The Banyan Shades

Discourses on cognition and beyond cognition

A person looking at a green landscape and meditating

Ikigai: the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. By Hector Carcia and Fancesc Miralles

Perhaps the most famous things that got out of this book is the diagram of Ikigai: which simply states that we find our purpose in middle of four things: What we are good at, what we love, what the world needs, and what we can be paid for. It’s a perfect system of what value we offer to the world and what we get in return, while maximizing the benefits from both ends. We maximize our self-interests and pleasure by doing what we love and what we can be paid for, while the rest of the world gets something that it needs and is of quality (because we are good at doing what we do).

Book cover: Tales told by mystics

Tales told by Mystics

The burning desire to know is perhaps the most prized concept in Indic literature when it comes to knowing the absolute reality. And in order to know, we literally have to forget what we already understand. A seeker is also a beggar: accepting alms of knowledge as it comes to her. Whatever it is that we want to know or understand in our lives, we have to open ourselves to inspiration and learning through curiosity. We have to forget for a moment that we live in a competition or an audition of who has it all figured out, because no one does. Even with limited intellectual and material resources, human beings can always open themselves up to growth by the means of curiosity.