Book of the Month – May 2021- Value(s) by Mark Carney

Value(s): Building a Better World for All
A bold, urgent argument on the misplacement of value in financial markets and how we can and need to maximize value for the many, not few.

As an economist and former banker, Mark Carney has spent his life in various financial roles, in both the public and private sector. VALUE(S) is a meditation on his experiences that examines the short-comings and challenges of the market in the past decade which he argues has led to rampant, public distrust and the need for radical change.
Focusing on four major crises-the Global Financial Crisis, the Global Health Crisis, Climate Change and the 4th Industrial Revolution– Carney proposes responses to each. His solutions are tangible action plans for leaders, companies and countries to transform the value of the market back into the value of humanity.

(Recommended by Barry T)

Play the Battle Drums – Buddha

A king had many elephants, but one elephant was very powerful, very obedient, sensible and skillful in everything especially his fighting skills. In many wars, he was sent on the battlefield and he used to return only after getting victory for the king. Therefore, he was the most loved elephant of the king.

Time went by and there came a time when the elephant started getting old. Now he was not able to perform as before. Therefore, the king did not even send him to the battlefield but he still remained as a part of the king’s team.

One day the elephant went to a lake to drink water, but unfortunately his feet got stuck in the mud and he went on sinking. He tried a lot, but he could not remove himself from the mud. People came to know from the sound of his screams that the elephant was in trouble. The news of the elephant trapped also reached the king. All the people, including the king, gathered around the elephant and made various efforts to get him out. But alas, even after trying for a long time, there was no way out. 

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get comfortable living the questions…

It starts by standing with the poor, listening to voices unheard, and recognizing potential where others see despair.

It demands investing as a means, not an end, daring to go where markets have failed and aid has fallen short. It makes capital work for us, not control us.

It thrives on moral imagination: the humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be. It’s having the ambition to learn at the edge, the wisdom to admit failure, and the courage to start again.

It requires patience and kindness, resilience and grit: a hard-edged hope. It’s leadership that rejects complacency, breaks through bureaucracy, and challenges corruption. Doing what’s right, not what’s easy.

it’s the radical idea of creating hope in a cynical world. Changing the way the world tackles poverty and building a world based on dignity.
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Essence of Karma Yoga

There are two aspects to any action. The first is to perform the action efficiently, perfectly. However perfectly an action may be performed there is always room for improvement. Hence the saying, ‘The largest room in the world is the room for improvement!’ The second aspect is the attitude with which the action is performed. Perfection in action is rather difficult but perfection in attitude is possible. If we perform actions with the right attitude, then however small or big the action, it will become great.  This is beautifully illustrated by the famous squirrel in the Ramayana, who out of love for Sri Rama tried to help the monkeys build the bridge across the ocean. The squirrel first wet itself in the water, then rolled in the sand and shook off the grains of sand on the bridge. This irritated the monkeys but Sri Rama understood the squirrel’s desire to assist in this great endeavour.

So only right actions (performing one’s obligatory duties) performed with the right attitude can be termed as karma yoga; otherwise it is merely karma, action.

-Swami Chinmayananda

I am the world and the world is myself

Question: You seem to advise me to be self-centered to the point of egoism. Must I not yield even to my interest in other people?

Maharaj: Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-oriented. You are not interested in others as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or enoble your own image of yourself.

And the ultimate in selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and multiplication of one’s own body. By body I mean all that is related to your name and shape— your family,
tribe, country, race, etc. To be attached to one’s name and
shape is selfishness.

A man who knows that he is neither body
nor mind cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for.

Or, you may say, he is equally ‘selfish’ on behalf of everybody
he meets; everybody’s welfare is his own. The feeling ‘I am the
world, the world is myself’ becomes quite natural;
once it is established, there is just no way of being selfish.

To be selfish
means to covet, to acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part
against the whole.

I Am That

Nisargadatta Maharaj

What Happens After We Die ? – Alan Watts

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐣𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐬 ? Alan Watts asks the question, is there any life after death ? and if there are any, why would be so concerned to think about it ? Alan Watts goes even deep in the question, by imagining the form of life that could be after death, and if it is all a sort of fantasy or is it based on some real aspects of life ?
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞𝐬 ? All religions offers a life after death, because they are all afraid of death, however the best way is to stop thinking about it. It’s like we went to sleep without ever waking up. This is by far Alan Watts best quote, because he says that it is so true and real, that we do not know how to experience death or the after life, however we know how to experience sleep everyday in our lives, which is similar to that.

The eternal state of ‘I-do-not-know’ and ‘I-do-not-know’ that ‘I-do-not-know…

People think that I am a Jnani. They come to me from all over the world — from Canada to Australia and New Zealand, from England to Japan. Most of them have read I Am That and come all the way to Bombay only to meet me. With great difficulty they are able to locate this little old house of mine in a dirty, narrow street. They climb up the stairs and find a small dark man in the simplest of clothing, sitting in a corner. They think: This man doesn’t look like a Jnani; he does not dress impressively, as someone known as Nisargadatta Maharaj could be expected to do. Could he really be the one? What can I say to these people? I tell them quite frankly that my education is up to the level which can barely put me in the category of the literate; I have not read any of the great traditional scriptures and the only language I know is my native Marathi. The only enquiry I have pursued, but pursued it relentlessly — like a hunter pursues his quarry— is this: ‘I know I am and I have a body. How could this happen without my knowledge and consent? And what is this knowledge I am?’ This has been my life-long pursuit and I am fully satisfied with the answers I have reached. This is my only Jnana, yet people believe I am a Jnani.

My Guru told me: “You are Brahman, you are all and everything. There is nothing other than you.” I accepted my Guru’s word as truth, and now, for forty odd years I have been sitting in this very room doing nothing except talking about it. Why do people come to me from distant lands? What a miracle! This is the extent of my ‘knowledge’, basically.

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Beginning of economic populism?

What happened with Gamestop is the beginning of economic populism. Robinhood weaponized the Occupy Wall Street movement, social drove viral interest, and nearly everyone hates Wall Street and Robinhood. There’s a lot to unpack here, political, economic, social, and technological, but understanding how all these themes come together is crucial to understand the future of fintech…..

Book of the Month – January 2021

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work
“The moment anything happens to us, that’s when we start asking ourselves questions. The sooner we recognize what we’re asking, the better”

Questions are at the core of how we listen, behave, think, and relate–as individuals and organizations. Virtually everything we think and do is generated by questions. Questions push us into new territories. The future begins with our thinking, represented by the questions we ask ourselves.”Change Your Questions, Change Your Life” shows readers how to consistently choose the questions that can lead them to success, both personally and professionally. This technique, called “QuestionsThinking,” stimulates innovation, accelerate productivity, and create more rewarding relationships.

Absolutely loved this book. I recommend this to any leader, educator, professional, college student, husband, wife, etc. The ideas discussed are very relevant and applicable in todays era. The themes can be utilized in most any stage of life and nearly every form of work. The concepts that Marilee Adams reviews are broken down into the simple questions (verbal or nonverbal) we ask ourselves on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis. First of all, I couldn’t believe that I am literally asking questions every day. It’s so subtle and happens so unconsciously that we don’t even realize it. Once I did, I couldn’t believe how my questions were driving my habits, actions, and feelings. By increasing overall awareness (observer self) while learning to ask yourself the right questions, in any given situation, can give you the power to change your life in nearly every facet. 

This has to be one of the best psychology books I’ve come across that has both the personal relevancy and impact to truly change your life. This is a must-have to your personal library.

– Kahea Clark

(Contributed by Mr. Maharajah)