Secret to happiness

Many times attachment and clinging are misidentified as love. Attachment to people and things is like getting attached to a mirage in desert. Neither does it quench one’s thirst, nor is it a really permanent thing. We need an oasis of love, a fountain of happiness.

When love is the quality of our being, compassionate listening the quality of our listening, mindfulness the quality of our awareness and stillness the essence of our mind, then our relationships get automatically transformed into abodes of great peace, strength and compassion. The result is that we transform into joyful, happy people. We also get a joyful relationship and a happy family. That is why being mindful and joyful is not a luxury. It is a need for every family.

Let it flow

There is a very beautiful Zen Buddhist monastery nearby and I attended Dharma Talk there this Sunday. The most amazing three words ever said by a human being for the betterment of a fellow being are these – “Let it flow”.

When any emotion arises, you have to simply watch it and let it flow. This is the true practice of being in the present moment. Don’t try to drag previous happy moments. Don’t try to push out all sadness and negative emotions. Just watch and “let it flow”.

The most amazing thing about this teaching is you can implement it right away, and this gives us a powerful hold and control over our emotions. It immediately lets us know what emotion is arising. As you notice the emotions, the required action is to “let it flow”. That means, you don’t become identified as a sad person, happy person or angry person. You are the energy behind the observation.

We can notice every single strong emotion and watch in awe how we are reacting. The funny thing is just because of this observation, there is no residue in the mind because emotions cannot be held when the great energy of observation is in place. So, the boat that is anchored to the shore can be let go freely and we can watch it with no particular feeling.

And what a power it gives! We realize that happiness, anger, hatred, sorrow are limited by time and it comes and goes. It does not get stagnant in our minds and consciousness. It just comes and goes and we watch it like a neutral observer.

If in any case, your emotion of anger is too intense, you have to be aware of your in-breath and out-breath. If you are in your in-breath you observe- ‘This is my in-breath just the way it is’. If you are in your out-breath, you remind yourself that ‘this is my out-breath just the way it is’.

This is real freedom. Freedom from compulsive emotions and actions. Freedom from our habit patterns. Freedom to be free. Freedom to be!

A nice poem written by Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment.”

Yoga is not different from life

The best way to begin the day is to start it early by doing Bhuta Shuddhi or cleansing of the elements. Follow it up by Hatha Yoga to get the best start to the day.

As you do each activity, be mindful at the present moment. That is also yoga. Utter prayers after waking up, while taking bath, before meals and before sleeping. You can chant japa whenever you have some free time.

In the evening, you can Yoga Kriya and then eat food. Most important thing to remember is you should keep a 4 hour gap between eating meals and doing Hatha Yoga or Kriya yoga. But there is no restriction to mindfulness. We can be mindful and choicelessly aware at any given point of time.

Yoga is life. Of course, going to temple, singing devotional songs, chanting slokas and mantras are part of the bhakti yoga tradition. Another great and powerful meditation is “Who am I ?” meditation. Keep doing your best. And remember willpower is everything. Never give up!

 

“Presence”

When my younger daughter went to the library yesterday, her motive was not particularly anything other than to look around and observe. She went inside and that very moment, her whole being became fully curious. She was excited to see all the artworks on the ceilings which a casual library-goer will not pay attention to. Most of us go to the library with an intention of getting some books and coming back out to our real life outside. A child goes there with no particular intention but is able to pay attention to hundreds of things, observing and taking in so much information.

A lot of us live in our minds, have our own stories about past or hopes about future. A child just lives in the NOW. The present moment is most precious to the child. She is not worried about what she is going to eat for dinner or thinking about fun things she did yesterday. She is just having fun looking at every single thing, observing and learning new stuff. That’s a enlightened way of life. That is a pure state of being. A true present to all is our presence in the present moment.

It was a big learning experience for me. I am always learning new things from her.