“I will be happy when…”
That is a sentence that flows out of our mouths unconsciously, sometimes several times a day. We say it without thinking of what it really means… and without acknowledging that it is also, entirely false. Whatever it is… an event, an acquisition, a relationship or an achievement, the contingent happiness still does not reveal itself. The mistake we are making, is that we are constantly looking outside of ourselves for happiness. There is no thing, no person, no external experience or achievement that will bring us what we can only obtain from inside ourselves.
Happiness has been there all along!! Most of us have just never taken the time to look inward long enough to find it. The means and the answer is… well… too simple. We find our happiness inside through a dedicated practice of meditation.
It is not really us that is to blame for this constant state of unease, restlessness and seeking that we are in… (if we are honest with ourselves we are in that state both consciously and unconsciously most of our waking moments)… it is our culture.
We are all… too busy, constantly distracting ourselves, lost in the fear or fantasy of our past or future and incessantly bombarded with commercials, billboards and ubiquitous ads promising us happiness with our next purchase. Our consumer based culture has developed a system that keeps us in a constant state of “want”, with the misleading promise of “happiness” or “perfection”, by simply opening up our wallets.
Think about it… when you finally obtained that great car, that perfect pair of shoes, that totally hot partner, that amazing house in the best neighborhood or that once in a life vacation… did it really come with that permanent sense of bliss that both you and our media had promised?
That kind of temporary wish fulfillment should not be confused with true lasting happiness and satisfaction with life. In fact Buddha had a whole different view on getting what you want. He said… “True happiness is not getting what you want..(we will always want more)… it is wanting… NOTHING”!! It is the absence of desire and longing that we should work towards… learning to be happy… just with what is… at this moment… and this moment… and this.
Meditation is the answer. Not only does meditation slow us down from the frenzied state of unease that most of us are in, or lead us deep inside to the pure joy that is our true nature, but it also clears away most of what is untrue that we have been clinging to and shows us a beautiful sense of clarity as the illusions fall away.
We start to realize how tremendously empowered we are, to affect and create our own satisfaction with all of our lives… both the good and the bad things… with an understanding that… this is what really is!
Wishing for things to constantly be different then what they really are, has been described as one definition of… insanity. There are several challenges to the practice of meditation and the belief that it is the one true answer to the end of strife.
One is… that it seems just to simple. We live in a complex world with complex problems that need complex and specific fixes. We have come to believe that we should constantly be looking outside for our healing and our sense of happiness and solutions.
We have forgotten that we have much more ability to impact our physical and mental health by harnessing the power of our mind and realigning our body, mind and spirit. This is the meaning of Yoga… to join… or to yoke… body mind and spirit, so they are working collaboratively instead of constantly at odds with each other. And Yoga… despite how we in the west have focused predominantly on the small element of the physical asanas… Yoga is Meditation!!!
A second challenge to adopting a meditation practice is our busy world and equally busy minds. How many times have your heard … or thought to yourself…”I just can’t”?
This is a concept we deal with regularly whenever we face something challenging… “I just can’t”.
If we are honest with ourselves and talk to ourselves with integrity, the truthful statement is… I JUST WON”T!!!
If someone had a gun to our head, most of the time we would find out… WE CAN!!!
We just lie to ourselves, choose powerlessness and miss our opportunities for personal growth.
The biggest obstacle to meditation for most people is the lack of belief in the power of mediation. It seems so counterintuitive to our “getter done” culture, that simply sitting quietly for a little time each day, can significantly impact our lives in a positive way.
Well for those of us that need proof, there are countless empirical studies that PROVE just that. All types of medical professionals, psychologists and research theorists have done scientific studies to factually determine that meditation DOES WORK.
Now, the question is, can we buy in? We have the time… we really do..be honest. We want happiness, but do we want it bad enough… to make change? Some of us have such low self esteem or feel so unworthy, that we don’t feel that WE… are worth the effort. Others are so fearful of CHANGE… that we would rather cling to the suffering we have, just to avoid dealing with some things changing.
Small change can create a cascade of greater change if we just have the courage, commitment and belief in our own worthiness.
Just a little quiet time each day is the small change. Through a steady devoted meditation practice… great things will come.
We can learn to be happy… just with what is.
It truly is… THAT SIMPLE.