You won’t believe what I do on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday
No, I don’t do any ‘black’ or ‘white’ magic. No, I don’t rise against the ‘laws of gravity’. No, I don’t switch on to any series, drinks or special dishes. I simply do something without expecting anything in return and verily for free. I did not learn ‘this’ hard way. I learned it simply, yet mindfully!
Some assume I am mad; some assume I am rude; some assume I am useless, but it’s all OK for me. People do have the natural right to assume whatever they want to. Little do they realize that assumptions are shaped by what they choose to see than by how things really are?
Life is not a bitch. I am telling you this. Life is an abstract. We make it concrete and complicated, based on our parenting, conditions and choices. Take a cue from Buddha on this and you learn that life is a platform of suffering. We mess it up because we get attached and there’s a science behind why we easily get attached. What can we do about it, except whining? Well, a lot can be done and that’s by understanding, accepting and incorporating the truth that life is a temporary show and to attach ourselves with any of the factors in life, we contradict the meaning of life there itself. Allow to flow it, just like how you inhale and exhale?
The Friday evenings get me engaged in helping people around me by undoing the philosophy of attachment and expectations. We expect from the individuals whom we’re attached to and that’s a slow poison! Shakespeare has already made it clear that ‘expectations is heartache’, while Buddha informed us that ‘attachment is the root cause of suffering’. I know all these quotes may sound kiddish or impractical or even known to you, but they’re as they’re. Can you change them with any alternative? No, because you subconsciously know that this is a truth. You can overthink about it and consequently harm yourself, but it won’t land you anywhere. So, the Fridays are helping my friends and strangers to constantly work on undoing what we know than redoing what we don’t understand.
I don’t preach any lecture on this topic on Fridays, although my whole week is immersed with lecturing students of management, media, laws and all those draconian excel sheets. But I simply do a very much essential thing called Vipassana (mindfulness meditation) as taught by Buddha. It has helped me to understand, albeit it may sound fictional to your ears, that whatever I or you perceive are the outcome of our mental formations like anger, greed, lust, ignorance, craving, etc. And the only way to undo them is to infuse mindfulness in every moment of living. With this, the Fridays detoxify the minds, cancels the thought of dwelling in past and wandering in future.
The Saturday evenings are about smashing the conventions, taboo and stigma associated with mental health. You know, my nation (India) still shies to talk openly about sex, mental health and emotions. It is overly-populated and thumps-the-chest for having a bullet-train soon but it communally fails on civility, empathy and simplicity. I do not want to get into politics because I am not a paid twitterati but truth is truth, no matter how many disbelieve me. When people are not scared to utter lies, why should I fear from speaking the facts? So, with friends, cousins, colleagues and strangers, I enter into the staggering mode of confessions, mental health issues and solutions. Our society, as you understand by now, have many speakers but little do we produce empathetic listeners? ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama’ makes this thing cool here: When you talk, you’re already repeating what you know. But when you listen, you learn something new
Just few days ago, around 3:30 am night, I blogged on the uncomfortable data pertaining to the status of mental health assistance in India. Only if we are less obsessed with nonsensical issues and focus on ‘safe space’ for mental health issues, we can really transform our society civilizedly. Our cultural upbringing is such that we’re socially anxious, stressed, materialist, depressed, lonely or bipolar or all, but do not muster the courage to talk about it because ‘trust issues’. Awareness regarding mental health is like finding a tree in arctic ocean. The ‘safe space’, that I am dealing with, has pacified people and discouraged them from taking extreme steps. The more I listen to stories, I realise that there’s a dire need of empathy and social fraternity in our communities than anything else.
The Sunday evenings are pretty lazy and it’s ok to feel like that. You can’t be OK all-the-time and you cannot be Not-Ok all-the time. In between, we manage to grow up. Isn’t it? We make choices but are we free from the results of the choice? No. But it is still OK. Calm down. Before we head for a ‘good night’, my group members do a book-review or a movie-review. Kind of intellectual stimulation; a [cognitive] revolution. This helps us to stay connected and willingly look forward to read another copy, in today’s epoch of dating apps, sextings, memes and toxic news. Obviously, we don’t dare to read Chetan Bhagat or attempt to watch Salman Khan films. We do things differently. Books based on the theme of philosophy, spirituality, ideas, thoughts, society, and the films based on the theme of parallel cinema or sarcasm. This is much needed for you and me, when consumerism and conspicuous material culture around us has made our society ‘a trash bin’.
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