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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Open-Eyed Meditations - Book Review

I had great expectations from Open-Eyed Meditations. I have been meditating for a long time and with a title like that I was eager to learn more meditation techniques. But in the initial pages itself I felt that I was cheated. The title is meant only to attract the audiences. The word meditation in the title is sure to attract many readers. What the writer has served us under this garb is left overs of footnotes in his Ramanyana- The Game of Life series. Yes the subtitle, of course in a smaller font says practical wisdom for everyday life. But I was so attracted by the words meditations that I read the subtitle only after I had finished the entire book.

Once you accept the fact that this book is not about meditations, you come in a mental state to appreciate the positives, which fortunately are more than one, of the book. In the authors own words ‘Open-eyed Meditations is a distillation of wisdom tips for modern live; a unique self-help book wherein each meditation takes you on a journey to the past, bringing a secret herb to heal a problem of the present.’ The writer draws stories and incidents from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana and imparts us moral lessons. The writer has succeeded in creating a buzz by selecting a catchy title ‘Open Eyed Meditations.’ He again does an excellent job in giving the chapter headings. So we have catchy headings like ‘Do Likes Make My Life’ ‘X Factor influencing Success’ ‘7 Secrets of Innovations’ and ‘*Conditions Apply – In Love.’

I really liked some of the ideas mentioned in the book. Let me enumerate a few. The author says many problems don’t need to be solved, they need to be just tolerated. This type of problem solving is called ‘Delayed Management.’ An intelligent problem solver is not a one who solves every problem, but one who knows which problems to solve and which to tolerate.

With people whom we love over relatively longer periods of time, it is important to remember that people seldom change, our perceptions do, based on steady expectations. The author says that we can choose any symbol in our life that will either act as an upgrader or a downgrader.

The author says that we will do good to remember that relationships don’t need us; it is we who need relationships. If there is any need we can be selfish about, it is this need.

While telling us how to deal with difficult people, the author says expecting people’s natures to change to suit ours is like expecting the lion to dwell peacefully in a city with a human. The best way to deal with those having contradictory nature is by maintaining respectful distances. When circumstances force you to deal with them, keep the interactions to minimum. The writer tells us an interesting fact that a human is an average of five people he is surrounded the most with. Speaking of anger management, the author says that anger is nothing but need not fulfilled. So to manage your anger look for the underlying need which is causing it.

Speaking of destiny he says that our life is like a novel, where some pages have already been written and the remaining pages get written depending on our present actions. I liked what the author has to say about forgiving. He says that forgiving is the sign of being concerned about the future and hatred is the sign of being stuck in the past. According to him most people assume others’ actions based on the data base of their bad experiences. Rather than assuming others innocent until proven guilty, we assume others guilty until proven innocent.

The writing is simple and easy to understand. The book does indeed contain some gems of wisdom. So except for the super deceptive title, this book makes a decent read.

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