21-day Sādhanā challenge – Day 1


Photo by Moodywalk on Unsplash

Being at home for an extended period of time usually gets us into vacation mode. This time, it’s different. Circumstances are not pleasant, and the immediate future doesn’t look very bright. Being self-quarantined means less or no access to some of the basics that form our routine – the neighbourhood gym, your favourite coffee hangout, and the biggest of all – your workplace.

While we may have experimented with working from home before, this time around, it isn’t business as usual. We feel that our lives have been disrupted, we may be struggling to get our short-term routines right.

Is this a crisis? Yes. Is this an opportunity – yes too. Depends on how you adapt to it.

Photo by Aradhika Sharma on Unsplash

And so I decided to be the ‘glass-half-full’ guy. Working from home has one big advantage – familiarity and comfort of territory. At office, you have to comform to timings made for the collective, to dress a certain way, to interact a certain way. A large part of your schedule is weaved into schedules of others – your co-workers, your boss, your clients. Add the travel time (getting ready, actual travel, settling down – and twice a day), we have quite a few things that we cannot control completely.

At home however, things are different – if you choose them to be.

And so I did. I have a newfound control on every aspect of my time, and I intend to make the best use of it. Not by overworking myself, but by being more productive. Not by compromising on responsiveness, but by choosing when and how to respond. Not by neglecting my health – but in fact – giving more time to my body and mind. And…not be complaining that I don’t have the time – but by making the best use of all the time that is available to me.

This 7 day Sādhanā challenge is my way of a bit of course correction – and breaking some long-standing habits.

Sādhanā has been described as ‘a discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a goal.

Abhyāsa is repeated practice performed with observation and reflection. Kriyā, or action, also implies perfect execution with study and investigation. Therefore, sādhanāabhyāsa, and kriyā all mean one and the same thing. A sādhaka, or practitioner, is one who skillfully applies…mind and intelligence in practice towards a spiritual goal.’ (B.K.S. Iyengar)

Wish me the best of hard work, and pray that my Sādhanā is successful. I will try to write down all my experiences diligently, not just for you, but for me as well. This too, is a part of Sādhanā. And discipline doesn’t come easily, but I will strive to give it my best.

I suspect that we are grossly underestimating the long-term effects of this phase of our lives. Not just economically, this phase may change a lot of fundamentals that have been in place for long. One virus is all it took to close borders and shut down the world, a world that has now become interconnected in more ways that we fathom.

Is this the wake-up call that has been long overdue? Or will we get on with our lives, as if nothing much happened, once this is over?

Only time will tell…but let’s not miss this opportunity to course-correct, and work towards a more inclusive, not just a more interconnected world. A world where humans live in harmony with all other humans, animals, birds and nature as a whole. A world where we constantly express thankfulness for the gifts of nature, and not exploit it to a point beyond redemption. A world where we live with the truth that money cannot buy us happiness and peace. We have a limited time here, and a lot of us have more time behind us than ahead, so lets resolve to live each day to the fullest and leave the world a much better place than what it was when we came in.