What exactly is meditation?

What is Meditation?

To begin with, meditation is the art and science of:

1) Deep relaxation; as achieved in ‘deep sleep’ phase to release gamma waves

2) Focusing the power of concentrated attention over a length of time.

3) Developing the art of reflecting the reality

4) Freeing one self from the vicious cycle of bodily feelings and thoughts that feed each other, creating mental and bodily chaos (quite often termed as diseases).

5) Enjoying creative intelligence every moment.

The different levels of meditation are as follows:

1. First level — deeply ‘relaxed mind.’ This brings down the cortisol level in the body, which in turn helps to bring down stress level to the smallest possible extent. This helps to bring down the chaos of the mind and body to a helpful level.

2. Second level — a ‘feeling mind.’ At this level we can ‘see’ the sensations that arise in the body. Pain and discomfort in the body are easy to notice at first. Later, with practice, we are also able to notice pleasure and comfort of love even in the subtlest form.

3. Third level — an ‘attentive mind.’ At this level we are able to connect different sensations and the corresponding thoughts to ‘see’ the essence of what is happening. This is the power of see or the power of concentration by which many things, we do, may be easily achieved or done with least effort and time. Helps us to be efficient in whatever we do.

4. Fourth level — a ‘silent mind.’ At this level we are able to disconnect the connections between bodily feelings and the corresponding thoughts that are generated or the thoughts that feed into the body. By this we free our selves from the vicious cycle of ever expanding thoughts and feelings that torment us. Thus we free our selves from mental sufferings. There are many benefits at this stage. However, the first is that of ‘improved health,’ – both mental and physical.

5. Fifth level — a ‘no mind.’ Having seen multiple perspectives and  having gained the ability to disconnect feelings from thoughts, we are now able to choose or select the right response or reaction for a given situation or context without falling back on old patterns of stored responses. It is also called the ‘enlightened state,’ of effectively engaging with the world.

6. Sixth level — a ‘zero mind.’ This is a state of complete merger with deep consciousness, which is generally available only in the ‘deep sleep’ state. (Those who take a high dose of medication and psychiatric medicines do not enter and enjoy this state at all in their sleep). This is the state of highest consciousness and intelligence. Everything seems to happen magically and effortlessly as demanded by a situation. We learn and unlearn effortlessly. We live and enjoy the joy of creative intelligence moment by moment or our existence. We are one with our true self.

Nice to read:

1. Gamma waves:

2. Brain behind Gut decisions:

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Perception, Sense-making, Enlightened Action

Right Perception and RIght Sense making are the fundamental outcomes of our cognitive ability that enable effective leaders take enlightened action. 

Possibly, most problems that we create through our actions are a result of wrong perception and wrong sense-making.

To me, Perceiving, Sense-making and Enlightened Action in life is something like this:

“Any real life System about which we care to perceive, make sense and take enlightened action, comprises of a meaningful set of ever changing and self transforming objects, diverse in form, complexity, state and function, interacting in periodic and aperiodic manner with each other and inter-related through multiple network of interdependencies through mutual feedbacks and signals thereby generating variable amplitudes of energy exchanged/transferred within variable/flexible space(s), mostly operating far from its equilibrium conditions; not only exchanging energy and matter with its environment but also generating internal entropy to undergo discrete transformation triggered by the Arrow of Time forcing it to behave in a dissipative but self organizing manner to either self destruct itself in a wide variety of ways moving towards void or create new possibilities in performance and/or behaviour from the void of creative potential owing to presence of ‘attractors’ and ‘appearance of bi-furcations’; thereby making it impossible to predict the future behavior of the system in the long term or trace the previous states of the system with any high degree of accuracy other than express it in terms of probabilities or possibilities since only the present state of the system might be observable to a certain extent and only a probabilistic understanding may be formulated as to how a system has arrived at its present state and what would keep it going, change or destroyed thus triggering creative human responses through right insights (not grossly based on emotions or thinking or memory) to manage, maintain and enhance system conditions, functions and purposes with minimal intervention to create superior systems of the future through enhancement of self organized interactions within and without the system interfaced with other connected, unconnected and overlapping systems operating within larger envelopes of human activity.”

Such a representation of an Perception, Sense-making and Enlightened Action looks quite involved.

Perhaps it might be stated in a much simpler ways but I would not attempt to do so since it would make it more complex that it should be.

Perhaps more can be said about resilience, agility, etc but I would not do so since those are really superfluous.

Perhaps more can be said about Black Swans and not so ‘black swans’ and predictions but I would care less to say so since saying more would be ‘redundant’.

The whole gamut of Perception, Sense-making and Enlightened Action takes place within five envelopes of human cognition, which are as follows:

1. Physical envelope

2. Energy envelope

3. Mental envelope

4. Wisdom envelope

5. Enlightened Action envelope

 

However, the crux of the matter is

1) how we ‘see’ reality (Darshan/Notice)?

2) how do we understand what the system is telling us (Sadhana/Engage)?

3) how do we create and choose our responses (Bhavana/Mull)?

4) how do we develop the necessary intention to implement our choices to life and living (Shankalpa/Exchange)?

 

notes:

1. Darshan, Sadhana, Bhavana and Shankalpa are Sanskrit words

2. The above post is an excerpt from or notes of a forth coming book “Leadership – The Nemetics Way!”

Model T in a Famous Hospital

Few days back my friend, Debu and I visited a famous heart hospital called Rabindranath Tagore Heart Research Institute in Kolkata named after the famous poet.

It was founded by Dr. Devi Shetty, a famous heart surgeon. Its team of doctors were top grade specialists. People trusted them for their skills and diagnosis. Even patients from the neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan & Pakistan flocked to the place patiently milling around to have themselves treated.

Started in the year 2000 it has acquired a formidable reputation. In little over a decade the place had an overcrowded look. With the ever-increasing stress of handling the ‘swelling crowd’ the smiles on their employees faces were turning into perceptible unwelcome frowns.

Big photo posters were displayed all around proudly showing their team of competent doctors loudly proclaiming the enviable number of successful operations and other procedures they carried out. It was a service replica of Ford’s Model T. The founder Dr Shetty prided himself for having applied that model so well in service of the people. A well-known national daily covered an interview with Dr. Shetty about his dedicated application of Model T in service industry.

Soon we were discussing with the chief administrator about their operations. He looked a bit worried. Other heart hospitals were coming up in the locality. Some of their patients were switching to their competitors. Many of their loyal patients stopped turning up. Some of their good doctors were leaving them. Profits were going down. And they wanted to boost their profits by opening similar facilities in other towns and nearby states. He wanted to know how we may help him keep their heads high and profits up.

It is at this point I asked, “Where are your research facilities?”

“Well, to be honest we dont have one”, he replied.

“But the name of your facility proclaims that so boldly”, I shot back with curiosity.

He looked blank, unsure of his response.

“Well that might just be the thing that you need to keep your heads high and profits up”, I quipped.

I think, one may choose to find out about anything. Whatever they find out would help them restrategize their business.

What is going wrong? How do they strategize? What else can they do? Any clue?

Risk and Resilience – Learning Complexity: Leadership Series 4

Here are 3 problems on risk and resilience to be cracked

Problem 1 — Situation 1

Suppose we are given the following facts/observation —

50% of new start-ups fail in their first year of operations.

50% of the balance start-ups fail by the time they reach their third year of operations.

Again 50% of the remaining survives the 5th year of operation

Then 50% of the survivors would go up to the 10th year.

Those who survive the first 10 years of operations live to flourish during the next 15 years without fail.

Now imagine that you are the head of an insurance group mulling over the insurance premium one should charge for different age groups. Further suppose that you are considering two age groups — a) 20 yrs – 30 yrs b) 50 yrs +

For which group would you be charging more premium and why?

Problem 2 – Situation 2 

Imagine yourself as a Jewish prisoner in one of those dreaded and hateful concentration camps. Day by day you start losing hope of survival. After months of inhuman torture you have almost resigned to fate.

Then suddenly one early morning with dawn yet to break out you hear some commotion outside your cell. A fellow prisoner comes and breaks your cell open. You and your fellow prisoners tumble out and join the growing force who overpowers the German soldiers and kill them.

The prisoners break open the gates and rushes out to meet the haze of a bleak winter morning. They start running on the only road they find that leads away from the prison. They know this road well. They know that if they keep running for another two hours they would be out of German clutches and find their way home. So they keep running.

On one side of the road there is a dense forest. And you know that you can make your way home through this dense forest. But you clearly don’t know the way out. However, you know that if you find the right path you would reach home in about 40 minutes to an hour.

You discuss with your friends the option. They refuse to take to the forest.

What do you do? And why would you be doing that?

Problem 3 – Situation 3

Suddenly your 86 yr old father suffers from intense breathing problem and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital. The doctor says it is serious and does not rule out the possibility of a heart attack. They recommend tests and procedures and ask for your consent whether they can do an angiogram and a by-pass if they find blockages.

You are aware of the following facts about your father: —

He has survived a bitter war.

He has survived a partition (India & Pakistan) at a young age and had to leave behind everything in East Pakistan to settle in a strange place.

Years back he had blockages of the arteries (about 70%) but then over a two year period the doctors found all arteries to be clean (0% blockage).

You know that blockage does not necessarily mean a heart attack. It has more to do with millions of special cells in the heart beating synchronously. Going out of sync might trigger a heart attack.

You see on the control monitor that it is a case of breathing problem.

What would you tell the doctor – to go for the angiogram or not? How do you come to that conclusion? If the decision is not to go for an angiogram what is your estimate that he would be back home safe after treatment of the breathing problem alone?