A zen master resided in a quaint little monastery tucked away in the hills. He was reputed for teaching profound lessons in peculiar ways. On one such occasion, he approached a group of novice monks, and asked them a simple question,
“Tell me, what time is it?”
The monks stole a glance at the clock and promptly replied, “9:30 in the morning, master”
They expected the Master to nod in approval or reply with a word of thanks, but to their shock, the master slapped them in return.
As the day proceeded, this series of events repeated over and over again. Soon, the monastery erupted in chaos. Monks with swollen red cheeks scampered about screaming, “Oh! The master has gone crazy. He has lost his mind!”
As the commotion continued to grow, they decided to approach an elderly monk, Tara. Just when the monks were narrating the incident, the Master walked into the room and asked Tara the same question,
“Tell me, what time is it?”
Tara replied, “The time is now, master.”
The master smiled and walked away.
While it goes without saying that the Master’s response was far from being worthy of emulation, the lesson delivered through this simple story is quite profound. “The time is now”— this moment is all we have. At its simplest, life is a collection of tiny moments. Every moment presents the opportunity to do something meaningful and worthwhile. Every second counts.
Yet in our fast-paced lives, mindfulness can seem like a herculean task. As our world becomes more connected and technology accelerates at dizzying speeds, the demands on our time and energy have increased multifold. In the midst of unending to-do lists, overflowing messages and an economy that preys on our attention, almost all of us have had that moment of exasperation— I just don’t have the time.
Learning a new skill, taking up a hobby or adopting a healthy habit— all of these require investments of time and energy. But we are all pressed for time, and this holds us back from engaging in the activities that we know are beneficial and will reap rewards. We recognise the effort that is required for completing the tasks we set for ourselves, but often we are faced with the same question— Where do I have the time?
Given that our days are divided into hours, we have a tendency to think of time in hour-long blocks. Have you ever had the moment when you were supercharged to get your work done and you were about to sit down on your chair, but just then you spotted the clock — 4:45 pm —-and you thought to yourself,
“Ah that’s quite an odd time to begin. Let me wait for fifteen minutes and start at 5 pm.”
Whether you actually started working at 5 pm is anybody’s guess.
At first, fifteen minutes doesn’t seem like much. It slips away easily like water held in a closed fist.
After all, it only makes up 1% of the twenty fours in a day.
But a little bit of math (it’s simple arithmetic, don’t worry) is all it takes to realise the impact that 15 minutes a day can have when coupled with the power of consistency.
1 Minute = 60 Seconds
15 minutes = 900 Seconds
900 x 365 = 329,500 Seconds
15 minutes a day, over a period of a year, translates to over three hundred thousand moments replete with the opportunity and potential to bring about the positive change that you have always been wanting to make. It is the answer to our jam-packed schedules and busy lives.
The Power of Consistency
“Most people knock on the door of their dreams once, then run away before anyone has a chance to open the door. But if you keep knocking, persistently and endlessly, eventually the door will open.” -Les Brown
Consistency is a superpower.
While one meditation session or one healthy meal won’t have much of an impact, these same actions when repeated daily could transform your life for the better. Deposit 15 minutes of your day, every day and at the end of the year, you’ll reap the rewards of roughly a hundred hours of concentrated effort and dedication.
In the words of Bruce Lee, “Long term consistency trumps short term intensity.”
Investments for a Positive life
Happiness is not an accident. It is the result of a commitment to a positive life.
Now that we have realised the life-changing power of consistently doing something for fifteen minutes a day, let us look at some practices that can help us cultivate happiness and positivity. Applying the same principle to these practices will transform your life and help you walk the path of joy.
Meditation is all the rage these days. From Tech Moguls to Sportsmen to students, there are many who credit this ancient practice for their success. But like any other skill, if you wish to benefit from meditation, it must be done correctly.
As per a 2018 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, practicing fifteen minutes of meditation every day promotes mental and physical well being. The study notes, “participants reported lower levels of negative feelings and higher levels of wellbeing, as well as being better at observing sensations, describing thoughts and emotions, and being better at non reacting to feelings.”
Performing an act of kindness for someone else is the greatest gift you could give yourself.
Sounds kind of paradoxical, doesn’t it? But it isn’t.
As per the findings of Dr David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, and this triggers the release of a hormone called oxytocin which further results in the release of nitric oxide. This chemical dilates blood vessels, reduces blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health.
So opening up your heart to perform random acts of kindness will lead to a stronger heart! Who knew?
With fifteen minutes a day set aside for doing this special task, there is a virtually infinite number of possibilities and opportunities. You could use this time to make some handwritten “Thank you” notes to express your gratitude. You could lend a patient ear to your troubled friend. You could feed the stray dogs of your colony— the possibilities are endless.
“Reflection is one of the most underused yet the most powerful tools of success” – Richard Carlson
It is easy to get lost in the humdrum of daily life. The practice of reflection provides a much-needed pause in our hectic lives and helps us look back at all that has conspired.
When working towards a goal, it is important to analyse one’s daily progress and look for areas of improvement. A daily check-in with yourself keeps you on track.
Reflection not only increases your odds of success but also helps you get in touch with yourself and know yourself better. And knowing yourself is the first step towards leading a fulfilling life.
How Black Lotus gives you the complete package
At Black Lotus we are not only aware of the magical benefits of consistency but also understand the impact mindfulness and kindness can have on the global levels of happiness. With the RARE framework, we incorporate these principles to help you lead a more fulfilling and enriching life.
Here’s a breakdown of our recipe for happiness:
Reflect – You kick start your day with a guided meditation and breathing exercises designed with individual goals in mind.
Act – You are encouraged to perform random acts of kindness to help you give something back to the world.
Reinforce – You read remarkable short stories aligned with your current goal to help reinforce crucial lessons.
Evaluate – You end the day with a thoughtful reflection that helps you with simple course corrections for transformative results.
See, that’s how easy it is!
So, don’t wait for the Zen master to remind you of the present moment – Download Black Lotus Now!