Chapter 11 - Learning to Unlearn!

I have been spending quite a lot of time reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos on YouTube about various teachings of Buddhism and its types. I have even started watching some interesting series on Netflix and all of these investments are fanning the fire to know more, to learn more, to observe more, and be more aware of myself.

It is fascinating to note that everything I do, all my actions, my likes, my dislikes, my stories about myself are all derived from the outer world. Little did I think that there was a way I could change the so-called “human nature”! I wondered if there was a possibility to change some of the core practices that I had inculcated such as being short-tempered, passing judgments, getting anxious, experiencing jealousy, etc, and to my surprise, YES! These and almost every aspect of my nature can be modified if necessary and replaced if required. Now that I had reasons to believe that what I considered as a part of me is just a manifestation of my own thought process, I needed to spend time with all my emotions, even the unpleasant ones, especially them I would say.

The use of “touchwood” is very common and for a long time it was a part of my conversations whether I was talking about my accomplishments or appreciating someone else’s, the term “touchwood” saved me from all the jinx or so I thought! While questioning some of the brules that I had been following, this one caught my attention and I started digging in to see where it originated from, what importance did it carry in my life and what was the underlying feeling that made me so insecure that I had to use “touchwood” every now and then as an insurance to protect all the good things that happened in my life.

It all started as a “trend”! I was following the trend and then the trend became me! That’s the entire story of its origin.

Well, okay then! The origin wasn’t dramatic, let’s check out its benefits. How many times has it saved me from bad luck? Ehmmm <really long silence….>

Ans: I don’t remember if it really did anything :-/

Alright then, experiment complete! Conclusion derived:

My life did not really change after I started making use of this term but it did give me a sense of security that my luck was safe! I did not want to blame myself or judge myself for being silly but I really wanted to know why it was even required to safeguard my emotions from getting jinxed? In my opinion, I thought that humans are selfish and they cannot see anyone else happier or more successful than themselves. Now with this kind of mindset that everybody is mean and selfish, how can I possibly follow my passion and my dream to help orphans, to provide care for the elderly, or to teach underprivileged kids? If the blueprint in my mind is so murky and unreliable, the outcome can never be the masterpiece that I desire it to be. I am not trying to put a label on anyone who believes in omens or follows certain practices, I am just glad that I am able to connect the dots between my expressions and the reason for their existence. I don't know everything yet, I am still learning but it is a good project to know about myself, my beliefs, my behaviors, and a healthy debate every now and then, flexes my brain so it is a win-win!

~Anila Andezhath

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