Akhilesh Parmanu shared with us his thoughts on mind and stress before he spoke about the connection between body and mind during NIN's October event ''Mind matters''.
Our speaker has participated in Happiness programs all over the world and is currently the Regional Director of Youth Programs and spearheads volunteer for better India project with issues related to the environment, education and women empowerment.
Tell us more about your background.
Professionally I have done a mechanical engineering at one of the premiere colleges.
How did you take the leap from engineering to spiritual topics?
I think that when you do engineering you take care of the machines, but suddenly you realize that there is too much competition, so much stress today. I thought people might not be able to handle stress themselves, so I started getting more interested. The more I was engaged, the more I could help people and the bigger satisfaction this gave me. This was a motivation and inspiration and that’s how it all started.
What is your approach to mindfulness?
I personally don’t talk about mindfulness, but handling the mind. It is more about experience. For example, if you want to become a better cook, you have to spend some time in the kitchen. The same, if you want to become a better footballer, you have to spend some time in the field. Primarily, if you don’t want to listen to your mind, then you can’t work with it. You have to understand your mind to know how to handle it. My approach is very experiential.
In your observation, what stops people from being happy?
If you are not happy with what you have, then nothing else will make you happy. It is more about the reason outside.
Recent studies state that stress is actually beneficial for the body. How do you feel about that?
It’s beneficial, for example, if you are in the woods and there is a tiger, you want to run away from it and, of course, it’s not good for you. What I mean is that you should know how to handle stress. If you have a fever, you know how to handle it, so it’s not a problem. If you don’t know how to handle it, then it’s a problem – you have to learn how to handle it. If you don’t know how to handle it, I think it is going to destroy your life, your mind, your relationships, your peace of mind, your happiness.
How can stress be turned from disadvantage to advantage?
Again, as I said, you have to know how to handle it.
Do people from different cultures handle stress differently? If yes, how?
I think people are people wherever you go. Maybe in poorer surroundings, maybe because of the culture, there are a few differences, but finally, people are people. Maybe outside stress is different, but inside it’s the same. If we are not connected to our own self, then we are finding it outside somewhere. So, when you have everything materialistic you want, you don’t know how to find stress.
It’s a ‘’dark time’’ now in Norway. Can you advise on how to stay positive and in harmony between body and soul?
We have to understand what a soul is, that’s very important. If you understand it, you can have a connection between body and soul.
Interview conducted by Vyara Løvig, Marketing Coordinator