I gave a keynote presentation this afternoon to around 800 entrepreneurs from around the world that are members of the Entrepreneurs Organization. It was part of their EO Istanbul University taking place in Istanbul, Turkey. The talk was titled EO 360 degrees – A spiritual perspective. EO 360 degrees is their theme for this year which focuses of 4 aspects of an entrepreneurs life – “myself”, “my family”, “my business” and “my community”. I shared spiritual insights and tools on each of these areas in my 75 minute presentation.

eo-istanbul-2012-dandapani-keynote

eo-istanbul-2012-dandapani-keynote, turkey

 

Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Gurudeva, guru of DandapaniWhen did we forget that happiness is a choice? It’s a choice that each of us have been empowered with. It’s a choice that each of us need to make each day, each moment of our lives. And when we forget then we leave ourselves subject to the people and environment around us to dictate how we feel. You can be a slave to them or make the simple decision each moment of your life to be happy. The choice is yours. Choose wisely for what you choose becomes you.

After all, it was my beloved guru that boldly proclaimed, that life is meant to be lived joyously!

Here is a photograph of my guru, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, which was taken during our visit to Oslo, Norway in 2001.

 

A question came in to me on email asking for some insights on concentration. “I can’t concentrate. Please help.”

Here are some of my thoughts on concentration.

Most people can’t concentrate because they have not been taught how to concentrate and they do not practice the art of concentration. If you haven’t been taught it and you don’t practice it how can you be good at it?

In order to learn how to concentrate you must first learn how the mind works. This is absolutely essential and very simple.
First you have to understand the difference between mind and awareness. You are pure awareness flowing through the mind. By using your will and powers of concentration you can consciously move your awareness to any area of the mind that you would like to go to.

You hear people often saying “my mind wanders all the time”. Technically that is a false statement. Your mind is not wandering rather your awareness is moving from one area of your mind to another. This is really an important concept to understand. With your will you can take your awareness to any area of the mind you want and hold it there with the powers of concentration. More on the mind and awareness later.

So, if I were to simply define concentration then I would say that concentration is the ability to keep your awareness on one thing for a prolonged period of time.

So you’ve learned two things. One is that awareness moves through various areas of the mind. Two, is that you can use your will and powers of concentration to hold awareness in a given area of the mind for an extended period of time.

Now that you’ve learned what concentration is and how it works, the next step is to learn how to concentrate better.

 

The following questions were asked to me by a staff writer at Well and Good NYC, an online wellness magazine, about the importance of doing nothing. And here are my full responses.

Do you think that it’s important, once in a while, to take time to truly stop going and just do nothing?
Sitting down and doing nothing for a little while each day is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Since vacations/traveling can be stressful, yoga/working (and even meditation!) still takes effort, is there a benefit to just sitting down and staring out the window once in a while?
Sitting down and doing nothing is the first step towards taking control of your mind, body and emotions. When we sit down and do nothing we are training our body that it does not have to be in movement all the time. When we discipline the body we start to discipline the mind. And when we start to discipline the mind we start to discipline the emotions. Very soon we are in charge of our mind, body and emotions as oppose to having them run us rampant through the day till we are frazzled and stressed.

It’s not only important to do this once in a while but rather make it a habit – a consistent practice that can be sustained. When people ask me for a meditation practice they can do, I often recommend for them to start with 5 minutes each morning where they sit down and do nothing. If they can do this for a month then I’ll teach them how to meditate. Believe it or not some people can only do this for a few days before they feel they are not accomplishing anything and make themselves get up and be busy again.

Meditation is the subsequent next step to sitting down and doing nothing as it is the process of bringing our mind and emotions under the dominion of our will once the body is quieten.

How can frazzled New Yorkers make the time to do it?
Frazzled New Yorkers can make time to do it the same way they make time to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, etc. You have to make it a priority in your life. Taking time out to look after ourselves is not a fad it is a necessity.

If you feel you don’t have 5 minutes a day to spare for this then pull out last month’s cell phone bill and see how many minutes you spent on the phone talking to someone else. Surely, if you can commit that much time to others in a month you are worth at least 5 minutes a day to yourself. And the best time to do it is first thing in the morning before life starts to take hold of you.

So, make an appointment with yourself each day to simply do nothing.

 

Recently the online wellness magazine, Well and Good NYC, reached out to me and asked for my thoughts on “the importance of doing nothing“. Read the full article here. (Part of the article that appeared on Well and Good NYC is shown below)

Well and Good NYC interviews Dandapani

A segment of the full article

 

A question was asked to me with regards to the blog post on the 26th of August titled “Dealing with Fear and Worry” as to why we can’t fear and worry about something in the past. Well, the reason we can’t fear and worry about something in the past is because it has already happened. There’s nothing you can do about it now.

But what you are in fact actually fearing and worrying about is the repercussions of your past actions which will manifest in the future. So the past can’t affect you technically speaking but the repercussions of it that will manifest in the future can affect you. So, therefore, fear and worry are future based.

It is a projection of your awareness into the future. With knowledge from the past, you create a potential future outcome in your mind. Having done this you then bring your awareness back to the present and start worrying about this potential future you’ve created in your mind.

Unless you have an intuitive insight the future is merely the intellectual mind rearranging knowledge and experiences from the past to create a future.

To live free from fear and worry strive to live in the present. Every time your awareness drifts into the future in an unproductive or unwholesome way gently and lovingly bring it back to the present. The eternity of the moment is the perfect sanctuary of security.

 

Worry and Fear only exist in the future. You are worrying and fearing about something that has not happened yet. If it has not happened yet then you can do something in the present to change this. So, bring your awareness back to the present, to this moment. Repeat to yourself “I’m alright, right now!”. Say this to yourself over and over again for a few minutes.

Close your eyes, visualize yourself where you are presently and infuse your mind and body with the feeling that everything is “alright” this very moment – which it is.

Regulating your breath also helps this process. To regulate your breath, breathe in the same duration as you breathe out. Repeat this for a few minutes.

If you concentrate while doing this exercise you will no longer be anxious, worried or fearful.