Title: Open-eyed Meditations
Publisher: Fingerprint! Bel!ef
Genre: Self help
About the Author – Shubha Vilas has degrees in Engineering and Law but in essence he is an author, a motivational speaker and a lifestyle coach. Travelling across the world he teaches the importance of living a life as per dharmic principles by giving spiritual lifestyle tips and contemporary wisdom to deal with modern day life situations.
About the book – There are sixty four chapters or thoughts which are compiled to help the reader cope with various stresses in life like anger management, ego problems and the like. In this compilation of thoughts he gives analogies from Ramayana and Mahabharata and demonstrates how these age old epics can be of help to the modern man in living a life of peace with oneself.
Each chapter consists of an average of four pages, wherein the problem is discussed and what the causes are, along with solutions or thoughts, from either the Ramayana or Mahabharata. These problems range from problems of communication to ethics (when good is bad and when bad is good). At the end of each chapter the salient points are boxed for easy reference. So one can either read the whole book and check if any of those are applicable to one’s life or if one already has isolated the problem with one’s life, one can go directly to that particular chapter in which it is dealt with and see how best that knowledge can be used to solve that particular life problem.
A case in point and one that most of the people today in these stressful times is concerned about is anger management. This topic is dealt with in the twenty sixth chapter under the heading ‘Are you angry against Anger’ I will just reproduce the salient points mentioned in the box at the end of the chapter to give you an idea of the way the author has tried to delineate the situation and how to deal with it.
I quote ‘Anger is the result of an unsatisfied need. The trick is to differentiate wants from needs. Needs can be quenched, wants only get magnified. Anger triggered by unmet needs can be tackled whereas that from unmet wants is unmanageable.
Aggression is the weapon of the weak. Needbased anger can be dealt with assertion. And when wants come into the picture with the situation going out of control, then anger ought to be replaced by acceptance of the fact of not being in control.
By identifying your unmet need, you identify the trigger point of anger. Get a grip on the enemy called anger before the enemy gets a grip on you.’ Unquote.
The above thoughts are detailed in around five pages with examples from Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagavata Purana.
My opinion of the book – It is a great handbook for all those who feel that self-help books are a way to make life liveable. It has neatly demarcated problem areas with the causes and solutions, all given in very simple language as it should be.
Priced at Rs.250/- the paperback version is available at a discounted price of 200/- on Amazon.in and the Kindle version for Rs.199/-