Sunday, April 24, 2011

The sophisticated beggar

The word ‘beggar’ conjures up images of destitute people in dire straits looking for the very basic necessities of life such as food and shelter. If you look at the wants of a person in this unfortunate position, it is in direct correlation with that individuals needs. For the more fortunate rest of us, we have the ability to meet the basic needs of life without putting much thought into it. Food is the basic necessity of a poor man and gasoline is the basic necessity of a rich man. However, what we have in common with a ‘beggar’ is our needs and wants in life. The only difference is the degree of correlation between our needs and wants. Most of our wants are on a mental level. For a person in desperate search for food such as what we see in TV images from the poorest parts of the world and for someone on a diet, the common theme is hunger. In the former case, hunger results from need for food that is not easily available. In the latter case, hunger results from the need to stay away from food that is easily available. There are no right or wrongs here, only differing perceptions. All are born equal. Feeling rich or poor depends on how you perceive life on a mental plane. The more you want something, the more have to beg in the inner silence of your mind. This in turn makes you mentally poor. Recently, when asked about his net worth, Donald Trump said, “I am worth whatever I feel”. If you feel that you don’t lack anything and feel well equipped to deal with life whatever maybe your circumstance, mentally you are a very rich person. If you always think that you are as well equipped physically and mentally as anyone else in the world, there is no reason you cannot achieve what you set out to do. Most humans can function adequately with one eye, one ear and one kidney, we should consider ourselves lucky to be born with the gift of a pair of eyes, ears and kidneys. We have a spare just in case one goes bad. So, why feel that you were born with limited resources.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Inner Rainbow

Based on a talk given at the Dattoli Cancer Center, Sarasota, Florida. April 12, 2011

Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind. The natural state of the universe unmanifest. Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature, it is home.
- Tibetan Book of the Dead

This succinct description of the mind helps us go back to basics and helps us find our roots whenever we are troubled by thought forms which can be infinite in variety. When you close your eyes, you may see a million different thoughts pass through your mind’s eye. If you are able to “turn” around and back project all these thought forms, the mind may appear as a tiny dot of white light. Imagine a cone of light coming from a spot very deep within your brain that carries with it thoughts. Thoughts appear like the intermingling of tumbling dust particles that show up when the afternoon sun peeks through a window into a dark room. As this cone of thoughts, lit up by your mental energy, dissipates away from its source it starts to form mental images that we see with our eyes closed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Focusing on one's duty

Dave, a business owner, manages a lot of people. He faces a rather common scenario that most managers face. How do you react when people don’t perform their tasks in a manner that meets your expectations? Do you take them to task and have them do the job your way? Or do you remain passive and hope that things eventually work out the way you envisioned it without hurting the other person’s feelings? In either case, nobody wins. In the former scenario, you as the manager may feel that you have done your job, but have failed to recognize the short and long term collateral damage respectively in the form of hurting others feelings and eventual loss of productivity due to building resentment. When you remain passive and hope things will eventually work out, you fail in your duty as a manager and more importantly you may not be a positive influence by empowering people to develop the wrong work ethic.

The real answer to this question is changing the work culture. People frequently say that change trickles down from the top and does not rise up from the bottom. This serves as a convenient excuse for people at the bottom to continue in their set ways. If people at the top don’t make a conscious effort to change the status quo, whether good or bad is maintained. The top and bottom are relative concepts. If you visualize yourself at the center of a wheel that is turning, as the wheel turns a point at the top of the wheel eventually becomes a point at the bottom of the wheel and conversely, a point at the bottom of the wheel has a chance to rise to the top. At the center of the wheel that is turning, the top and the bottom of the wheel are relative concepts.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Role of the mind in context of thought and consciousness

In a previous post "Thought = Matter x (Consciousness). Part 2: The role of the mind”, I described the mind and our interaction with it. Let’s further explore the role of the mind in the context of thoughts, experiences and consciousness.

When we look at the world outside, we interact with the outer world through the medium of the five senses. There is an inner world as well. We interact with the inner world through the medium of the mind. The mind also is a meeting point for thoughts, impressions and memories from the inner realm and the impressions derived from our interaction with the world outside. The various components of our inner architecture that help create impressions that we see in the mind include thought, stored experiences from the outer world, dreams and memories.