April 3

Humans: The only storytellers

About a month ago I got a chance to read a very interesting book called Sapiens. It was written by a historian and it was one of the most thought provoking books I have had a chance to read. I rarely read non-fiction but history interests me somewhat. This book was more of a mashup between human history and psychology. It’s goal in a way was to write an unbiased history of the Homo genus, more specifically the Homo sapiens species. That, btw, is modern human beings

What really caught my attention was a very obscure fact. The brain matter of another human species, Neanderthals, was bigger than homo sapiens. Yet that specie died out and never developed civilization and sophisticated tools etc. For all of my life, I had assumed that humans are special because we have more brain matter. However I was clearly wrong.
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March 13

Thoughts about time (ideas while meditating)

As I mentioned in some of my blogs from January, I started meditating this year. I had started to not like myself because I was always ready to snap. I had long thought of myself as a cool and composed person but that had started becoming more of a fictional character. So I turned to meditation to channel some of these energies.

Meditation is a fun activity when you don’t rush it or force it. I started meditating regularly and most days tried to do it in a part of my day where I wasn’t time pressed. Once I started to clear my head of the everyday thoughts about work, traffic, food, money, TV, technology etc I got a little more mental room to follow some of the other thoughts that would pop up. Earlier I would have run out of time or energy to even consider such thoughts but I felt more upbeat after starting to meditate.
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January 30

The Need for compassion

We live in troubled times. Maybe not all of us but most of us can sense the growing distrust among people. It may be Europe which has been devastated by multiple attacks recently or the war ravaged middle east. And more recently the feeling of distrust has been growing here at home in USA.

I am completely in agreement that these attacks and wars are devastating for everyone. I also believe that these attacks need to stop. I just don’t agree with the methodology we have started adopting around this. We are starting to close our doors (and our hearts) to people. We believe this will stop the next attack or the next war.

Let me give you a simple anecdote: Gun violence kills more than 100 times people as terrorism within US and against US citizens abroad kill. Have we banned the guns yet?
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January 21

Chaos & Quantum Entanglement

The last time I took a lesson in physics was probably way back in 2006 or 2007. It’s been almost a decade yet I consider myself an astrophysics enthusiast. There are various facets of physics that I really love. Every time I think about them I feel like I understand people and the world a little better. There are two ideas that I like to wonder about: Making sense of chaos and quantum entanglement.

It’s hard to imagine how physics can help us understand people. Physics usually describes properties of inanimate things and conscious decisions can seem inherently chaotic. Imagine for a moment that the gas inside a balloon is made up of millions of particles, which it is. Imagine now the movement of these particles. Their motion is inherently random and chaotic and it is unlikely to be predicted.
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January 14

An Amateur Guide to meditation: The Still Mind

There are two things that I have become enchanted with over the last year or so: Meditation and Mindfulness. Both relate to your mind, one aims to train your mind while the other allows you to focus on now. In fact it is common to hear the term Mindfulness Meditation.

As I wrote in my previous post, I find it extremely important to meditate. I also have started believing that almost all of us need to meditate in today’s modern world just due to the immense amount of information flowing through. Meditation is the only effective tool to deal with this information and maintain a calm demeanor.
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January 9

We need to meditate, starting yesterday!

I have often thought about writing about Meditation. But the truth is that I barely understand the concept myself. For so long meditation used to bring images of monks seated in saffron robe who have given up on the luxuries of life. And I didn’t want to give up any luxuries, hence I couldn’t meditate. The logic seemed simple enough: to meditate you need to let go of all your Wifi and Kindle etc. But turns out that’s not the case.

So I started with wikipedia and asked it What is Meditation? Here is what I got: Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.

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August 23

Empathy and Efficiency: Thoughts about a workplace

There has been lot of talk lately around Empathy. Most of it has been in context of a workplace. I work at a workplace and have done so for a few years now. It is not easy to understand empathy even though it is primitively simple in definition. Empathy means the ability to understand and share the feelings of other. Makes sense to me, and perhaps to you too!

Now why is empathy so important? I think that empathy is directly related to the ability of building relationships. We believe that in order to form meaningful relationships empathy is perhaps a pre-requisite. I wont deny that! In order to form deep relationships it is very important to understand what other people feel more than what they say. In fact of all the strong relationships I have built it was empathy that was the building block of these relationships.
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August 9

Die and let die

There are two things that have inspired me to write this. The first was a quote I heard in a documentary by Robert Oppenheimer (who apparently picked it up from Bhagvad Gita) , “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”   For some reason I cannot get it out of my head. The second reason was just something that popped into my mind as I started to think of the title. It is a commonly heard saying Live and let live.

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