The question: “Are you happy?” May seem something intelligent to ask, but the first question over that question is: “What do you mean by happy?”
“Happy” may seem for many as the state of elation and bubbly-ness portrayed by actors in some TV commercials. For others, it may be a state of contentment in life: Something “healthy” were the ups- and- downs are taken in stride and the person is ready to move on, while looking forward to the future.
The first thing to observe is that such a state is not permanent. It is short lived for most. Some may say that they know a particular “saint” who was living in continuous bliss day after day. I am not talking about people with the ability to BE in a different dimension, in some trance. Although those people are physically here, their consciousness is in another place. Probably a “happy dimension.” I am referring only to this state of duality, this “reality.” Secondly, when that state which we label as “happy” is not, then what remains? Unhappy? Yes, by definition. However, in “reality” there could be many things in between.
The world of duality doesn’t allow for some state to “always” be there, but whatever is experienced and the intensity of it, will also be experienced in the opposite side; that is how some “religious” individuals came up with the idea to avoid pleasure in order not to experience pain. In theory that sounds great, while in “reality” that is utopia.
It is interesting to observe that humans ask such questions as if the feeling (happy) or the emotion was something that could be caught in a word, defined. No wonder many individuals experience the word to be the thing.
“Yes, I am happy.” (Even though, miserably content in mediocrity by living the same old thing, day after day, some may confess afterwards.) Routine brings that sensation of “happiness.” That sensation is all we have, then to equate that to the label “happy,” will make us think that we have arrived. The magic of words.
Are you happy? “Yes, but I still need to reach some important goals in my Life.” That person is equating reaching goals with happiness. That sort of individual is caught up in “HAVING” things as proof of happiness.
“If you are happy, happy, happy clap your hands”… That is the DOING person, the “success” story.
But the million dollar question is: “How do you know if you are happy?” A very silly question indeed. Nevertheless; people want to know, which ones are the “signs” of happiness, for them to use the “happy” word and proudly define themselves as “happy.”
Have we observed that so far we have been exercising our minds to try to figure out an “ideal”?
The ideal is “happy.” The figuring out comes through the questions: Are you that? How to get there? Why do you feel happy? Where to get happiness? What are the signs? When do you become happy? Which is greater happiness, this or that?
All of that is completely, utterly senseless.
When we are living fully, there is no questioning. The mind is quiet. It is not trying to arrive to some place, looking for more to be fulfilled. Thus, the “problem” of happiness resides only in the mind.
All the questions above, all the explanations and ideals about happiness are just mind made.
The mind cannot be satisfied for one of its tasks is to always want more: More things to have, more things to do, more to BE. Our society promotes that view which is all mind, that is why; many are stuck in a rut of doing things that they do not enjoy for the sake of achieving something which the mind through its conditioning, values. Out of that, the question of happiness arises. It is not only DOING, but HAVING and BEING. The 3 most basics forms of identification of the mind are continuously challenged to obtain more thus; greed, ambition, fear and anxiety are born as offsprings.
The mind then invents “happiness” as the cure for those mental ailments. That is the mind’s solution. Isn’t the word “solution” familiar to us? It is the opposite of “problems.” That is something our minds have learned to match. Use the opposite word to cancel the other: Non-violence cancels violence, solution cancels problems. We are good to go. Just make up a “rational” list of “to do” items to “achieve” the goal.
In the world of words, the word SATISFACTION has greater and deeper meaning than the hackneyed “happiness.”
Satisfaction brings a sense of fulfillment, that is living Life without the goals to achieve something and the search for praise and acceptance from others, or to find the idealistic “success.” Satisfaction is a quality of BEING, in harmonizing with “what is.” At the end of our lives, we may want to reflect on satisfaction. Observe all your experiences and get the taste of that particular, unique flavor interpreted by “you.” There is no search in satisfaction. Life brings the ingredients, we make the juice; while happiness for most, is a continuous never ending search of ingredients.
Here is the amusing paradox: The mind searches for happiness, but no-mind is the one finding it …without searching for it, and without knowing what that is.
Raysha was speaking with the wise tree, Mathias.
Mathias asked: “Raysha, what is the most mysterious thing in the Universe?”
Raysha responded: The self.
Mathias agreed with an ovation.
Let me suggest some fine destinations for your next trip:
“Vacation to the inner self.” “ Watch the wonderful low valleys and huge mountains of your own consciousness.”
“Visit the mesmerizing beauty of your inner awareness.” “Have a great time with the experience of your own inner smile.” Tickets and accommodations already provided in the best hotel… Your – self. Zero down. Zero payments. Call now. Operators are standing by… Pick up that phone! Dial One- one- one- one- one – one – one – one -one -one… If you hear back that this number does not exist, that is a good clue!
Everyone wants to be “happy.” Everyone wants fulfillment in Life. Those things are wanted because those are not experienced. Therefore, where can I buy those things? How much they will cost ? Perhaps those things will be in my next getaway…
We merely survive in Life. We want for time to go by while our minds get some entertainment. We call that to live Life.
Aren’t we AWARE of it?
If we were AWARE then, we could go anywhere, do anything, buy whatever and we will be fulfill, happy.
That sounds good, huh? How do I get it? I want some of that…
Aware of the Self. That is already with you, 24×7. No time for that? No worries, it will be with you every second of your Life. Where is it?
Become AWARE of it.
Life has a funny sense of humor, though.
To find it, means to lose it. Once lost, “you” have arrived.
“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.