A holiday home in the mind

FPJ BureauUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2019, 02:56 PM IST
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We should develop a holiday home in the mind to relax. Instead we built concrete jungles of thoughts where we fear to tread says Ravi Valluri.

Summer was simmering, temperatures were rising in Delhi, and the beer guzzling husband and wife duo, their college going children fed on junk food, were looking forward to their first overseas trip ‘together’. Meanwhile a message flashed on the pretentious mobile of the husband.

“Eureka”, he screamed “Leave sanctioned”. “Trip to Chiang-Mai will now be a reality”, screamed the children and wife. “Bonding at last”, the wife mused effusively. This was followed by indulgent drenches of hugging among the quartet.

The husband clambered up the corporate ladder with a bloated ego riding roughshod over his colleagues; however at the cost of his deteriorating health condition, suffering from several modern day ailments. The wife remained overburdened at an estimable school where she taught and the children became rotund, couch potatoes while augmenting their CGPAs over the years.

The manic and frenetic paced lifestyle had invaded a bonding which ought to have been a natural part of their living…….. Over the years the family was saddled with several layers of girth and mental cobwebs.

This is a familiar tale of several upper middle class families; and the ones who   mimic them as they crave to keep up with the Joneses.

The prana levels of such individuals are low. In several cases opulence without proper responsibility had corrupted their minds and they carry the burden of the twin maladies of inflated egos and judgmental attitudes. This only attracts opprobrium of colleagues. Therefore superabundant individuals are resorting to charity and companies invest in corporate social responsibility. These acts presumably reduce mental chatter.

Holiday is normally an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling. ‘My normal life is like being on holiday’, writes Valentino Rossi. This is the contrarian point of view where every moment of life is a celebration and spent vacationing. The mind gets so conditioned that   only positive thoughts emanate and every act is natural like the drift and spirit of nature.

But this was not the case with the family. Would they have really relished the get-away to Chiang-Mai? In all likelihood the cascading waterfalls and lush green environs were unlikely to provide any physical and mental respite to the frayed nerves of the family as they would have carried with them the baggage of dysfunctional relationships and their degenerative health conditions.

Human mind is both a friendly retainer but and also a dangerous liege. A beleaguered mind causes immense suffering to the individual, those around him and the society at large. An alert mind learns positive lessons from life to take recourse to remedial measures and discovers ingenious ways to address and arrest negativity.

Just as an architect designs buildings, we humans can construct an oasis of peace in our minds where we can luxuriate in a genuine holiday. This is mandatory for individuals who are at the worn off edge or at the precipice of disequilibrium. The landscape of the mind should be attractive and harmonious, which one would like to frequent. The clangor of the world gets replaced by retreats of silence.

Humans should develop a mental state where they can appreciate and embrace nature and its myriad flavors. They should create such dwelling places where humans are able to genuinely observe their breath, emotions and feelings in a joyous manner. That is a true resort where one can holiday in a carefree manner without any botheration or anxiety.

Many years ago there was an old farmer. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to commiserate. “Maybe”, the farmer replied laconically. The next morning the horse returned, bringing along with it three other wild horses. Taken aback at the turn of events the neighbors congratulated the farmer. “Maybe” was the reply. His son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, and was thrown off the saddle, and broke his leg. The neighbors expressed their grief. “Maybe”, answered the farmer. Shortly, some military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. The wounded son was not recruited. Soon congratulatory messages poured in from the neighbors as the son escaped the hazardous employment.

“Maybe”, said the farmer.

The stoic farmer remained unfazed in all situations. He was neither egoistical nor judgmental or given to hyperbole or despondency. The mind remained quiet and was in a perpetual state of positivity and holiday.

The supercilious family from Delhi was so full of themselves and hurtling towards imminent disaster that it would undeniably benefit by learning a few secrets from the old farmer. They could discard their pomposity; erase egos and narcissistic tendencies besides a highly overbearing attitude which only attracted the vituperation by others.

Instead for planning an annual holiday, the family ought to create a sacred space within their hearts and mind where positivism mushrooms and develop a delicate balance of detachment like the old farmer. It would be sagacious to dwell on the inner self and practice deep faith and prayer to connect with the self by sublimating noise and ego.

They could visualize and connect to a soothing terrain in their minds which would restore equilibrium in their disoriented lifestyles. This topography could upend the pyramid and radically alter a desultory lifestyle to a more harmonious one.  Imagine the mind conceptualizes a retreat within its containments where supposedly a thousand monks practice meditation, observe their breath and remain in silence say for three months. This chamber would generate abundant energy and an aura where the individual would like to revisit hundreds of times.

Pranayama and practice of yoga be it for the propertied or poor, healthy or unhealthy help in mental reconfiguration, rejuvenation and revitalization; which soothe frayed nerves and makes individuals joyous and happy. This is a harbinger of a sanctuary of radiance.

This should be the springboard for the family to rekindle and construct their holiday home.

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