How to Experience the Beautiful State of Calm in Three Minutes
Let me share with you an anecdote from our new book The Four Sacred Secrets. This is from the life of one of the CEOs who came to study with us in India at the O&O Academy.
As soon as he took over as CEO of this international clothing company, he was presented with the challenge of turning around its sinking finances. After a particularly hard meeting with the board the directors, he returned home very disturbed.
Let me ask you a question: What is the first thing that would come up in any leader’s mind to cut costs? To let people go, which was the conclusion he had come to. A few weeks prior to that, he had attended a retreat with one of the teachers at the academy. His wife reminded him of the great wisdom of the beautiful state. She said to him, “You have made this decision based on the company’s finances and the pressure of the market, but have you brought attention to your inner state from which you are making this decision?”
As the CEO sat in meditation, he recognized his state of insecurity. He saw he was obsessed about saving face in front of the board of directors. In fear, his mind was projecting great shame if he did not turn around the company. His insecurity showed him only one desperate option.
As he moved into meditation, the grip of insecurity loosened, and he moved into a beautiful state of connection for all the people who now worked under him. He felt how the families would feel if the employees lost their jobs right before Christmas.
As his consciousness expanded, a great solution opened up to him. He addressed all his employees – presented the situation, made them feel like family, and gave them all the vision of saving costs at every level in packaging, distributing, storing, show-casing everywhere – so they would not have to let go of a single employee. The entire company rose to the situation. Then something magical unfolded.
The market turned around, and right before Christmas, demand skyrocketed. And because they had managed to retain all their employees, they could meet the demand. For each of the next six years, the company registered 20% growth, until it grew to become a $600-million company.
There are fundamentally only two states of consciousness any human being has ever lived or will ever live: a stressful state and a beautiful state. If you look at the entirety of human life, behind war or peace, cooperation or corrosive politics, love or separation, persistence or failure, finally happy children or a generation that is troubled – behind all this is the driving force of these two states. So the most important choice is: from which state do we want to live our life? Many of us are leaders or are aspiring to be leaders. From which state do we want to achieve and fulfill every vision of our life? From which state do you want to lead your teams and your organizations? From which state do you want your managers to lead their teams? What do you want the culture of your organization to be as you walk through its doors day after day. a stressful state or a beautiful state?
Let me share this secret with you: Only when you live in a beautiful state does the universe become your friend and support you in conquering your challenges and fulfilling your heartfelt intentions. You enter a magical zone in life. We have seen it again and again. Only when you live in a beautiful state do your problems thaw like ice in the heat of the sun. Life becomes filled with synchronicities taking you ever closer to your desired destination.
Do you want to understand how powerful your state of consciousness is?
In the south Indian state of Kerala, when baby elephants lose their mothers to death or disease or are separated from the herd because of an accident, the forest department tames them. They are tied with a small rope to a peg on the ground. They are kept like that in captivity for some time until they become manageable.
Now even when the elephant becomes a huge animal that can clear forests and uproot huge trees, it comes to a standstill the moment its foot is tied to a small peg in the ground. The elephant just does not try to break free anymore. Think of this: Such a huge animal’s freedom is bound by a small rope to a tiny peg. What has happened to the elephant? Why are they stuck in such a limiting life?
The baby elephant’s brain is wired into the experience of being bound the moment it is tied to a peg; even though it is now much mightier than when it was a baby. What binds the baby elephant is not the peg but the limiting pattern in its brain. What binds the baby elephant is not the peg, but it’s past memory or past experience that distorts its experience of actuality.
If you are a mighty elephant capable of living in a beautiful state and achieving great feats in the jungle, there is one peg that can tie you down into a limited life – a life of limited love, a life of limited creative intelligence, a life of limited abundance, a life of limited fulfillment. This peg is your stressful state of consciousness.
A beautiful state is vastly more than an emotional high. It is greatly more than an attitude of gratitude or cheerfulness. It is not about what is on display to others. It is your actual inner state. It is how you actually experience life.
In a beautiful state, there is a total absence of inner conflict, confusion and chaos. A beautiful state is a state of being connected to oneself or to another. A beautiful state is a state of total presence.
Let me now share with you a powerful yet simple and scientific practice: the Serene Mind Practice, which only takes about three minutes of your time.
The Three Fruits of Serene Mind Practice:
1. It leads you in to a state of disengagement from stress.
2. It leads you to a beautiful state of calm.
3. You give wiser responses to life.
These are the steps of this super-potent practice:
Please sit still.
Take three abdominal breaths with total attention.
Connect to any emotional disturbance you have felt over the past few days. Observe your inner state until you discover the exact emotion.
Having recognized your emotion, now observe which of the two thinking processes you are involved in, obsessing over the past or imagining a future loss.Now gently move your attention from the center of your eyebrows, as if you are traveling within the brain to its center, and breathe deeply with your awareness. Thank you. Please open your eyes.
If you would like to listen to an audio guide of this practice, visit us at www.breathingroom.com.
This practice you can do anywhere, any number of times. And you will see your brain shifting, your inner state shifting. Every one of us can find three minutes to spare. Even in the midst of a busy workday, you can take three minutes out to get away from mental haze and confusion to move into a space of greater clarity.
Whether it is for great leadership, enduring relationships, or for living a satisfied life, living free of a stressful state and living in a beautiful state is an absolute must.
Preethaji, coauthor of The Four Sacred Secrets