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BOOKS ARE MY PASSION !

 





Book Exhibitions are always an important itinerary of my life. These are the annual rituals in most of the major cities in India.


Over the years, some great books have changed the trajectory of my life.  It is immaterial whether you purchase a book or not, but a visit to a Book Exhibition will definitely give a gusto to the soul.

When I visit Book Fairs, I feel  that I am in a pilgrimage.  My relationship with books is eternal. They are my friends, companions, philosophers and mentors. In short my craving for a good book is self-driven !!

SUCCESS SAGA : ORISON SWETT MARDEN

 

He is the mountain of wisdom and documented  the success sagas of many giants of world.  This 20th century personality development guru is responsible for New Thought Movement of America. His unparalleled insights on life through his writings lift even the dud.

I was introduced to  his literature  while I was reading   ‘ Awaken the Giant Within', the much acclaimed work of Tony Robbins, sometime in 2004.

 Mr. Robbins needs no introduction as he is one of the America's top most personality development gurus and has a reputation of conducting courses on 'Fire Walks'.  I was awestruck when I read the following fiery quote of Marden :

Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers,
powers that would astonish him that he never dreamed of
possessing; Forces that would revolutionize his life,
if aroused and put into action.

The above quote invigorated my perception of life. When it comes to his groundbreaking works, I could say that his magical words mesmerize the readers instantly to unlock their inner potential. His selective phrases and apt adjectives fit the context like colours and shades in a fabric. After reading  the  Marden, my level of enthusiasm grew manifold.   Marden's life story itself is very interesting. A medical doctor and successful hotelier, he devoted his career to writing inspiring books. He founded Success Magazine in 1897. Marden believes that our thoughts influence our lives and our life circumstances.

His famous books include "Pushing to the Front, Cheerfulness as a Life Power”. His sublime narrating style triggers so many positive thoughts and his laborious task of culling out the wisdom of past centuries is above board. All his books are must read ones which  can be freely downloadable from the web.

After reading a few of his books, I feel that no new book needs to be churned out in self help category as abundant efforts had already been made by Marden. So when you are in low spirits and searching for a pill to put you back on rails, turn to Marden's treasure trove.

MEDITATION FOR QUALITY LIFE !

 

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.
                           - Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Meditation is a state of restful alertness. It is the art of taming your mind without any manipulation. American Cardiologist Herbert Benson, M.D., a pioneer in meditation research, reported that Buddhist monks are capable of raising their body temperatures in near-freezing weather to the point that they are able to heat up and completely dry ice sheets wrapped around them.

Dr. Mani Bhaumik, whose book " Code Name God' is Los Angeles Times Best-seller says that Meditation is , by the way, also the mind's most blissful state, as evidenced by the significant rise of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain chemistry of deep meditators.

Our daily lives put us under enormous stress affecting physical and mental well-being. 90% of diseases are caused by stress. Latest studies reveal that our very chromosomes are affected by stress which cause us to age faster.

Scientists find an extraordinary wear and tear of telomeres of people who are leading stressful lives. Telomeres are in fact the end tips of chromosomes, little caps that protect our DNA. Telomeres play an important role in cell division and get a bit shorter every time a cell divides. There is an enzyme called telomerase which maintains and repairs the telomeres, prolonging the life of our cells. An exciting 2010 study shows that people in an intensive meditation practice had greater telomerase activity in their immune cells than those who did not meditate.

Published research reveals that a regular practice of meditation for 5 years will reduce your chronological age by 12 years. Its benefits include lowering of heart rate, blood pressure and stress related hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the immune system and increased blood levels of serotonin. A consistent practice of meditation thickens the prefrontal cortex, the so called CEO of your brain.

Psychologist Roger Thompson says that the true nature of individual is emphatically non-individual. So simply sit quiet for 20 minutes daily at appointed time so as to get inner serenity with a wide range of health benefits. While sitting for meditation, ensure that you wear loose-fitting clothes and be a witness to what is happening inside your mind.

Jiddu Krishnamurthy, the eminent Indian philosopher guides us to witness the mind and thoughts like a lizard on the wall. Don't attempt to stop or change the thought pattern and be a witness . Take a deep breath with eyes closed. The posture is simply sit on ground with folded legs and spine erect or sit comfortably on a chair.

Meditation facilitates you to concentrate your energies more on present moment than brooding over past or wavering for future. Dr. Bhaumik says that once meditation becomes a regular practice in your life, you become part of something much larger than your individual self. !

SLEEP WELL !



Who don't like sleep ? Nobody ! But, majority of people care little to this important daily ritual.

What is sleep ? It is defined as a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially shut off.

Though scientists have done considerable research on sleep disorders and sleep states in mammals including humans, there seems to be no clear-cut answer why 'sleep' is essential and continuous research is still going on.

Sleep is a natural restful state of body and mind. If you do your day's work to your best of ability, the psychological factors contribute to get a good sleep. In fact, your sleep cycles are in symphony with Nature's cycles.

According to Ayurveda good sleep is called Sukh Nidra. I see majority of people including myself don't take an afternoon nap due to which we look tired and facial gestures clearly reflect this. You must take at least 10 - 15 minutes cat nap in the afternoon to rejuvenate your body and mind. This nap is so essential for people who are in the mind-intensive works like scientists, journalists, writers, chauffeurs etc. That's why the internet giant Google has kept nap pods for its employees.

You can't lead your normal routine if you are sleep deprived. If you want to be healthy all through your life, you should not neglect sleep. Doctors advise us to retire to sleep at the same time in the night daily thereby body adjusts to the biological rhythms.

In fact, your quality of thought severely hampers if you don't sleep enough. An adult (18 plus) requires to sleep at least 7.5 to 9 hours. Health experts say that a healthy man with good sleeping habits need not require 'alarm' to wake up in the morning. Once, he completes his sleep, he automatically rises up effortlessly.

The hormone that is responsible for your sleep is melatonin. Each of your sleep cycle is a combination of both Non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and REM stages that lasts about 90 minutes. Hence when you sleep, keep your sleep time in multiples of 90 minutes. Suppose, if you sleep at 10 pm, you must wake up at 5.30 am invariably, because the 5th cycle of 90 minutes elapses at 5.30 am and sleeping beyond that time, you can't wake before 7 am.

When you understand the mechanics of sleep that dictates your body rhythms, physical and mental vitality blooms your life !