We all know that Life is a journey of continuous growth and self-discovery. Essentially we know that every second we are living in the “now” is impacting the future because the future “you” is being influenced every second in the now. Every life experience we have becomes a part of our influences and impacts our tendencies and eventually may even become a huge part of our nature if it were given the space necessary.
The Impact/Role of Experience:
- Expanding the Scope of Conscious Activities. If not huge, experiences have the power to at least nudge your thoughts in a direction or sow some subconscious tendency that manifests later as a thought. We must also recognize the difference between understanding and realizing. Experience helps us realize. And we must realize that certain aspects can only be fully comprehended through personal encounters. It is through firsthand experiences that we truly understand and realize the nuances of life. As I mention even in my book, experience gives the opportunity to reflect or provokes you to reflect or sometimes floods certain reflections into your mind and through which your knowledge eventually becomes active wisdom or awareness. So in simple words, it is through experiences that we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Experience plays a major role in moving us along the awareness timeline. Therefore, it becomes crucial to actively seek out new and diverse experiences to broaden our perspectives and enrich our lives.
- And we must also consider the Gap Between Imagination and Reality. Many times, our assumptions about certain experiences are merely products of our imagination. There are a lot of life experiences that we assume we are aware of but in reality, it’s just our imagination that we have of the experience. Sometimes our imagination might match the reality of our experiences but most of the time it does not. So that is why, keep an open mind. Don’t have a strong opinion about something you haven’t tried at all or have very less experience in. My next blog dives deep into this same topic.
Life as an Experiment
I wrote this a few years ago –
“Life is a lab to experiment! You have to try out and find out things you seek.”
Life itself can be seen as a laboratory for experimentation. By this analogy, we can encourage ourselves to explore and discover the things we seek, pushing the boundaries of our comfort zones. However, this analogy also justifies why you shouldn’t try something that you already know is dangerous. Trying out new things can be a great thing but also beware. The idea of experimentation is to step outside our preconceived notions and embrace new possibilities not to get into trouble knowingly.
We already discussed in Blog106: Redesign Your Life, the big picture and the need for us to become deliberate/conscious of each activity. While it’s easier said than done to be conscious and deliberate in every moment, we can make a conscious effort to incorporate activities that promote self-improvement and mindfulness such as meditation, yoga, and anything self-improvement into our lives. This blog however is about adding to that list. What all can you do to increase your life experiences?
Activities to Consider:
- Embracing Sanathana Dharmic Activities: In the pursuit of diverse experiences, we can turn to the vast array of Sanathana Dharmic activities available to us. These activities stem from Bharath’s ageless treasure chest of collective wisdom and offer a multitude of paths to self-discovery and spiritual growth. If you’re already into yogasanas, meditation, and chanting. I suggest you explore what all you can do within them. Some of the activities you can try:
- A mantra yoga practitioner could commit to a Purushcharana of a mantra based on one’s convenience and interest. Similarly, a Hatha yoga practitioner can commit to performing a particular asana for a set particular set time for a set number of days.
- An overnight Sadhana retreat. It may be chanting a particular mantra or practicing a particular Artform, meditation technique, etc. Consider doing it on full moon nights or special occasions such as Mahashivratri, Janmashtami, etc.
- A streak/Vratha of silence, or of reading a particular scripture, visiting a consecrated space (or even Ashwattha tree), or voluntarily donating time or money in any form for a set number of days.
- One can involve friends, relatives, or co-workers who match your mindset and take these kinds of initiatives too. That brings more accountability to the table and also a lot of creative possibilities.
- Of course, you can combine all of the above in your own way and make these a part of your lifestyle.
- Whether you are already indulging in such activities that are an integral part of Sanathana Dharma or not, I strongly suggest you indulge in them more and more. Every other point I suggest from here on is already a part of this point, but still, I mention them so that it nudges you to think about all those aspects in Sanathana Dharma.
- Anything Personal Development: It might be discourses, books, documentaries, or retreats focused on personal growth. These activities often offer valuable insights and tools to enhance various aspects of your life.
- Artistic Expression: Engage in creative activities such as painting, dancing, writing, or playing a musical instrument, etc. Artistic endeavors can be transformative and provide a unique channel for self-expression. If you’re already into art, I suggest you dive deeper in it and other than that, explore other forms of art. [ Benefits of being a specialized generalist always triumphs ] And if you’re a regularly performing artist, you know there is a bit of everything – traveling, being social is a crucial part, serving, spirituality of course. [ Also gathering life experiences will make you a better artist. I talked about it in this video – Can machines replace musicians? ]
- Social Interactions: Seek out opportunities to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. Engage in meaningful conversations, attend workshops, or participate in community events to gain fresh insights and broaden your worldview. I’m not “social”. But I too have experienced that freshness when I accidentally got the opportunity to spend time with someone I barely know or just met and gave away the control. My strong suit though is being curious. If at all, you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know that I’ll be the person who asks the most questions in a conversation, unless you already know that asking questions to me is more beneficial to you.
- Serve: Dedicate your time and energy to serving others. Volunteering not only benefits those in need but also provides a sense of fulfillment and gratitude. One can serve in any form. It might be collaborating with your fellow workers/artists/scientists on a project intended for a ‘greater good’.
- Travel: What I mean by travel is to explore different cultures, cuisines, and landscapes. Immerse yourself in unfamiliar environments to broaden your perspective. And what I’d like you to notice here is that travel is not the only activity, it’s just one among various other activities through which you can gain a lot of experience. Travel also means to challenge your physical limits by trying activities like scuba diving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, or hiking. Pushing beyond your comfort zone can unveil hidden strengths and boost self-confidence.
In the pursuit of personal growth and self-realization, actively seeking diverse life experiences is invaluable. By stepping outside our comfort zones and engaging in a range of activities, we expand our understanding of ourselves and the world. Embracing the Sanathana Dharmic activities can give a whole mega list of activities to try out and through it enhance our spiritual connection and provide profound insights. Remember, life is an ongoing experiment, and through exploration, we can uncover hidden joys, develop newfound strengths, and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the wonders of existence. So, why not embark on a journey of self-discovery today and open yourself up to the transformative power of life experiences?
Sanath Kumar Naibhi