is a familiar feeling that you have always known and you are perfect in the present moment. You willstart to feel complete. Experiencing the feeling of being brings inner peace and calmness.

Connect to something bigger

Meditation helps us to get in touch with universal life force that connects us all. During the practice learn to align with this force. This connection with bigger force results in a more expensive mind, that is not narrowly focused on how things should be, not focused on small desires, but can see those as part of bigger picture. Connecting to and experiencing the universal life force enhances concentration and your present opens up to infinite possibilities. This enables you to interact and respond rather than contract and react. The expansiveness of mind gives a meaning and purpose to your life.

Practice mindful breathing

Taking hold of your breath builds concentration. Meditating on your breathing is a natural and extremely effective tool to prevent dispersion and enables you to release obsessive thinking. Observing and following breath exhalations and inhalations enhances your ability to sense and respond to the information your body is sending.
Awareness of your breathing patterns allows you to make changes where required to maintain equilibrium. You can continue to do so while walking, sitting or when you are outdoors. Experiencing the whole breath-body, practice relaxation and letting go with each breath.
You can also practice to count your number of inhalations and exhalations to develop focused attention and concentration. When you recognise you are distracted, gently bring back your attention back to your breath. Breath-counting helps you to maintain a single- pointed focus.Z

Accept your thoughts and emotions

Meditating on your feelings and thoughts makes you stay calm, grounded, and healthy. There can be many disharmonious, negative, and disturbing thoughts that arise when you try and meditate focusing on them. When such strong feelings arise, refusing to accept and labelling them as enemy will only make them come back more strongly as if they are here to convey important information.
You need to welcome and experience emotions both negative and positive. Know that they are not the enemy but are just seeking your attention. Learn to observe and respond instead of reacting.
By focusing on every thought and its opposite, anxiety, fear, and  self- judgements no longer control your life. You can no longer remain a hostage to your negative emotions.

Welcome feelings of joy

Joy is an essential emotion which is already within us, waiting to be experienced no matter what the outside circumstances may be. But many of us believe that it only comes by material possessions or achieving a particular outcome. We keep searching for it outside in objects, relationships, and other experiences. When you denied the feelings of joy which is a natural phenomenon, you lose life’s meaning and its purpose.
When you meditate and welcome joy, its opposite in the form of negative feeling. Welcome that as well. Experiencing both at the same time makes you realise how stressful the opposite is and how it affects your body and mind. When it feels right, release the stressful and let joy radiate through you,
Meditation can unearth unchanging irrespective of the circumstances thereby reducing the perceptions of pain, anxiety, and depression.

Contemplate on interdependence

Meditating on the interdependent nature of the nature makes you realise that everything is a part of an interconnected wholeness. We normally see reality in compartments and make boundaries around
ourselves. Because of this we are unable to see the interdependent nature of the world we live in.
We are connected and not separate  in our suffering and in our desire to be happy.
When you  live the sufferings and joy of others, you start to realise the impermanence of the universe
and can strengthen the positive emotions of gratitude and compassion. Experience yourself as a unique expression of life, interconnected with the Universe.
Regular practice of meditation helps you to attain an ideal state of mind. A well disciplined and controlled mind is necessary for various aspects of well-being. Nourish your intention of making meditation a daily practice. Practicing these insights individually or together with patience and perseverance will provide you with a sense of well-being, purpose and meaning. 

       ” The mind is everything. What you think you become “

                                                                 – Buddha

Tips for better parenting

Parenthood is very demanding task  and plays an important role in developing a child’s overall personality. Parenting has a far reaching effect on children’s character, behaviour and their achievements as they are a reflection of the experiences they have at home with their parents. Although all parents wish their children to have courage, compassion and high morality, yet very few put in conscious effort to achieve this goal.

Parents often complain about their children’s disobedience, lack of discipline and disregard for the rules set by them. The reasons for these problems though varying, are not difficult to seek. More often than not they lie in faulty practices.
Parenting is not a skill that everyone is born into. It is a learning process. Parenting if practiced sincerely, can definitely help resolve certain of these problems and even where there are none, will enhance their bonding

What is required is unconditional love, treating them with respect,encouraging them for independent thought and appreciation for their efforts however trivial they may seem. Parental criticism, over demanding nature and lack of sensitivity to their problems widens the communication gap between them and the child. children slowly drift away from parents and stop taking them into confidence. Parents have to make a genuine effort to bond well with their kids.

Some Do’s and Dont’s 

                         Bonding, Happiness, and happy parenting

1. Discover the reasons.

It is so important not to damage children’s confidence. When they do something wrong, find the reasons for the inappropriate behaviour and habits. Make them realise that it was their behaviour that was bad and not them. Love them unconditionally yet set certain rules that are workable and enforce them.

2. Choose the right time

Never discipline them when you are angry. Parents should never openly contradict each other in front of their children. Do not try to release your stress on them and use them as an outlet for your frustrations. Spend quality time with friendly interactions with your children and healthy discussions. Be available to them at all times for their physical and emotional needs.

3. Create confidence

Listen to them with undivided attention. Encourage a dialogue instead of lecturing. If there is something to debate, ask what they know and think of that particular topic and learn to respect their opinion and their knowledge.
Value their opinion and give them freedom to express themselves freely quite often. This creates a healthy self-respect and makes them feel accepted and appreciated.

4. Avoid nagging

Do not be over demanding with the children in order to make them into whom you want them to be. Imposing your wishes on them and making strict rules will only result in making them rebel against later. Learn that your children need not follow your foot steps. Encourage them to take right path to achieve what they believe in and help them to go further than you are.

5. Accept them with good & bad

Give them freedom to disclose those things that make them unhappy and to share what they truly feel. Accept them with their strengths and weaknesses, so that they are capable of seeing themselves honestly. This will make them understand that there is no need to hide something from parents

6. Never compare

Instead of comparing your child with other children, compare with your own child’s previous performance and efforts put in towards it. This would motivate him towards better performance. Always appreciate the efforts put in and encourage them to dwell more on hard work and not just on success and failure

7. Express appreciation 

Be consistent in expressing your appreciation. Express your love and affection to your children quite often. Do not assume that they understand an occasional pat. Focus on their strengths and not on them. Ignore minor inappropriate behaviour and encourage rewarding their good behaviour.

Beauty lies within…just be

There is this very famous Zen story, where a Zen abbot went dressed in rags to the door of a rich man  and was turned away with an empty bowl. So he returned in his formal robe of office and was invited in and served a sumptuous meal. Removing his robes and  placing them in front of the feast, he walked away saying “This meal is not for me, it is for the robe.”

Many of us perceive others by the way they are dressed or the way they look. Similarly there is a vast difference in how others perceive us to what we really are. This fundamental difference in perception gives rise to a false self which would want to seek appreciation and acceptance from others. At this moment, we start to draw comfort from various ideas people have put together to define a standard behaviour.

We begin to allow ourselves get influenced by what others think of us. We try to impress and start imitating what we see around us, thereby losing our true self. We deny our inner self because others won’t or can’t recognise it. Thus, fading our soul which is meant to be unique, mysterious, and beautiful.

Trying to fit into others definitions of you not only erodes your self esteem but also becomes a continuous struggle to become what you are not.

Resist the temptation to allow others define what you are. Do not deny your own beauty because others fail to recognise it. Instead accept yourself and know that beauty exists not in sameness but in being your true self.
Know that you need not match with someone else’s definition of pretty and regardless of outward appearances, at the core of heart, each one is perfect, pure, and with same potential.

Eternal Chase… Short story by Osho

God made the world, and from that very day the sun went running after darkness. And darkness could not understand: it has not harmed the sun, it has not even talked with the sun, it has not even met the sun, yet the sun is continuously harassing her.
After millions of years of harassment, she finally got tired and went to God and said, “It is ungrateful to complain, but there is a limit to everything. I have been harassed for millions of years, and I cannot conceive of any fault on my part. The sun goes on expelling me from everywhere. It is even difficult to take a rest without anxiety — the sun may be coming, the sunrise may be close. I have not slept for millions of years — the anguish would not allow it. The sun has been almost a continuous torture, and without any reason. I simply want to know: what have I done wrong?”
God said, “You should have come earlier. There was no need to wait so long. This is very ungentlemanly on the part of the sun. The sun should be called immediately.”
The sun was called. He asked the messenger, “What is the problem? — because I have never done anything wrong. I simply go on doing the same routine every day. Since God made me, I have not done anything else.”
But the messenger said, “God is very angry. You have been hurting, harassing a poor woman — darkness.”
He said, “My God, I have never heard of her. I have never met her. I am not interested in women at all — I am a born celibate. I am coming, I want to see who this woman is.”
And as the sun came to the house of God, darkness disappeared.
God said, “Where has that woman gone?” They searched everywhere; darkness was not found.
Millions of years passed again, and one day the woman appeared and she said, “You have not done anything; it is still continuing, the same torture.”
God said, “You are strange. When the sun was here, where did you go?”
She said, “You are behaving like a simpleton. If the sun is here, I cannot be here; if I am here, the sun cannot be here. We cannot stand each other. You will have to hear our story separately and then decide.”
God said, “That is not my way. You both have to be present here so I can be certain that nobody is lying.”
The woman said, “Then it is better I take my complaint back.”
Since then, the woman has not appeared again. Once in a while the sun comes to inquire, “What happened to the woman — because I want to clear it up, it has become a worry on my head that somebody is being hurt by me, perhaps unknowingly.”
God said, “You need not be worried. The problem is such that it cannot be solved. I cannot give any decision unless you are both present in my court together and I have listened to both sides in the presence of each other. But by the very nature of things, you cannot both be present. That woman is your absence. So of course you cannot be present and absent simultaneously. Drop your worry. You are doing perfectly fine, and that woman is not going to report against you again. The file in your case is closed.”
  • Osho
Exactly the same is the case with darkness and human awareness.
When we realise the self through awareness, we further discover this self in everything, and we become an awakened one. With this constant reflection of inner light, 
the darkness around us disappears and dissolves.