When was the last time that you felt rushed? Stressed? Anxious about not meeting a deadline or being late to an appointment?
Sometimes we feel that time is against us. Have you ever wondered when we are uncertain and insecure, why it feels like time don’t passes quickly and stays forever? We feel we missed out on one thing because we were too busy with another? What about feeling overwhelmed by the amount of “to-do’s” and the hours in the day/week/month/year?
Have you noticed that time flies by when you are enjoying or doing something you love? Do you remember a time when you were doing something in the zone where five hours felt like only 10 minutes?
What is time? Not the chronological time but psychological time? Why is that we feel time is too long or too short?
We live by time. The truth is, in our world, we consider time as one of our most, if not utmost precious resource. Yet with each passing month and year, it seems we are becoming busier and busier, more stressed and increasingly anxious. We, as a society, are caught up in the perspective that time is limited and thus, are always in a fight against it.
Another illusion is, we think that changes inside us can come about in time. We assume that peace in us will come day by day and built up little by little. But psychological time doesn’t bring order or peace. We must stop thinking in terms of gradual growth. This means that there is no tomorrow for us to be peaceful. Our peace must happen on the instant. Learning is instant and not a matter of time.
When we face real danger in life then time disappears, doesn’t it? There is an immediate action. But when our mind doesn’t see the danger with our problems then our mind invents time as a means of distraction and procrastination. Time is a deceiver as it doesn’t help us to bring about a change in us. Time is a movement that is divided into past, present and future. As long as we see things in time, there is division and hence there’ll always be conflict.
What if we came to understand that everything we have experienced and will experience, happens only in the present moment. What we must work to achieve is a balance by learning how to live in an awareness where we are in the moment. That is, we must learn to understand that there is only the present moment, and we must have faith that we are exactly where we were are meant to be in each moment, while accepting and participating in a society that revolves around the confusion of time.
In the outer world in which we live, there is conflict. When we are confused about our many problems in life and are lost in that confusion, what is the right action to do? Time is an enemy and we experience division, separation, and suffering. If we live in a time bound world, we never leave the fight against time and experience great suffering.
The problem of time is a very important concept to understand if we want to truly find the truth. We invite you to join us at our Monthly Meditation, Sunday June 30th, as we explore and discuss how we can achieve the balance of time.
Heraclitus (c. 500 BCE) made the assertion that “Life is Flux”, which in Greek, “Panta Rhei”, translates to “Everything, or all things, change.” What a truth. For change is one of the only constants in our universe.
To navigate our day to day, humans are constantly managing changes since childhood by creating and holding to repetition and patterns. We are struggling to keep our focus and attention dealing with our habits and thought patterns. And for periods of time, this can seem effective. But then, the inevitable: change. And what then? Many times when a change occurs in our lives, our immediate reaction is to resist it; we experience discomfort, frustration, lack of understanding and even anger. We feel as though the solid ground that we have stood on has become unstable; untrustworthy. Our primeval desire is for things to remain the same is more comfortable. We find it difficult to comprehend that any change to our repetitive life, can, and does, bring us closer to our higher objective and to our higher self.
We can make our lives easier by removing the need to consciously control things and start observing, studying, and understanding them.
As Fredierick Douglass so aptly puts it: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” When a milestone is reached in our life – whether it is mental, physical, emotional or spiritual – when we gain a new level of freedom or growth or overcome one change, the universe tends to bring a new change for us to embrace so that we can move forward in life to the next one, and to gain a broader presence.
But to understand this - to learn how to see difficulties and changes in our life as opportunities for growth, and to accept them, lean into them and learn from them - means learning to be profoundly inwardly connected and focused, rather than outwardly focused on the shallow, external things of this world that distract us from our higher purpose.
If we wish to experience this life fully, deeply and with boundless joy, we must learn how to welcome and embrace change. We must practice to observe, study, and understand the thoughtless repetition and habits we create (mentally, emotionally, spiritually and even physically) that keep us mindlessly moving through the world and missing out on the true great joys in life.
We invite you to join us for our upcoming weekly meditations, yoga classes, RUNClub, monthly meditation and many other offerings where we will discuss and be guided on how to welcome change and how to connect more deeply with our higher presence, which will allow us to feel more secure and love a joyful life.
When we are totally aware of our conditioning (what has made us who we are), we can understand our whole consciousness, and this of course is of critical importance if we are to learn to achieve and experience true happiness.
But in order to be fully aware of our conditioning, we must recognize that all of our: desires, pleasures, fears, hopes, sorrows, inspirations, and joys in our life, emerge from our past memories. Our emotions are triggered when we are confronted through relationships and experiences and previous memories of both.
Because our memory is filled with unnecessary thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the past that do not serve our purpose, it is very easy for us to be removed from the present moment; we lose focus and attention because of our inability to manage our memory-driven emotions. We enter into a situation or experience and become distracted by the emotions we experience and we lose ourselves to them - focusing instead on the past rather than the present. In doing so, our consciousness becomes divided, causing internal friction.
So what can we do? Is it possible to entirely be aware of our whole consciousness and conditioning?
It is. But not without continual practice.
Practicing awareness allows us to slow down our thoughts and increase our attention. Self-awareness helps focus our attention to one-pointedness with integrity. Through these practices, we gain the ability to observe and understand the network of thoughts and beliefs that are stored in our memory. Step by step, uncovering layer by layer, we must learn to examine every thought, feeling and motive. When we fully commit to the process of self-understanding, then we allow every form of distortion (every emotion that pulls as away from the present moment) to flow without resistance. Allowing the memory-driven emotions to simply be, without engaging in them, and by paying complete attention to what is, we learn to be aware of our total consciousness, in which there is no friction within.
If you want to approach your personal problems more seriously, and gain more understanding of how the conditionings stored in our memory steal us from paying complete attention to our present moment, we invite you to come to our upcoming Monthly Meditation, on Sunday March 31st from 10:30am - 12:30pm at our Center. No experience or registration is necessary; there is only a $5.00 cash investment to attend.
We look forward to seeing you.
-Sri Madhu Sai
Travel is like an addiction and you can never, ever have enough of it. Travel is the only thing that you buy, that makes you richer.
Here we are, entering day 5 on our 2nd annual Happyness Center retreat in India. We are exploring the North this time (south last year) and I find myself feeling more comfortable in this intoxicating environment this year.
With every trip, the growth as an individual is profound. Travel stretches us like nothing else, especially transformational travel which is what The Happyness Center is 100% committed to. These fabulous retreats are not vacations, sitting on the beach and swimming up to the poolside bar (although that definitely has its appeal too at times). The “ Happyness Center Retreats “ are passionately committed to growth in every single direction – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We are all encouraged to travel with an explorer’s open mind and be adaptable as we slowly get more comfortable in our surroundings . The humbler and grounded we become, the more love we get in return. . . and that all transfers perfectly to home with us in our real lives. Life after all , happens in relationship with others. The goal should be to travel inwards ( into our own selves) to make a difference in not only the health and happiness of ourselves , but those around us in our families, friendships, communities and hopefully in the world.
Yesterdays agenda was jam packed!
Happy New Year!
As we step into 2019, you have most likely found yourself setting goals and intentions for this next year and possibly wondering: "how am I going to keep these goals?" "How will I find success?" Or maybe you are asking yourself, "what do I need to learn about myself this year?" Or, "who do I want to become"? Or possibly, "what do I need to do to be happier?"
In order to achieve success, we must first be happy. And to achieve happiness, we must first be happy with ourselves. But to be happy with ourselves, we must first be able to accept ourselves and understand ourselves completely. Understanding ourselves is also what allows us to change our behaviors to become who we wish to be.
So then, how to we understand ourselves completely? We must be our own teacher, and our own student. We must be, however challenging it is, completely open to carefully observing and facing ourselves fiercly and in all honesty, holding nothing back. We must prepare ourselves to face truths about ourselves - whether they are beautiful or ugly; without running away, however guilty, anxious, or hard it feels. We must be willing to lay bare who we are, covering nothing up and no longer choose to only see the pleasant side of ourselves. We must learn to face ourselves with courage, and realize that our instinct is to lie to ourselves so that we can ignore or make peace with the parts of our selves that we do not like, or cannot accept.
If we aspire to find real solutions in our lives, to become true to our self and the best, most happiest version of our self, that it is of vital importance that we see ourselves entirely, and not just the parts that we like about ourselves.
So where to we begin the journey to observe, reflect, enquire and understand ourselves?
In our relationships. For the truth us that we can only observe ourselves in relationships because all life is relationships. Each of us exists in relation with other people, other things, and ideas. We can only see our thoughts, emotions, reactions and responses when we interact with other people and things; so it is only through these interactions that we can gain an understanding of our self.
Learning to see oneself wholly - without judgement and covering up of the uncomfortable - is one of the most challenging things you can do, but it is paramount to truly understanding and accepting yourself, which in turn allows you to be happy. For we cannot be happy as long as our happiness is dependant on material things, or the love, acceptance and validation of others. When our feeling about our self is dependant on anything other than our self, we can never truly take control of our own lives; our happiness will fluctuate with the emotions or choices of others and with our life circumstances.
It is possible to believe that we are in control of ourselves, but yet unknowingly attach some, if not all, of our current happiness and satisfaction on our current relationships or circumstances. Then, at the inevitable point that our circumstances fluctuate or change towards the negative, or someone lets us down, we lose our happiness. We then begin the search for new happiness elsewhere, a painful and tiring process.
If we can learn to seek kindness and love from within, we become more capable of navigating changes in circumstance or relationship with grace, love and joy, which minimizes the pain we experience in life and allows us to live in a continual state of happiness.
So then, to achieve true happiness we must look within, and to understand what it within, we must look at our self within relationship - with others, with objects, beliefs and ideas. This can be a challenging and daunting process and you may be unsure of where to begin.
We invite you to join us for our upcoming Monthly Meditation where we will meditate on and discuss the practice of looking within one's self for the loving kindness we need to accept and understand ourselves, that will in turn allow us to experience true happiness and success.