Happiness is hidden in a corner of your heart

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Bridge over the abyss. Source: flickr.com

The river of life runs between the banks of pain and pleasure. The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.
You are not passing through life, you are here because you are life.
You are this twig of conscious life rocking on the swing of existence.

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The candle flame expands its light. Source: 365consejosparaserfeliz.blogspot.com.es

 

When you discover the flower that springs every morning in the heart of the friend, the love that unites eclipses the mind that separates.
Reason tells you that you are barely anything in the immensity of the cosmos, but the heart assures you that you are everything.
The flower fills the space with its perfume, the candle flame expands its light. Neither the flower nor the flame do anything; and yet they change everything by their mere presence.

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Ocean

Every drop of the ocean carries the scent of the ocean. Every moment of your life carries the fragrance of the eternal.

 

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Happiness is hidden in a corner of your heart. Sleep quiet, oblivious to your anxiety, waiting for you to wake her up.
Your real being is love itself and the multitude of your loves are its reflection.

-Mario Carrillo-

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Luck and attitude in life

Get lucky in life

It is often said “he is lucky” or “he has luck” referring to someone when things are going well for him, or when he achieved some desirable object or perhaps a way of life, not because it has worked hard for it but because somehow he has been given it with apparently little effort or any effort. Maybe there is a point of envy in that thought, because that gift that has made life to that person, has been denied to us, we have not been that lucky. In addition, tacitly it assumed that this gift of life will provide satisfaction, well-being, or comfort, if it were not so, then it would be pointless to think that was lucky. This is a the popular concept behind this term, which also entails a certain emotion of envy.

However, that certain life situation, or object, is really valuable, provide an increased well-being, depending entirely on the person; it is a well known fact, but still often forgotten. There are countless cases of famous people who have become rich in four days, with very little effort, maybe had some special talent and were lucky to be discovered and to be given a chance, but despite that luck, that success, they have been unhappy, have fallen into drug abuse, even suicide.

On the contrary, some people with nothing, or very little, and being in adverse circumstances, show a state of happiness that really is enviable, as this African refugee girl:

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Happiness in the middle of poverty

The positive attitude of this girl gets her emotional state is relaxed and happy regardless of external circumstances.

In addition, it also happens that we value things that are given us very differently, depending on the people: what for one may be something valuable for another will be worthless. Even often it happens that over time we don’t give value to something that initially had it, and then we believe that we are not lucky, not valuing what we have now; as is known, there are things that are valued only when we lose them.

So “get lucky” is very relative, because it really depends on our attitude to life, being the key that make us able to enjoy the gifts we are given. So let’s talk now about attitude.

The attitude towards life

The attitude of a person is a predisposition to take life in a particular line, acting accordingly.

So, we can have constructive attitudes, in which our perception of life tends to want to create, to collaborate with others, to see opportunities, or the opposite, destructive attitudes, in which we want to eliminate things we do not like, criticize, we see problems in all, etc. Similarly, in the broadest sense, there are positive attitudes and negative attitudes: the first value what we have and try to use it the best way for enjoy a satisfying life, which creates positive emotions towards life, such as joy or happiness; in the second attitude, refusal, we don’t value what we have, or value little, and instead give much value to what we  don’t have, so that the person experiences also negative emotions such as frustration, anxiety, envy, even rage because the sense of injustice (life does not treat you like you think you should treat).

Luck, strictly speaking, is like a lottery, is random, we can not influence it. But the attitude, that’s entirely ours, and we can re-educate them for the better. So in summary, we have said that the real lucky in life is to have a positive attitude towards it, it is what makes us appreciate what we already have, make the most of, and have a full life; if life brings us good things, they are welcome, if not, nothing is wrong. And how can we acquire this attitude for life? For sure there will be objections here … “but I have circumstances that are hard“, “but I have a past that weighs heavily” etc. etc. Well, let’s leave it clear: the attitude is completely independent of personal circumstances, a real positive acquired attitude, is firm, stable, maintained whatever the circumstances be.

Moreover, even adverse circumstances, as there are, and many, seen from a positive attitude become opportunities for personal growth, strengthening the person face of adversity; I remember a good example of this attitude given us for Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, with somewhat humorously, but that encloses this positive attitude we’re talking about:

Young people, do not hesitate: become married; if you are lucky enough to find a good partner, you will be happy people, and if not, you will become philosophers, which is always useful for mankind. “- Socrates –

Notice that Socrates mentions “if you are lucky” because it really is needed in the choice of partner, but if luck is not with us, we can still grow as human being.

How to get a positive firm life attitude: positive psychology

The attitude belongs to the realm of interiority of the person, an aspect that has gained attention in recent decades not only in the traditional field of humanities, but also in science. The so-called positive psychology, is dedicated to studying the positive attitude from the scientific point of view, defining indicators and tests to measure and studying its effects on subjective well-being of the person; also provides techniques, many of them old acquaintances of humanity, now rediscovered. Positive Psychology try to strengthen all aspects of life that are related to the positive attitude.

For example have a circle of good and real friends is a factor that increases the positive attitude, and is especially recommended for those who have a problem of affection, because friendship is a form of love, and one of the best, without contraindications. Also is a positive factors do not push yourself too hard and have a good self-esteem. As mentioned in Friendship blessing of John O’Donohue:

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.

May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your soul friends. –
John O’Donohue –

How to get a positive firm life attitude: meditation

Another way to improve it is the transcendent way, which trains self-awareness so that the person learns to not pay attention to negative thoughts and emotions, related to negative attitudes, and instead focus the mind on the positive, through meditation techniques. Conscious relaxation methods are very suitable for people without experience in meditation who also have concentration problems due to stress situation.  

In the trascencendent way there is also work to be done, but not strengthening of some psychological factors, as in Positive Psychology, but rather is a liberation of the conscience of the individual from the yoke of their own negative thoughts:

Happiness can not be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already present,
in open relaxation and letting go
– Lama Gendun Rinpoche

In a similar line of liberation, freedom from thoughts that bind us to a negative attitude, expressed Eckhart Tolle:

True salvation is a state of freedom ― from fear, from suffering, from a perceived state of lack and insufficiency and therefore from all wanting, needing, grasping, and clinging. It is freedom from compulsive thinking, from negativity, and above all from past and future as a psychological need. -Eckhart Tolle-.

Whatever the chosen way, it is our responsibility worked ourselves to become really fortunate, regardless of the circumstances.

The way of knowledge

Desires and knowledge

According to the ancient Vedas, we have a soul, and such soul has four distinct desires. The first is dharma, the desire to fully become who we were meant to be, the longing to achieve our highest state of well-being to fulfill our destiny. The second desire is artha, the desire for the material means (money, health) necessary for fulfill our dharma. The third desire is kama, the longing for pleasure in any and all forms. The fourth is moksha, the desire to be free from the burdens of the world, experiencing spirit, to achieve lasting peace and a state beyond the reach of the other three desires.

The more separated from the whole we feel, the more egoistic will be our desires. Our knowledge of the world depends on our mind (manas), and also the fulfilment of our desires; when the mind is exclusively dedicated to fulfil egoistic desires, the knowledge is lower, indeed is ignorance. One of the schools of classical Yoga, Jnana Yoga, aims to develop higher, true knowledge. Is the way suitable for intellectual people. In ordinary people mind is so dedicated to fulfil selfish desires than become entangled with them, making a mess named kama-manas, “desire-mind”.

A short tale

Once upon a time, in the Indian part of Punjab region,  there was a young promising teacher of University, doing his post-doctoral stage: Harmanpreet, who was both a very clever man but also a follower of ancient traditions, he meditated every morning for half an hour and also use to read spiritual books. Moreover, he had a mystic temperament, he can feel joy deeply and also he can feel sorrow very deeply, more deeply than the average person, because they was more sensitive and clever. Harmanpreet was also an amorous man, that is, strongly disposed to romantic love, considered for him the highest form of love while we are in the world. He had fallen in love sometimes since their adolescence, but nothing serious.

It was the first year in  the University for Advita, a girl belonging to the low Indian caste named Shudras. Her family was a very conservative one, but also they had a strong ambition, a will of become respected in spite of their caste; the father was a respected engineering, and he wanted all their sons and also daughters had also a career, and a good job. In the Hindu tradition Advita was starting to be marriageable, so their parents started to think about, despite she was not interested at all in such subject, she was only nineteen years old.

It happens that Advita felt attracted by Harmanpreet, one or her teachers; he was so polite and clever … Soon she look for him in Facebook and ask him friendship. Harmanpreet wondered a bit, is not usual such event, a student asking friendship with a teacher, but at last he accepted. Next night, after dinner, while Harmanpreet was working on his laptop, Advita opened a chat with him, and ask him about some academic topics, starting a chat that prolonged for two hours; the two young talked about music, travels, movies, etc etc. When chat was over, Harmanpreet felt a smooth excitation, a sense of happiness, it was a very nice chat. Next weeks such chats became common, strengthening the new friendship. Slowly, almost unwittingly, such chats became the most desired times of the day. In classroom both kept their composure, they  greet with a smile, no more.

At last Harmanpreet noticed he was deeply in love with Advita, a love strong and deeper than any other he was experienced before, so he started to make plans: he imagined being presented to her parents, who sure would be happy because he was a promising teacher, also imagined a very happy, joyful life. But when the young teacher opened their heart to Advita, problems started: their parents never will let her marry with somebody that was not their own choice, arranged with the family; even more, both young was of different castes: Harmanpreet was a brahmin, the higher caste, while Advita was a Shudra, low caste. Advita’s parents was against mixed caste marriages. Being Advita  educated in obedience and respect, also considering family the most important thing it the life, any dating with Harmanpreet was closed.

So Advita started to avoid Harmanpreet, chats was over, even she didn’t greet him at class, ignoring him, although she also loved him. When Harmanpreet accepted such way, ignoring her, then the girl felt stupid herself, and looked for him with her best sonrisa, trying to keep the friendship, then Harmanpreet regained hope, trying to go further, causing the reaction of Advita, who moved away again. Such cycle happened and happened, causing a lot of suffering to Harmanpreet, who even felt ill, feverishly.

He started to meditate in the situation, reflecting, even contemplating the situation, looking for relief. While meditating, he stopped their mind from wandering, and contemplating the facts from a mindfulness state. One day he was contemplating the fact: “when I try to get close to her, following my strong desire for her, she go further, and when we relax my desire, waiting nothing, then she returns, giving me their friendship“; suddenly he had an insight, “selfish desire for her is not love, on the contrary, my desire prevents her love”  and at the same time, he noticed a strange feeling of let go, something released from him. At that very moment the longing for a romantic love was dissolved  for the insight, because he realized passionate love was not the higher kind of love, indeed, the higher love is the unattached one, when we are able to give without expect anything in return: True Love is what remains when the selfish passion ends. And Harmanpreet ceased to suffering, entering in a peaceful loving state.

The desire that Harmanpreet felt was very strong indeed, covering the four Vedic desires: he experienced dharma, the longing to achieve their highest state of well-being and fulfill their destiny, thinking Advita was the way for achieve it; also he experienced artha, the desire for the material means, thinking about Advita as it; evidently he also experienced kama, the longing for pleasure, and until a certain point also experienced moksha, the desire to experiencing spirit, to achieve lasting peace, imagining he will feel the higher kind of love through Advita. After the insight, such desires became highly purified. Harmanpreet now only wants the best for Advita, also the best for all the people around; he himself had pure Love in their heart, waiting any chance for share it with anybody, without  expectations. Such state is blissful. Harmanpreet is now a  Jnana yogi, he has higher knowledge about life and love.

Evolution

Last week was not a good one for my wife, so also not for me: after two years of disease, she became worst. Slepless nights, worries, go to work with headache, and a sense of frustration , also negative thoughts, like “I can’t do anything more, I abandon, I can’t … etc”. I realized one thing is to be able for contact, for touch, our inner peace, which lives within us, always stable, always peaceful, and other thing is to be able of act and think positively in front  of  a storm. I can “visit” the peace, for rest, but the world still are a hard, dangerous site.

Family gathered for dinner, we usually watch TV, bad habit, I know it, but we do it. Watching a documentary about a filipino woman, married, poor, who went to Saudi Arabia for work as a cook in a house, the owner threatened her with a knife, rape her, she became pregant, then she had to escape from the country like a criminal due to the laws there, which condemn with jail any pregnant unmarried woman without further consideration … not a good documentary for improve mood.

Opening the doors of mind

Later, I scanned the channels looking for something better for my mood, and found a cartoon movie, “Prince of Egypt”, I have watched it yet, but I decided to stay for a while. The main character, Moses, is hosted in a desert tribe; he’s is discouraged, he feels his life is worthless, and the life has no sense. An old tribe sage noticed it, and started to sing:

A single thread in a tapestry
though its color brightly shines
can never see its purpose
in the pattern of the grand design

At this point I started to pay attention, because something resonates within me, my mind state was similar to Moses …

And the stone that sits up on the very top
of the mountain’s mighty face
doesn’t think it’s more important
than the stones that forms the base

Yeah , I think so, each of us has a role in this play that is life, and all are important …

So how can you see what your life is worth
or where your value lies
you can never see through the eyes of man
you must look at your life
look at your life through heaven’s eyes

Aha … but, what is “heaven’s eyes”? for me, is a look from an open, clean, illuminated mind. A little mind is always a closed one, watching only a little bit of the whole, but, in their ignorance, judging the whole based only on a small part. It was like a breath of fresh air for me. I “only” can love and support my wife, I can’t do any more, but is not a little value act at all, even seeing she are still bad.

Evolution

Should a man lose everything he owns
has he truly lost his worth
or is it the beginning
of a new and brighter birth

Indeed, all the brutality of this world, the unfair laws, the oppression, brutality, wars, violence, etc, etc, are the expression of Natural laws through the human mind. Why on earth the mantis devours her consort? In Nature, the weak perish, nobody help the sick, nobody care the wounded, the hungry. Violence is a natural instinct. As a specie we already are rational animals: the instinct of the jungle lives within us, moving our thoughts; that’s why all the violence in our world, is the natural one but rationalized through our intellect. But also we have the ability of transcend our instincts, so our advanced societies offer protection for the weak, for the ill. Our potential is unlimited, because we have not only an intellect, but also a spiritual facet. Even now a days we the humankind have coined a new concept: spiritual intelligence, did you have heard it before? I think is really great that exist such concept, because it means our higher spiritual possibilities are no longer  ill-defined, or just religious stuff, but clear concepts and, more important, skills we can develop.

No life can escape being blown about
by the winds of change and chance
and though you never know all the steps
you must learn to join the dance
you must learn to join the dance

Yeah, let’s dance, the dance of life, even unknowing all the steps, is the only way for learn to dance.

So how do you judge what a man is worth
By what he builds or buys
You can never see with your eyes on earth
Look through Heaven’s eyes, look at your life
Look at your life
Look at your life through Heaven’s eyes

The key to happiness: a short tale

The Divine was lonely and wanted to share their Universe with somebody. He decided to create beings who could keep her company, so He did it. But one day, these beings found the key to happiness, followed the path to the Divine and reabsorbed to Him.

God was alone again, the Universe didn’t have any other inhabitant. He reflected. He thought it was time to create the human being, but he feared that he also might discover the key to happiness, to find the way to him and go back to Him. He kept thinking, wondering where he could hide the key to happiness for man not give her. He had, of course, to hide it in a remote place where man could not find it. First he thought hide in the bottom of the sea; then in a cave in the Himalayas; later, in a very remote edge of the outer space. But it was not satisfied with these places. He spent a long time, wondering what would be the safe place to hide the key to happiness. He thought the man would end descending to the most abysmal of the oceans and the key there would not be safe. It would be neither in a cave in the Himalayas, because sooner or later would find the land. It not even is well hidden in the vast sidereal space, that one day man would explore the entire universe. “Where to hide?” Continued wondering for a long. At last, the Divine came up suddenly the only place in which the man would not seek the key to happiness: within man himself. He created man and placed inside the key to happiness.


Look into yourself. “Challenge”  God and steal his supreme happiness.
This story was traduced from “Cuentos de la India” – by Ramiro Calle, a Spanish Yoga Master
singing in the rain

Is not the rain, of course, but the inner happiness the cause of such enjoying (Singing in the rain)

The source of emotions

sat-chit-ananda

Two constellations of emotions, and their origins

I’ve reading a book, a scientific one, about emotional intelligence, in which emotions are classified in two big classes: positive emotions, giving us welfare, and negative emotions, giving discomfort. In each class there are three main emotions: happiness, love, joy are positive, angry, sadness and fear are negative. All other emotions, about three hundred are listed in the book, are derived from such six main ones.

 

A statement caught my attention: “is easy to fall in the constellation of negative emotions, and in the other hand positive emotions can’t last for a long; we need strive, putting our will in it, for stay in positive states; is like any ‘gravitational force’ pull us down towards the circle of negative emotions“.  Immediately I thought: “such negative gravitational force must be our mind, because ultimately only the mind is the root of suffering. On the other hand, logically, maybe the positive emotions have their source beyond the mind. I’ve become excited with this thought, so I took a sheet of paper and drew some schemas, trying to relate the two classes of emotions with their sources, using the ancient knowledge about the hidden nature of human being. The final schema is the one represented above this lines. As far as I know, there are not any other explanation linking emotions with ancient wisdom. Let me explain the diagram.

Above all states there are the higher Self, with three fundamental attributes: Sat, Chit, Ananda, or Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss. In such primordial high level there aren’t duality: all is one. Below this level we find the mental plane and the duality induced by mind; as we descend the matter is densest, from higher mind to the low mind and matter, that is, intellect and physical body. Intellect creates the ego, and also is the source of all negative emotions, which I draw at low level, as part of the body, because at this level we have to talk in terms of body-mind. Indeed, any negative emotion affects directly the health of the body. At the same time, intellect comes from the Chit attribute, meaning the awareness of the mind is merely a reflect of the higher non dual and absolute awareness named Chit.

 

On the other hand, I drew the positive emotions above, near to the higher non dual plane; even one of them, happiness, crosses partially the non dual plane, because while we still are  in the material world we are able to experiment the bliss in the Samadhi state. In the diagram, the source of all positive emotions is the attribute of the Self named Ananda (absolute bliss). That’s why positive emotions can’t last for a long … while we we remain identified with our mind, which only can produce negative emotions. In meditation we can transcend the mind, and in natural way we can experience, at some degree, bliss, expressed if the form of positive emotions. Of course there are also relations between positive emotions and intellect, but the message here is intellect is not the source.
I think the diagram has important practical applications; every time we feel bad emotions we can think is due our strong identification, in such time, with the ego-intellect, because is the source of such emotions. We know why, the mechanism of suffering. Then, also the solution is clear: stop the mind. Obviously, we only can stop the mind at will if we have the proper training for it: if we are experienced meditators, then we can. 

 

A single understanding:
“I am the One Awareness,”
consumes all suffering
in the fire of an instant
Be happy.
– Ashtavakra Gita –