Aspiring towards Right Livlihood

By Andrea D’Asaro

As a stormwater engineer, Anisha Prasad assures that roads and buildings stay clear during heavy rains, and that new development allows fish and wildlife to survive. 

“A vague feeling” encouraged Prasad to switch careers to Environmental Engineering. “Even though I had degrees in both Engineering and Computer Science, I chose Environmental Engineering, knowing it would be meaningful to me and relevant to society.”

The path to right livelihood for Prasad has involved becoming curious and genuine about how she feels about her work. “Meditation has allowed me to feel more deeply about sometimes a pretty mundane project.  At times, I feel a connection with the forested land and a sadness to see it cleared for new construction.  However, the reality is also that people are moving into the region for new jobs, and a young family is excited about owning a new home.”

Observing the patterns of flooding water through the topography is both reality-based and requires intuition to work through complex projects, says Prasad, who was born in Hyderabad, India. Although she grew up for 20 years there, she finds that her generation of professionals is stressed, driven to succeed and less connected to ancient Indian practices.

It’s though Shambhala meditation that she gathers the curiosity and confidence to look clearly at complex work and family challenges. “I found that curiosity is essential in order to fully understand the problems in front of me. As an engineer, I need to ask about the environmental impact of a new construction and the challenges of mitigating it; as a parent I need to ask why my child is acting out or upset and how we can stay connected through difficult times. Through meditation, I learned to stay with the uncertainty of my work or family problem long enough to see what is unknown and to observe possibilities.”

Anisha Prasad’s two son’s attended the Enlightened Society Program for children in Austin, TX this summer.

A serious meditator for seven years, Prasad attended the Enlightened Society Assembly (ESA) in Austin this summer.  This ESA offered a children’s program for her two young sons, who are steadfast members of our Bodhi school.

Before she became a freelance engineer, Prasad’s full time jobs for a consulting firm and local government took her away from her family. “I could not be there for my family as much and just didn’t have time for my practice. I realized that I needed part-time projects. Meditation gave me the clarity and confidence to find the right fit.”

“Shambhala meditation gives me the strength to push myself into new projects. I can now stay with all the negative mental narratives and then the thought of ‘Maybe I can do it,’ emerges as I see myself as  more worthy than I thought.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *