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Surprising Facts About Happiness

From: Janardhan
Sent on: Friday, April 4, 2014 4:29 PM
Surprising Facts About Happiness, Upcoming Events in the Bay Area & Seat of Stillness and Sound of Silence by Mike George
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While doing some research for the happiness workshop this weekend, I found some fascinating scientific data that you will enjoy.

If you think you've figured out your life, here are some facts that will blow you away.

1. One year after winning the lottery and another group becoming paraplegic, both these subjects experienced similar levels of happiness. In this TED talk, Harvard's Dan Gilbert describes why external conditions have far less impact on happiness than we expect.

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Health & happiness,

Upcoming Events

April 5, 10am to 5pm
Art & Science of Happiness
Anubhuti Retreat Center in Marin County

April 12, 4 to 5pm
A Future Without Fear
Santa Clara, CA

April 19, 2 to 4pm
Men's Wisdom Circle with Peter Baumann
San Francisco Meditation Center

Every Friday, 6:30 - 8:00pm
The San Francisco Meditation Meetup

The Seat of Stillness and The Sound of Silence

Our towns and cities are loud with the sounds of perpetual endeavor.  The car is much less a servant and more a tyrant, technology less a tool and more a dependency, the clock is less a measure and more our master.  People rush from meeting to meeting, from keyboard to console, from shop to cinema with less time than ever to give each other.  Increasingly, we fill the urge to escape the pressures that seem to assail us with activity and noise that we believe will relax us, but more often only further distracts our mind and agitates our heart.  There comes a point however, when we recognize an inner call that pulls us back towards simplicity.  A feeling tugs our heart, and at the core of this feeling is a power more magnetic than anything that industry or city life have to offer - the simple healing power of silence.
Silence is that profound aspect of creation that evokes ideas of infinity, the grandeur of our spirit and the possibility of an authentic and deep personal peace.  Silence should never be regarded as merely nothingness or emptiness.  It is the very ground of creation and the ultimate source of creativity.  A composer knows that the silences between the notes are as much a part of the symphony as the notes themselves.  The painter begins with both an empty canvas and a quiet mind.  It is the unseen silence of the canvas that will hold the artists creative expression together.  It is also an unseen and unfelt silence that holds together canvas that is the multidimensional backdrop of our daily lives.
At the heart of the creative beings that we all are, there is a silent and still place from which all that we create arises.  Just as the center of a wheel is still, just as the point on which the spinning top spins is still, and just as the nucleus of the atom around which the electrons travel is still, so the center of our being is completely still.  Stillness is the core of being.  Our life both emerges from and revolves around this still and silent point within the 'inner space' of our consciousness.  When we are still we are as we originally were and always will be. No thing, just being.  In that inner 'seat' there is no movement of thought or feeling, memory or belief.  And where there is no movement there is no change, and where there is no change there is no time, only timelessness.  When we are in this still state we become aware of our timelessness, our eternity.  And there is the deepest peace, the peace of pure being.  It is the most profound relaxation.  In lives easily lived in the pursuit of 'more', this silent and still point signals us to return, to simply sit and be our 'self' and nothing more.
Some say there is a spiritual journey to be made, a process of self transformation, a 'becoming', a movement from a self that is lost and trapped in a noisy and heated world, to a self that 'achieves' it's freedom, coolness and happiness from the world.  Others say there is no journey because there is nowhere to go.  They say that while human bodies may go from here to there the human spirit, the self, goes nowhere because there is only ever here!  Only being, just being, and being is never there, only here.  They say that the being is never not being, it just seems otherwise.  And that 'seeming' happens when we lose our connection with the core of our being and start believing we are something 'other'!  We start believing we are our form and personality.  And when we believe we are our physical form we start to travel across horizontal planes, driven by a variety of machines searching for happiness.  And when we believe we are a personality we aspire to travel in vertical planes, driven by a vehicle called ambition in search of success.  In the process we create noise and heat, agitation and frustration.  And they are only tiring.  The more we attempt to travel both horizontally and vertically the further we seem from the place of coolness, peace and the stillness at the very center of our self.
And yet the 'still point' that we are, the center of our being, is never more than one second and no distance away.  It is our 'view', our perception from this quiet place that creates the illusion that we are no longer there!

© Mike George 2014
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