In which Nithyanand, a Buddha, teaches me to live with ‘anand’ (inner joy) ‘nithya’ (daily)!!!

When you look for things that you don’t have, you remain incomplete. When you look at what you have, including who you have in your Life, you are complete!

Nithyanand – The Buddha
Yesterday, I spent a transformational hour with a young man called Nithyanand, in his 20s, who is visually special (I hate to call him visually impaired). He lives in Korrukkupet (a Chennai suburb). He commutes every day to Express Avenue Mall, where he works at an exhibition tour company called “Dialogue in the Dark” (Google them – go check them out). Nithya, as he prefers being called, says he doesn’t have any problem when I ask him how he “manages with Life on a day-to-day basis”: “Sir, we work on getting oriented to spaces and with basing all our responses to the velocity of sound around us. I take bus # 18 and get to work pretty much without a hitch. When I do have to cross the road, I just wait for a good, helpful soul. The Universe always has such people around. There are so many good people in this world. Someone always comes by to help me.” There’s a joie de vivre about the way Nithya is. He is happy, content and peaceful with the way he is. Actually he truly, simply is. There is no self-pity. There’s no lament. In fact, there’s so much dignity with which he conducts himself – even you don’t feel pity for the young man. You come away inspired. Now, how many times will you come away inspired after meeting a rank stranger for barely an hour?

Much of our grief and suffering comes from lamenting over what we don’t have. This pushes us into a, often subconscious, depressive spiral out of which we rarely climb out. But always, when the focus shifts to what is, the result is magical. The reason why we struggle with making this shift from what isn’t to what is, is that the negative is always seductive. Its reasoning power is far more logical. The good in us rarely speaks. It merely states. It does not profess, it doesn’t argue, it doesn’t convince. Nett Nett, we succumb to the wily designs of scarcity__what we don’t have, what isn’t__thinking. This results in incompleteness. Whereas, with all our quirks, defects, chinks, blemishes, scars and handicaps, we are complete. There’s so much abundance in our lives. Such is the way we have been created. To recognize this complete state of ours, we need to be in a state of total acceptance, we need to be peaceful.

My learning from Nithyanand: when there is peace within, when there is acceptance of the Life you have, the focus will shift to what is. And then the wholesomeness of your Life will become clear to you! This the way, we__you and me__too, just like Nithya, can become a Buddha – and experience ‘anand’ (inner joy) ‘nithya’ (daily)!
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Be your own Master, make your Life count

Don’t be a slave of your Life__of this lifetime. Be a Master.

Last week I met a senior manager at a large company, who had given 38 years of his Life to the company, and is serving a post-retirement contract extension presently. He said, “I have been consumed and cooked by my professional focus. It was a journey I did not regret so far. But, suddenly, at 64, I wonder how many more active years I have for me to go see and explore the world; to just stop being a manager and just be myself.”

His “awakening” perspective delivers a big lesson to all of us. This Life has been gifted to us for us to lead it, to live it! Not for us to be enslaved by it. Yet, don’t we run this Life as if it were some kind of a race? Some even call it a rat race. When you reach a point, like the manager here has, you will wonder why did you run the race in the first place? What did you race for or against? Liberate yourself. The biggest freedom movement must be taking place within you, not just in some dictatorial regime in the world. So stop running. Pause, introspect and initiate immediate action.


One way to set yourself free is to break away from your routine and look beyond the predictable. This morning, even though it was a Monday, we took a bunch of managers, who we are coaching, through a Life-changing experience called “Dialogue in the Dark”. It is a personalized exhibition tour in which you experience Life for about an hour in total darkness. The experience humbles you, wanting you to count your blessings. It makes you realize that your other senses are as strong as your ability to see, which you believe naively to be your most indispensable sense. It teaches you that you can and will survive when you are put in a situation. And most importantly, doing it on a Monday morning, helps you to break away from the monotony of your pressure-cooker schedule. Mondays need not be manic, need not mean bad traffic and need not end up leaving you imprisoned in meaningless meetings. They can mean something magical and liberating – if you step off the beaten path! Our guide through the entire “Dialogue in the Dark” experience, Nithyanand, a visually special (I hate to say impaired) person, had this to say, “I can’t see. And I manage pretty well using my other senses.” The way he said this, with total acceptance and with ease, made me wonder if we are indeed living our lives to our fullest. With one sense down, he is. But are we? I came away realizing, yet again, that when you know you can be your own Master, you can and will make your Life count!