The Zen Series: Own Who You Are!

Parsi Times presents our readers ‘The Zen Series’ by PT Columnist, Kashmira Shaw Raj – a professional Taichi and Qigong practitioner and teacher, as also a sought-after clinical psychologist and healer. These Zen stories will resonate with you and help you connect within, at a deeper, inner level to encourage and empower you to reflect. These make for good reading across people of all ages and speak to the reader at several levels. If you’re looking to bring about a positive change in yourself, ‘The Zen Series’ will inspire, motivate and facilitate you in realizing truths about yourself and life, to ultimately set you on the path of growth, wisdom and happiness.

In this fourteenth part of ‘The Zen Series’, a Zen master’s answer to a monk’s innocent question, reveals great wisdom to be applied in life!

You Are What You Are!

According to an ancient Indian fable, a mouse was in constant distress because of its fear of the cat. A magician took pity on it and turned it into a cat. But then, as a cat, it feared the dog. So, the magician turned the cat into a dog. Then, as a dog, it began to fear the panther. So, the magician turned it into a panther. Whereupon it was full of fear for the hunter. At this point, the magician gave up, and turned it into a mouse again saying, “Nothing I do for you is going to be of any help because you have the heart of a mouse.”

[Source: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones]

This zen story highlights our intrinsic nature. How often do we find ourselves thinking of or gazing at more successful people than us and wishing we were them? How often do we get dazzled by glamour and wish it were ours? Power has a definite zing to it, that is highly attractive to all.

However, we often tend to forget the responsibilities and pressures that come with it. People love success, but how many are able to stay successful? If you do not have the knack to be a businessperson, the one million if given to you as a gift, will be quickly dissipated and lost! But, if you have the talent, then you will be able to double that money in no time. Before wanting to walk in someone else’s shoes, we might need a reality check… Is this really for you? Is this what you really want?

For those of us who can’t drawing comparisons for our own selves or our loved ones with ‘more successful and better’ others, we should first ask ourselves these Reality Check Questions:

  1. Is this my true desire or am I being influenced by people around me?
  2. Have I taken the trouble to find out what it will take for me to achieve what it is that I really want?
  3. Am I able and willing to take on and do all that is required and not give up mid-way?
  4. Have I thought of the destination or is it that the ride seems so appealing which makes me want to give a shot?
  5. Do I believe that I have it me to do what it takes?

It’s true – we all want to be in great positions and lead successful lives. But the road to success is not easy. There are challenges to overcome and these need a lot of grit and gumption to be master.

How many women envy other women for their clothes and svelte figures? “Wow I wish I looked like that” or “If only I could have her waist-line”, and so on. Well, would you be able to maintain that strict diet and are you willing to work-out with the discipline that she practices sincerely on a daily basis? Do you have the time, energy and sheer determination to go to the gym every day and workout for 1-2 hours? Would you be able to sacrifice all those mouthwatering things to get that shape? Most of us want it easy. We want the shape but not the effort and hard work that go with it.

To succeed and flourish, it is important that we take pointers from others, be motivated by others but ultimately chalk out our own goals, based on our own abilities and capabilities. It is these factors which will determine what we wish to do and be. Here’s how you can get started into moving from being a ‘wisher’ to an ‘achiever’:

  1. First figure out what it is you really want. If there’s more than one aim, prioritize it and work towards the most important one.
  2. Set realistic goals for yourself, based on this aim.
  3. Push your limits but do not try to take on more than you can chew.
  4. Don’t imitate others – harness your creativity to discover and carve your own niche.
  5. Understand and explore your strengths and let these guide you further.
  6. And remember – the grass is not greener on the other side. It is greener where you water it!

So, be happy in your own skin. Make a mark with your traits and personality and see the world in a different light. That is when you will really own your place, own who you are and never feel the need to compare yourself to another!


Kashmira Shaw Raj is a professional Taichi and Qigong practitioner and teacher. Also, a successful clinical psychologist, psychic and healer, Kashmira runs ‘The Tai-Qi Touch’ with her husband, Dr. Brijesh Raj, a healer and a Vet. Taichi practitioners for over fourteen years now, they are instructors in Sifu Carlton Hill’s Tao Taichi Qi Gong organization, and Shibashi Instructors under Sifu Wing Cheung from the Feng Shui and Taichi Institute, Hongkong & Canada. 

The Tai-Qi Touch offers classes for adults and children at ‘Infinite Studio’ (Opp. Starbucks Café, Chowpatty, Mumbai). To contact Kashmira, M: 9323874418 or Email:

Leave a Reply