Book Review: Open Eyed Meditations by Shubha Vilas

Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Review: Open Eyed Meditations by Shubha Vilas

Meditation is said to calm you down, clear your mind and help you stay happy inside out. There are many saints who guide you towards that state of calm. There are umpteen apps out there to help you meditate too.

I have tried to meditate to accept things life offers that my psyche just simply cannot accept and digest. Instead of hurting myself through suppressed anger I have tried different means of meditation but have not been successful.

And then the title of a book really caught my attention - Open Eyed Mediations by Shubha Vilas

Open Eyed Meditation by Shubha Vilas
Open Eyed Meditation by Shubha Vilas

Now I always heard that for a successful meditation one must sit in a proper poster, close there eyes, focus on their breathing or listen or chant certain words. Someone suggesting that meditation could be possible with open eyes was intriguing.

What Shubha Vilas suggests is that meditation is really all about "perceiving deeper truths from within". I liked this idea, a simple approach that does not require any special setup. The book does not preach ways of how you ought to live. Instead it is made up of different chapters from situations we all face in our day to day modern life.

Each chapter picks up incidents from the Mahabharata and Ramayana to give us an insight into the problems we face. For instance we all know to some extent that suppressing your emotions in a relationship is not healthy for the relationship and even worse for the individual who is scared to open up. It shows that the person is not secure in the relationship. The author uses examples from Mahabharata to explain how suppression can be bad.

Open Eyed Meditations is not a book that gives you a method to solve your issues. Its a book that makes you see things that are apparent to you yet you ignore in your day to day mundane life. Things you are afraid to address not realizing that the fear is not solving anything, rather making your life stand still or go in vain without you having lived it fully.

You can pick up the book on any day and flip to the relevant chapter in order to calm your mind. There are topics that deal with love, jealousy, leadership and even festivals. There is an interesting chapter that compares the mind to a lion in a zoo "confined within boundaries of discipline". The story telling style is clean, simple and easy to understand. But there are layers of understanding that you can uncover as you delve deeper and imbibe each chapter.

Every chapter also has an additional summary section at the end. It captures the essence of the topic at hand. This book is not about finding a list of to-do actions - something like 5 best options to handle a situation. Sometimes when you are neck deep in a problem you need options that can help you take that one step towards a solution. But that is the whole point about meditation - taking your mind to a level where situations don't define you, rather you define how life shapes up in every situation.

I am going to keep this book handy, so that I can nourish my mind with the lessons hidden in this book, to exercise my mind into a state where these lessons become my guiding thoughts whenever I face a situation that today, is likely to throw me off balance.

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