Examined Life?

The legends of philosophy and spirituality have one thing in common apart from their weirdly grown long white beards. They recommend an examined life. To savour the infinity in the present moment and live in deep reflections and ruminations.

But even a 5-minute meditation done over an app or contemplating about life’s purpose while having your coffee reveals the beauty and the beast, the sun and the moon, the light and the darkness of it all. It holds a yin-yang that delights us with a sense of calmness and dazzles us with the ugly dissatisfaction of life.

Conscious living is hard. It reveals the hallowed nature of life and makes us scratch our heads on the “Whole point” of this existence. This is fine and we can tolerate it.

However, past the 5-minute timer, the examination uncovers our own life’s shortcomings. The insecurities, anxieties, emotions all come for a ballet dance and play on the tunes of “pity” streaming in the neurons of our mind.

It’s like walking on a hotbed of coal or get repeatedly stung by a hornet. Why go after these musings? Just for a temporary soothing?

That turns us into the woods of unconscious living. This too has its shortcomings. It’s easy to get by in this mode but after a while, it becomes robotic and repetitive. You become a passive boat wandering in the waters of weariness. One eventually becomes a bystander and a nodding machine to the choices of life.

There is no juice left in the fruity life. Just counting seconds in a zombie state.

In the end, both states are hard thorny roads to make a living. The way ahead could be a conscious-unconscious or unconscious-conscious mode. But then—()


3 Ideas from Brendon Burchard To consider Now

Brendon Burchard is regarded as the world’s leading high-performance coach and an excellent writer who topped the New York Times list of best-selling books 3 times. He is often quoted, googled, watched, and googled on the internet by productive bees who want the best in their life.

His online courses, videos crossed millions and Oprah Winfrey considers him as one of the most influential personal growth gurus of all time. Most people know him through the Brendon show, a wonderful podcast if you want to listen.

There’s a ton to learn from him and here are a few of my favorites—

  • 1)Owning Ambitions 100%

Brendon says that most people never own their ambitions 100%. This is a powerful idea and a truth. We usually own it a 50-60-70%. For instance, you want to write a book, run a blog, make YouTube videos and inspire millions of people online and you invest your resources and time on it but we do it half-heartedly. We don’t accept it but deep down you know it in your bones. I failed many times to do hard things like building a rock-solid body, write a novel. Sure, there are many reasons why I failed but after a lot of reflection, I think Brendon is right.

With just 60% ownership and liking, dreams are hard to come by. So never do this mistake. Chase your dreams only if can own them 100%. Here’s a nugget for you—
“personal power is directly tied to personal responsibility, which most people avoid.”(Brendon Burchard)

  • 2)Guilt is good

Brendon comments that guilt is a sign of learning and the first indication that you have a growth mindset. Trust me if you don’t feel guilty after binge-watching that Tv series all night, there’s something seriously wrong with you. Or you failed to make that blog post deadline possible, you should think and feel about it. That’s how you realize what your next baby steps are.

I always feel bad when I procrastinate on my Wednesday essay day. But guilt makes sure that I write the next day itself. Own guilt and achieve your dreams by course correction.

  • 3)Teach to generate positivity

“You have a clean slate every day you wake up. You have a chance every single morning to make that change and be the person you want to be. You just have to decide to do it. Decide today’s the day. Say it: this is going to be my day.”—Brendon Burchard.

Every morning is a choice to bring positivity to your life. No one can come inside your head and clean it. And positive thoughts won’t come unintentionally. You have to do it deliberately. That’s because the human brain is hardwired to create fear and anxiety. So the machine’s job is to constantly chase you down with 0% probability issues.

This man is worthy to be followed and take note of him. Go ahead. Great ideas can move you, only if you let them.


The Song of Awareness(Poem)

Sit
Stand
Sleep
Doesn’t matter for the seer.

Breathe
In
Breathe
Out
Doesn’t matter for the Brahman(divine).

Scriptures
Sayings
Solitude
Doesn’t matter for the seen.

Mind
Meditations
Maya(Illusions)
Magic
Doesn’t matter for the mystic.

Prayers
Poems
Philosophies
Doesn’t matter for the pilgrimage.

Penance
Priests
Punditry
Doesn’t matter for the path.

Guru
Gods
Gestures
Doesn’t matter for the grace.

Faiths
Formulas
Frequencies
Doesn’t matter for the flowering.

Knots
Knowledge
Kindness
Doesn’t matter for the king.

Happiness
Habits
Heavens
Doesn’t matter for the hermitage.

Semen
Sacrifices
Sobriety
Doesn’t matter for the spirit.

Idolatry
Ideals
Identities
Doesn’t matter for the immortals.

Holy dips
Hippie trips
Hefty lips
Doesn’t matter for the hell.

Unlettered
Unwise
Unafraid
I ferry
into the kingdom
humming the lord’s name.

—Ehipassiko(Come and see)
—Yatha-bhuta(see things as they are)

—Drunken Monk(Under the holy warmth).




A Ring(Poem)

Long ago
there was a ring
that changed many hands.

Rumors came in
that the ring healed
the hearts of men and women
who puts it on index finger.

Then the fights came in
all died except one.

That single man on the earth
wore it
and healed his heart in all happiness.

—Drunken Monk.


The Aristotle code in 3 sayings.

Aristotle, the greatest student of Plato and the man who tutored the famous Alexander can teach us a lot. He is the father of many disciplines—Logic, Political Science, Zoology, Rhetoric and a whole bunch of others.

And Aristotle is probably the greatest philosopher of all time and a polymath who surpasses all and hence a worthy man to look into. Let’s dive in—

  • 1)Golden Mean in life

“Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. There is an addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is an addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.
Avoiding both these extremes, the Perfect One has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment.”—Buddha.

Aristotle and Buddha have something in common. That is the Middle way or the Golden mean. It is a powerful spiritual tool and a practical way to live life.
The mean path says to avoid extremities in life. Not to be a Hippie avoiding life nor a Materialist who’s sucked into life. Not to be a Moralist who doesn’t care about money nor a Capitalist whose life is run by dollars.

In life, not to show cowardice nor rashness but a sign of reasonable courage, And balancing passions and reality. The idea is neither to be in excess nor deficiency but moderation.

Next time, someone snaps at you, don’t be silent nor dynamite exploding on him/her but deal it with reasonable disapproval.

  • 2)What is good parenting?

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”—Aristotle.

The Greek thinker opines that good parents educate children and that’s the only property that they can give which is worthwhile. A good inheritance is worthless unless your daughter is a woman of character and has prudence and probity.

Parents should teach what a good life is and how to be more empathetic and avoid being envious of others. And how to be more courageous, intelligent and compassionate.

A good education imparts humility and many virtues that act as a shield to evil vices around us. It shows how big a responsibility being a parent is and what matters to a child’s good governance of his life.

  • 3)Intellectual Humility

“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” —Aristotle.
Bertrand Russel, who’s another giant head, wittily said that stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

Once you have a cultured tongue and a reasonable amount of ideas in your head, that should not make you arrogant. We mortals can never knowledge that is full and complete. The more we empty the cup, the more we can fill as Bruce Lee would say. Despite so much advancement in science, we could not even unravel the nature of any single atom!

We are still 90% blind to reality and could just figure out some basic things to live.

Another part is to admit we are wrong. Graciously admit where you went wrong and how miscalculated the estimates and move on. Only cowards never accept the mistake. The brave and the wise know that out of 10 things we do, rarely the number crosses 1.

Still, doesn’t have the guts? No problem, at least be the criminal in your court of conscience and do the inner sentence.


My Brother’s Gift changed My Life—It’s a book.

My brother gave me “On the shortness of life” book to read a while ago. This book though a short one changed the course of my river. Seneca’s brilliant words pierced like a thunderbolt though I’m not a stoic as such.

I never knew that there’s such thing called as the “Art of living” until I met this great thinker. It inspired me, it brought an existential crisis to me, and in a way crucified and resurrected me.

And it also brought a sense of urgency to my hibernated-slumber life. And every page of the book washed my soul and put me in deep meditation and contemplation. Here are a few of them for you to burn the flame—

  • 1)Life is not short.

This sounds contradictory to the title of the book but this is the first truth that Seneca hammers on your head. He says—

“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. … The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”

We waste so much time on things that don’t matter or on things that don’t matter now. We feed on Insta posts, drink YouTube scrolls, and sleep on Netflix-ing. If that’s not enough, we binge-envy on others and reflect for far too long on why life sucks though we exactly know why it does.

In fact, we tik tok our lives and finally think on the death bed—How has life gone by?

That’s why Lucius Annaeus Seneca pushes you to grab hold of your time and act like a mortal who is a simple slave to the silly fates.

  • 2)What is the proof for a long life?

“Often a very old man has no other proof of his long life than his age.”—Seneca.

This is a saintly saying if you think about it. Long-life doesn’t mean we add more numbers to our life but add more meaning to them. Consider Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh who was hanged at 23 or Bruce Lee who died due to Cerebral edema(That’s what Wikipedia says) at 32, they didn’t become oxygenarians or nonagenarians but their life was well spent.

Both changed the world in ways we cannot. And that matters a lot. Mere existence and sleepwalking to our tombs won’t do any good either to us or anybody.

Every living minute of our life should have some wonder and awe like a shining star.

  • 3)Choose your parents

I’m talking about intellectual parents, not birth-parents. Seneca says that we can choose to be educated by brilliant minds and great thinkers of history.

History is full of philosopher kings and queens, realists and stellar rebels who can teach us a lot. In other words, you can choose your mentor and be a mentee by sitting in libraries or swimming in the pools of wisdom.

Pick the classics and have talks with Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir and forge yourself under their guidance and light.

“You should rather suppose that those are involved in worthwhile duties who wish to have daily as their closest friends Zeno, Pythagoras, Democritus and all the other high priests of liberal studies, and Aristotle and Theophrastus. None of these will be too busy to see you, none of these will not send his visitor away happier and more devoted to himself, none of these will allow anyone to depart empty-handed. They are at home to all mortals by night and by day.”—Seneca.

This is the true “Walking with the dead,” we all should do.


Death(Poem)

Death is
the crescendo and the zenith
of life’s wave.
The crest and the final spring
of soul’s journey into the
stars and the stones.
No, it’s not a pale poem
or a coldly thing
but a redolent perfume
perfected by the
the flowering of finished fates.
The captain did not
leave for a final dignity or
damnation to stay with phantoms
but just took a tiny repose
in the synchronous unity,
to again give ear to
the primordial songs of silence
and the melodies of the multitude.
it’s not martyrdom
not a flight into oblivion
just a
post carted by the continental
and the maritime air masses
to the infinite.
A small pause in the
comet’s cruise.

—It’s not the end, for sure.

4 Things Bruce Lee wanted you to know.

Bruce Lee, the name that needs no introduction. A world-class martial artist and surprisingly a world-class philosopher too. Time magazine named lee one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.
We still binge-watch his movies and get dazzled by his cool moves.

But it’s time to dive into his enigmatic, jaw-dropping philosophy that can change our lives.

  • 1)Emptiness, the starting point.

“In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all of your preconceived fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is so useful? Because it is empty.”—Bruce lee.

Bruce Lee is famous for this empty cup analogy that he picked up from zen philosophy. This one is a stunner concept to adopt in our life. With a fixed and overflowing mind, all you have are preconceptions, prejudices, and stereotypes. You are never in student mode and this stops learning and growing.

With a full cup, people are not ready to learn but only want to defend their ideas and position. This rigid mindset will limit us and confine us to the cup, like a frog in a well.

  • 2)Flow is the way of life.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” —Heraclitus.
Heraclitus also says that change is the only constant thing in our lives.

This was well adapted by Bruce lee in his life. Like water, he asks us to be in a flow, ready to accept the object that gives it the shape and form.

Everything passes away or as Shakespeare puts it in Hamlet—This too shall pass. That sad breakup hangover is not going to last forever and that happy feeling of job promotion also will not last either.

Stay with the change and you shall grow. If you obstruct the water, you become rusty and polluted.

  • 3)Concentration is the root.

“Concentration is the secret of strength.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Bruce Lee sees concentration as the root of all the higher abilities in man. As technology is growing at an alarming pace, our concentration abilities are falling off the cliff.

As the famous study points out we have an attention span less than the goldfish. After just 8 seconds, we are distracted away. That’s why it has become hard to do meditation even for 5 minutes regardless of the app we use or the program we enrol into.

Humans have built civilizations and now are venturing into space to colonize them. But if we cannot compete even with a goldfish, then the problem is too serious to ignore.

Master the combative arts of Lee but first, be attentive.

  • 4)The point is doing.

“The doer alone learns.”—Bruce Lee.

The only thing that matters is action and nothing else. The mere talk will not bring accomplishments and lee says that the surest way to learn something truly, that is, to get master knowledge not chauffeur knowledge, as Charlie Munger says, is to get some real action.

This is also supported by science—the way of kinesthetic learning. Hands-on learning by action helps a lot more than you assume.

Moreover, action can be meditative and acts as a medicine and antidote to our thought paralysis. Action liberates the soul and gives you strength which the thoughts cannot, no matter how noble they are.

welcome the way of the dragon.


These 5 Rules changed “How I see the world.”

Some pills are hard to swallow but only once they get into the system can we grow high in life. We all want to touch the sky and get into that 1% league, for that more than anything we need to first embrace their mindset and then the skill-set, heart-set, and spirit-set, as Robin Sharma puts it in his “5 A.M.Club.”

These truths are not for doubters but for ready embracers who are filling to find their “Ikigai” in life and get unstuck of the rut they are in.
They are discomforting to the core and can unleash mental vomit.

Nonetheless, if you are someone who can and want to endure short-term pain for long-term pleasure, then they are for you.

  • 1) You should be able to handle the criticism.

Nicholas Klein, a trade union activist, said in a 1918 speech, saying, “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments for you.”

The world is full of Skeletors who want to pull you down no matter what you do. It’s a lifelong tussle and hassle that never stops. Get this into your head—you will be judged even when you do the noblest of things in the universe.
Even if people don’t do that, circumstances will belittle you. Bad finances, bad health, unsupportive partners all come like a storm ready to lift off your pale foundations.

Your baby steps will be hunted down and stopped like highway patrol police. You want to chase your dream but your boss nags you with deadlines that don’t matter.

No, energy will not support you either. You are not a sun to constantly get the support of photons to shine on. And you won’t find any ladder that can pull you up.

The fact is this B.S. doesn’t stop and you should bury this truth deep down in your neural space. The law is—things get worse and worse just at the time when you feel that things are getting a little better.

The good thing is you are not alone and you never will be. Even Buddha had got meditation issues. So when you can’t justify that headspace subscription, don’t worry.

Johnwick has them, Thor has them, and Thanos had them. They all struggled and are struggling to get what they want.

Your job is simply to find a way around, find that little start around that problem. This is not idealism but very very practical. No matter what, it’s your job and your job alone to pull off that rose-tinted glasses and search for a solution like Tintin or Sherlock.

This is easy once know that—
1)shit storms come at you
2)I should not be surprised
3)I Simply need that one way out and one hook that I can hang on to.

Look, it’s a skill that we master over time. You need to be aware of this. Only after Nth time we get knocked down, we scrape the surface of it.
Put that helmet on and you will be safe.

  • 2)Idealism happen to exist only in books.

You never get to choose in life. I’m not talking about your coffee or clothing choices but the life-changing ones, if you know what I mean.

You prepare for the test but the questions are off the chart. You do an all-nighter yet the presentation doesn’t impress the clients.

You think merit alone matters but injustice waits around the corner wearing many hats—racism, harassment, and whatnot.


“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” That’s Lao Tzu for you. Yes, the old man got the message.
Accepting what is, is not some esoteric-philosophical-fresh from ass wisdom. The point is you cannot do anything else.
Yes, we need more money in the account. That’s not happening anytime soon. Yes, you were promised a promotion but it slipped away. And Yes, you of all people deserve a big success but I’m tired of using buts here.

it’s more than clear now that reality differs from movies and fairy tales.
Chris got it in “The pursuit of happiness” finally, however, it’s not for us.

What should we do—save the shit for yourselves and save the mental energy. Whining and Weeping hard only makes things worse.
1)Correct flaws, if any.
2)Wait for the next opportunity.
3)Stick for a long time. In other words, the “Persistence.”

  • 3)Messiah is not coming for you.

Mentors won’t come for you. The dream job won’t fall in your lap and no leader or government will come to save your little ass.

As Winston Churchill remarks—the price of greatness is responsibility.
No Jesus is coming out to change these bad fates for you. It’s been 2020 years and that’s long enough proof for you.

The employer won’t magically recognize your work and give that raise that you’ve been eye-balling. The point is you alone are responsible for your growth. No devil demon is haunting you and no sweet angel wants to help you either.

Accepting this is kind of liberating. And no need to search for blame-shifting. Recognize that you are the trouble maker and it’s you who sabotaged it.
“Only you can pull yourself off the hell.”

  • 4)Regrets kill you, like for real.

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.”—Fulton Oursler.

This self-crucifixion doesn’t move the needle much. Yes, you couldn’t put the efforts that were needed into that job interview and yes, you couldn’t read much when you were supposed to in college.

But that shit happened like aeons ago and you’re still pity-partying over it. Now, that kills your now and future. Do you really think your ideals made this far without mistakes? Are you really that naive?

No one rejected you, they rejected your idea in that sales pitch. No one said “No”, they said “No” only to your mediocre version. How you handle it depends entirely and almost entirely on your ego.

Use the rejection to bring out the best in you.

  • 5)Luck never finds you, at least not in my case.

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”—Benjamin Franklin

Only by regularly working and knocking on every damn door you can find makes you lucky. This means getting lucky is some very ass-hardening stuff.
Newton saw the apple and could find gravitational stuff only because he’s been into it for years and aha-moment came to him when that red thing fell on his head. That’s it, I promise you there’s no divine intervention here.

Inspiration comes only through perspiration. So, don’t get fooled when someone utters the word inspiration from their shiny mouth.
it’s very logical if you can wrap your head around it.

Blogging ideas come only when you constantly blog. Poetry comes when you always read and write poems. The interview offers come only when you apply for lots of them and do your networking thing.

Finally, I leave this hard burning quote so that your hearts never find sleep by Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”