Open-Eyed Meditations – Book Review

People who know me better definitely wouldn’t believe i’m reading a non-fiction book. Hell, I wouldn’t believe me either.. 😀 But when this book was given for review I just couldn’t resist. I’ve been trying to grow out of my favorite book genres and this was a welcome change.

The book blurb…

Open-eyed Meditations is a beautiful compilation of thoughts wherein each meditation takes you on a journey to the past, bringing a secret herb to heal a problem of the present.
A true distillation of ancient wisdom tips for modern lives, this unique self-help book uses the wisdom of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to solve your everyday problems.
Beyond the storyline, something deeper is waiting to be discovered from these ancient texts. This book is an attempt to uncover the hidden layer of wealth that is cleverly packaged within the commonly known storylines.

The book is written by Shubha Vilas -a motivational speaker, lifestyle coach, and a storyteller par excellence.


My thoughts..

The very first lines from the Introduction drew me to the book and despite my disinterest  towards non-fic I was sure that this book would be an exception.

When you are open to life, life opens to you. The upper limit of your ability to learn is determined by the upper limit of your desire to learn.

The reason i loved that line was a certain colleague of mine is driving me crazy because I have to keep telling him the same thing a 100 times. I’m usually not that annoyed about training someone, but this person is a senior and he has no desire to learn and me teaching him something is completely a waste of my time. Okay, moving on 😛

This book offers you really great nuggets of wisdom suitable for everyday crisis and encounters. And it does so by comparing situations in the Ramayana and Mahabharata and how the epic heroes themselves acted on their issues. I for one, haven’t read both the epics and loved the little stories in each topic.

The contents of the book are divided into 64 chapters or meditations like the author refers them to. Each of these meditations are centered around character building, modern day problems and self motivation. And this book isn’t something you read and put it back in your shelf, it’s like the go to book whenever you meet those problems or in need of a little help in analyzing them. And Shubha Vilas has taken care not to elaborate too much, keeps it simple in 2 or 3 pages and also provides a concise version of that particular topic towards the end.

My favorite ‘meditations’ were “Conditions apply – in Love’ where he explain how conditions in a relationship can destroy the happiness in it by comparing with life of King Shantanu who fell in love with Ganga who puts a condition that he should never question her actions. Their relationship ended because it drove Shantanu to heights of frustration when he couldn’t question her about throwing away every child born to them into a river. But Draupadi’s marriage with the Pandavas worked because of conditions of mutual respect and cooperation. When the condition is constructive, it is welcomed in relationships, but if its laid on self-interest and restricts the other person, it only adds frustration and bitterness!.

Another one was “Crossing the LoC in Relationships”. Here the LoC is LoR (Line of Respect) and Shubha Vilas stresses that respect and care should never be lost in relationships and boundaries need to be respected.

Love is the force transforming self-centered babies to non self conscious mature adults

How to win relationships and maintain healthy bonds with others is beautifully explained in “The investment that returns hearts”. He compares Vali and Sugriva’s relationship and how Vali being a self-focused, unforgiving brother strangles their bond and how Rama was a Sugrive-focussed stranger who helped him get back his kingdom and dignity. Doing something for others, depositing your love will only give loads in return.

A few lines from it :

When we meditate on what we can do for other, we are actually watering the root of the relationship. When you enter into the relationship looking for massive doses of gratification, you are strangling the relationship even before it has begun to breathe normally

All in all, I liked the book and even though it’s a non-fiction, self help book it does not bore you mainly because of the analogies and the little stories from the great epics. There’s nothing much to say about the cover, as these kind of books have abstract images only. I did love the way the topics (meditations) were named. Very catchy!

If you are into self-help, motivational books, do give this one a try.

I’m thankful to Blogadda for sending me this copy for review. My rating is 4/5.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


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