|Sent on:||Thursday, December 9, 2010 5:52 AM|
How to BE Happy ��� Part II
It���s not easy being authentically happy.�� So many things around us and within us conspire to fool us into believing we are happy when in fact it���s not real happiness, only a temporary feeling.�� We confuse excitement with happiness, we confuse possession with happiness, we confuse winning with happiness and perhaps we most commonly we confuse relief from pain or suffering with happiness.������ Only by unravelling our beliefs and confusions about the true meaning and state of happiness can we be truly happy.�� When we do we can begin to realise the three primary faces and feelings of genuine happiness.
Last week we explored the first two of those ���inner forms��� of happiness; contentment and joy.�� Contentment does not mean sitting back and wallowing in some strange self satisfied or self indulgent state without caring for others or connecting with others.�� The contented state has its roots in our ���inner peace���.�� But it���s only possible to touch and feel that peace when we end our resistance to the way the world is and to the way other people are.���� And that only comes from the realisation and acceptance that everything is simply energy that is moving, shifting, evolving, emerging and changing exactly as it is meant to at any given moment.
Contentment is only possible when the ���urge��� to interfere with and/or change the world and/or others has gone.�� That���s not to deny the apparent injustices in the world or even the unfairness that we and others ���seem��� to have to endure. However the strength that we draw from our inwardly contended state is exactly what is necessary to ensure we are able to endure and be resilient as we face and engage with a world out there over which we have no control.�� And paradoxically it���s that strength that has a much greater power to naturally influence (not control) future change in the world of our immediate relationships.��
Contentment is only really possible when we discover how not to be disturbed by our own thoughts and emotions as they arise or as they are triggered (not caused) by external events.�� Being able to ���allow��� whatever arises within us to pass, being able to inwardly observe whatever emotions we feel and neither empower them or be rocked by them is both the heart and purpose of almost any meditative process.�� Being the master of our inner world and not a victim takes practice but in time it is possible to remain true to our natural states which are peace (our inner source of strength) and love (our inner source of power) and joy (our radiant and most natural sharing of our strength and power).
Only in the contented state can we extend our self as love, as care, as the ability to ���embrace��� anyone and every situation as they come to us.
Only in our contented state, when we are free of the mists and fogs of our emotional reactions, are we able to clearly discern the most appropriate responses to the circumstances and situations as we meet them each day.
This is also the very heart of our ���creative process��� and when we do it well, when the responses that we create and extend to others result in the enhancement of harmony in our relationships there is a certain ���joy��� that we ���insperience���.�� This is a joy that has it���s origins within and, as it finds expression in ���enjoining��� with others, it���s a clear sign we are living from inside out and not outside in.
The third form of happiness is BLISS.�� Not the kind of bliss that comes when we are high on something or even on someone!�� Not the kind of bliss that is stimulated in any way.�� This is the natural bliss of the soul, of the self, when we are completely free internally.�� This is freedom from attachment to everything around us including family, friends, objects, memories, ambitions etc. But it���s only possible when we see and realise that our attachments are not ���in reality��� out there!�� Our attachments are created within our own consciousness.�� It���s not the actual objects or persons that we attempt to attach to, it���s the images of them that we create in our minds that we become attached to.
Detachment is not losing or living without all these things/people etc., it���s not an avoidance of others or an uncaring attitude.�� Detachment doesn���t diminish our capacity to ���be loving���.�� Detachment means we no longer ���create��� the perception and feeling of being burdened by the other, of being dependent on others or being beholden to others. Like everything else people come and go, they are all there in the dynamic of daily life, part of the fabric of our life, detachment means we cease to make them our source of happiness in life.�� We cease to ���take from��� and instead ���give to���.�� We cease to depend on them being dependent on us.�� This is non-attachment in action and it is another sign that we are no longer living from outside in.
The inner state of freedom that gives rise to the feeling of bliss is already there but it���s been suppressed and buried.�� It has been lost to our day-to-day awareness.�� Almost all addiction is the result of an attempt to resurrect, release and taste this bliss, the purest form of human happiness.�� The drug addict doesn���t really get addicted to their drugs but to this deep inner state of bliss that the drugs give temporary access to.�� For centuries meditation and contemplation have been practiced as the natural (substance free!) ways to restore this natural and original state of inner freedom.�� Attachment is essentially what makes us take life too seriously simply because we make ourselves slaves to the objects of our attachments.�� In such moments we don���t have possessions, it���s as if our possessions have us.�� Liberation from attachment happens when we not only stop attempting to possess but realise its impossible to possess!�� This then frees us to ���play��� at life, to be ���playful��� in life, not in a childish way, but in a way that allows our joy and our bliss to shape the energies that we give to others.��
This kind of bliss is the highest happiness.�� It seems impossible in the daily routines of our material lives with all its apparent ups and downs, joys and sorrow, victories and defeats, losses and gains.�� And yet, even then, we all have our moments.�� We all know those moments when, if only for a few moments, we forgot about our self and everything that we had learned to grasp, we forgot our past and we even suspended our hopes and enthusiasms for the future. And in such moments there is a deep and profound feeling of freedom and we feel the bliss of being a completely free spirit.�� Our heart sings and our soul dances like young swallows on a warm summers evening singing with delight as they learn and taste the bliss of free flight.
Question:�� What are the specific inner causes your discontentment?
Reflection:�� What are you holding on to or attempting to hold on to that is keeping you grounded in the feeling that you are not free?
Action: ����Visualise what your life would be like if you had no attachments whatsoever.��
��C Mike George 2010
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