The Key to Happiness

Hallelujah ūüôā

Happiness is not dependent on anything outside of ourselves.  The Source of Happiness is Within.  We need not go looking for Happiness Рit is with us always.

To access this ever-present Happiness, the key is – awareness. ¬†As Bob Proctor says, “All you will ever need for fulfillment in life is awareness.” Similarly, all you will ever need for happiness in life is awareness.

What is awareness?  You can think of awareness as the prevailing context of life which you experience.  Awareness is similar to our attitude.  For happiness, focus awareness on the Presence of Happiness.  Act as if Happiness is already present, and soon it will reveal that it has, in fact, always been present.  It is not anywhere outside, but it is entirely within and accessible every moment.

Another way to access this ever-present Happiness is to shift one’s attitude. ¬†The attitude represents the context which we think we live in. ¬†Do we play the role of victim regularly? ¬†Or do we own responsibility for everything we do, or even for everything others do too? ¬†The level of responsibility we accept in our lives reflects the level of empowerment we feel, which reflects our attitude. ¬†Everything reflects! ¬†The more we accept responsibility for everything about our lives, the more we own the Reality that awareness of Happiness and the experience of Happiness is a choice we can make moment-to-moment-to-moment.

To cultivate an attitude of Happiness, focus on the positive. ¬†The mind is a double-edged sword. ¬†It can be used to invent¬†atom bombs or cure disease. ¬†It is up to us how we put it to use. ¬†The mind is a tool for us to use – so let us rise to the level of responsibility where we train the mind to be used only for good. ¬†To train the mind to live in an awareness of Happiness, look for the good in everyone and everything. ¬†Look for the Beauty. Honor the Sacredness. ¬†We need not focus on people’s negative qualities. ¬†We can choose to focus on all the things we admire in others – and if we keep on looking – we will certainly find things to admire in everyone and everything. ¬†We begin to appreciate everything around us, and feelings of appreciation uplift us to higher realizations of Happiness. ¬†We can look at a trash can as trash or we can see it as a Divine Sculpture. ¬†It is up to us. ¬†We have that freedom. ¬†Train the mind and all the senses to be aware of that Divine Essence in All, and Happiness is guaranteed.

If Happiness is always available and present, why don’t we continuously experience? ¬†Desires, opinions, judgments – in a word – ego. ¬†The Buddha said the source of all suffering is desires, and desires arise from our opinions and pseudo-knowledge about things. ¬†Really, it is all just ignorance. ¬†We desire things that aren’t really good for us, but we think they are. ¬†The big leap of faith and liberation comes when we say, “Not my will but Thy Will Be Done.” ¬†We trust in God. ¬†We see that the ego/mind is constantly playing a game of sense gratification and selfish gain, and we accept that there is something far greater than these fleeting phenomena. ¬†When we say, “Thy Will Be Done,” we are surrendering our intellectual arrogance and vanity, and in turn we realize our freedom. ¬†One of the greatest reliefs is to fully accept and embrace, “I know nothing!” ¬†Try it out.

When we look at things thinking we know something, we judge them and set them up as good or bad.  Ultimately, we suffer.    The ego loves to have a sense of being right, but the Higher Self can accept all things are equally created and Divine by Nature.

So, the key to Happiness?

Accept it!  It is already present.  Just be aware of it. Enjoy its Presence!

Look for it everywhere in everything.  It is always Present.  Goodness abounds РBeauty abounds!

Trust in God.

 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

For Happiness, Give Up the Selfishness

Hallelujah ūüôā

 

Joy in life comes from living for the welfare of all.” – Gandhi

How does selfish spoil your happiness?

Isn’t focusing on getting and gaining and experiencing things just for ourselves exhausting?

A neat trick for increased energy, perhaps unlimited, is to let go of all selfish concern and align totally with serving and giving.  In a pure, dedicated, devotional spirit of serving and giving, the human vessel becomes like the Energizer Bunny.  It can keep going on and on and on!  Selfless service, giving, and generosity are incredibly energizing.  Connected with a pure intention, we hardly ever need to sleep.  And, when we do sleep, even that sleep is aligned with the pure intention, and we honor that by sleeping we are serving.  Every moment is an opportunity to align with the pure spirit of serving and giving.

Even eating can be performed in a spirit of service. Enjoying the food and being in a relaxed state of peace while eating is a service itself, and the eating can also be understood to nourish the body so that it can continue to serve, physically and mentally.  The spiritual service is every moment, internally a matter of attitude and awareness, and then whatever acts happen externally on the physical plane of the world are just a way that pure internal intention manifests.  Ultimately, the service is in being joyful and peaceful itself, and only goodness can flow from that internal awareness.

Sometimes, in the moment, we might pose the question, “How can I serve?” and we might find it seems like there is nothing externally to be done. ¬†In moments like those, we can simply direct the awareness within, do our best to abide in a peaceful and loving energy field, and perhaps – if you feel so inclined – send out silent blessings to everyone and everything around us. ¬†Silently blessing is a service opportunity available to us every moment. ¬†And when we bless something, it doesn’t even have to be an animate object, much less a human. ¬†We can always bless inanimate objects like computers, mugs, cell phones, sidewalks, etc. ¬†So, as you can see, the opportunities to bless are limitless! ¬†As are the opportunities to serve and give ūüôā

When we align with the spirit of service and giving, we free ourselves from the limited confines of the small human identity.  We realize we are here not just for our small selves, but we are here for the whole.  What good are we if we are not of service to the whole?  If we are only focused on gaining for ourselves and experiencing pleasure for ourselves, who really cares if we are around, anyway?  It is a joy to be a service, and truly the gift is in giving itself.  The giver of a gift is actually the one who receives, because every time we give is an opportunity for us to get outside of our ego and our selfishness and expand our identity to that of a servant of humanity, a spark of the Divine.

Selfish thoughts and acts are painful. ¬†Selfless thoughts are painless. ¬†The Supreme Truth lies beyond both. ¬†“Unselfishness is God,” says Swami Vivekananda. ¬†If God isn’t Supreme Happiness, what possibly could be?

So forget about being happy – in many ways that is a selfish concern. ¬†Rather, just focus on serving and giving and loving, regardless of whatever brings you – just focus on being a servant of all humanity and loving all of life – and all the happiness will follow. ¬†So yes, you might say you are serving to be happy – and really that’s all fine because it all leads us to the same Supreme Truth, and that pure loving energy that is beyond all thoughts and beyond all selfishness.

“The Dedicated ever enjoy Supreme Peace;¬†therefore, live only to serve.”

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

How to Unconditionally Love; Giving; Joy

Hallelujah ūüôā

Remember the goal of life.  It is not for gain, but for giving.  By giving, we purify the ego and ultimately transcend the illusion of fear and the illusion of separateness and we realize our Oneness with One and All.

Giving, Giving, Giving.

Totally let go of concern about personal gain, and, “What’s in it for me?” ¬†Instead, only think of, “How can I serve? ¬†What can I give?” ¬†Giving, giving, giving.

Let your life always be about giving, every moment focus on it. ¬†Forget about gaining anything for yourself. ¬†Trust that in your alignment with serving and giving every moment, you’ll be provided for by that which you’re serving and giving to. ¬†Ultimately, you are not serving and giving to anyone personally, but you are serving and giving to the All, so the All will take care of you. ¬†Trust completely – and through direct experience, by totally alignment with a spirit of service, giving, and generosity – very soon you will know beyond a doubt that you are taken care of.

As the saying goes, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all else shall be added unto you.” What do you think is the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness? ¬†The Kingdom of God is freedom from all fear, and all fear arises from the illusion of separateness, thinking that we have to focus on gaining for ourselves to survive and keep on living. ¬†In the Kingdom of God, we are free from all fear and sense of separateness; we are One and Eternally Safe and Supported. ¬†And what happens when we know we are Eternally Safe? ¬†His Righteousness! ¬†What is His Righteousness? Giving, giving, giving. ¬†Serving, loving, giving.

When we really we are safe and supported no matter what, then we give up the silliness of focusing on personally gaining and acquiring things for ourselves; we realize the great joy and freedom of living only to serve the entire creation and all humanity. ¬†We transcend all petty-mindedness and connect with our True Nature which is in everyone and everything. ¬†There is nothing to fear. ¬†There is simply joy waiting forever, waiting for us to realize it when we surrender our ego and our fear and open to the grace and glory of God – which is the freedom from worry over any ‘person,’ and instead living for the sake of living, because living is inherently joyful. ¬†Only when the ego stirs up all kinds of stories and dwells on the past and worries about the future do we lose touch with the inherent Joy always present.

Joy is ever present, available to us always. ¬†It is what we are. ¬†We don’t have to do anything for joy. We simply have to be aware to not get caught in any illusions that would disturb our awareness of the Joy. ¬†One of the grand mistakes and illusions that catch so many people is thinking that happiness is outside of ourselves. ¬†We project happiness and value onto things, people, experiences, etc. ¬†We think happiness is something to be gained in the world, when really it is always within us. ¬†It is our True Nature. ¬†Nothing outside can bring us happiness.

As Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj says, “Happiness dependent upon anything is utter misery.” ¬†At the very least, it is rude for us to attribute the source of our joy and happiness to another person or anything outside of ourselves. ¬†Imagine projecting all your happiness onto a relationship with another person….how stressful that would become! ¬†We think, “Only if I’m in a relationship with this person in this way can I be happy…otherwise I’ll be miserable.” ¬†Truly, we’re already making ourselves miserable if we’re thinking that way.

It is sad to think how we can so easily lose touch with our happiness because things don’t seem to be the way we want them. ¬†Such is the nature of the mind that is programmed to keep an animal alive. ¬†It is always focusing on gaining and experiencing pleasure. ¬†It fears for its own life. ¬†Poor little ego mind! With higher awareness, we can melt the ego with compassion, and let it know truly there is nothing to far. Through direct experience, we can educate the ego and awaken it to the great joy in giving, the joy that is always present and reveals itself whenever we let go of focusing on our own wellbeing and instead, focus on others. As Gandhi says, “Joy in life comes from living for the welfare of all.”

 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

 

Give Thanks; Love Your Enemies

Hallelujah ūüôā

Realize that the goal of life is something like spiritual growth, which means aligning more and more with Truth and the Power of Love.  The goal, ultimately, is to become increasingly more loving, to the point where our love becomes unconditional.

In times of challenge and adversity, that is when our ability to love is tested most. ¬†Can we love someone who is being mean, even hateful? ¬†Yes! ¬†It is possible. ¬†“Hatred does not cease by hatred; hatred ceases only by Love,” says the Buddha. ¬†Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” ¬†It is perhaps the greatest challenge to love those who seem to wrong us or do ill to us, and the greatest challenge to love in those circumstances is also the greatest gift, because in those moments we have the opportunity to truly be channels for Divine Love, Infinite Love. ¬†In those moments of greatest challenge, we can embody the Pure, Unconditional, Love of God. ¬†Of course, we can embody that Love all the time, but in those moments it becomes particularly clear whether we are divinely loving or not.

How can we be unconditionally, divinely loving in the time when it seems like all our buttons are being pushed at once, when it feels like we’re being hated and wronged in every way?

One of my favorite ideas around love is the idea of agape. ¬†I understand agape to mean a love for another not based on what they have or what they do or who they are, but a love for the infinite potential and divine essence of the other. ¬†Whether or not that other is currently being a totally open channel for the Holy Spirit and God’s Love and Will is not our issue to discern or not – we simply acknowledge that everything has that capacity, and we love for love everything for that capacity. ¬†The Divinity of all shines forth. ¬†Even if another seems hateful, we Love because we know they have the capacity to be a perfect channel for Divine Love, because they are Divinely created, and even we love them because by being hateful, they are giving us all the greater opportunity to practice unconditionally, universally, divinely loving. ¬†It is easy to love virtuous and happy people, and we know we’re making progress when we find ourselves experiencing immense love and compassion even for those who seem wicked and hateful. ¬†We can have divine compassion for them and for all humans dealing with the human condition. ¬†It is not easy!

Ultimately, we can realize that everyone is our teacher, and they are teaching us love. ¬†We can see that those who have caused us the greatest challenges in our lives are truly the greatest gifts from God. ¬†They give us that crystal clear opportunity to practice unconditional love, or to become all the more brutally aware of our blocks to love. ¬†Are we really going to withhold our love from someone because they are screaming or yelling or cursing? Because they call us names or steal from others or hurt others? ¬†Have we not done the same? ¬†As Jesus said to those who were ready to stone the prostitute, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” ¬†We have all trespassed against the natural law of Love, have we not? ¬†So we can have compassion for ourselves and for all – and we can see that none of the sin is really personal – it is just a result of the human condition. ¬†We love and have compassion for all embarked on the journey of life with the human condition – and we can choose to love no matter what, connected with the divine essence present with them always.

We love our enemies because they are our greatest teachers and provide the greatest opportunity to practice unconditional love.  Our love does not have to be dependent on anything.  Even to those that hate us, we can seek to give them something, to be generous toward them, and to love them.  That is true freedom, peace, and joy.

We can always give thanks for the grand opportunity we have to love, to give, to serve.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

How to Transcend Selfishness

Hallelujah ūüôā

What is selfishness?

What does selfishness look like?

Selfishness is essentially destructive and / or harmful.

It can look like laziness or excessive activity. ¬†Selfishness lacks balance. ¬†It is totally centered around the experience of the individual without consideration for the welfare of others, and really it even lacks considering the welfare of the individual. ¬†Even though selfishness is centered around the individual, it does not actually look out for the welfare of the individual. ¬†Rather, selfishness harms everyone and everything in the long-run. ¬†It doesn’t even benefit the perpetrator! ¬†So it is really a lose/lose. ¬†In the short-term, a selfish act like stealing can look like a win/lose, but when seen from a higher perspective, considering the long-term, we all know that stealing doesn’t even serve the one who supposedly gained from the theft. ¬†Even the thief is a loser! ¬†So selfishness is like that.

To go beyond selfishness – consider winning in the long-term. ¬†Short-term wins can look like sleeping an extra few minutes, eating three more slices of pizza, cheating on a test, stealing a candy bar, condemning homeless people, etc. but when any of the aforementioned actions are looked at from the long-term perspective, we see that they really don’t serve anyone. ¬†They don’t serve the evolution and liberation of the soul, which is what we are primarily concerned about. ¬†The earth is a school for learning, and when we act in ignorance, we don’t learn much. ¬†We might learn a little, but the learning from such actions would only be from finally admitting how they are truly painful, and that they don’t even serve us in the short-run. ¬†The minute we steal something, part of us feels bad. The minute we go past our limit and overdo, we know it, and some part of us regrets it.

Transcending selfishness requires sincerity and awareness. ¬†In Reality, the truly selfish thing to do is to prioritize your own peace and happiness above all else – because that is what we all actually want. ¬†So by all means, be selfish for that! ¬†The best part about this kind of enlightened self-interest is that it also benefits others. ¬†Because it benefits both ourselves and others, it can hardly be said to be selfish at all, or at least it is equally selfless. ¬†When you’re engaged in actions and a way of being that seems totally selfish nd also totally selfless and serviceful, that’s how you know you probably struck gold and are aligned with Truth.

Service-orientiation is the great liberating perspective to free us from selfishness. ¬†It can even be a simple focus on serving ourselves, but not just with sensory pleasures and short-term satisfactions – rather though serving ourselves with long-term fulfillment and peace. ¬†That kind of service to self serves all. ¬†Or, just forget the small self and focus on serving others – that will equally serve yourself because you’ll experience the joy of giving and transcend the illusion of separateness. ¬†When we live to serve, we realize higher consciousness and awareness that liberates us from so much darkness, ignorance, and illusion. ¬†It is only the ego that dreads service; ¬†the Highest part of all of us knows how enjoyable and pure and wonderful service is.

By all means, serve! ¬†Serve yourself by prioritizing your own peace and joy and happiness and all else, and serve others by doing the same ūüôā ¬†Or, forget yourself and just serve others however seems most natural in the present moment. ¬†Giving brings harmony. ¬†Love and give. ¬†Live only to serve! ¬†It liberates every time. ¬†Even in a moment, even if you find yourself engaged in an entirely selfish act – just stop – dedicate it to the benefit of humanity – and continue. ¬†Notice the energy shift. ¬†Notice the freedom. It is all within.

 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

To Live It, Don’t Speak It

Hallelujah ūüôā

There is a saying, “Preach the gospel; if necessary, use words.”

The primary way we serve and lead and teach and inspire and everything, everything!, is by our lives as a whole.  It is not about what we have or what we do that really matters Рbut what we have become matter supremely, and it is what we have become that serves and uplifts all humanity.

So, I could spend all day talking and writing about the benefits of regularly meditating and keeping good company and studying the scriptures, but meanwhile Рduring that whole time РI was not meditating or keeping good company or studying scriptures.  Hypocrisy is so easy!  And we must be vigilant.

It almost seems to be a guarantee at this point Рas soon as I write something on this blog, I go ahead and do just the opposite. Hence, the value of simplicity.  These words are not necessary at all, yet they seem to come naturally and it feels effortless so I trust they are aligned with serving the Highest Good.

So, instead of preaching a whole lot, perhaps it is best we either preach one simple thing, or rather to not preach at all, and simple practice one simple thing, and allow our own practice to be our non-verbal preaching.

Thank goodness that our internal awareness is a far greater contribution and service to humanity than anything we can do externally. ¬†Love, Love, Love, and with that foundation – come what may ūüôā

 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

If Judging or Demonizing – Let Go, or Try It

Hallelujah ūüôā

This article is inspired by my tendency to project negativity onto dairy products, including cheese. ¬†As if eating or not eating cheese would really result in spiritual advancement. ¬†The key with all spiritual advancement is letting go of attachments and aversions, which is on an unseen level. ¬†So, whether or not one has cheese is really irrelevant – what matters is if one thinks they can’t be happy without cheese, or if on the other hand they think they’ll never be happy within 100 miles of cheese. ¬†In both cases, we can see the absurdity – yet the ego/mind still thinks it makes sense.

So, if you find yourself adverse to cheese, perhaps caught up in some self-righteousness bout veganism, perhaps try a piece of cheese and notice how the world doesn’t come to an end. ¬†There is a chance the body might actually have a negative response to it if it hasn’t consumed dairy in a while, but chances are that in moderation the cheese will not drastically effect the health and wellbeing of either body or mind. ¬†You might notice a bit more mucus when you blow your nose the next morning, but that’s not the end of the world either, is it?

Of course, one doesn’t have to go trying cheese if one finds oneself condemning, judging, or demonizing it. ¬†‘Trying it’ might just aid in freeing oneself of the ignorance of condemning it in the first place, but ultimately the freedom can be had internally without relying on an external action. ¬†One need not try heroin in order to be free from condemning or demonizing it.

The internal process of freeing one from an attachment or an aversion can be as follows:

  • Identify that which you are attached or averse to. ¬†To use the example of eating cheese, the example that sets, the process by which it came about, and the detrimental health effects on the body. ¬†Notice, the aversion might initially just look like to the idea of cheese, but when we examine the aversion more closely, we find that there are particular payoffs the ego/mind derives from holding to such an aversion. ¬†If the aversion were merely to cheese and cheese alone, there is no payoff. But considering that the aversion is really to the health effects of cheese and the process of cheese and any violence associated with producing dairy, we can see how there is ton of juice for the ego/mind and it can really feel prideful from all of its intellectual arrogance. ¬†The ego/mind feels strongly that it knows something that is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and it thrives off the seeming righteousness.
  • Continuing with the cheese example, we can ask, “What is really good about cheese? What lessons have I learned from cheese? ¬†How has cheese served me in the past? ¬†How has it served mankind?” ¬†We can consider all the hungry people that cheese feeds, all the satisfaction it brings to people (if only temporarily), the livelihood it brings to dairy producers, who knows how many great leaders of history have been fed by cheese, etc. ¬†There are certainly at least two sides to every coin!
  • Until, with an aversion – it is as though we are naturally aware of all the cons. ¬†But then we can consider the pros, and with humility we can see that we are in ignorance and are incapable of accurately balancing the pros and cons to truthful assess the value of cheese.

All attachments and aversions arise from ignorance.  In Reality, there is nothing to be attached or averse to.  All is as it is, Divinely affirmed by virtue of its existence.  Who are we, what are we to assess anything beyond its Divine Essence?  Spiritual Evolution and Freedom is about letting go of our intellectual arrogance and the pride and vanity we get from thinking we know something that is right and something that is wrong Рand instead surrendering all that to God, and being with God in affirming the Divinity of all Creation; living in the awareness that all form is fleeting, it is for fun, and we are not meant to attach ourselves to that which is impermanent, but rather we can store up our treasures in Heaven and cling to the unseen Reality of Love, Truth, God.

Remember Рthe world is for fun!  It is the perfect school.  It exists to liberate us.  If we find ourselves feeling attached or averse Рgreat! Рthose attachments and aversions are the perfect opportunities for heightened awareness, surrender, and spiritual growth.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!