Monthly Archives: June 2016

Buddha – Barber – Enlightenment

If Buddha was a barber getting a haircut would be enlightenment.

This is one of my favorite quotes which I heard in the Creativity and Personal Mastery retreat a few years ago. And it remained with me like all the things that have a deeper connection. And I pondered on what it meant again and again until one day it clicked or at least one version of it.

Here’s a example which I am hoping might do a better job of articulating what the quote means. Let’s say you are a tree an apple tree like the one depicted in the image below.
So you are fully immersed into being an apple tree. As an apple tree will you give banana or will you give mango? How about if I prayed a three times a day, lit a candle every day and took 3 rounds around you [apple tree] then will you give me a mango?

I am sure some of you are wondering what kind of a silly question is this. Right? Well, it is a silly question. How can a apple tree give anything else other than apple? That is the true nature of the apple tree and there in lies the meaning behind the quote.

The true purpose of Buddha was to give enlightenment and he would do that regardless of anything, literally as that was who he was. So if he was a barber – getting a haircut would be like getting enlightenment because that’s what Buddha did.

What does it mean for us? Like Buddha each one of use as a purpose, something that is our true nature to do in this lifetime, in this little planet called earth among the trillion other stars in this galaxy. Nothing can hide our true nature, it might be masked like sun behind the clouds but it’s still there. And whatever our true nature we do it in everything we do.

Let’s take a few examples:
If you are a trader or a banker then anything that you do in your life, be it look at a dog or trip to new country you will see $$ everywhere – that’s how you think.
If you are in marketing or sales then you are always making a pitch.
If you are a storyteller then you talk in stories, think in stories and write in stories.
I am a project manager so I automatically think about the steps that need to be done, the timeframe and the resources we need – be it buying a dog, buying a house, parent’s visit – I have an excel sheet ready.

Next question is you might have a lot of different ways in which you think then how do you know what is your true nature? Let’s go back to our tree example – you are the apple tree again. And a three people come to you – beggar, multi-millionaire and a blind person. As a tree do you differentiate between them and say to the multi millionaire – “you are rich man, you can buy fruits from shops. I won’t give you any fruits.”

No, your true nature i.e. giving apples remains the same – it does not vary on who is getting the fruit, in fact the tree will give apples even if it was on a deserted island. Similarly, you don’t distinguish if the project that you are doing is a million dollar project or pro-bono you apply the same kind of a due diligence and care to each of them because project management is what you do.

So what is that you do even when there is no role, job profile defining you, something you do for the joy of it, it’s the act of doing that is important. Something that is so ingrained in your life that you don’t even know you do it.

And I cannot think of any other way to finish than with another favorite quote of mine:

Books and Bookworms

After I have published my book – The Lifepod I am making a conscious choice to buy books as opposed to using other means of which I am guilty. And as a result of this I turned to our local library to borrow a few books. Adam and I walked into the library around 8:00 pm and I got two new books to read over the weekend.

As I walked in I realised I felt at home at the library, I really do probably because nobody judges you based on how you look, what you are wearing or how much you earn. There’s a common thread which binds the library people – love of books and that’s it.  It is hard to articulate the joy of reading a good book because it’s indeed an experience but if you have really enjoyed a good book, been swept away into new worlds, been one with the characters felt their emotions, pain then you know what I am talking about. There’s a sweet pain when you keep such a book down after having been up the whole night.


I have loved books since I can remember. When I was about seven or eight, my dad used to read books to us. And we were reading Alibaba and forty thieves, we were right at the very end and my dad could not read to us that night because he was busy. I so wanted to know what happened that I got the book and read it myself till the end – skipping over the words that I didn’t understand or parts that I didn’t like. I guess that’s how I learnt skimming ;). And that was just the beginning.

book1I couldn’t agree more with the George R.R Martin above. Books are like portals to a different world. My favorite activity is to settle on a comfy couch with a very large book, cup of chai and some snacks and I am set for my journey. When you finish a good book you feel refreshed, inspired and relaxed.

I keep saying “Good Book” because there are books and good books. Good Book to me is the one which takes you on a journey and where the best part lies between the lines and which eats up your heart and soul. Just like different kinds of food there are different kinds of books – fiction, fantasy, spiritual, self-help , memoirs, humor and so on… And depending on my mood I do indulge in fast food of books like Sidney Sheldon [There I have named her].

My favorite genre is fantasy – wizards, different worlds, dragons, sorcerers and that too epic ones which are on a grand scale like Lord of the Rings. No post will be complete without a list of a few of my favorite fantasy books – note these are ones that come to mind now.

Wheel Of The Time Series [WOTS]: A whopping fourteen book series with a world so real that you are always shocked when you come back to the real world.
Stormlight Archives: Only two of the ten have been published so far – this one I have a feeling I will grow old with especially if it takes two years to publish one book.
Magician trilogy: This one was a whirlwind for me and here the characters travel within different worlds.
And many more…

I could not end on a more appropriate quote