Hack Your Time, Do More of What Matters

by | Aug 1, 2020

My longstanding friend and former CEO of HarperCollins for a decade, PM Sukumar, kept feeding me worthy reading material and last week, he shared an article by Dr Adam Bell about the hacking of one’s perception of time. After I shared the article with many, as is the trend these days, whatever you get – forward, I also read it keenly, something not many people bother to do, and indulged in ruminating upon it like even fewer people do. I am writing about it as I found it to be the real root of many of our problems, and the principal source of our dissatisfaction with life. 

We are all basically consciousness imprisoned into physicality. The eternal soul lives in a perishable body, which needs non-stop respiration and a thousand other internal activities to be alive. Surprisingly, all these activities are pretty regular and cyclic. Every minute, the heart pumps blood 72 times, circulating 5 liters of blood through the body. The lungs inhale and exhale 18 times, approximately the same volume of air. The entire blood in the body gets renewed every 120 days and all this happens, throughout our lives, most efficiently, independent of the watch and the calendar. These values of course vary from person to person but within a very narrow band.   

Now enters the mind, the slave of time. The mind is thought to be in the head, but actually it is a software operating all over our body – especially the gut, where billions of bacteria live – converting our food into nutrients and waste. These bacteria are not eternal but almost immortal; they are alive for billions of years and keep acquiring new human bodies to live and multiply. My friend, Dr Girish Sahni, Former Director General of CSIR and Director of the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), based in Chandigarh, tells me that there are ten times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells, using the human body to live safely and flourish. They also do not follow the time of the clock and whenever the mind forces food upon them, if it is not needed, they get upset, and even angry. 

So, the key to good life is freedom, even if it is not liberty, from the clock and the calendar, from the alarms and the deadlines and targets and schedules.

In Hindu philosophy, there is a principle of Rta (ऋत). It means order, rule or truth as one wants to understand it – the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it. Understand the time of the clock and the date in the calendar as measuring tools and as references to carry out the business of the world – hourly payments, daily wages, monthly salaries, quarterly returns on investments, annual increments, etc. A day in the school is divided into periods and children are expected to toggle from one subject to another by the sound of the bell.   

Disorientation of what we do with our biological rhythms, called Circadian Rhythms, is our chronic problem. The Circadian Rhythms respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the Circadian Rhythms.

As Adi Shankaracharya declared the cornerstone of Hindu philosophy – know this world as unreal and your soul as real – ब्रह्म सत्यं जगन्मिथ्येत्येवंरूपो विनिश्चयः – don’t allow the watch and the calendar to override the reality of your Circadian Rhythms. Yes, it is true that people have to work in night shifts, but they must be suitably compensated with less working hours and resting days, which is mostly not done, except in highly regulatory industries like the airlines. Resident doctors and nurses are even forced to do double-shifts by greedy hospitals, putting patients to the grave risk of errors in treatments. Most of the road accidents are caused by sleep-deprived drivers.   

Dr Adam Bell gives a modern version of “mindfulness” as taught by Buddha. He prescribes a 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise. Several times in the day, stop what you are doing, and “see five things” in your immediate vicinity; “be aware of four feelings” in your body (any itching, tense muscles, pain, pressure, whatever); listen to three sounds around you (your heartbeat, a bird chirping, a fan moving, a clock ticking); sniff the air for “two smells” you can pick up on (the aroma of any food or the fragrance of any flower); and finally, “taste one thing” you can have (a sip of water, for example). Doing this few times (say five times) every day will slow the passage of time for you.

Your life depends on your breath. Start counting your breath whenever you want to stop your mind from its excursions. Divide the time into small doses like we pour water from a jug into a tumbler, tea in a cup, soup in a spoon. Now examine every small interval. Is it worth spending this time watching TV, gossiping, reading the newspaper? Can you do something better? Go for a walk, take a nap! These two activities are much better than anything else people do. You will start changing and soon you will be doing only the task that matters in any individual time block. All other distractions will be discarded by you, yourself.

I am not asking you to be a hacker. I am telling to retrieve your reality that has already been hacked by the “world”. What we consider as our work, livelihood, business, are all means to live, not life. The purpose of human life is to flourish, to expand the consciousness further. How come you are reading my blog? Who created the Internet? Why are Adi Shankaracharya’s sayings heard and read even today? Why is Dr APJ Abdul Kalam loved and remembered by millions even after five years of his departure from this mortal world? Why do you cry while listening to good music? These are all examples of the expansion of consciousness.  

That consciousness is the Reality. When it enters a sperm and ovum fused together, it starts dividing the cell into a well-defined “Rta,” making a human body out of it. When it is separated from the flesh, the best of the doctors in the most equipped hospitals pronounce the patient “dead.” From where does Consciousness come? Where does it go? Nowhere, it keeps shifting!  This world is nothing but a simulation program where each player is free to make choices and score to reach the next level of the “game.” 

So, don’t allow your choices to be manipulated. Know yourself as an unchangeable eternal soul, now in this body, in this mental state, both temporary and changing every moment. This knowledge, this awareness, is what matters. The rest is time-pass, living a life hacked. 

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47 Comments

  1. Namaste Sir, So thought provoking. Time does run away without us fully being aware how much of it was utilized for worthwhile activities and how much wasted. Spending and managing time is also an art which very few of us possess. Thanks for bringing our focus on this very important aspect. Will surely try to follow it in day to day life. Best wishes and regards.

  2. Interesting.. Felt like a modern thinking way to age old meditation and self awareness / awaekning practices. Enjoy the moment doing something that will make you or the person around you better while giving you happiness and satisfaction.

    Om Namo Namaha

  3. A very useful article indeed. Sir, examining our time in every small interval is most useful. You told about this earlier, few years back in a class and I actually stopped watching TV, gossiping, reading the newspaper to great benefit. “Go for a walk, take a nap! These two activities are much better than anything else people do.” It is indeed true. The efficiency of the work significantly improves by this.

    I would like to add, or rather put a cherry on the top of the wonderful article, with a quote from the Buddha, “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded,” and add a few simple tips: feet on the ground, head to the skies, heart open…quiet mind. The picture on the blog says all this.

  4. Respected Arun Sir ,Thank you very much for such an intriguing ,interesting & insightful blog . This blog is blend of many discipline such as science, behaviour & spirituality etc. I read this blog few times but i realized to read it few more time because in every read , My understanding of it deepens.

    Sir today I learned new word Catch – 22 ,Then I further searched about it and Found it. In 1961 Joseph Heller coined it and wrote a novel. This blog and all many past blogs of your provides wisdom and deep insight to see possible way out from quagmire of lifes unreality. My heartiest thanks to all those who put their wise view , So that i can read & learn from it .

    Dear Arun Sir This blog and website of yours is becoming a hub of deep & diverse understanding of various aspect of life, Spirituality and Science.

  5. Nice article Sir. The issue at hand is that we are choosing to be consciously, unconscious of things happening around us, leave alone things happening within us.

    The 5-4-3-2-1 theory can be visualized as a traffic signal system which changes signals from red to amber to green in a cylic manner. So in life I presume one needs to be aware of the situation in front and act accordingly rather than cater to wants or expectations of the society as both more often seem to be misplaced fundamentally. No point driving when the signal is red assuming, nothing will happen as you do not see vehicles around. Truth is consciousness and the farther you run away from it or try to manipulate it for convenience, the more haunted and dissatisfied you get in life.

    Life is beautiful when you keep things simple. Simple does not reflect lifestyle but the inherent qualities that need to be imbibed to make it simple. Thank you sir for making the effort to make each one of us understand the spirit and essence of living life and move towards conscious filled meaningful life.

  6. A thought provoking blog with a fine blend of Science and Spirituality, Prof Tiwariji !

    Very well articulated the exploration of dimensions beyond physical to do more of what matters to grow from inside out !!

  7. Highly intellectual topic … I had to read it a few times and also read people’s comments so far, to comprehend it !! It is a very important topic for all of us , more so in today’s world where we allow ourselves to drift along and waste a lot of limited time in doing useless things. We never give a thought of distinguishing between “Urgent” and “Important” matters. As rightly pointed out by you, the amount of time spent on Television and social media is criminal.

    I came across the Principle of rta (ऋत) for the first time in the book शिक्षावल्ली (तैत्तरीय उपनिषद् ) written by P Viveksagar Swamiji. There is a whole chapter on it basically describes it as “Rules of God/Nature). We definitely need to go beyond the routine set by the world and set our own priorities as per our own Goal of life. The ultimate goal of a human being as meant by God also is achieve Moksha and our daily activities therefore must include our efforts towards this.

    While watching TV, we feel we have its remote in our hands,- actually it is other way round, our remote is in TV’s hand and it does not let us get up from it !! we have given our remotes in the hands of so many people and objects that we no more control ourselves !! We do not realize the importance of 1 (one) minute? If we count up to 60 , we will realize how much can be done even in a minute. Great people have accomplished seemingly impossible tasks in minimum time frame as they realized the importance of time

    As you have pointed out how many times have we enjoyed the surroundings and nature abundantly provided by God like bird’s singing ? Your article rings the alarm and makes us aware of taking a “pause” from time to time and ask ourselves a constant question like में क्या करने आया हूँ और क्या हो रहा है and accordingly we need to keep readjusting our chores.

    Thank you Arunji for raising awareness to such an important issue

  8. Thank you again Prof. Tiwari for a wonderfully written article. The competition for one’s time is much more intense in the modern era with distractions coming from all sorts. I’ve actually been thinking about this lately. Living a healthy life requires one to manage the task of time management with priorities. The practice of mindfulness described by Dr. Bell and others is indeed worth practicing. Praising God, eating well, exercising and taking care of family and friends is my current list of priorities. I’m finding happiness by following that list of priorities. What a wonderful thing God has created in the human body, mind and soul!

  9. A catchy title to this blog has the dramatic effect of rallying the wandering wits to read on and do a meditative probe. To me the blog contains the value of values governing man’s innate desire for fulfilled living. It heightens our deepest desire to live by passionate choices and not by force, apathy or fatalism.

    To live by choice is to break the chains and shackles off the minds to not become unthinking blobs of conformity and uniformity. It also means self-determinism to feel less trapped and more in charge of our lives and not be controlled or governed by those that live their dreams off the backs of others nightmares. The greatest challenge, therefore, in life is being yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.

    Time ticks, but living by choice is the art of ticking off time or transcending time in the purposeful path of manifesting our infinite and unbounded consciousness and potential, which is what we are in reality.

    The only freedom that is dispensable in life is not to escape the necessity of choice……

  10. Another interesting and intriguing blog, Its art to be learnt from you to how to write so beautifully keeping the reader busy until he finishes. This Lockdown period due to COVID-19 has given us a chance to hack our reality and get in touch with our soul. This article has given a great insight into life and how to spend the rest of our life, will surely try to do so.

  11. Title of Dr. Tiwari says it all. Each individual should do their best in utilizing their time following simple but powerful suggestions made here in this blog. Life will be very satisfying in achieving your goals / dreams you want in your life. But don’t  get disappointed if you don’t get there as planned. Many times we are not in control of external forces. Suggestions made in here, if followed, one can overcome these difficult times and achieve what you are set out to do in life.

    I was lucky to reach this far with some bumps and bruises (no regrets) and kept going in spite of many difficult situations with the help of family, friends, well wishers, Almighty God and the five principles outlined here. Thank you Dr. Tiwari for your help in many forms and want to dedicate our projects from organic waste to bio CNG that soon will be driving old diesel buses and bio fertilizer to the farmers in and around the project sites (we have two and going to the third).

  12. There have been quite a few sayings that we have been taught in early childhood on the importance of time such as “Time and Tide wait for none” and Kabir’s famous Doha काल करे सो आज कर. While most of us realize the importance of time, most of us struggle with how to use this invaluable commodity.

    This is especially true in this world of excess of information, endless to-do lists, numerous meetings … The most important thing to learn is the how to use time. This essential life skill if learnt early in life would allow us humans to accomplish much more and lead a life of balance contentment.

    Thank you so much for bringing our attention back to time and most importantly how do we hack it. Dr Adam Bell’s 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise is definitely worth practising.

  13. Thank you Dr. Tiwari Ji for your timely blog. It should be a wake up call for all of us. we owe a debt of gratitude for the eloquent article. There are many facets to your article.As health professional I noticed you mentioned about gut health. Gut microbe. Many people are not aware that all our bodily ailments are due to chronic inflammation including heart disease and arthritis.  we have limited time on this earth.we come into this world with our first breath and the last breath before we die. I recently learned from  a course Titled “Happiness” there are seven layers on the human being : Body,breath,mind,memory,intellect,self ego and perception [the five senses].What we need is harmony and harmony within our selves.Where we get our energy? Four items namely food, sleep, breath and mind.[calmness]. When we are calm or in meditative state we are creative.we can achieve this by our ancient breathing techniques[PRanayama] and mindfulness.] what is beauty/ It is God’s gift. What you do is gift to God. Divinity is around us{Nature}.AS you mentioned in your article enjoy the beauty the nature.
    Quote from SriSri Ravishanker.
    Clarity of mind; purity of heart
    sincerity in action God bless
    love, Kishan 

  14. Yet another excellent article by Prof. Arun Tiwari. Here are some of my thoughts on the issues raised in the article: ‘Life’ is there, only when you ‘live’. For living, the means of livelihood are necessary. They are essential to sustain a ‘life’. However, one should not become a slave of ‘means of livelihood’.

    Expectations, ambitions and aspirations are the elements, if unmet, cause misery. So long as these relate to existing realty, disappointments/dissatisfaction, to a large extent, can be minimized/avoided. One doesn’t have to be a slave of time, but for being disciplined, one needs to respect the time. Living in harmony with nature brings one closure to the spirituality and allows a better control on the software – the mind. The ‘art of balancing’ is the key to a happy and satisfied life.

  15. Thank you Tiwari sir for another gem of an article. Like rightly mentioned we are Souls having a Human experience. And this knowledge is experiential. As Adi Shankaracharya taught…Brahmam Satyam Jagat Mithya. The world as we perceive through our 5 senses is transitional. The entire drama is being played out on the unchangeable stage of the Soul (Brahm), which is but the abode of the Supersoul (Parabrahm). The entire game is played out to clear away any kind of illusory baggage which has collected itself on the Soul, such that eventually when the dust is cleared away, the Soul is totally in sync with its beloved the Supersoul.

    To recognize its Soul Nature, param pujya Pramukh swami Maharaj and param pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj teach us to ever maintain “Divyabhaav”, that is seeing each one you come across as a Soul. This practice over a period of time gradually leads one to the realigning with his/her True Nature. One then perceives Divinity everywhere,,,jahan dekho wahan Ramji dusro na bhaaye koi….and this experiential knowledge can really be fast tracked under the Guidance and with the Grace of a Satpurush. We are fortunate to have the Grace and Guidance of param pujya Pramukh swami Maharaj and now, param pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj, who with their Loving tutelage help us to understand this very knowledge in its True Essence.

    Thanks once again Sirji…it is indeed a Blessing to be reading your articles, Thank you,,,,Jai Swaminarayan 🙂

  16. Brilliant article, Sir! I am tempted to share some recent experiences, where life from the modern point of view broke down. But, perhaps, good living was retrieved — as life from our parents’ and grandparents’ era was somewhat revived!

    During the first lockdown in March-April, my refrigerator was not functioning and it couldn’t be repaired for obvious reasons. Whereas the first reaction was of panic, we soon adapted: Food couldn’t be stored, so we cooked only as much could be consumed in the same meal. It was peak of summer, so things would spoil fast. This also meant `managing’ raw vegetables and fruits — use those first that would spoil. Because of the lockdown, getting fresh vegetables was only weekly. When vegetables got over midweek we switched to making dishes with grains, and of course, different potato dishes. Milk was boiled twice or thrice daily so it wouldn’t go bad. No cold drinks, juices — only fresh lime! No jams, sauces, butter, ice-cream, in the absence of refrigeration. But we cooked up a variety of accompaniments and desserts so everyone would be contented — using mother’s and grandmothers’ recipes. We left water in flat-ish vessels under the fan, and it became pleasantly cool to drink. And so on…. many such things that were stored in the memory from the long-past eras. Most of these habits — managing, economising, eating freshly cooked, the long-lost recipes etc. remain with us even after the fridge became functional!

    Simultaneously, the food processor broke down; my fifteen-year-old son learnt how to knead flour and chop vegetables. The air conditioner and inverter also broke down; we picked up the habit of bathing twice a day. Along with it, developed patience and to bear with circumstances. Already working hard in the absence of domestic help, we may have been overworked, but the spirit of cooperation and the resilience and mutual bonds and respect that was developed in this period was priceless and irreplaceable. A long story, but the headline — “do what matters” — reminded me of how the `technology breakdowns’ amidst the lockdown helped us tremendously in retrieving what matters!

    Recently, my smartphone broke down. Smartphones are not just means of communication, but also our Everything, using which we run our lives: money, shopping, entertainment, news, keeping in touch with people, events…! Again, to cut a long story short, by the time the new one arrived, I had: a) learnt to do most things on the laptop (healthier than smartphone); b) given up mindlessly checking whatsapp, mail, facebook, etc. and writing distracted responses every few minutes; c) perhaps, because of point (b), I had less anxiety; d) I had more time on my hands, and so several long-pending tasks got done in the real, physical world, which gave me immense satisfaction; e) I realised that unnecessary social media and `mass’ communication was soul-less really; I decided to have meaningful contact with people instead. After a month when the new phone arrived, these habits were entrenched thankfully!

    As you have said, the clock, calendar, deadlines, targets and alarms, TV, gossiping have hacked our lives. But I realised in this period, that so have these gadgets that make our lives “easier”! They give us comfort and ease, but the free time we have is often spent on meaningless activities, leading to an overall unhealthy existence. Time to break these chains and reclaim our freedom! Let us restore our days to natural rhythms, natural clock and the natural calendar!
    Thank you for this wonderful write-up and the opportunity to share our thoughts!

  17. Prof Tiwari, Thank you for the reminder about life and our living in this world. Of a truth no human being existing today is here by chance and no human body is a product of an accident. The frame and function of the human machinery is precise and accurate, giving us an indication of the intelligence behind the Creator, this we call The Almighty, Omnipresent and Omniscient God.

    The writers of the Bible in several passages under inspiration have expressed the admission that without Him (God) nothing would have existed that exists if He never created it, David in Psalm 139 says as follows in acknowledging this fact:

    O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar….6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence…13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

    Our bodies as you correctly pointed, are non stop units of living complex apparatus, that provides us with the various capacities employed in discharging duties and various functions, when fed temperately according to the designed plan, they are capable of achieving great things, when abused they are capable of degenerating very fast into nothingness, while these facts are generally known it’s the attitude we carry about that leads to many uncalled for consequences, injury, ill health, injuries, diseases especially the non communicable ones let alone premature deaths.

    While each of us is in possession of the freedom with which to use their bodies, of importance is the accountability we need to give to ourselves and the people we live with, and more so to the creator.

    Our life span is finite, of a truth we impact our physical space in the time between our birth and death. This is dependent on the use to which we put our minds. Positive if we stopped to think before doing or not doing things, with respect to the prevailing circumstances and beings around us.

    May we be imparted with wisdom to live wisely irrespective of where we are placed or how much of our time has been hacked or not!

  18. Thank you Sir for sharing this thoughtful article. The thoughts described in the article are the exact thoughts I had when I did a 24 hour shift as a Casualty doctor. I had a dissociation from my body and was forced to think beyond what the eyes could see. To ponder upon the reality, the Consciousness.

    The Circadian rhythm as you described is an essential key to health. As per science, we define health not only as being physically fit, but also mentally fit. We are expected to maintain this rhythm as per the rules and protocols of our work place, But nobody teaches us how to do it. We dive so much into the worldly achievements that we cannot stop to admire the scenic beauty or the rhythm of our heartbeat. And on that day, after my duty, I did stop to notice the sunshine, to see the patients heal or try to heal and admire the complexity of the human body.

    The human body can be moulded the way we want. The mind is the most powerful form of consciousness. If we can control the mind rather than being slaves to it, we can achieve and be what we want to be. Your articles are a constant reminder on ways to control the mind and be at harmony with ourselves.

  19. Dear Arunji, thanks for this engrossing piece leading to many potential further explorations of various ideas from what I had initially felt was essentially a hack of the ancient wisdom from the sages of yore to suit the modern mindset that I had forwarded you. Dr Bell, as you say, has derived a version of Buddha’s mindfulness technique for today’s needs. Buddha’s version of witnessing the breath may be too much like navel gazing for contemporary worldview.

    Dr Bell’s 5-4-3-2-1 is about tethering yourself to the present moment, though it is also suggestive of a countdown to some blast to follow. But that unintended indication could well be a realised truth for its diligent practitioner!

    All the things that ever get done, get done in the present moment, so the more we are present to the now, the better, more efficient and satisfying our output will be. As the poet Kalidasa says, yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow a vision, but today well-lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. This may be the poet and mystic’s way of indicating that the present moment is the only reality and that the past and future are illusions. Time itself is unreal then and arises only from memories and hopes of mind and ceases to exist in the absence of memory or hope!

    What we think of as a past event could be currently happening now, except that it has moved in space away by about 186,000 miles per second (speed of light) since it was seen happening here by a bystander on earth! And if the bystander had also started moving at the same speed then, he would still be witnessing it in his ‘now’. Time is at standstill for him and he doesn’t age!

    To an extent, one can visualise the past as being present at another point in space as above, but the future presents a tougher imaginative excursion to visualise as current or present even elsewhere. The analogy of a bird’s eye view of a river might help. The river you see immediately below is the present, look upstream & the river you see is the past and look downstream and the river you see is the future. But both past & future are all happening now!

    Like time, space too is said to be unreal and a mind construct (as one may have suspect or expect from the examples above) to order & comprehend the world better: just a convention to navigate the world. In quantum theory for example, there is this ‘spooky action at a distance’ wherein two particles separated by a distance (or even a great distance like say one in Pune and the other on Pluto) behave perfectly in tandem (move one & the other moves identically) though there is no known way of signalling or communication between them across the gap separating them. They behave as if they aren’t separated. As if they are rooted in a more fundamental reality (the real reality?) where distance, or space, doesn’t exist!

    Einstein’s theory of relativity supports a concept called the block universe (of the universe being a four dimensional block) wherein the past, present & future exist simultaneously as in the bird’s eye view example above. It says the universe is a giant block of all the things that ever happen at any time in any place. Like in the example of a DVD of, say, a movie. Everything is embedded and happening but you can only get to it sequentially etc.

    The mind is indeed like software program, or a tool, to process the sensory data we absorb all the time. But at some point, we lost control of the tool, which is now running amok running its own programs, and the resultant layers of compulsive thoughts being laid so fast & thick begins to create an illusion of something real & solid. But with constant awareness & continuous witnessing, the layered mass can gradually be peeled away and we can be free of the clutches of mind & time, leading to peace & productivity.

    Dr Bell’s 5-4-3-2-1 is a way to bring that awareness and witnessing and may be more effective for someone who has been trying breath watching in vain as it gets relegated to auto (or unconscious) mode rather easily, while we go back to our mind games! Or it could be Dr Silva’s method of counting back from 100 to 1, which will not let your mind wander as much as watching breath could, while not becoming as much a ‘task’ as 5-4-3-2–1 might turn out to be.

    The key to a good life and the purpose thereof is indeed freedom from the clock and the calendar and the freedom to expand consciousness and I would like to close with the words of Eckhart Tolle: “Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is deeper than any form and untouched by time”.

  20. Dear Sir, The article is very thought provoking, i do agree with you we tend to do things based on time factor than need basis… for example, in my own life, i used to believe that things have to happen based on time factor and not need basis..example… breakfast @ 8am, whether i am hungry or not and then lunch, tea, dinner etc…and like that lot of examples…meetings for the sake of meetings. Dr Adam Bell’s 5-4-3-2-1 is an interesting practice… it is time to step back and think of every second spent in a manner it adds value ….once again thanks for this eye opener.

  21. Dear Arun, I consider myself fortunate to have a writer friend like you. No doubt you have a great mind. Great minds have purposes; others have wishes. I wish that you continue to write the way you are writing with conviction and candor.

    You mentioned “Disorientation of what we do with our biological rhythms, called Circadian Rhythms, is our chronic problem.” It looks very much correct. If we defy the natural rhythm, we may not remain healthy.

    The ultimate goal of human life is happiness. Happiness through success, we may say. Government of Bhutan, incidentally, has identified Gross National Happiness (GNH) as the index of progress. In 1972 king of Bhutan declared, “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product.” Since then the idea of Gross National Happiness (GNH) has influenced Bhutan’s economic and social policy, and also captured the imagination of others far beyond its borders. In 2011, the UN unanimously adopted a General Assembly resolution, introduced by Bhutan with support from 68 member states, calling for a “holistic approach to development” aimed at promoting sustainable happiness and wellbeing. Among the components of GNH are cultural promotion which also includes spiritual and ethical values besides good governance. Everyone of us similarly can have ‘Gross Personal Happiness’ (GPH) as our life-goal. To be achieved by nurturing spiritual and ethical values in life and through good personal governance.

    Your success, we are told, depends on what you do, not on what you think. Happiness on the other hand, depends on what you think and not what you do. But then, as I see it, thinking is precursor to acting; and acting, forerunner to achieving. Wish you happiness in all your endeavours.

  22. Arunji, very thought provoking and educative. Congratulations. I liked the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise as well as purpose of life to expand consciousness further. Lastly your comment that You should not allow our choices to be manipulated is to be adhered strictly. . . Lot of learning. Thank you so much Arun ji.

  23. Dear Arun Ji, Perfect Jugal bandi of science and philosophy!!!

  24. Tiwari bhai saheb, Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts through this wonderful article. It is the attitude or may be the ever changing world that people are getting disheartened. Problems are there but “what I or we can do “ type of attitude is getting us no where.

    One has to get rid of the negativity. There is a beautiful quote I had read –

    “There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?“ – C. JoyBell C.

    We look at the dark spot on the moon but fail to admire it’s brightness or beauty. Once we change our perspective the world will be looked at as the best creation of it’s creator. Our generation is not the last, work for the future to come. Once again a very thoughtful and well written article. Thank you and please keep writing more. Regards.

  25. ‘Your life depends on your breath. Start counting your breath whenever you want to stop your mind from its excursions.’ This is sage advice, Arunji. I am about to try it, in the next few minutes. Thank you for reminding us.

  26. Much needed thought in these times especially! I want to remember Leonardo da vici’s saying that goes like this, “simplicity is the best sophistication”. Very simple yet effective knowledge for life. Nevertheless, everything will be sorted out if we are in order. Thank you very much Sir, for writing this….truly appreciated!

  27. Thanks Arun Ji for sharing your thoughts on an extremely important yet very complex philosophy of life. I am not sure if ‘Rta’ is THE definition of life. Lately, biologists have succeeded in creating new living forms from chemical building blocks known as the DNA. The Einstein of biology, Francis Crick in his book: “Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature” states “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going…”. In few of my lectures, I have been talking about living organism being a ‘natural bio-computer’ with hardware and software. Today we have made stupendous progress and know a lot about the hardware in our biocomputer but nothing about biological software

    When one dies, the body remains but, Soul/Praan/Rooh leaves. In other words ‘hardware (=DNA)’ remains but ‘software’ is deleted.

    What is this biological software which I call it as the ‘Life Operating System (LoS)’? We have no knowledge about LoS. Rta can at best have a role in bringing ‘order’ to the hardware once assembled, to give the 100 trillion cells in our body a shape, a form, an ‘akar’ – physical and sub conscious, both. It is the LoS that finally turns this ‘assemblage into a living form and when this LoS leaves the structured hardware we are pronounced dead.

    Arun Ji, our Rishi-Munis had acquired the power to control Rta to migrate to a higher order of consciousness. The LoS is known ONLY to the Creator – the Almighty, the trilogy of Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh. Would love to give a lecture on this new pursuit of mine, some day.

  28. Hari Om Arun Tiwariji, The rhythm and flow in the article is palpable and is a true joy in reading from start to end…

    Rta – the Vedic word for the highest cognizable truth is very nicely introduced to all of us in the material. To know Rta or Ritam is probably the highest purpose of human and maybe it is the Divine’s Plan for the creation to expand it in man .- Satyam Ritam Brihat and when that happens, all the falsehood that has been created by Maya hacking into the Source Program will get erased and all will experience the bliss of Ananda. Hare Krishna!

  29. “Do More of What Matters” !! What a wonderful message the title itself gives to all of us. So thoughtful are your blogs that at times I become speechless and unable to put my comments.
    During early stage of my career, my senior told me “Do what you feel is right and don’t do anything. which don’t make you happy”. Those were the words of wisdom I try to carry along with me and it truly helps. Though in this materialistic World its really tough to very straightforward and at times Diplomacy rules over you, but given a chance if we could practise and listen to our own conscience this truly helps.

    Sir, Would request you to continue to enlighten us with your words of wisdom as these will help everyone like me to remain a good human being!!!!

  30. A great piece of advice on staying the course of your value system. How does one put up proper Defense arrays against hackers of our our systems?

    I suggest that there are some enduring defense weapons at our disposal- truth that goes through fire unscathed; faith in the One Creator; peacemaking spirit; and others value sets that serve as our compass in the earthly sojourn.

    Let’s all watch out for hackers attempting to give us viruses that corrupt our value systems.

  31. Very interesting blog.

    The working life of people in this competitive age has become highly stressful and this affects their health, well being, and productivity levels. The mindfulness techniques like 5-4-3-2-1 can be helpful for stress management and for improving productivity.

    Let us reflect on our time and energy. While time is limited, the human-energy is renewable. Keeping this in view, some psychologists recommend that people should focus on ”energy management’ rather than ‘time management’. By bringing mindfulness and other energy replenishing programs in our lives, we can be more productive, accomplish more and also retain our health and wellbeing.

    Thank you very much for sharing the ideas of Dr. Adam Bell and our traditional perspective.

  32. Interesting blog. You suggest a different way of looking at how we spend our time. The lockdown has messed up whatever Circadian Rhythm that I had, and one day just floats into another. The lockdown is therefore an opportunity to explore our senses, as you suggest.

    We should take this coronavirus problem and turn it into an opportunity to more fully explore our lives, work, and objectives. I will try the suggested 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise you suggest and see if it works.

  33. Dear Sir, I am spell bound and absolutely speechless. The only thing that is loud of clear to me now is to enhance and work on achieving Higher levels of consciousness.

    I don’t know if it’s a coincidence but this is something that now put my mind to rest after 2.5 years of relentless pursuit of things that don’t even matter or mean anything.

    This is a total eye opener for someone who’s highly disoriented living without understanding the futility behind chasing meaningless things

    I’m privileged to have been associated with you as your student and hence the opportunity to understand the basic realm of one’s true self.

    This has indeed given me enough motivation and inspiration with deepened meaning / purpose to life.

    Look forward to reading an extension to this master piece. Warm Regards.

  34. Prof Tiwari Jee, we look forward forward to reading to your blogs to enrich us. Lets try to follow some, may be start from 5-4-3-2-1 formula and move forward in “Rta” mode to reach at higher levels of consciousness.

  35. Sir, I am indeed surprised to learn about the Circadian Rhythms. I am even more surprised that the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given to the discovery of molecular mechanisms controlling the Circadian Rhythms. I found so many answers today like feeling jet lag and confused next day after working late nights.

    Your observation that “Disorientation of what we do with our biological rhythms, called Circadian Rhythms, is our chronic problem,” is so true. Out of 10, 6 are having constipation, 2 high blood pressure, and 2 sugar problems. I am taking about young people with whom I work. I am sure older people gets these symptoms converted into cancers, heart diseases, and a host of neurological disorders.

    I am reading your new book “India Wakes” these days. But this blog is about my own waking. Thank you very much.

  36. Dear Sir, When someone writes of the Truth , it immediately connects with one. One’s soul if one can say so !

    The biological clock has been disturbed & the cosmic order ( Rta) has been meddled with by the man made systems, all directly linked to the monkey in us, the mind. We are so controlled by the mind that we are not aware of our breath !

    As written beautifully, we have forgotten the simple joys that are the real miracles of our lives like listening to the chirping of birds or even sipping a glass of water !

    We try to become the image of what the world likes to see us rather simply being ourselves. Opinions of others & their views matter more to us but are we all that ? Each of our relations with others look at us judgementally & we are more conscious of that than our Consciousness

    We eat by the clock rather than when we are hungry. Time controls us.

    The blog is a lovely take on how our lives have been hacked by the unnecessary & the temporary.

    My unequivocal Gratitude Sir for sharing & by doing that, reminding us of the futility of chasing the wild geese in our lives!

  37. Very nicely mentioned Sir. We all should learn proper time management and utilization of that….

  38. Really an eye-opener. After reading this blog, one realises how far he /she has been hacked. Most surprisingly people are so much involved in their daily societal activities that they have forgotten consciousness unconsciously. The best part of this article is the simple formulae 5-4-3-2-1. Try it for deriving pleasure out of it. Congratulations again to the revered author Dr Arun Tiwari for opening our eyes in a simple way.

  39. Problem today is to follow a set of patterns one thinks is the ideal. But breaking patterns is to disturb the said rhythm. To fashion ones attitude is easy… but to unfasten the soul to cherish the real self is a challange every one has to accept and unfashion the routine to reach the zenith of doing what meaningfully one wants to do to realise the realm of one’s own self.

  40. Dear Sir, Your blogs are always thought provoking and put me in self realisation state.

    I started my career, 9 years back in Pune, with 20k/m salary and today in Sydney, Australia getting salary in $ (dollars) could be considered a significant achievement for a lower middle class boy but internally I am not happy. Is this what I wanted to achieve, the answers is “NO”. My self conciousness always asks me about sole purpose of my existence in this world. What should be the next level, what is the exact task assigned to me by God?

    These days I am just trying to understand the signs of nature, focusing more on health due to Covid-19 situation. I think, the nature has given a very clear sign to all of us to self realise our behaviour & actions towards the narure. We all must go in self-realisation state and act intelligently or else it could be dissatourous.

    This awareness is the require of time. We should follow the self-conciousness, which is the voice of God and not the voice of Evil which says “Kuchh Nahi Hota” and misguide us to keep doing wrongly. May God give us the enlightenment. Warm Regards.

  41. It’s really a remarkable blog. As it is said and important to remember that, we should live today not tomarrow. We should supposed to be grateful for today’s blessings.

  42. Sir, Yet another master piece from you. They say all good things come in small packets. This small packet info is wonderful, guiding in some way and thought provoking in some other way. The two simple things you have suggested are guiding for making best use of the time. It makes one to think what are the important things they can do so that the time worth spent.
    Wonderfully brought out.

    Sir my request would be that please write one more blog where in you can bring out how effective people make use of their time. It may not be one fit for all but people can tailor it to their situations and availability of time. This will go a long way in changing some habits.

  43. We must not get upset with people or situations as both are powerless without our reaction. It’s our reaction which writes everything whether Good or Bad in our mind. Respected Sir, I always learn something extra by understanding your article.

  44. Thanks sir for this amazing article. I will start with the picture with this blog its really “amazing”. Through out my life I have followed a simple concept “Career is just a part of life and it needs time to time introspection” without damaging the eternal soul. Further, as you said “Key to good life is freedom especially freedom from meaningless numbers, baseless priorities etc”. And I feel that, the day we humans stops comparing ourselves with others we will set our self, our mind free which as described by you is hacked by the world.

    Self realization is needed at every level of our life as it keep remind all of us with our roots (places we came from and what exactly we wanted to do). Homeostasis is needed at every aspect which may help in expanding our consciousness so that we don’t become slave of our emotions. Thus, According to me the main essence of this blog is with “Reincarnation”. Thanks again for taking efforts and sharing your wisdom and thoughts with all of us.

  45. Sir, This blog article is a real eye-opener. Honestly, I could never grasp the meaning of Adi Shankaracharya’s declaration – know this world as unreal and your soul as real – ब्रह्म सत्यं जगन्मिथ्येत्येवंरूपो विनिश्चयः. Today I can see it with the example of how the watch and the calendar are overriding the reality of our body – which operates in Circadian Rhythms.

    When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves. There is nothing more important in life to have a livelihood that sustains simple living, supports family and keeps you healthy. The more we try to go fast, get more, chase and influence people, things start falling apart. The coronavirus lockdown has provided this useful training. Not to learn from that will be great pity.

  46. This blog article must be read daily till it sinks in the system. We are indeed wasting our lives for a pittance we call salaries, commuting in chaotic cities, or idling in our self-created habit zones and letting our body become hosts of ‘life-style diseases’. We create excuses to be like this.

    There is something wonderfully bold and liberating in your article. You are telling us to say yes to our entire imperfect and messy life – see, hear, smell, touch and taste! The great future is hiding behind these ugly surroundings right here, right now. “Know yourself as an unchangeable eternal soul, now in this body, in this mental state, both temporary and changing every moment.”

    The present moment is not random, it is designed to teach whatever is necessary. Not doing that and squandering it in watching TV, or surfing trivia on the Internet or exchanging useless messages and reading ‘forward messages’ not circulated with good intent but to actually hack our mind, is indeed not only wasting your present but also ensuring future to ne no good. Thank you, Sir. I felt like sitting in your class today, like I did many years ago.

  47. The modern version of “mindfulness” as taught by Buddha as a 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise is the most useful advice I have received in the recent past. We are indeed living life as a condemned prisoner – going through its motions, most of the time doing work that is imposed upon us, is unnecessary and serves the agendas of people above us.

    May I add a beautiful quote from Thích Nhất Hạnh, a Buddhist monk, author, and mindfulness teacher, “To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is.” Thank you for taking efforts in helping us regularly with inspiring thoughts and positive energy.

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