As I am writing this blog at Bangalore/Bengaluru, I can recollect most of my experiences over the past 5 years at Japan. Since I would like to write it in a single blog post, will highlight only the important points. I had been to Japan earlier as well on work but the learnings were much more significant this time. These five years that I added to my life was filled with experiences that opened my eyes to the person that I wanted to be. This is concerned about self development and has nothing to do with learning Japanese culture or travel.
I was not much familiar with this word 5 years ago. But today if you ask me about it, I can say it to be one of my sources of strength to overcome life’s challenges. As all the learnings in Japan were self taught, even spirituality was self taught, the source being online videos. If I recall the starting point of my spiritual journey, I can only remember my curiosity for new things that guided me into it.
Videos of many highly knowledgeable spiritual teachers can be found online. Till now I have been influenced by the lectures on Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Swami Vivekanandas teachings, Karma yoga etc. I still remember spending one of my Japan long holidays on a lecture series on mind control that was based on the ancient scriptures.
Spirituality will give us the inner strength to overcome hardship, thus enabling a positive outlook towards life. Spiritually strong people can find meaning and purpose in difficult situations that enables them to endure, bounce back and lead happy lives. Spiritual practices like meditation, yoga, prayer or even journaling have proven to promote physical or mental wellness. I only wish that I had known about spirituality much earlier in life.
Meditation and Yoga
I have made this a separate topic as there is too much to write about. First let me take up meditation. I still remember the way the started meditating. I used to turn on a guided Vipassana meditation video on YouTube and start meditating. I made it sure to select the shortest length video of 5 or 10 minutes. It was difficult to sit with the eyes closed and focus even for such a short time initially. Earlier to starting meditation I had listened to numerous podcasts about people meditating for 45 minutes to one hour. I was amazed as to how anyone could meditate for such a long time as it was difficult to sit even for 5 minutes.
I made it a point to atleast meditate for 5 minutes daily, initially with the YouTube video and later with the audio version of the same. Once i got a hold on meditating for 5 minutes, increased the time to 15 minutes, initially with the guided meditation audio and later with a timer of 15minutes. As I got hold of meditating for 15 minutes with the timer on, I slowly started meditating without the timer. Gradually my meditation shifted from being time focused to being calmness focussed. This meant that my meditation time increased to 30 minutes and sometimes 45 minutes as well. On hectic days to reach the calm state with very less thoughts it would take a longer time and on not so hectic days the calm state was reached much earlier.
Till now I had mentioned about my journey from being an alien to meditation to becoming a consistent meditator. It is really important to highlight what I gained from meditation. Its been more than a couple of years now and I can feel the calmness of my mind after meditation. I am able to concentrate more on any activity I take up. I am able to be more aware of my thoughts and actions. Among other benefits, handling situations and people better, handing stress better are a few of the things that I can highlight.
Yoga practice is the only topic here that is not learnt newly but rediscovered. I got trained on yoga long back but discontinued it somewhere down the line. However, more than three years back I started with a short version of suryanamaskara to start with and slowly added other asanas, meditation. As far as I can remember, the office start time offered some flexibility that led me to start with the morning yoga practice. Later on as I changed company, the office start time flexibility was not there. But, I made it a point to get up early and keep up with my morning routine. The benefits of yoga is known world over. I feel good that I rediscovered the practice that has helped me to stay healthy.
As mentioned in the About me section I am doing serious journaling from the past 3 years. I have tried to publish atleast one blog per month on this career blogging site. The effort gone into writing each and every blog was immensely satisfying. The learning curve has only increased since I started blogging.
Apart from the career blogging, I make it a point to journal at the end of each day. This journal will include major activities of the day, issues encountered and the next day major activities. This is extremely helpful to focus my thoughts on things that I want to achieve. It is a known fact that the ancient Greek emperor and Stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius used to keep a journal. Many Stoic philosophers used to journal as a means of improving different areas of life. Now the same technique is used by many successful people world over.
Health and Nutrition
Like the other topics in this post, I started focussing on health and nutrition from the past couple of years. The trigger to this lies in the health podcasts that I used to regularly listen to. It is important to mention the before phase as well. Earlier, i used to follow a specific routine blindly that included a light and not so healthy breakfast, not so nutritious lunch and a heavy dinner. At present, I make it a point to intake nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner. My quest to become healthy started with the podcasts and is still continuing in the form of online videos as learning never ends. That too in this covid-19 pandemic time, building immunity is of highest importance.
I will move on to another topic of periodic health check-up. In Japan there is a rule that every working individual should get themselves checked yearly once. I missed out on the health check-up for the years 2019 and 2020 due to some reasons. When I checked myself in the year 2021 I had myself to blame. Even though I had focussed so much on health and nutrition the test results told me that I need to learn more. One more learning I got was to never miss on the yearly health check-up wherever you are.
This is an invaluable skill that I could gift myself through the process of continuous learning. Right from our childhood we are moulded based on the surroundings we grow up. This happens unconsciously. When we grow up we carry most of the trait that we learnt in the childhood which may be good or bad. Since most of us are in an auto pilot mode we perform almost all of our actions in this mode.
The moment you become aware of your thoughts and actions is the moment of awakening. You start unlearning the unwanted traits and activities you have been practicing all through your life. Being concious is being more responsible for your actions. You are not controlled by your mind but you are in control of your mind and actions. I have no words to thank the spiritual gurus who opened my eyes. Also in this electronic era, mind control techniques are improving day by day. As mentioned in “21 lessons for the 21st century” book, governments and companies are remote controlling people. If we become concious of our thoughts and actions we can decide for ourselves what is right for us and avoid being remote controlled by devices.
Further Reading :
Leave a Reply