The beauty of Deepal’s book is – it is written by a practitioner who makes absolutely no intellectual claims. If the test of a pudding is in its taste, the test of a book on meditation is in the author’s practice of it. Talk is cheap. Practice is of the essence.
I am certain Deepal’s insights are not due to his reading, perhaps, a large corpus of literature on ‘mindfulness,’ but of real, realized and living experiences. He takes on an odious and seemingly irresolvable issue: the practice of management and the practice of mindfulness (read meditation). If we were to draw comparative columns, we will see clearly, the incongruity of such an enterprise: avarice versus contentment, competitiveness versus equanimity, ambition versus satisfaction, aggression versus empathy … Can they blend? If not blend, can they at least complement each other? Is not mindfulness an immediate and pressing contradiction to the skills (demanded) of business?
Deepal stands straddling both worlds just as any other professional does. Sample this, “In this highly demanding (business) environment, to be effective you need to be in control. To be in control you need to know what goes on here and now. To know what goes on, you need to be aware. To be aware you need to be mindful. When you are mindful you have a state of mind that is alert.”
It is with this premise that Deepal holds forth on what could be the most important attribute that should be nurtured by professionals, today. Business, today, is sustained by military descriptions- ‘war room’ ‘penetrate’ ‘take over’ ‘obliterate’ – that has led to the absence of spiritual attributes in the business environment. Deepal’s book is timely and critical if we have to work and maintain equilibrium in our world. Perhaps, he is the harbinger of ‘return to basics’ in a business world that is way too mercenary.
The flowering of the individual is a direct outcome of ‘a thought about slowing down’ and being completely aware of the ‘present moment’, indeed, being in the present moment. So, Deepal takes simple, everyday routine tasks – driving, brushing, walking, etc. – and converts them to mindfulness activities. Reading the book makes one wonder, ‘is that it?’. We are so conditioned to regarding meditation as a highly esoteric practice that we are almost stumped incredulous by simplicity. But, really, this is the secret of being mindful. Alert. In the moment. It all percolates to simplicity.
My only disagreement with Deepal remains with the sub-title of the book – Mindfulness as an Executive Capability. Why Executive? Why not managerial too? Better yet, why not universal? Mindfulness is for all.
- Smarth Bali Global Communication
Inward Bound was first published in the UK in 2012.The second print now titled Inward Bound for Mindful Living will be launched as a Sarasavi Publication on 16 February at 5.30 p.m. at the Jaic Hilton, at a corporate event titled Mindfulness for Corporate Success and Happiness Where Dr. Tara de Mel will speak on “A scientific approach to Mindfulness”. Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri will speak on “A business case for Mindfulness” and the book will be reviewed by President’s Council Prasantha Lal de Alwis. Deepal himself will make a presentation on “How to integrate mindfulness to corporate life”
Passes for the event can be obtained by contacting Deepal through [email protected]