Moksha is the ultimate thing. It is liberation from the biggest falsehood – that we are this body or the mind. Moksha is the liberation of the soul from the confines of the mind and body. We say that we have a mind, and we have a body. We are the master of our mind and body. We should devote our time living in touch with our true self, which is the soul, or whatever other name it may be called by.
Moksha brings freedom from the afflictions of the mind and body. The body is frail; it can be broken; it can get diseased. The mind is fickle and flighty; it can get anxious or fearful or angry; it can get depressed. The body is a great tool while it works; it houses us and allows us to engage in the relative world of other souls and the material things. The mind is an even more powerful tool while it works; it helps us grasp things unmanifest and subtle, through the power of thinking. The mind allows to plan, act and be happy. To be liberated does not mean discarding the body or the mind; it means not to be confined or defined by them.
A person who has achieved Moksha experiences total and eternal bliss. Such a person is not moved or agitated by anything in the relative world. Such a person is able to ‘see’ the soul in every other person and can connect with them. Such a person can communicate with their mere presence, without using any words or even raising a finger.
Moksha is achieved by (a) a deep desire for it, and (b) the right way to transcend the relative world of mind and body. I believe that everyone fundamentally desires moksha, as no one wants to suffer pain and misery. However, the strength and the depth of desire can be different for different people. I do not believe we can will a desire, i.e. the mind cannot create a desire. Desires are what they are, and they exert the most powerful force upon us. The right way to fulfill the desire of Moksha is the way of meditation. All meditations are not the same. I believe that transcendental techniques such as TM (from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) and Vipassana (from Buddha through Mr. Goenka) are two such techniques, though there could be many more of them.
Today, my first book, Data Analytics Made Accessible, became a top-seller in the data mining category. It reached #2 bestseller status on the Amazon website (see picture below). I hope it will reach #1 soon. The book’s success speaks to its quality. It is an accessible overview of this vast and growing and hot topic. This book only comes in an online (Kindle) version, and is also priced very low compared to other books in the field. Thanks to those who wrote nice reviews on the book on Amazon site. I hope this books helps the readers become successful in their lives.
Anything is Possible: Neuroplasticity provides proof
Our brain is a primary driver of our physiology and decision-making processes. Not many people recognize and realize how plastic and malleable our brain is. It also opens up new vitas for thinking big in all walks of life. Transcendental Meditation is a powerful way of using neuroplasticity towards a more purified nervous system and new waves of effortless accomplishments.
Not long ago the brain was said to be configured permanently. Habits were supposed to be set early in life and incredibly difficult to change. Attitudes to life were considered fixed. Education was supposed to be completed early in life, and then one used that to work all their life. However, all that is passé and incorrect.
Progressive waves of neurological research have shown that the brain is soft-wired and not hardwired. It is almost completely reconfigurable in a short period of time at any age. The cortical tissue (grey matter) is fungible. i.e. a loss of any sensory ability can free up the associated parts of the cortex to be deployed towards greater capabilities in other sensory or motor areas. E.g. Hellen Keller lost the sense of vision but gained a more acute sense of sound and touch; this was due to redeployment of the brain’s cortical mass from the sense of eyes to the other senses. Research shows that the brain changes at all points in time: 70% of neural synapses are rewired every day. The direction of the rewiring can be deliberately changed through focus and persistence towards alternative action patterns. The brain can be rewired quickly also through biofeedback systems. There are no limits to learning and accomplishment at any age.
At a personal level, neuroplasticity demands of us big thinking, i.e. ambitious ideas. Everyone can dream of being an enlightened person, very soon. Everyone can dream of being perfectly positive, healthy, and prosperous. In my own life, it empowers me to make the right decisions for moving forward singlemindedly and without doubt to pursue big goals. In family relationships, I can aim to restructure all my relationships through unilateral change in attitude and behaviors, knowing that my family members’ brains are plastic and can adapt for the better. My work relationships can similarly improve through initiating the right kinds of projects, aligning my work with my interests, and molding my work interactions for the better. I can start new organizations with lofty missions, knowing full well that my brain has enough capability and adaptability to align itself for effortless accomplishment of those missions.
Neuroplasticity also encourages me to pursue my meditation practice with full vigor and determination to become an enlightened person, and to help everyone around me become enlightened. As my good friend Gary Guller, the only person with one arm to have climbed Mt. Everest, says, ‘Anything is Possible’. Now there is neuroplastic evidence to support that claim!
2014 was a transformational year for me. With my first book published (business intelligence and data mining), this new blog (anilmah.com), new travel (South Africa), a new talk (personal development through transcendence), and more, it was a productive year for me. The next year will surely bring its own joys!
Book: I wrote a well-received book on business intelligence and data mining. It was launched as an ebook on Amazon in May. It has consistently sold a couple of copies every day. At the end of the 2014, it was published by Business Expert Press (BEP), a NY-based publisher, in both print and e-book edition. (See the page on My Book).
Blog: This blog started in May of the year. There are quite a few posts on it. The topics range from travel to information technology to enlightenment to Vedas to good old Leadership, and more . My first post was a travelogue of my amazing trip to Kumbh Mela last year, and it was a big hit with the readers. My recent post on leadership lessons from organizing community events brought me more followers than all others previous posts combined. I continue to post from lived experiences.
Travels: I also had two major international travels this year, to South Africa and to India. The main purpose of the South African trip in June was to teach a course as part of an Executive MBA program. However, it also included visits to Gandhian monuments in Johannesburg and Durban. It also included sightseeing including the gorgeous city of Cape Town. (see my blog post on SA visit). The main purpose of my trip to India In November-December was to deliver a talk on personal development through transcendence at a conference in IIT Roorkee. After that I went to Yog gram for a week-long naturopathic detoxing retreat, and to Rajasthan to see my extended family (See my posts on the visits to Yog Gram and Pushkar).
Talks: I have delivered a talk on ‘Personal Development through Transcendental Meditation’ four times during the year 2014, three times in the US and once in India. Each time the talk was very well received. I essentially talk about how Transcendence is an orthogonal dimension to Intellect. For intellectually smart people, transcendence can open up new infinite avenues for creativity and fulfillment. I also share about how transcending using TM and TM-Sidhis over the last 2 years helped release my inner stresses and set me up for writing creatively from the heart and getting a great reception.
In addition, I led our South Asia community at our university into celebrations for six major festivals. Three of the celebrations included large bonfires. (See my blog posts on bonfires, and on leadership lessons from holding these events).
I am sure 2015 will bring its own joys!
Creative writing : making a DENT in the world
Recently I completed writing my first book called Business Intelligence and Data Mining Made Accessible. It is available on Amazon. This book came after 30 years of work experience, after 3 years of my thinking about it, and then the book almost completed itself effortlessly in just 30 days. I like the book, and I enjoyed the process. There are some lessons in this for creative writing projects. Here is a four-step model for making a DENT in the world.
- D is for Desire. One needs to have a strong and clear intent to write. There can be an urge to make a difference in the world. People write for many reasons, including recognition, money, and the sheer pleasure of contribution. The desire can come from being pressed, or encouraged, by others; it can come from watching friends become successful authors; or it can just be something that one badly wants to do.
- E is for Expertise. One can develop certain areas of expertise over a period of time. It could be scientific knowledge about an area; or it could be a fertile imagination and a way of expressing it in fiction. One can hone one’s talents over a long period of time. This expertise could be self-evident when one is helping others out just for fun; or doing something by oneself in a playful spirit.
- N is for Need. There should be a need out there to be satisfied. The need could be a general one, such as a continuous need for good fiction, or a need for a comprehensive reference book on a topic. The need could also be specific, for example addressing the needs of a particular audience known to you, including friends and family, and your students. The now famous Khan academy emerged from Sal Khan creating small video lessons to educate his niece on mathematics.
- T is for Timing. The timing too has to be right for it to happen. The writer must find the time to create the content; there should be access to the right channels for expression; and the intended audience should be ready and receptive to the content.
Finally, of course, there is no substitute for hard work … just sitting down and making it happen.