Thursday, December 7, 2023

"Good Bye, Things : The New Japanese Minimalism"

"Good Bye, Things : The New Japanese Minimalism" - A beautiful book with few powerful lessons from Fumio Sasaki, with which I undoubtedly couldn't agree more 😊

Came across this book while surfing for some good books for myself along with the link to order. Thought to myself there cant be a bigger hint from the universe that I should buy the book. Even interesting was knowing about the author. Got to know him as just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn’t absolutely need. In Goodbye, Things Sasaki modestly shares his personal minimalist experience, offering specific tips on the minimizing process and revealing how the new minimalist movement can not only transform your space but truly enrich your life. 

So, logged on and clicked for the order. A happy confession that it was absolutely worth it. 

Few learnings that the book brought for me :

1. True Happiness comes from within, not material possessions. 

Haha - who has not come across this, but how many ties do we really bring this to practice in our daily living. Sasaki says, the pursuit of material possessions often leads to stress, anxiety and eventually a sense of emptiness. He is so right when he says true happiness comes from cultivating meaningful relationships, pursuing passions and living in alignment with one's values. I am sure this comes as a natural understanding with life to most of us. 

2. Minimalism is not about deprivation

It is not about living a stripped-down existence but about intentionality, meaning, taking a conscious choice of what you bring into your life and what you keep aside. Its about curating a space that reflects your own values and priorities, helping you to live your own life on your own terms and not a borrowed or influenced life. 

3. Decluttering is a a liberating experience. 

One day I was desperately looking for a white T-shirt from a huge bunch of clothes in my cupboard. I was throwing my stuff out from my cupboard in a desperate hunt for it but I could not find it. My father was watching me. After sometime, very softly he makes a remark "When you have too much clutter, you don't find the things when needed." I realized how true was his remark. Sasaki puts the same saying letting go out of excess belongings can be a deeply liberating experience. It can actually free up your physical, mental and emotional space, enabling you to get what you want. 

4. Less is more.

This is undoubtedly such a powerful reminder. Actually having less paradoxically leads to more. With fewer possessions you save so much of time and energy left for better things to live and enjoy life to the fullest. In addition, it helps you create more space for beautiful things in your life that would truly matter to you and your happiness. 

5. Gratitude is essential

Sasaki so beautifully explains this simple open secret to good and happy living. By being grateful on what you appreciate, makes you more focused on it, as a result your craving for other things reduce and you find enjoyment and contentment in the present moment. 

6. Minimalism is a journey not a destination

Here Sasaki emphasizes that minimalism is about continuous refinement and simplification. Its an ongoing process of evaluating our relationship with our possessions and making conscious choices that align with our values. While I was reading it, I heard a scream from my mother to put my scattered shoes back in the shelf organized. I laughed to myself, thinking the three extra pair of my jogging shoes were the cause of this messed up shoe rack. Do I really need the 3 extra pair when I need only one pair to be honest.

7. Minimalism is a personal journey, not a one-size-fit-all approach. 

With this Sasaki explains the fact so well that minimalism always helps you get clarity on your values, preferences and choices. It can never be a one-size-fit all approach because the thing that matters at the end is your intention behind your choices that would make your life an authentic and fulfilling one. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Transmuting the sexual energy(Retas) into spiritual vigor(Ojas)

To understand this beautiful concept, it is important to first understand the two words - Retas and Ojas.

Retas (रेतस्) — flow, flood, gush, flow of semen, the seminal fluid itself, seed; offspring, progeny.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ojas (ओजस्) — vigour; energy, ability, vitality

Source: Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: 

In a nutshell, ojas is that vital energy that rules our immunity, strength, and happiness. Ayurveda defines it as the shiny essence (tejas) of all the seven dhatus is Ojas. It is the best part of the seven dhatus collected together.

Both these energies are supremely powerful in their own way and both can take an individual to the deepest form of spiritual expression. Sexual Energy, is a powerful driving force of nature. If we take a closure look at it and observe it minutely, we realize that the power that lies hidden behind it is essentially "creation" itself. It is the force that gives birth to all forms of life. On the other hand, the Spiritual Energy, is that powerful divine driving force that is capable of making us realize us our true nature and identity, helping us climb up the ladder to self - realization. 

Since, the time of human consciousness gained, man has been trying to understand the power of the two energies. Many scholars, philosophers, saints and learned men have done huge study on this subject. While sexual energy has its own power, it is often treated as a distraction on the path of self realization and attaining divinity, because it has the capability of temporarily eliminating all the wisdom gained, allowing the mind to overpower with its rational thinking and consume one’s reason of existence. One prime purpose the sexual energy has been used for by mankind is procreation and sensory pleasures. In modern times, this problem has become a bigger issue leading to over indulgence, because of the lack of understanding of the true nature and power of this energy. 

Sexual Energy is a natural aspect of our existence and hence cannot be destroyed but transformedReferring to the writings of many scholars and experiences shared of many learned men, sexual experiences became their first introduction to spirituality. That sense of fulfillment and satisfaction one derives from a sexual orgasm is a glimpse of what spiritual experiences are like. Hence, a high meditative state is often described equivalent to a Orgasmic state. Having said so, if the sexual energy is only restricted to sensory pleasures and instant gratification, then there is no end to the desire. We need to realize that we are more than just our mere existence in this body and mind. If we can convert the sexual energy to spiritual energy, we can enhance our power of focus, creativity and drive for the upliftment of our own soul. 

Few reasons why the sexual energy has been considered as a deterrent factor to one's spiritual growth :

  • Depletion of one's vitality
  • Additional deposits of images in the mind which affects one's concentration and focus
  • Disrupts the conversion of Retas into Ojas and pulls one down on the spiritual path
  • The sense of pleasure is short lived and hence, it keeps the mind into constant craving

Few practices for transmuting the energy

  • A good daily disciplined routine
  • Satvik food and lifestyle
  • Yoga and Pranayama
  • Meditation, Introspections and Reflections
  • Journaling of the experiences of the day before going to bed

The spiritual solution lies neither in forced suppression nor very loud expression but in a moderated and balanced approach. The yogic practices teach the application of progressive self-control methods and mechanisms. There is usually a period of initial struggle, which varies from individual to individual, but once crossed, the individual consciousness evolves to a stage where the sexual urge drops off naturally. It is a matter of self discipline and self interest. Teenagers and Young Adults, if explained well about these concepts, the results would show great impact on their creativity and performance levels in many beautiful areas of life. 

Life would become amazingly beautiful if we learn to embrace the spiritual power that dwells within our sexuality and learn best ways to harness our energies.

Monday, September 11, 2023

The Discerning Mind


The Discerning Mind knows the ways to differentiate between Real and Unreal

Be it the teachings of any scriptures, learnings from life philosophy, or the practices of any religion of the world,  they all have a common thread – Exploring the profound relationship of the self and the divine. There may be times where we encounter moments of clarity, epiphany or revelation followed with doubts, confusion or chaos. However, each step takes us to the core of our heart i.e our own center. That is the space, we confront our own shadows, fears, dilemmas, desires, attachments and our own egos.

This confrontation with self, often makes us uncomfortable with the truths of our own nature, the conditioned thought patterns of our mind and the arrogance of our own ego. This uncomforting feeling with self is important and crucial, for it is through this inner confrontation that we gain profound insights to the self recognition of our true nature and our journey of life, finally bringing in self transformation. This is the point where the egoistic mind starts dissolving its arrogance, dropping its restlessness and starts humbling down to the greater forces of the universe that are at play. As the confrontations with self starts increasing, the discernment of the mind also starts increasing. It finally starts demonstrating the ability to determine for itself what information serves us for our own good, what is right for us and what is not. As we start progressing on our spiritual path of self discovery, the gift of discernment becomes the most precious gift for us. It helps us get over the illusions, allow deep letting go, a renunciation of our attachment and drop of our false ego. This helps us start aligning to the universe’s governing forces and to connect with our own higher self for guidance and support necessary for our self – discovery and evolution, ultimately leading to our freedom and liberation.

Happy Exploring !

Thursday, June 29, 2023


Every leader who has lived life successfully has followed few guided principles of his own with which he has won all his battles. Dokkodo also known as the "The Path of Aloneness", "The Way to Go Forth Alone", or "Way of walking alone" is one such work of a great successful man. 

It is a short work by Miyamoto Musashi. So often he is only seen as one of Japan's greatest swordsmen and duelist, but he was so much more. Musashi was philosophical, artistic, and lived a life way beyond  the legendary Japanese swordsman, philosopher and the author of the book "The book of 5 rings". In the final years of his life, Musashi retreated to a cave to life his life as a hermit. It was here that he finally put his words to write "Dokkodo", the path walked alone, a week before he died in 1645 in which he shared a set of 21 profound principles and how they can help us live a more meaningful and disciplined life. Each of these 21 principles address a different perspective to life. 

The 21 principles of Dokkodo:

1. I did not infringe upon the way of successive generations. 
2. I sought not seek pleasure for pleasure's sake.
3. I harbored no biased feeling.
4. I thought lightly of yourself and profoundly of the world.
5. I succumbed not to greed for the duration of my life.
6. I held no regrets for past deeds.
7. I was never jealous of others over matters of good and evil.
8. In all things I never despaired over partying.
9. I never had malice towards others nor they towards me.
10. I steered clear of the path of attachment.
11. I held no preferences for anything.
12. I cared not where I lived.
13. I sought not the taste of fine food. 
14. I possessed no old items of historical consequence to pass on.
15. I adhered not to superstitious beliefs.
16. Apart from weapons, I sought not superfluous trappings.
17. I spurned not death in the way.
18. I sought not the possession or fiefs for my old age.
19. I respected the deities and Buddha without seeking their aid.
20. I abandoned my body but not my honor.
21. I never drifted from the way of combat strategy.

These 21 profound principles of the Dokkodo can help us live a more meaningful and disciplined life. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

The Sunday Morning blast


The Sunday Morning blast and the whole day went for a toss. I had no idea why I acted / reacted to that small incident the way I did. This was not the first time.

While everything seemed normal on the face of it, I could feel the turbulence internally so clearly. I had started showing strong reactions and emotional outbursts to small things, leaving others and self too sometimes wonder what was there to react so bad to such a small thing. It had started occurring so frequent after a time that it had started bothering me too and it was now a situation of red flag.

Being a non medical student, I had never got any serious introduction to the subject of the human body and its functions. Barring few normal activities I had not much idea about the functions of this human machine. But now with a conscious effort I started remaining observant of my reactions to situations. I realized that my mind was reacting against its rational thinking and going with emotional impulsive reactions. It was obvious as our rationality takes a little longer to get activated than our emotions. 

Reading and knowing the human body has always been fascinating for me. It was once that I was surfing through the internet, I came across this book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman. It was like god sent for me at that moment. It spoke about a very interesting organ in our body - Amygdala - and its functions. More reading on it made me go curious about it. 

Amygdala is a kind of an almond-shaped mass of grey matter present inside each of our cerebral hemisphere. It operates unconsciously. We cannot control its immediate, instinctive, automatic reactions because they happen much before our consciousness gets activated. It is that part of the brain that unites emotions and memory. It is involved with the experiencing of life situations and giving an emotional meaning to it linking it with our memories. It also helps in reward processing and decision-making to handle a particular situation faced.

Reading further, I came across the concept of Amygdala Hijacks. It is an emotional response that is immediate, overwhelming, and out of measure with the actual stimulus because it has triggered a much more significant emotional threat. If occurred, it could cause serious mental problems such as poor decision-making and impaired emotional memories. I was scared reading that damage to the amygdala can happen when any strong emotion like anger, fear, anxiety or even extreme excitement impairs the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain in the frontal lobe that regulates rational thinking. Symptoms of these can be seen in day to day life very clearly like reacting irrationally with anger, frustration or restlessness to simple situations or incidents. 

The risk attached to this organ is that it gets triggered on a fraction of a second. It gives us the feeling of "fear" even before we understand what is that we are fearing of and why is it that we are fearing it. Instability of it can create body misfunctioning like increased heart beat, palpitation score, blood pressure, etc. This organ stabilizes itself if it senses safety around. Having said about its impulsive nature of reacting to threating situations, it is also interesting to note the good side of it. If our mind did not show such abruptic reacts to threats then how can one be saved from seeing a snake or a speed vehicle running towards etc.

Now, geared up with this understanding, if I look back, not to be surprised anymore, all this while I was having nothing but the Amygdala hijacks. I have shown so many such reactions and have suffered so many times silently in the past due to my own ignorance. 

It is important to remember that this human mind is full of magical powers. It is a mix bag of problems as well as solutions. It is on us to keep it healthy, wealthy and wise. Yogic exercises like breath management, cultivating good habits of mind management or developing emotion control mechanisms etc can be good ways to calm the amigdala and keep it under a balanced state. The idea is to learn the trick of Self regulation of this human organism. i.e learning ways to regulate our mind ourselves with Critical and Rational Thinking instead of letting the mind get dominated by our emotions. 

Exploring the human body is one fun activity that one can get into. It surprises me every time with something new. The more we know about this human body the less it is. Happy Exploring ! 😊

Is there a template to happiness ?

I was at the eleven day ritual ceremony for a loved one. In the midst of conversations amongst the gathered people I heard someone saying – “He was too young to leave. He was not happy in his life and that became the cause of his death.”

The thought that immediately ran across my mind was – “Who stopped him from staying happy” OR “Did he fail to figure out the ways to remain happy.”

My mind trapping me more, the questions that started playing in my mind – What do we actually mean by happiness ?, Is there any perfect recipe or formula or a format or a template to happiness that works for all ? How would anyone win that magic wand to stay in that everlasting state of happiness forever ?

Talking about “Happiness”, I am yet to understand a separate definition of it other than simply living every moment peacefully and with contentment in the most natural way of love and respect towards self.  In my understanding, there can never be any fixed formula to remain happy other than this basic one. The universe provides each living being ample number of ways to find its own happiness in its own best suited way. If there is no dearth of ideas and ways to remain happy, why is the human mind remaining so tensed and clueless to find ways to remain happy.

Today with the increasing number of cases of mental health challenges leading to ending life (self destruction or a but obvious natural end), it is so sad to note the kind of clarity we are living with this word called “Happiness”. It is becoming so clear that we just don’t know how to handle this gift called “Life”. As I discuss with people, I realize people are in great suffering and in a miserable state only because of the lack of understanding of this simple thing. “Life” is treated with such casual approach and disregard, as if, its just another thing, what is the big deal to get a human life. When we value things less, its so obvious a fact that we don’t care for it. My most suffocating and helpless response that comes out as a response is – “For God’s sake, can we give a little respect to the creator who has given us this gift for which everything is what it is today.”

The more I grow in my awareness, I realize my care for my own life is the biggest secret to my happiness. This realization has brought me an understanding that …

    My health is important for me
    My mental state is important for me
    My relationships are important for me
    My emotional balance is important for me
    My financial security is important for me
    My learning and constant evolution is important for me
    My love for self is important for me

We are human beings and so in my understanding, these are few basics that help us sustain. These are a basic set of responsibilities that we owe towards ourselves. Once we secure ourselves setting these basics right, we create an environment that is safe and secured, to reside peacefully in. Once Safety comes, the first hinderance to my state of happiness i.e FEAR OF SURVIVAL is taken under control. Once we take this element of fear under our control, other areas of life start blooming on their own and the state of peace and joy becomes a very natural state of existence leading to lasting happiness.

Life is delicate. Slightest of a gap in our understanding can make us pay heavy. Let us be mindful to our own understanding. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022


When it is the same air in circulation i.e my exhaled breath becomes the inhaled one for some other being. When it is the same sky that runs over every living being. When it is the same water that is running inside all the beings. When it is the same fire that is burning in us all and When it is the same space that is existing between us all beings ... why can't my mind understand the simple concept of "Oneness". Where is the problem is what i ask myself - Is it my ego, my pride or simply the ignorance of my own mind. Silently comes the answer - yes it is your own misalignment with the very thing called Life.