Name: Open – Eyed Meditations
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: FingerPrint Belief Publishing
Publication Year: 2016
Number of pages: 280
Price: 250 INR
My rating: 4/5
“Open – Eyed Meditations is a beautiful compilation of thoughts wherein each meditation takes you on a journey to the past, bringing a secret herb to heal a problem of the present.”
A true distillation of ancient wisdom tips for modern lives, this unique self-help book uses the wisdom of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to solve our everyday problems.
Beyond the storyline, something deeper is waiting to be discovered from these ancient texts. This book is an attempt to uncover the hidden layer of wealth that is cleverly packaged within the commonly known storylines.
What worked for Me (Woohoo!):
“Analysis leads to action, over-analysis leads to paralysis.” – One of my favourite lines from the book.
The first thing that got my attention when I received the autographed book, was the title of the book, “Open – Eyed Meditations”. All our lives, our minds have been conditioned into thinking that meditations must be done with our eyes closed, so that we can achieve the clarity in our thought processes and the peace that is so precious a commodity in the chaotic lives of ours. So when my eyes landed on the “open-eyed”-ness of meditations and then went on to read the rationale presented by the author, it literally did make my eyes open! The argument provided by the author is that, meditations need not be necessarily close-eyed, but rather open-eyed, so that we can observe and analyse the events going around us and embrace the lessons provided by the various teachers in our lives. Interesting, ain’t it?
Consisting of 64 chapters dealing with almost all questions of our lives, it gives a detailed examination of the queries that we all have at some point of our life, have tried to address but may not have found the correct outlet. This book tries to answer that all, with an interesting but delectable twist. Replete with suitable instances from Ramayana and Mahabharata, it provides so much of new information hitherto personally unknown along-with the philosophy, that it automatically sets this book apart from all other self-help books.
What did not work (Ouch!):
Despite the fact that this book is definitely one kind of a gem, there is one particular dissatisfactory element that I’d like to follow up with this review. I realise that in an attempt to make every chapter contain in its entirety both the philosophy and the examples from Ramayana & Mahabharata suitably aligned with it, the chapters naturally get loaded with heavy meanings. But that in itself, sometimes acted as a turn-off for reading the book. Personally, I couldn’t sit with the book for more than 1-2 hours of a day, as anything more than that was proving to be quite straining for the mind. I’ll be returning to this book time and again, sure, but I’d like to beware the readers who are looking for a quick read of the book, that this book won’t be easy.
Drum-roll: Overall Verdict
For readers who are looking to have a go at living yet again, this time maybe with a renewed philosophy full of quiet vigour, then this is the book for them. For readers who are looking for an easy quick read, this is not the book for you.
Personally, I don’t shy away from reading or being seen reading self-help books, but because some people do, for them, I’d like to suggest them to pick up this book as a philosophy book and not see it just as a self-help book. This book is as much philosophy as much motivation for a new lifestyle.