The past one year has been a time for deep introspection about why I am doing what I do. How can I continue doing what I want to do and what my moral compass is? Three encounters evolved me over the past one year - Buddhism, Amit Varma and my curiosity.
One non-negotiable idea as a Buddhist is that each person is capable and enlightened. “A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, can even enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.” - Daisaku Ikeda, The New Human Revolution. I’ve chanted Nam Myoho Renge Kyo over a large part of my life. It's been a great way for self-introspection and challenging my fears.
My writer friend Manu Pillai introduced me to the podcast, The Seen and the Unseen . The title of the show itself was interesting enough to give it a shot. The conversations provided practical examples of cause-effect relationships. The podcast gave examples applying economic reasoning and probabilistic thinking. It helped that the guests and the host cared enough about each other and the subject they were discussing. It also helped that these people had lived experiences about the subject at hand.
My trust in Amit Varma based on his podcast made the course, The Art of Clear Writing a must sign-up course. I started logging in at 5:30 AM PT every Saturday of August 2020. All good instructors make you uncomfortable in a good way, Amit was no exception. He forced us to build a writing habit. He once shared the following, “I liked the way it began, with quick action and a sense of this lively girl in a precarious world. But then the piece became overwrought. One sign of that happening is when you have sentences that don't add anything new to the story, which happened a bit in the second half. From painting a picture, as the first half did, the piece became a sentimental lament, and that didn't work for me.”
Amit’s final class had a recommendation of writing 200 words every day. It took me a few weeks to get started but here I am finished with two notebooks with my daily journal entries.
Here are a few journal entries from there
I am a curious person who is trying to understand myself and the world around me. In modern society separating the two is close to impossible. We are more dependent on each other than we were at any other time in history. This curiosity combined with a process of writing and chanting daily has taken me to the next step.
We are all on a journey to gain clarity in our life. Board the train of curiosity and you will enjoy the boredom. With consistency, you also will gain some clarity.
I wanted to thank my family, clear writing community, friends and peers who pushed me to get this off the ground. You know who you are.