Recently, my father had a severe stomach ache. Doctors prescribed pain killers. It helped to a certain extent, however, two days later again he had the same issue. Some diagnoses gave no conclusive reasoning to the issue. The further diagnosis helped us figure out – the causes, possible approaches to avoid it in the future – what to eat, what to avoid, and what should be the lifestyle – besides the medicines.
How often do we make similar kinds of errors in treatment? If you get angry often, you are asked to undergo an anger management course. Attending an anger management course is like administering a painkiller. It would help – but how long? Do you think it is going to help? How often does it help the person?
It is often found that the cause of anger is impatience, inability to handle pressure, unwillingness to accept the situations, etc. On a lighter note – it can be a sense of entitlement too that causes anger – as they say often in Delhi “Janta hai mera baap kon hai?” “Do you know who my father is?”. This question sometimes provides a sense of entitlement to commit a mistake and get scot-free. Well, that is for some other day.
The solution to these problems is not attending Anger Management courses. The deeper analysis and reflection is the better and long-term solution. As in the case of my father’s severe ache, the solution to your behavior also lies in a bit deeper diagnosis, identification of the right causes, and lifestyle.
The behavior here goes beyond the act of getting angry or losing a temper. The behavior encompasses multiple possible ways one reacts to situations or people. I am a strong believer that spiritual awakening is a big solution to mental health. I mean spiritual awakening as in – Indian spiritual methods. The methods were taught by the many spiritual masters of India including the Buddha.
When I say meditation and spirituality are some of the solutions to many behavior issues, it may sound like this is a magic bullet. In a way it is. Especially, when you are concerned about you yourself – spirituality and meditation are the potent solutions. When I say that I mean Indian mysticism.
How and why spirituality and meditation for the behavioral issues?
Have you seen two sets of people standing in a queue – one worried, restless, and one overjoyed and happy? You can observe it in – a cinema ticket queue or a sports event ticket purchase. You could have observed it (in old days) Indian Railway’s reservation counters too. Have you ever asked yourself this question, why do two people in the same situation may have different mindsets or behavior?
The reason for different people behaving in the same railway reservation counter is different. One may be going home after a long journey and the other leaving the loved one behind. Same place, the same action of booking a ticket but different feelings. The reason is different people behave differently.
In fact, the first thing one learns in Marketing – respond to different customer or customer segments differently! This applies to our daily lives too. So, each person standing in the queue of reservations may have a different mindset and each mindset may require handling situations differently. Isn’t it correct?
Spirituality and meditation
Now when we have established that the different mindsets require different solutions, how can a set of religious practices or methods solve the same problem? This is where religion fails many of us. Religion deals with the masses and is like a herd mentality. Spirituality is for self and soul. So, mostly religion may not solve your problems but spirituality can.
You can solve your behavioral problem with your working “on yourself”. Meditation is the technique that works on “your” self. The problem of anger – for example – is an individual’s problem therefore the solution of that also lies at the individual’s level. It requires a diagnosis. The one that gives some conclusive reasoning to the issue. Spirituality gives that one. As was the case with my father’s stomach issue, a deeper analysis was required for the solution.
Our behavioral issues also require deeper analysis. And that my friend can be done with spiritual practice such as meditation. Give it a try. I can vouch for the Art of Living Foundation as I have done their courses – check a few online courses here.