“I” don’t like suffering, but there is suffering. The mind asks: Why is there suffering? Then gurus, priests and authorities, “experts,” will come up with an “answer.”
Sometimes it is “god” looking out for you and saving you from further suffering. “He” has a plan for your life. Yes, “he” has a plan for millions of people and there is a happy end for all, just like a cheese movie. Have faith. Believe. Join the religion of “chosen ones.”
Other times “Life is suffering.” It does not matter that this phrase was ill translated. As long as the Buddha “said it,” we should feel good. After all, if the Buddha felt that, then we are along his path, we are in the same wavelength, in route for self-realization…
Other times, it could be another story and we will be ready to believe in it as long as “I” get something out of it. Heaven at the end sounds good. Salvation is always desirable. A life of everlasting bliss in the company of “God,” (the main boss out of all the little ones) will surely get us many “upgrades” from our current “normal” story.
But if someone says: There is suffering because there is happiness. That is duality 101. Then, that does not get any believers. It is too simple buy yet cloudy. There has to be much more in the story, we want some mystery followed by drama and then a happy end where “I” will be the main character, where “I” will rise victorious among all the evil doers …
Life brings happiness and because of that suffering. In the world of duality, that is expected. We don’t want suffering? Then happiness will not be there either. That world is something that we cannot understand. We haven’t experienced it.
Did I offer any “solutions” for your suffering? Any tips? Any ways to handle it? Any ideas on how to get rid of it? There are plenty of books on that. Plenty of fairy stories to make us feel “good,” for at the end “spirituality” is about handing us some tissue paper to dry up our tears, something to make us feel good, just like when Mama used to hand us a glass of milk after we fell down from roller skating. Right? We are truly looking for something to make us feel good, even if a “white lie” as we cannot handle what IS.
OBSERVE your suffering. Become fully AWARE of it. OBSERVE all the movements of the mind to try to get out of it, OBSERVE all the explanations and the ways to save face that will appear.
Physical suffering will not leave a trauma. It happens and we learn to be careful and avoid the same. However, psychological suffering will leave all sorts of trauma, all stories of the “poor I,” and how much “I” had to suffer and put up with stuff. Don’t we like stories!
There is the story of salvation, redemption, the origin of the Universe, Godly creation, etc.
Eventually a psychological trauma will need to be left behind. Otherwise, we are stuck in Life; unable to move on by continually regurgitating sad stories and increasing bitterness in our mind. That type of exercise, is definitely “bad” for our health.
Events in Life are to be experienced in the moment. It is like eating a cake. If we don’t experience its taste while we are eating it, then how can we enjoy it? Our mind wants to take the experience with us, we could take a picture, talk about how wonderful the cake is, without realizing that we are eating!
Smell it, taste it, look at it. That is the now, the moment to taste and be fully AWARE of it.
Alright, it could be a rotten cake. However, haven’t you experienced a new flavor? Isn’t that a unique flavor? That is it. Move on.
But no… we want to enhance the story. We make the trauma. How is it possible for me to eat that “garbage”? Don’t we feel insulted? Cheated?
To spice things up; every time we eat a cake, let us bring that story up. Better yet, every time we go to a restaurant. The trauma is building up, it is in crescendo…
Our capacity for suffering is the same as our capacity for happiness. Life will give us the experience that we can handle either side. Any duality is complementary of each other. The full range of one side of a duality means the experience of the full range of the other side.
In the world of duality, nothing lasts forever for there is continuity, movement. Life is change. Every moment is unique and deserves our full AWARENESS.
Isn’t that a wonderful thing?
As obvious as this sounds, we continually neglect that. We have ideas of what should be, what is right, what is better for others. Comparisons are incessant and with that a sensation that will not allow us to feel fulfillment in Life.
Most everyone wants to be “someone” in Life: Well known, powerful, influential. However, that is not Life. That is society. In Life, we already ARE. In society, we continually need to BECOME someone else, we call that with a pretty label: “better” we say.
Am I saying to be a “nobody,” not to have goals in “Life”?
No. Every Life is a unique experience. Riches may be combined with ill health. Power with impotence. Influence combined with a lousy relationship, it is a bag of mixed goodies!
How can there be happiness then?
It just depends on what we focus on. Some “spiritual” people like to call this as “positive thinking.” But that could be a bunch of “positive self-inflicted lies.”
What I focus on, is not thinking. It is that which I enjoy, that which I take great pleasure, that which makes my day, and of course; that will change, thus there is no space for the “same old thing.”
It is in this focus how appreciation of that which I am able to do NOW, that which I have NOW becomes my source of fulfillment. When it is time for that to change, I will be able to shift to newness, for in appreciation of now, there is space for a new tomorrow. It may not be as I thought of, or as I wished this newness should be or as I expected it; but it is certain that this new change will bring newness and with that a new source of fulfillment as long as my focus is on the art of appreciation.
In our society, we are taught to think too much, thus there is no space for unrehearsed appreciation. We don’t have to have all the answers before making a move, we just need to feel if that change is where Life will take me and trust it.
Trust is not a matter of having faith in some power above us. It is a matter of acceptance of Life as it comes to us.
Acceptance is one of the hardest things to BE, when we are told to fight for everything in Life. When we ARE in that consciousness of fighting, we are taught to “practice” acceptance when there is no way out.
What a joke.
What is the recipe to be happy? What is the method?
Why are most people looking for that “achievement”?
It appears that no matter what we DO, no matter what we achieve, there is something “lacking” and precisely that is what we believe could give us happiness.
Are you wealthy? Are you healthy? Are you vital? Are you beautiful? Are you famous? Are you intelligent? Are you confident? Are you wise? Are you attractive? Are you in a fulfilling relationship?
What is lacking?
That is what “I need” to be happy. That is what I desire.
Isn’t happiness the absence of desires? That is an inaccurate definition!
I wish you to be happy! That is my desire. Would that desire make me unhappy?
We try to define happiness, research it and hold it with our own bare hands although it is a shadow of intellectual illusions.
We dream about a constant state that we haven’t experienced. Life changes. Why can’t we? We believe that to prolong a moment of joy, is happiness. Belief upon belief we live in the anxiety of “achieving” a dream, just to keep on dreaming. When are we going to wake up?
A donkey is looking to grab a flying carrot. It looks so flawless, so tasty! That is our pursuit of happiness.
Awareness dictates that carrots exist, but they don’t fly.
A happy person does not have thoughts about being happy or unhappy. That is why he IS happy.
Every experience in Life is necessary just as it is, no matter how we label them.
We want strawberries out of Life. We dream about them. We believe that “achieving” strawberries in Life will make us happy and fulfilled.
Life offer us lemons instead. Why don’t we make lemonade?
We are stuck with our belief in strawberries. Unable to bend our position to observe things from a different perspective.
Look! Someone has strawberries and he is happy! I want that for me. If life doesn’t offer that, bitterness is the “side effect” of that trauma. We feel unhappy, unfulfilled. What can I do with lemons, for god’s sake!
A “best seller” on how to achieve strawberries will be made.
“Achieving” strawberries or lemons will not make us fulfilled in Life. It is the experience of enjoyment of Life experiences what will bring fulfillment.
Lemons by themselves may be too bitter for some, not for all. Taste them to know. Open up, so the possibility of mixing lemons with something else arrives. Lemonade is such a refreshing drink!
The dream of strawberries is only a dream. If that dream becomes a reality, it doesn’t mean that fulfillment has arrived. We are looking for fulfillment not strawberries.
Shall we wake up from the dream of living Life through dreams?
1.”You know we all are in our own personal journey of life but sometimes there is this pressure of over thinking and thinking about unfulfilled desires of life. Like I wish I could have the BEST person in my life, I wish I had a desired job, desired family members. And yet I accept it most of the times, but not all the time. Now, How a person is able to reach to a state in life where everything seems (or is) fine, it seems quite impossible you know, sometimes we are sick, sometimes emotionally disturbed, how to just get rid of all this and just BE okay with everything? Can living in present moment help? Can desires stop coming! Or I have to just detach myself from them. And finally when this duality inside is going to stop? Like the MIND should not interfere, or may we should not feel it?”
Thank you for your question.
Short answer: All of that is possible when “you” don’t exist.
if someone ask you the question above and you tell them my reply as being yours, you may be in trouble. You wouldn’t know how to support this answer, for it is not your experience. Therefore, misinterpretation is unavoidable.
For example, the above could be interpreted as:
“You should kill yourself. Once you are gone, you are happy.”
As crazy as that may sound, some philosophies have supported that. However, it is a huge misunderstanding.
Or you may hear this answer: “That is in Paradise, Heaven. It is the “reward” for being “good” here. Then, you will fulfill all your wishes.”
Many people have already asked your question. Many books have been already written about that topic and many gurus have already spoken their words of wisdom… however, things are the same. Unhappy, wishy-washy people with plenty of desires to fulfill and an overloaded mind, want the “right method” for happiness.
It is not a method. There is no “step 1, step 2, step 3” to follow.
It is a journey. Your own journey. This is not something that one man can tell or write to another. I have given you the “answer.” If you are AWARE, you may know what I am talking about, but do me a favor: Avoid telling it to others, for it will be misunderstood… 🙂
2.”There are things that the rishis and sadhus of the world use certain substances that help them being in the now for eg. Marijuana- Now this in the real world is considered Taboo- I have a small story to share about 100 years ago people in the villages and countryside folks were a happy and peaceful- in sync with nature- getting up early in the morning working in the fields, evening come back home post dinner enjoy the stars, the sky and the silence of the world at that point in time would rest and do this day in day out- no weekends, no site visits nothing- The reason- they used weed- Suddenly the government turned around and said let’s get the tobacco and the Spirits into the world- make it addictive and then lets tax the companies that sell those- on top of all let’s Ban the WEED-
Now if the above is true is there any advantage for the rishis and the sadhus to live the life of an average person say 150 years ago-
Taboo versus a tool to live life- Your thoughts please.”
Thank you for your question.
“Power Plants” like cannabis, coca leaves, etc. had a historical influence in many cultures. They have been used for many centuries for medicine, physical strength, and to move someone’s consciousness to another experience in a different realm or to have an “unreal” experience.
In the past for many aborigines, the INTENTION to use these plants were different than for most people today.
Most people today are not in tune with Nature to begin with. Thus, some want to escape their realities. Some want to experience “something new” out of boredom. The danger is obvious, as living in society means to fit in, and the experiences that a typical modern man may have with these plants may be out of control, thus; it is banned.
Our society has developed a “legal and moral” rejection to these plants. There is fear, taboo. These plants have been labeled as “evil” although that is changing as the medicinal benefits are “researched” and used for many patients who otherwise, could not have a quality of Life. Heavy control is used as to live in society means, control.
Yes, modern man can smoke weed and feel relaxed, peaceful, happy, elated, etc.
Consciousness have been shifted for a little time. That is all. Modern man wants that experience again and again as their “reality” is full of the opposite sensations and modern man does not know how to deal with it, but wants a “quick fix.” Thus, addiction happens. If you are AWARE of it, you will understand that the path of self-realization is not met through addiction, although addiction may have been an experience in the past.
Sadhus and Rishis come and go, just like Gurus. How many of them are self-realized beings? No one knows. No modern man could know. Thus, let us forget about them and what they DO and look at yourself. That is the beginning and end.
When you take a fish out of the Ocean and you place that fish into a bowl, the fish will survive for a little time. If you don’t change the water often, the fish will die sooner. Similarly, with most humans and their habitats. Surrounded by concrete, EMF, noise, sensory over stimulation and many other “comforts,” modern man is out of sync but looking for a “quick fix,” the magical pill to take and make all “problems” disappear.
3.”You have specified many times in your articles that Tantra is not for everyone, one has to be ready for it. When will I know that I am ready for it, because I personally think I am ready for it. However, through some personal research I came to know that Buddhism, Zen and Tantra are in series, like Buddhism came first and then Zen was born out of it and then Tantra. So should we go in series to explore these paths, in the way they came up or may be in reverse order! 🙂 “
Thank you for your question.
Yes. Tantra is not meant for everyone. It is not a practice nor a philosophy. It is made into those by some people for whatever their objective is: To make a new religion, to make more money or as told by many: To help others… 🙂
I have also shared that according to my experience, Tantra cannot be taught. Thus, who will teach you? What you may find are just prepackaged sexual techniques and beliefs that are changed and made “new” to cater to the masses, for profit is there. Therefore, Tantra is heavily misinterpreted. Observe the current situation of “Yoga.” Now, It is in the Gym near you…however, that wasn’t the original aim for “yoga” to exist.
It truly does not matter if you think that you are ready for Tantra. It is about what Life has in store for you, what is necessary for you to experience according to your own timing/consciousness. What is necessary for you, will appear. It may not be what you like or what you have in mind, but it will appear. Be open, aware.
If someone drops a flyer under your door offering “Tantra classes” for a fee and they give you their impressive resume of all the certifications and degrees that they have achieved and all the masters that have taught them… You may take their classes if that resonates with you… but know, that THAT is not Tantra. That is Ahnanda’s “money back guarantee.”
However, if you decide to go for it… go all the way. Explore it completely, and if it ever occurs to you that you have found your “path,” and you feel comfortable in it then you know; that the time to be open for something else has arrived. Explore any path in any order, what matters is if you ARE truly into it. That honesty will allow for consciousness to change and if you are AWARE, you will know by experiencing the process and not through second hand, wikipedia sort of information.
…When I started exploring spiritual knowledge, I came across this point that “desires are the root cause of suffering”. I have contemplated a bit on it. And I do agree that lesser the desires, lesser will be your suffering. But you know they say that final aim of a person who wants to be fully enlightened, you have to become “Unknown to desire”, now how is that possible. Desire of getting rid of desires is also a desire. Desire to achieve enlightenment is also a desire. Becoming a deity… making God as your companion, getting Jevan Mukti, getting moksha, all these are desires. So, can we really become “Unknown to desires”. Icha matram avidya, that’s what they call it.
And most important, is it possible to become desire-less human being by living in sansarik (being married and with family) world??
Now even if you attain this stage, “I want food at least one time in a day” is also a desire. I know I am bit confused about this. Please explore and elaborate on this.
Very good question for the common good!
Just observe what happens in you, become aware of that. Let yourself be the one who experiences those words.
You have a desire. Nothing wrong with that. You want to be happy. That is a desire.
You are currently not happy, because you think that happiness is some “state” that you need to achieve, some state that others have achieved and you want that for you…
Some will create a method to reach that “happiness.” Buy a big house, get a significant one, become famous, do yoga, meditate for 10 hours a day, repeat a mantra, get a Guru, etc. You follow the method, you obtain what the method says… but you are not satisfied… you have more desires.
Why are you still having desires? Because “you” haven’t achieved that “happiness.”
The “I” wants fulfillment but “can’t get no satisfaction” 🙂
The issue is not the desire. The issue is the “I” who cannot be satisfied. You could have one desire or many desires, one thing is sure; the “I” will not be satisfied once that desire is fulfilled as a “reality.”
Do you see that?
Do you want to be “illuminated”? Do you want Moksha? Do you want God? Do you want to accomplish all of those “spiritual” words?
That is the desire. The good news is that you may achieve those words at anytime. However, as long as there is an “I,” there will be no satisfaction.
Then suffering sets in. It wasn’t because of the desire; but because the “I” cannot get satisfaction.
Then, you realize: “Ah! The problem is the “I.” Let me get rid of that.”
But the “I” cannot get rid of himself.
However, there is suffering! It is that suffering and nothing else the one burning that “I.”
Therefore, when you say: “Desires are the root cause of suffering,” then I understand that desires are a very good thing for those who would like to reduce the size of their ego, their “I-ness,” but a “bad” thing for those who want to keep their ego intact or make it bigger… then for those; to get rid of desires or anything else except the “I,” is the medicine…
If you are trying to be desire-less by getting rid of desires, by repressing them and rejecting them; you will learn that your “I” will become stronger, big… your ego will blossom without a doubt. Thus, try to get rid of your desires. Invent any method. It doesn’t matter. Follow any method… It does not matter.
The important aspect is to get your ego big enough, so it is ready to burst out through suffering… then at that point and not before, you will start the journey of dissolving the ego.
When there is no ego, no “I,” then there are no desires, for who is going to have a desire? Although, there maybe desires…they are not as you used to know them. It is not that the desires have changed, but “you” have changed… there is “no –I.”
There, you could be married and have 50 children, a dog, a cat and a parrot and… there will be no ”I” to fight against the “I” of your wife, your children and your parrot.
How do we want to call that state of “no-I”?
Let me throw some neat words at you: Happiness, Paradise, Moksha, Jeevan Mukti, no-desire, Being one with God… but here is my favorite: Empty.
Your baggage is gone and so “your” desires.
All the best to you!
You said that we are not predestined, then we have free will… right?
You are inferring that we have “free will” just because I said that we are not predestined.
I said that there is no “I.” Therefore, predestination or “free will” are both non-existent, but only if our consciousness is engaged in the perception that something static, such as the “I” exists.
Most religions are coming from the perception of the “I” as a reality. The “I” has to become someone in the future. The “I” has to attain something such as Paradise. The “I” has the “free will” to do it.
Please observe that it is not a question of “I want to do it” only, but “you” must be ready, ripe enough so the doing does not come as an imposition, as something forced due to an idea, a belief.
For instance, I have shared many times the importance of learning to live alone. It is part of the path of self-knowledge. Many individuals may agree, that it is “good” but very few will be ready to do it, as a matter of fact the situations, circumstances will not allow it if we are not ready.
It is important to observe that this “I” is not separated from Life although “I” may get an impression that “I” am separated.
A few days ago, I ran into a work friend who I haven’t seen for 3 years or so. Life brought an opportunity to re-connect. Whether we connect or not after that meeting does not depend on “my free will.” It depends on timing, the circumstances, where we are in Life and the observation that we are not the same after 3 years.
We may say: “It was by chance that I ran into this person,” but we are not looking at the whole picture, destiny, the movie of Life and how the different threads move. Definitely there was a reason, although; the right word is not “reason” as Life does not operate through a “reason” but rather is like a piece in the puzzle of Life going in place.
Another example: Many individuals are experiencing an abusive relationship. They know that they need to “get out” of it… but they will not. They have another agenda in their minds, which they could label as “love” but they will not leave until the situation becomes unbearable, until suffering has reached its utmost… then, they will call that as leaving the relationship due to “free will” or because of a “realization.”
Happiness is not a “choice” then…”
Good observation. Many times I hear through different “spiritual” literature, that “happiness is a choice.”
That is only meant to inspire people who are lost in the perception of the “I.”
Moreover, the idea is that if they do not “choose happiness,” they are wasting time… Observe how absurd is to compare Life with the “time is money” mentality. No one is wasting time, for exactly what they are doing, is what is supposed to be.
No one is going to become “enlightened” if there is a decision to meditate 24 hours a day rather than 1 hour, in order not to “waste time.”
Life does not work only to support human thinking and objectives.
That mindset believes that spirituality is a continuation of our society’s ways, values and mentality.
Happiness is not a choice. It is a state of BEING… and BEING like consciousness is not in the hands of the “I” to change.
Happiness is not just a smile, an easy going personality “happy go lucky,” happiness does not appear as a goal, as some “objective in the future to achieve.” It is not something that we “get.”
You ARE happy without a choice, right now, without a thought, without an objective… it comes to you when you are in complete acceptance of your BEING, for that; it is a process of BEING.
Acceptance is just a word to describe the openness to fuse with Life.
What is the “choice” to be happy, if most do not know where to start? Suffering with moments of elation is what most know. How to reach happiness then?
Nevertheless, to buy a car may be labeled as “happiness” by some. To get a degree, a job, a spouse, a house, a kid, etc.
All of those things are not related with BEING, thus the experience is short lived, thus the need to continually look for something else, something to achieve, a desire to fulfill…
Paradoxically in that state of continuous anxiety to accomplish, to “get” happiness…. Happiness is not in sight.
When we say “I am happy”… Happiness has gone away, for happiness is not framed by time nor a belief that I have about “reaching happiness.”
To understand how time-less is BEING is to observe how limited our definition and concept of happiness could be.