The moment I saw the title 'Open- Eyed meditations’ By Shubha vilas on blogadda book review program, my instinct said this could be my kind of book. The word ‘Meditation’ itself has a calming effect on me and the authors previous books on Ramayana which I read and reviewed here had left me pondering and contemplating even after I had finished reading those books. I expected this book to have a similar effect on me and, I must say I was not disappointed.
Open-Eyed meditations was not a breezy read for me, I had to read and re-read at many many places to understand, accept and absorb what was written in the book. With the exams of my son and so many other commitments, it took time for me to finish the book. But, I enjoyed each and every page of the book.
The book is actually a collection of thoughts about various aspects of modern life , the situations we deal with and offers profound insights and solutions to those situations . The way the author has beautifully drawn analogy between the situations we encounter in modern life to the stories or characters or situations from our epics The Ramayana or the mahabharatha is commendable.
The book is divided into 64 small chapters, each one dealing with a modern day problem like the art of communication, making right decisions in life, can talent be your enemy?, Are you scared to be offline?, can your success be your failure?, how to let go, art of leading leaders, Do ‘likes’ make my life?, quality vs quantity, making leadership last etc.,
Each of the 64 is independant , complete and offers nugget of wisdom and action to be taken within the chapter to the modern day malady. At the end of each chapter is the summary highlighted in a box enclosure.
The language is very simple and beautifully rhyming. Some of the lines can make great pin up quotes on hardboard or can serve as our status to inspire us.
A few lines that inspired me are..
“A simple mind accepts the unchangeable reality, whereas a complex mind dwells on it indefinitely creating immense negativity”
“letting go at the right time and in the right mood allows you to blossom without hindrance. Either that or you shrivel in self-pity”
“Real perfection of a man is to find joy in accepting his imperfections as potential for his growth rather than as a source of his fears”
Like I mentioned, the book has many short stories embedded and while the author has elaborated the stories, situations and characters in many chapters, he has also missed completing them or he must have taken for granted that the reader knows the story. For instance, in the chapter “ A story about communication”. He talks about Kanika neeti in which Kanika convinced Duryodhana to have faith by narrating the story of a fox that tricked its four friends to part wth their share of the hunt by its cunningness. Elaborating the story crisply could have helped correlate the situation. The author says this story was the inspiration for the infamous gambling match. This passage left me curious to know what the fox story was.
Otherwise, this is a marvelous book that takes us by the hand to deal with modern day situations. This book(279) is certainly not a one time read and has to be a part of our personal library and has to be picked up from the bookshelf often to absorb the brilliant insights.