Sunday, 12 March 2017

Book Review - Open-Eyed Meditations

OPEN-EYED MEDITATIONS
PRACTICAL WISDOM FOR EVERYDAY LIFE
Shubh Vilas is a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, with a degree in Engineering and Law, specialised in Patent Law. Prominent among his teachers are H.D.G. A.C. Bhaktivedant Swami Srila Prabhuda {Founder Hare Krshna Movement} and H.H. Radhanath Swami}


Image result for open eyed meditation

Open-Eyed Meditations is yet another book from the pen of Shubh Vilas, the author of the Ramayan Translation series “Ramayan – The Game Of Life”. And, as the Ramayan Series, this one is yet again another excellent work, but in a very different genre altogether. Furthermore, while the title may say Open-Eyed Meditations, this is actually a far more potent work, and deals with far more than just meditation. In fact, it has nothing to do with meditation as we understand it.


If you are beginning to question yourself and the world around you {whether in genuine interest / desire to know more of the world and yourself, or  in a tough phase of life}, this is the book for you. If you are in an introspective phase, this book can be your guide; or, if you are in just a  receptive mood for good practical and eminently workable minor modifications to enhance, if nothing else, your own mental stability, this is the book for you. And, if you are beginning to wonder about stress in life, then this is definitely the book for you. The icing on the cake : if you are one of those who realizes the value of conrollingyour sense organs, and thus directing your mind – but is not getting the desired level of success from the efforts, then this is the book for you.


THE CONTENT
Ordinary books are relatively easy to summarise; good books decidedly harder. But the best books, as well as the ones with deep philosophy or content, are the hardest to summarise; this is one such exceptional book, for reasons we shall look at in the analysis part.


But, to give a general idea of the content, this is a book about the mind and the senses; about the internal pressures and external stimuli and their interaction in the real world. This is a book on Relationships, about being selfless, about prioritizing as per your situation, about taking decisions and taking responsibility for decisions; about leadership, about handling provocations, about learning from mistakes, about being responsive. It is all this, and much, much more.


As the blurb on the back cover says, this is a collection of thoughts, all relating to practical everyday experiences. Each and every one of the chapters mentioned is relating to a real-world, everyday and practical situation most of us go through. This is a collection of thoughts around everyday topics – things that cause us joy, sorrow, stress and more. The unfair boss, the back-biting friend, the parasitic colleague or team member who takes credit for your work, they are all present. Also present are your anger, your responses, your ego, your mistakes, your relationships, your communication with various and sundry relations in real life. Not only that, you will also find lessons and thoughts on innovation, leadership, ego, decisions, Focus, self-introspection and Love…


THE ANALYSIS
This isn’t your everyday book, one that you can sit and read for hours, or pages. Do that, and you will be wasting both your time and money, as well as the author’s effort. As the author says on page 15 of the introduction, “Read this book the way a cow eats grass while ruminating, Chew on every word carefully...” Read it when you are in the mood – even if it is 3-4 pages at a time. Go through the pages that you find relevant; and re-read them. Keep this as a reference guide, a book to come back to a few pages at a time.


The language is simple and straightforward – but the learnings very deep. The content is so practical, so real and so close to everyday life, that you will readily relate to most of the content and the chapters. The explanation and the presentation is remarkably lucid, and opens your mind and your heart to thoughts which you didn’t know existed in your mind; this book comes to the aid by bringing them to the fore. In a way, Shubh Vilas acts as your guide and guru, highlighting new ways of thinking and positive thoughts.


The content is deeply moving, and acts as a massively positive motivator, in addition to giving you new ideas and methods of doing the same old tasks; it even gives you clues in your relationships, making you more aware, giving you the chance to change / improve your responses. And it isn’t rocket science or deep meditation, it is just simple thoughts, and simple tasks that suffice. So much so, that you end up feeling “I could have thought of this”! It is this simplicity of approach combined with the practical content, of everyday use, that together create a deep connect with the reader.



The best part is that you may be doing some things right : that you may be on the right path, and yet are getting stressed for no reason. The content will actually enable you to recognize not just where you are wrong, or where you are right – or indeed where you require to change, without being judgemental, or instructive. That way is an instruction manual! It enables you to understand where you just need to keep doing the things you are currently doing, and not give up, or be too self-critical – or where you need to change. The realization comes through your own thoughts - and that is what acts as the biggest motivator, as it gives a holistic picture, and a deep connect. All in all, this is one of the finest from this author! 

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