It would be helpful if we humans came with operating manuals. Since we don’t, we have to learn on-the-job. That’s what we’re doing now: learning as we live in this 3-dimensional, physical world of duality. This is the original school of hard knocks.
Everyone wants to be happy. How do we accomplish this state of happiness? That depends on your answer to this question: Does life have a purpose or is it random? If life is random, then it doesn’t matter how you live your life or how others live theirs. Happiness itself becomes random and, out of your control. But, if it has a purpose, then it’s in your interest to find out what that purpose is and get on with following it as soon as possible.
How we learn is what Buddhists call “mindfulness” : an awareness of ourselves and what’s going on around us. As Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
In what moments are we happiest? These joyful, precious, exciting moments that give our lives meaning, purpose and passion seem to be the times when we get lost in our own lives. We are awake, alert and without thought; totally involved in the moment, without stress and with no consciousness of linear time. This is when our lives become our meditation.
Getting lost in a book, a movie, a hobby…any activity that is right for us at that time allows us to be in this state. This is the place to be, as often as possible, and is the result of meditation. Whether it’s “formal” meditation, such as Zen, TM or yoga, when successful, we find ourselves lost in a “right” activity for us, at that particular moment.
As stated in Zen: “When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep.” Following one’s heart and intuition (our sixth sense), leads us to doing what we truly want to do. It is being true to our inner self. Not following our “Tao”; our individual, true path; not being our honest, true selves, stresses us and, stress takes away from our “happy” moments. No stress also leads to good, physical health.
Due to “free-will”, we get to choose whether, at any one moment, we will be the person we’re meant to be or someone else. Remember Oscar Wilde, who said: “Be yourself, everyone else seems to be taken.” We have to power to be who we choose to be. Life is not how you find it but how you make it. So, choose wisely. Along with awesome power (to choose) comes an equally awesome power of responsibility.
When we are children; innocent and defenseless, others choose for us. When we become adults it becomes increasingly difficult for us to play the victim. No matter how much “baggage” is laid on us, as adults we become responsible for our own lives. As Eleanore Roosevelt said: “No one can lower your self -esteem without your approval.”
George Eliot said: “It is never too late to be the you you’re meant to be.” Take advantage of your freedom to make choices. When you follow your heart you make right (for you) decisions. Your true, inner gifts and talents emerge and blossom and you become a living, walking, breathing example of a healthy human being. This right-for-you- activity, in that particular moment puts you in service to others, which only heightens your happiness. Sharing with and helping others creates the greatest happiness in both doer and recipient. It’s a perfect example of a win-win situation.
When you follow your heart and intuition you do what you love and love what you do. You lose track of (linear) time but remain awake, alert and without thought. You focus and you experience, varying degrees of ecstasy. Without thought means to be without ego/self. You know, down to your bones, that you are part of something greater than yourself. In that very moment, you are being the best you you can be.
To be your best; not the best and to serve others, is to live the life you would live following a spiritual awakening and that, my friends, is your second birth (truly born again). To share with others. to serve others and to simply smile at others brings happiness. And, you are programmed for success in this search for everlasting happiness.
This way to live leads to a happiness of peace, love and joy that is not subject to the law of change that rules the 3-dimensional, physical world of duality. It is a happiness that transcends all duality. It is your birthright and your destiny. God (unconditional love) is in you and with you. You cannot fail.
Don Lubov, author, artist, teaches classes in "Spirituality With A Touch Of Zen", Creativity and Drawing, at three local colleges. His "Six-Step Path" can be seen on his website: donlubov.com.