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Management Consultant at Accenture to Meditation Guru | Neomal Silva (Podcast transcript)

If you'd rather listen to this, go here. And if you want the video version, check out my YoutTube.


Sudeshna

Hi everyone, this is Sudeshna from The Abundance Psyche and you are listening to the not so corporate podcast. Today, I have with me Neomal Silva, who's an expert in stress management and a teacher of the Vedic meditation. He has worked as a consultant like many of us in Accenture before he spent his time in Europe, in Australia and has worked with big clients like Nokia. He holds a bachelor's from the University of New South Wales, a Master's from the UCL, he has taught and conducted research at Oxford, he has written a thesis on neuroimaging. So we are gonna get right into the matter here. Because if you know me, you know, I am a bit of a woo-woo person, I talk a lot about neuroscience and meditation. And of course, I am amazed that people from being former consultants end up being meditation teachers, which is why I'm really looking forward to this chat. So Noe, thank you so much for joining us.


Neo

Look, thanks a lot. Sudeshna. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Sudeshna

Yeah, it's such a pleasure to have you. So do you want to start off by telling us a bit more about your background, like from masters from your bachelor's, master's pieces? And then how did you land up in consulting?


Neo

Sure, absolutely! So I did an undergrad degree in electrical engineering. And I specialized in the final year, I specialized in biomedical and specifically, I wrote a thesis on neuroimaging. So this is kind of this will tie in later to some of the interests that I've had in meditation because I was studying some of the physiology, as well as some of the I mean, the impacts that meditation can have on the brain is something of a lot of interest. That's a lot of interest to me. So in a nutshell, I studied electrical engineering. I did my undergrad in that I actually went into industry afterwards. So I worked. I worked for a telecommunications mobile operator here in Australia for a couple of years, and then I'm revealing my age here. So then back in 98, I moved over to Europe, because I was offered a role with Nokia in Paris. And I thought, yeah, of course not. And so, that got me over to Europe, and I was working there as a consultant. And I worked essentially, I worked like that for a few years before then moving to London in 2001, where I joined Accenture and back then they had, you know, back then it was the big dot com craze.


So they wanted consultants like myself who had this industry knowledge of telecommunications and they wanted to integrate that into their service offering. So I kind of moved. I moved from university to industry then into consultancy and a world of PowerPoint presentations and the like. And then and then afterwards I then moved you know I moved then 2002 I then moved to Paris, back to Paris and I then for the next five years I worked with a French consultancy so that that that if you like my consultancy background it was the industry, to begin with, a move then to Accenture in the UK moved across to move across afterwards to France working for a boutique, smaller boutique consultancy there for about five years. And I suppose probably the burning question the way you introduced me, which was really nice, thank you. But the burning question is, so how did that all lead eventually to meditation? I learned meditation in January 94 when I was still at university, in fact, I've done my first of university. And then I'd actually been a nerd, I was a geek, but I actually failed a couple of subjects. And in the first year, because I went from this really, really selective, all boys academic High School in Sydney, really competitive, really selective to University, where, you know, where it wasn't all boys where, you know, suddenly there was much more of social life. And there weren't the same kind of pressures. And I didn't strike a balance between the two. And I ended up failing a couple of subjects. And for unknown, that's pretty much as traumatic as it gets, right? Like, I was 18-19 at the time. I grounded my identity and my ability to do exams and do them well. But I didn't turn up to lectures and stuff. So stuff fell, fell, fell to the wayside. I got through a lot of stuff, but couldn't wing it through that. And then and then, yeah, so that's kind of what happened was, I then was like, Well, what am I going to do? And I ended up at a party...


I mean, that whole year was filled with way too many parties. I ended up at another party, January 94, this guy, there was this friend of a friend, and he kept ducking out and I said, What are you up to? And he said, Oh, I'm meditating. And I thought this is really bizarre. Cuz, I mean, I'm a brown guy, I'd grown up my parents are Sri Lankan, I grew up going to Sri Lanka every year. And for me, meditation was something that it was something done by Buddhist monks in the village, it wasn't something done by a white middle-class guy, nor, in my case, a brown middle-class guy, right. So I was intrigued. And I thought, Okay, well, this is curious, this is interesting. And he said, Yeah, it's great. Like, it helps with your focus. It helps with Yeah, it just gives it helps with your sleep, it helps with the focus, it helps with your anxiety levels. It helps with just if you like being mindful, the ability to be present and to be mindful. And I thought I was intrigued. And I thought you know what, I'm going to look into it. And I went home, and I did what you did back in January 1994. When you are curious about something, I looked up the Yellow Pages. I looked up the phone book because there was no Google back in January. And, and, you know, I discovered that Yeah, there was someone teaching meditation, a couple of suburbs away, I went along to a talk about it, I heard about all of the various benefits, what it does to the brain, how it helps with focus, how it helps, it helps you, you know, it's not the technique that I learned, and that I teach is not a technique about giving up. It's a technique to help to allow you to refine certain skills that we all have, such as the ability to focus, the ability to be present, the ability to take in a variety of stimuli, a variety of information sources and to process it optimally. And I thought, wow, okay, if I can even get one or two of these things, if I can even just get better sleep, and better able to focus that'll probably help me get back on track academically. And it did. I mean, within weeks, I then had midterm exams. absolutely nailed them turn the results around, completely, ended up graduating with honours in the program. eventually went into a master's program at UCL. And as I said, did a bit of, you know, I did a bit of research later, later on at Oxford as well. So, you know, academically, I went from someone who had failed a couple of things to someone who did really, really well. In an area that frankly, like engineering, I did engineering, because I did really well at math like I was good at math at school. And I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. But I have South Asian parents and they said to do the practical thing...


Sudeshna

You have to be a STEM major. That's that?


Neo

That's right. That's it. So I took the E in STEM and That's what I did. But even when I was doing it, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. But, and this probably resonates with a lot of your listeners as well. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. But whatever I was doing, I wanted to do it well. And consistently, that's been the case, both University and through my career. I wanted to do it well, I wanted to ensure that my reputation is upheld and enhanced by this particular piece of work that I'm doing. And this technique helped enormously if someone who I'm actually much more even though I'm, I was strong at math, I'm more verbal. And you know, I'm good at writing stuff. For example, I've written recently written a book I've, I've done research as well. So written research and I'm better at the writing stuff, but I nonetheless was able to courtesy of the meditation technique, use the abilities I have, and really optimize them and do well. You know, the truth of the matter is when we are relatively stress-free, we're able to we optimize our performance. If you look at what holds people back in exams, it's not that they don't know the material a lot of the time. It's the even if they haven't come across this particular type of problem, let's say before that’s being asked in one of the questions. If you're calm, you can still draw on the set of things you do know, you can still present those cogently so that the examiner realizes Yeah, there is something good said here presented well, that reflects the fact that there is a baseline of decent knowledge and that they are making a couple of leaps here and you know, they're presenting something decent. If you're calm, you can do that. Because what you do is courtesy of the meditation technique that I learned in 94, and that I now teach, you turn down what I call that Woody Allen voice in your head, which is second-guessing stuff. And going, "Oh, should I do this? Should I do that? I shouldn't have said that in that meeting in front of the client" knowing the senior managers probably put a black mark against my name, and I'm going to get a poor review. A poor review at the end of this project, I'm sure of it. The truth is the moment you turn down that Woody Allen neuroses, you really are able to be present, to engage at the moment better to read the question in front of you or to understand what your client when they're querying certain, you know, certain data that you're presenting them, rather than you just trying to, I mean, you listen to what they say, which is crucial, rather than feeling freaked out, oh my god, they're saying this, then you don't listen to in that instance, you don't listen to all that they have to say. And what you instead end up doing is you stand for a response on them that you think will just hopefully shut them up and, you know, drown them with words and hopefully some something somewhere in there somewhere or other answers what they're after. Right. And so let me answer. Let me answer the crux of what you asked, which is, How did I end up teaching meditation? I have relied on this throughout my career. I relied on it even at university. It allowed me to make dramatic changes in my life, which is what many consultants end up wanting to do. I moved from you know, I did well, in a degree that's not necessarily my bread and butter. I moved from Sydney you know from beach-side Sydney, I moved to Boulevard field Paris. I moved from let's call it relatively culture, free Australia, to very cultured Paris and France. I move from an English speaking world to the French speak to the French-speaking world. I moved from a company that knew me and thought, yes, he does good work to a completely new client. I hadn't worked with Nokia before they didn't know me. And I was trying to them somehow start with a new client in a new country, in a country in which I didn't even speak the language. I was trying I had, I had, I had gone from living in my parent’s place, very South Asian thing to do, I suppose, age 24. To then from one day to the next to then having to find a place for the first time, not in the next suburb. But in a country in which I didn't even speak the language. I was trying to actually find an apartment and move into it. So I had all of these challenges. And the truth is, how do you do it? And the fact is, for 20 minutes in the morning, and for 20 minutes in the evening, I had a technique that actually was a source of strength. Because what it does to you neuro-physiologically, is it increases the amount of serotonin, endorphins, and amide and dopamine within the body. These are neurotransmitters or hormones. What do they do? I mean, serotonin, so serotonin is one of the things that is increased. When you practice a technique like this particular meditation technique. serotonin is what your body produces. In the summer, when the sun hits your skin, your body will naturally produce serotonin. And what does it make us feel? It makes us feel happier. It makes us feel positive, optimistic, more open, more patient with the people around us. That's why in summer, we feel optimistic. It's an increase in the amount of serotonin within the body. When we come into winter, people lack serotonin. They don't want to crawl out of the duvet come early December. I've lived in London, I've lived in Paris come in early December. They don't want to crawl out from under the duvet. Because they're lacking serotonin. It makes them sluggish. It makes people depressed. There's sad, seasonally acquired depression. And this is all coming from a lack of serotonin. How does an Australian like myself move to Europe, where suddenly there's so much less sunshine, and there's so much less there's no beach in Paris other than Perry plash once a year, the artificial beach like construct, how do you handle?


And the answer is, I practised a technique that actually physiologically increased the amount of serotonin within my body, and therefore allowed me to feel optimistic. Every day when I was we all know this, right? I love France. I love the French clients and colleagues with whom I worked. But we all know that we've all I mean, many of us have taken the Paris Metro, we know that you know, you can ask a question of one of the people you know, ask a pass or buy something or other and you'll get a really rude shrug of the shoulders and, and whatnot. And I was having that day after day, week after week, month after month in the first few months. How did I manage to stay resilient and positive? It's thanks to this technique. How did I move from client to client and still make sure that I was able to adapt and to exude positivity? It's courtesy of this technique, we are all more positive in the summer. There's no magic around that. It's the fact that there's an increase in serotonin within the body. Everyone is more positive in the summer. If you have a technique, like what I practice and teach Vedic meditation, then you have the ability to tap into that morning and evening. No matter what you've gone through, I had difficult clients at various times, I had to deal with difficult people. I had to deal with a lot of change, and people who, even if you stay a consultant, you move between projects, and they're dramatically different. There's a different dynamic within each team. There's a different client on the end, you've got to kind of prove yourself yet again, with this new set of people and a new client. How do you do it? You've got to stay resilient. And it's things like this that allow for that.


Sudeshna

Yeah, so do you want to tell us a bit more about this technique then what is the technique that you use because I come from a very like like I mentioned, I am quite an into meditation I meditate regularly myself and from what I understand that there are Quite a lot of techniques out there. In fact, Somewhere I read, there were 112 meditation techniques, and at least one will work for you something like that. So how did you come to this one out of the 112?


Neo

It's a very good question. Now the short answer is, I came to this one through good fortune. good karma. That's the short answer that and there's a degree of truth to it. Let me though, aren't you more scientifically, which is you're right, there are, you know, there are hundreds of techniques out there, all of which do different things. And I think you've said something very, very insightful, in that a lot of people use the word meditation. But the truth is, there are so many different types of meditation, and each does something different. You can listen to dolphin squeaks for five minutes at the end of yoga, fantastic. People feel relaxed. When they do that, or whatever they're listening to, right? You can listen to like calm music for five minutes on the mat at the end of yoga. This does something very different to you, compared to the technique that I practice on that I teach. Both of them are called meditation. But it's not quite correct to do that because they do dramatically different things. Now, for what we can say is there are broadly speaking, there are broadly speaking the following categories of meditation, there are techniques where you concentrate on something, we call this a concentration technique or a focused awareness technique. Now, what could this mean? This could mean that you concentrate on your breath, or you concentrate, or you could practice this with eyes open and concentrate on the flame of the candle in front of you what the point of techniques like this is, there is a focal point, it's a focused awareness, there is an anchor point, the mind constantly jumps from thought to thought to thought, it always does that. Even now, we probably have layers upon layers of thought. And, you know, we're placing attention on one layer, and we're listening. But you know, there are other layers as well. And we're jumping from thought to thought as well. People who practice a concentration technique, what they're doing is they're saying, well, the mind jumps, but every time it jumps, I'm going to bring it back to the focal point. There's an advantage in techniques like that. techniques like that, what they bring you is they develop your focus, they develop your ability to concentrate. They're very difficult, though. They're difficult because you're trying to force the mind to do something that it naturally does and spend a lifetime jumping from thought to thought. And you are at the level of thought, you're attempting to get the mind to shift to effectively what you're trying to do as you're trying to engender in yourself a reflex, whereby you notice, so there's thought to thought to thought to thought, there's a moment of meta thought, realization that you're having thoughts, and then you bring yourself back to the focal point the candle or whatever it is. These are difficult techniques, but they do improve your focus and your concentration if you manage to, to do them. That's one type. Another type is what we call open monitoring techniques. And this is where you might close the eyes. And whatever comes to the mind, through the mind, whatever thought or feeling or sensation in the body, you just simply note it and accept it. It is a technique in which you don't have an anchor point. You don't have a focal point. You just simply accept whatever comes and note it. What are you doing here? you're developing what we call theatre, brainwave type activity. you're developing the ability for meta-thinking, for observation. Yes, I'm thinking, thought a thought BY thought see-through D. But I'm also trying to develop an abstract level of awareness of That whole process. So I don't just think A to B to C to D, I also have a layer upon which I observe the fact that I'm thinking A to B to C to D, right? These techniques are even harder than focus focused awareness concentration techniques because at least in concentration techniques, you have a candle or your breath or something to bring you back. Here, you're trying to just observe everything with non-judgment. And this is the kind of technique actually that a lot of monks practice, like the Pasha tradition, do this kind of technique. It's kind of that technique. It's somewhat hybrid, but it's largely open monitoring technique. But it's extremely odd. I mean, those people have done it for decades. And you need to have done it for a long time in order to master that. The type of briefly mentioned the type of technique that I practice, and that I do, and it's a mantra-based technique. What is a mantra? mantra is a word. It's a Sanskrit word, its value lies in the fact that it is a vibration. I think you speak Hindi, is that correct? You speak Hindi. So Hindi is the closest of the modern languages to Sanskrit and Sanskrit. So the point really is that the word that the mantra or the word that one uses in Vedic meditation is specially chosen for the person to resonate with their physiology. So we choose a mantra I've been trained over several months to learn how to identify which physiology will induce an experience of transcendence in the meditator. What do we actually do? This was the question you asked, what happens in the technique, the person is it, the person is given their mantra, they're given a word, the word is a sound, and they think the sound from time to time, I give them the word, I give them the sound, I instruct them in how to use that properly. they close their eyes for 20 minutes. And I walk them through exactly what to do with that mantra, what to do when thoughts come What to do when they hear the noise, what to do when they feel sensation within the body. What is the difference between this and the other techniques, it's that the mantra spontaneously works on the mind. Whereas a concentration technique, the mind at the level of thought, attempts to shift it away, and force it on to the focal point, the candle or the breath, or whatever it is. The mantra, actually, the sound of the mantra has an incredible resonance, and attractiveness to the mind, your mind now this shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us. Because we know that sound, in any case, has an impact on our physiology, where I play you a recording of Tchaikovsky, or Beethoven or Mozart. You know, this would have a very calming effect on the physiology, where I'd pay play you Metallica or megadeath or whatever, heavy metal hard rock young people these days, I'm not young anymore. We're at a play you that it has a very different impact on the physiology we see it just look at footage of heavy metal content. They're jumping up and down, and they're shaking their heads and waving their hair around. So in other words, sound and vibration have an incredible impact on the physiology. What's extraordinary, about an especially chosen mantra is unlike the Mozart and the Beethoven, which have a relaxing effect, unlike the music that you may hear at the end of a yoga class, for example, if that's what they do, that's what they're walking you through. The mantra actually triggers a moment where the sound of the mantra stops the mind from having the hopscotch of thoughts, whereas it jumps from thought to thought to flow. Just prior, it thinks, okay, I need to send that email after this call, I need to, I need to actually take care of the financials I need, I'm working from home, I need to also pop out and grab some lunch from somewhere, where am I going to grab it? this kind of stuff? So, whereas it's having these thoughts, what happens then is we introduce this mantra, and spontaneously, the mind stops having thoughts, and it moves to a level of depth. What's happening in the brain? Is your you're moving from what we call beta brainwave activity, which is high frequency, brainwave activity. It's the kind of brainwave activity that occurs when we're crunching through a to-do list when we're looking through an email and we're thinking, Okay, what does this client want? What are they asking me here? How can I do this simply, but you're like, you're scanning stuff, and you're thinking, What can I do? What do I need to do? What are the salient bits? What are the important bits, let me capture those. I need the bottom line here. Right? All of that is beta wave activity. We spend most of our working day in beta brainwave activity. What happens is when we introduce the mantra, we go from thought to thought to thought in which we were in beta wave activity, introducing this sound that suddenly induces alpha wave activity. What is the alpha wave activity? This is a more harmonious, slightly slower type of brainwave. For people who haven't practised a meditation technique like Vedic meditation, the closest approximation of it is what occurs in the first four to five minutes of sleep onset. We've all had this, we're drifting off to sleep first for five minutes. And then you're not awake, but you're not asleep. You're in this state in which someone could if someone were to slam a door in the next room, you'd wake up, right? If someone were to walk into the room and say something to you, you'd wake up, right? You're not it's not deep sleep at all. First four to five minutes is a transition point between waking and sleeping. It's an alpha wave state. And we've all had it, whereby we're drifting off to sleep. Suddenly, there's this clarity. Suddenly, this problem that we've been wrestling with for weeks or months with a client of how to solve some business problem, or how to put some marketing together for something or other, you get this genius idea. It's a eureka moment. Scientists call the alpha wave state that eureka moment. And a lot of people get it from time to time during that first four or five minutes of sleep, and they want to jump up and write the thing down, because something previously where they were in this faster beta wave, brainwave activity, and they're like, okay, okay, I need to do this, I need to do that. They weren't, they didn't have this broader perspective, right? where suddenly, when you induce the alpha wave state, you get this kind of underlying relaxation that comes through you, you move away from this fast thinking. And instead, you move into what's a flow state. And suddenly you're making connections between what otherwise disparate ideas now, Archimedes, they never measured his brainwaves at the time, but it's pretty clear what happened. He sunk into the bathtub, remember what happened? The story is, suddenly he had been trying to work out this whole question around the volume. And he'd been wondering how to work out this thing. And he'd been working on it for ages. Suddenly, he went into the bathtub, a warm bath, sunken sunk, he sunk into the bathtub. And all of a sudden after a couple of minutes, it came to him. And he's like Eureka, Eureka. And it's pretty clear. The warm bath suddenly actually moved him away from a beta brainwave state to an alpha wave state. He made connections between what otherwise disparate ideas of all of the water and he's like, Oh, well, now I get it. He made the connection. Right.


Sudeshna

So Neo quick question. Is it only meditation that helps you get into the alpha wave state or are there other ways like if you do YouTube on alpha waves, theta waves or something, you always find out about some music that you can play in the background, does that help at all?



Neo

Yeah, it does. Actually, that's true. It helps. It doesn't. It doesn't like it all helps. It's not as powerful. And the reason is, that think about, think about how you are when you listen to that music. You could go and see London Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall or the Barbican, for example. Now, it will have a nice effect on you. But there's plenty of people that are listening to that. And they're still thinking about the set of emails that they Have to send out a straight afterwards and, and how they're going to do it. So the point being that it does have an effect, and it's a great thing to do. But it's not as strong or as potent as an effect. Because the truth of the matter is, you still will have stopped strong beta wave activity during it. Whereas with a meditation technique, like what you know, like what I practice, you're able to, you're able to actually, you're able to stop the beta wave activity for extended periods during the meditation and you're able to, therefore experience pure alpha. So it's, it's, it's the other stuff helps, it's great to do it. But if you want a concentrated version of it, then something like meditation can do that.


Sudeshna

Great. So do you initiate people now as well?


Neo

I do absolutely.


Sudeshna

Right. Because that's very different to the normal sort of meditation where people just go for meditation as relaxation, but what you are saying is, you will give a mantra which will be suited to the physiology and the psychology of the person in question. So that is completely different. So how did you start initiating people? How did you know that? Suddenly, from being executive consultant to become an initiator?


Neo

I don't know what took me over. Brexit. Brexit is responsible!


Sudeshna

Is that right?


Neo

Because what happened is, there's an interesting story here, and that I'd been working for a client in Paris, and three weeks before the Brexit vote in 2016. I was offered by them, and I accepted the opportunity to take a role in London. I have a British passport. And I thought, and I thought, sure, yeah, absolutely. I have a British passport. But I've spent, you know, a huge amount of my time, most of my time working on the continent, 10 years in France, and Paris, in Paris, in particular. And so, here I was, with my British passport, suddenly confronted by the fact that I would courtesy of the Brexit vote, the drawbridge could go up. And I could be stuck in Britain. Right. And I was initially wondering, okay, well, should I or shouldn't I take that opportunity? But I did. And interestingly enough, when I moved to Britain, particularly in that manner, mid to late 2016, period, you could feel just how tense and how divisive, and how worried people were, particularly in London. Yeah. And the interesting thing was, I give that I was not just, you know, not I'm not just a centrist and an internationalist and all the rest. But I was someone who held a British passport and used it to work extensively for clients on the continent for extended periods of time. This was impacting me hugely. And, but I handled it, right, I took it in my stride. And one of the things is, it wasn't a case of forcing myself to take it in my stride. It was a case of spontaneously, I was able to handle it. And the reason is, it's not magic. It's the fact that I had this increased alpha and theater, brainwave activity, which just meant that I was calm and that I was able to chart the change that was occurring at the time. And what actually swung me towards the teaching of meditation, and this is how the breath streaks it's related to this is I was running some group meditations in London for some large groups of people who'd learnt this technique. And I realized a couple of things. One was that I knew a lot like I knew I had practised this technique since January 94. And there are a couple of instances in particular where I asked where I was asked a couple of questions from, you know, from these corporates, you know, this is a technique actually for business. People like us, it's for consultants, it's for corporates, it's not for it's, you know, I mean, some hippies will do it, but I don't teach them they're not, they're not really drawn to an X consultant, right? They go to other kinds of teachers. So these were busy people, and they were there. And they asked me some questions about how to handle the extra tension and worry that they have with their job and because of Brexit, and all the like, and I answered, and I answered them, also some techniques, some questions around how this technique can help them, and how some of some things they can do in their day to day practice, to allow them to feel positive, can likewise help them it was a look of relief, coupled with simultaneous gratitude that washed over a couple of these people's faces in particular. And I remember seeing and feeling that relief and gratitude that they felt and I was like, I got to teach this, you know, like, it's, you know, it was so strong and so potent, and such a beautiful thing to realize, yeah, this person, these people are benefiting from this. And from what I know about the technique, and it almost felt a little, if you like, almost a little selfish to not teach it because the truth is, people are worried about Brexit. And I was handling it, right. And a lot of people weren't, and I was handling it, because I've just increased the amount of alpha wave activity in my brain. And it's not, it's not magic, it's not, you know, it's not, it's simply the fact that you practice this thing long enough and your brain learns, we know the brain is plastic, we know that there is this concept of neuroplasticity, we know that if you practice a technique that saturates the brain with 20 minutes worth of alpha exposure, alpha brainwave x exposure for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. And then you jump in and do busy person stuff in the middle for the remaining 23 hours and 20 minutes. In other words, you jump in and you do beta wave activity in the middle of all of that, we know that eventually, the brain learns how to sustain the alpha wave activity during the beta wave activity. It's not that you don't do beta wave activity when you practice meditation for a long time. You still do. I mean, I have. I've been managing projects and whatnot, multimillion-dollar projects, concurrent to my teaching of meditation. And the truth is, you have to do a beta wave activity. It's a thing that allows you to, to filter and to discern what a client wants, what is the what, what are the salient parts that I need to put in this PowerPoint presentation, in order, in order for them to understand the change that we're trying to implement, via this particular project. That's all beta wave activity. And I continue to have it, the difference is that I have a background of alpha wave activity concurrent with it, that ensures Not only do I do the beta wave activity that allows me to crunch stuff. But I simultaneously have alpha wave activity, which allows me to remain calm, and which allows me to draw connections to do what we consultants often call blue-sky thinking and this kind of thing. And so that's how I ended up teaching meditation. It was really, it was Brexit.


Sudeshna

Right!,Brilliant. Neo, I mean, as much as I would love to chat with you more about all of this because I like, as you can imagine, I'm a complete geek when it comes to this. But I have to draw this to an end. But I know that we spoke about your book, which to particular topics were really interesting for my audience, I thought, actually, all of it is but I highly recommend you guys go check out the book that Neo has written. I think the five things that he mentioned was about how do you remain in a state of flow by waking up early, how to not procrastinate or stop procrastination forever? How you can stop multitasking, sort of I and I'm just gonna let you read the book. How you can get unstuck from past failures? And then how meditation can help you do all of that. So yes, Neo. Tell, tell us what, what is the name of the book?


Neo

Yeah, thanks to addition, I know you did a really good job thereof, of naming the five, the five things really well done. The name of the book, it's just been written, as you can tell from the title. It's, it's called off to COVID. Where to now. And it's five scientifically proven strategies to thrive in the post-COVID workplace. So it's available as an E-book, your listeners are able to download this, this we can provide the link for them so that they can do that. As you said, the crux of the book is, look, in a nutshell, Sudeshna, what do we know, we know that COVID is a time of tremendous change, that the world is changing dramatically. When we're not travelling. We are working differently. The kinds of you know the keyword through this COVID period is the pivot, you need to be able to pivot whether it's a company, or whether it is a consultant, they need to be able to understand how to adapt. Now, this is interesting, because in 2019, the OECD, which previously a few years earlier had said that the single most important thing for an information worker in the 21st century to have, they previously said that pre that the single most important thing was STEM skills, science, technology, engineering, maths that, if you had that, then you would be able to do well in the 21st-century workplace. Now in 2019, they updated that and they said no. adaptability is the key, you need to be able to adapt, that is the key thing any person can have. So and then COVID happened subsequently, and we see it, of course, you need to adapt, you need to pivot. What my book talks about are five things that we all can do to better adapt and be resilient in our workplace. And when we engage with our clientele. And the book is, I still to this day, very much engaged with the neuroscience. On which I wrote a thesis back when I was at university. So the book is sourced latest neuro-scientific research on what those five things what science says about five practices. So the five practices you mentioned. Now, I think you said he wanted me to talk in particular about a couple of those. Is that correct, Sudeshna?


Neo, I think we are out of time. So we might need to draw it at close now and let the readers enjoy reading through the book, and great thoughts. All right.


Neo

Absolutely.


Sudeshna

Yeah, it was such a pleasure to speak with you such a pleasure to connect. And for all the listeners, I'll leave the link to the ebook down below. Go check out news, Instagram, check out the book, check out his website, as well. And hopefully, you are inspired to take up some of that Vedic meditation, to increase the alpha brainwave activity that will transform your lives. Honestly, meditation transforms lives. This is what I keep saying.


Neo

Absolutely, and Sudeshna. I mean, it's meditation these days is something done by Google and, and apple and Airbnb, and Bank of America. All of these companies have meditation programs in them, it's no longer a hippie thing. They all realize that. If you're in a state of flow if you're calm, and you're in a state of flow, you actually are able to adapt and your workers and your workforce are better able to adapt and deliver value to its clientele. So yeah.


Sudeshna

Brilliant. Thank you so much for joining in Neo. And thank you all so much for listening in. See you the next time.


Neo

Thanks very much. Thank you for having me. Thank you, too. Thanks for your great questions. They were excellent. And thanks also to listeners.


Sudeshna

Thank you.


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