Opened Eyed Meditation authored by ShubhaVilas, published by FingerPrint publishers, is actually a compilation.
I had enjoyed the small insights Shubha vilas gave on various things in his two books on Ramayana, hence I assumed this one would be so too. But well this was kind of different.
The usual approach I have to a review is I read, the book and put it in the frame work of a hexagon but as if was doing this, I realized this is a self help book… so it is there, to help whoever asks for help. Who am I to judge and categorize the content?
That’s when I resolved to approach this book very differently from my usual synopsis, this time round I decided to focus on how did the book work for me, and mention what I found interesting.
The book opens with an impressive line up of blurbs, and a dedication to his teachers. The author walks us through his musing through 64 chapters, which to me appeared as notes, with key pointers to a sermon from Shubha Vilas actually ambled through as though ambling through a garden…
The introduction of the book begins with the author’s musing on meditation. When I muse over it, I realized we tend to forget that meditation, and the follow out of meditation is experiential and individualistic.
Like in the rendering of the Ramayana, as a footnote he would have philosophical inputs, here he has tried to match events from Mahabharata and Ramayana to get a point across. Again this relates can only happen if the reader viewed the narratives from the same point of view as the author. What really worked for me was the very crisp summary that he provides as a box at the end of each of chapter.
Some interesting take away for me from where I can work interactions are
A take on analysis, over analysis can cause paralysis of action.
A chapter on making right decisions gives interesting insights on what drives us to a decision.
Good attitude is the matter of choice
Without appreciation relationships head south and hit rock bottom.
The observation that ShubhaVilas makes about the human mind, operating and expressing through symbols, when it comes to beliefs, values and thoughts, and these symbols emerging from the cultural ethos, made great sense.
In the page 65
When it comes to self image he makes another apt observation that is it is the weak that seeks approval.
In the chapter where the author discusses the qualities that make a person charismatic, there are interesting things he talks about, though I do not fundamentally agree with the icons he has used to illustrate these qualities, the qualities in themselves are very sound –
- Respect is one quality of a charismatic leader and respect breeds respect.
- Put others before you, though self preservation is the primary goal according to the scriptures, a charismatic leader tends, to take people along that is create a win-win situation, or chooses to put the other before him or her.
- Thinking out of the box and improvising is another quality of a charismatic leader.
- Valuing one’s own contribution is also important, one need not boast, but one has to acknowledge the self, after all the world looks at us the way we look at ourselves.
While making a point, Shubha Vilas has quoted a story from the Upanishad, he has apparently come across it in the Mahabharata, the story of the sage Kaushika who burns up a crow, and when he goes to town to beg for alms, a housewife, makes him wait for it, while she completes her household chores. Just as the sage was going to curse her, she smiles and him and says, I am not the bird that you this morning. Interestingly Shubha Vilas stops the story here; he does not complete it, to where the lady directs the sage to her teacher, who happens to be a butcher.
Like the qualities of charisma, Shubha Vilas also ponders on innovation. He builds a link from informationà contemplation. àQuestion àRisk faction àconnection àcollaboration àcelebration.
Another interesting muse is on why people provoke this on page 178
How would I rate this book, well I don’t, and to who I recommend it to, this is dicey again, I would suggest that if you reach out and ask for help the book will help you. But the choice of asking for help is yours. To put it in Shubha Vilas’s words communication happens with connect and connect happens with stories.
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Other books by the author
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