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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book Review: AIDS Sutra


Author: Multiple Authors (Anthology)
Pages: 345
My Rating: 4.0/5
AIDS Sutra presents a side of India which is rarely seen before. This is one book which needs to be read by a wider audience. It will definitely open your eyes to the harsh realities faced by people in the underdeveloped & underpriviliged societies........[ Click here to read the complete review]

Monday, November 17, 2008

Learning to focus...

Been learning yoga for the past 4 months and I have always had thoughts to write about it, but the posts never made it here, for the lack of time. .... ..... .....

When you first start doing yoga, it seems to be oriented more towards the physical side but gradually you do realize that it has an equal impact on the mind; and slowly you notice that the body and mind start to function in unison...

An hour of yoga typically includes a couple of mins of deep breathing, 5-10 mins of meditation followed by a few mins of pranayam and then the asanas (postures) for the rest of the session. Though it seems like you are spending only about 15 mins on your mind and inner self, gathering thoughts and trying to focus during those initial 5-10mins of meditation is the toughest. And this is what yoga eventually does; it prepares you to sit in this state of silence and balance for a long period of time; that's the ultimate objective of practising yoga, apart from the zillion other health benefits...

It's only when you sit in silence, even for a short while do you notice how stressed your mind is! It's hard to keep your mind still. Just as you sit for meditation, turbulent thoughts flood your mind; the harder you try to gain control, the tougher it gets. It's like trying to fetch some water to drink from a muddy pond...the more you struggle to fill, the more muddy it gets. But allow it to settle down for a while and you'll see the mud settling at the bottom, leaving clean water on the surface. So let the thoughts flow in, give them the time to settle rather than chasing them and you'll soon find that desired calmness, however fleeting it may be.

It is said that finding a point of focus helps to maintain this state for a longer period.....focusing on your breathing or a mental image or chanting holy syllables (jap) verbally/mentally are some things that help. All these techniques render the mind pure, directing the energy inwards and thus helping us find that focus, inner peace and balance...

One more last thing to remember, just like the way our state of mind affects our body, the reverse is also true. Keeping your body absolutely still and physically relaxed also helps calm the mind to a great extent...

One good link that I found - http://www.how-to-meditate.org/

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blister Beetle...

Beetles in the family Meloidae are commonly called Blister Beetles. Here's one that I found a few weeks back - the scientific name is Mylabris quadripunctata

As per wiki, they are known as "blister beetles" because they secrete cantharidin, a poisonous chemical causing blistering of the skin and painful swelling...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Itsy bitsy spider....

Found this 'Giant Wood Spider' (genus Nephila, commonly called Golden Orb Weavers or Banana spiders) last weekend in the outskirts of bangalore. It's interesting to note that there is one more small spider on the web -which is a male, behind this huge female...I didn't figure it out until someone actually pointed it out to me. It's almost 1/100th the size of a female one!! After mating, the female spider eats the male....now, isn't that very interesting?!