Chapter 6 of the Bhagvad Gita (a 700 verse Hindu scripture) elaborately discusses the Mind. “He who is the master of his mind is a sage, while he who is a slave to his mind is a fool.”
ie. if one controls the mind and channelizes its energy into positive actions, it can create a fulfilling life, calm and creative. Think of the great artists, writers and engineers who single pointedly focused and put their energy into a positive goal. If one cannot arrest the monkey mind it will be drunk with the wine of desires, quotes Swami Vivekanandaji and Adi Shankaracharya, the great Hindu philosopher and saint compares the mind to a huge Tiger, lurking in our backyard!
Covid 19 lockdown time has brought upon all of us a ‘new normal’ and each of us has a story to tell. A change of mindset and positive thinking is necessary to tide over these challenging times. Those who are blessed financially and health wise have been lucky, but I send out a prayer each day to the needy, aged and below poverty line people. Lockdown has become our new teacher, in a new garb of technology. Keeping the mind calm and well fed with nutritious thoughts will help us pass through the day.
Change is the only constant in Nature.
Has sheltering at home become a cramped, claustrophobic space or a time and space to bond with family, share household duties and learn some new hobbies? How has this time impacted you? What have you done for a change?
Initially I was restless, always waiting to pack my bags to visit family. Retirement and lockdown created frustration, anxiety and a sense of ‘whats next’? It brought me SO MUCH free time, I did not know how to channelize it (other than just house duties and exercise). Well, “stash away those bags and dig open my craft and hobby materials”‘ I said to myself. Get going, stay calm, be happy for what you have NOW!
Having a hobby to focus on forces us to take a break from stressful activities and negative thinking. Without a reason to take a break, we may unwittingly overwork ourselves to the point of exhaustion. Indoor hobbies do wonders for children too – drawing, craft, reading is much better than staring at gadjets. Studies have shown that the best hobbies for reducing stress include knitting, gardening, reading, and yoga. At our home, hubby digs up soil and feeds the plants in the garden, I calm down with Nature craft.
What is your hobby? How do you feel when engaged in it?
Here is my lockdown project inspired by our blossoming garden. An old silk saree is being converted into a day quilt, lined with an old bedsheet. Old is gold (memories)…and incredibly soft!
Another ongoing project is editing my older posts. Phew! as a novice, 5 years ago the posts written have no clarity of thought, nor a good flow of language. Well, I’m glad to have come out of the cocoon into an emerging butterfly! Thank you dear readers. I now have over 250 followers and more than 40 narratives about various markets I’ve visited. It makes me more responsible to write better, isn’t it?
My trip down memory lane brought out few posts, dear to me and friends, as I edited. Remembering those far away travels, meeting friends who hosted and cooked for us, surely they were a beacon of light on our travel journey.
With Zoom, whatsapp, Insta, Meet/hangouts and other online portals coming up with a variety of free classes in Art, Music, pencil sketching, Scriptural discourses and story telling sessions, it’s a whole new ‘virtual’ world I have been swimming in – I even got Zoom fatigue within few weeks, felt dizzy staring at the screens, and saving multiple passwords. Haha…
That brings me to story telling via Zoom. Now that real-life classrooms are shut down for a while, rural children in India are being ‘virtually’ engaged by NGO’s and other tellers. I climbed onto the train journey to keep connected with story telling, rural children and technology. It did feel weird without hearing any noisy distractions from children, rather it was ‘use the chatbox to put your comments, or type raise hand or thumbs up’ Engaging or disengaging interactions? What are your experiences using virtual classrooms and meets?
Here are a few links for stories I told:
Panchatantra wisdom tales,
Sang Kanchil, the clever mouse deer @Malaysian animal stories DashaAvatara of Krishna @ mythological stories
Australian aboriginal tales of Krangalang the crab and Tiddalick the greedy frog.
These are some drawings made by children, using Aboriginal theme of painting with dots.
What books or podcasts have you been listening to?
Do you have any story /link to share with us from your culture?
That’s all for now. Stay safe, stay positive, be productive.
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal.
Not to people.