03 March, 2010

Today, I have two fascinating topics to share.

This morning, Amma (my mum) had invited her local tailor to come over for a meet. Overnight, I had prepared a set of questions I wanted to ask her. She came, we all sat down and I just jumped into my questions. Almost 45mins into our meeting, she said she had other engagements to attend to as well, so she had better leave. As she was leaving, I took out some money & gave it to her in recognition of her advice. Her voice quivered and she slowed down and gave us a few extra minutes.

Contrast the above incident with what happened with you yesterday. Amma & I went to ‘Duppa Gali’, all the salesmen I spoke with were least interested in answering the questions about their craft, the whats, whys and wheres. They wanted sales, not discussion and I was hopelessly a foreigner their.

The point I am trying to make is this:

We all need incentives and in this world, if I need to get my way, I need to let others get theirs too.

I read something most thought provoking in ‘The Happiness Hypothesis’. Jonathan Haidt suggests and reviews three methods of ‘changing your mind’.

  • Meditation
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Prozac (medication)

In Meditation, he mentioned how this practice has been a major part of Buddism, Hinduism and I started to wonder how come Islam doesn’t recommend or order such methods/measures. Soon after, it struck me that Islam DOES prescribe something similar. Its in Christanity as well and all other religions and that’s prayers. Offering five prayers a day for a muslim is not easy at first. But similar to meditation, prayers force one to break oneself away from the routine and spend sometime focusing towards the spiritual needs. Remarkably, just as meditation is quite hard initially, getting into the stride of offering five prayers a day is also anything but easy, requiring decipline & determination.

It was quite a ‘eureka’ moment for me as Ive been very lazy with my prayers and just like a eureka moment, I just felt all excited having decovered one of the reasons behind prayers. :D

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