- 7 steps to a happier life!
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Shreya also gives us happiness, but in the long run, such as when we embark on a fitness program or kick the smoking habit. Preya and shreya are most often directly opposed to each other, such as when we spend the night carousing and wake up the next day with a heavy head and conscience. So how do we choose shreya? Simply, by not choosing preya. Our refusal to settle for short-term happiness in itself guarantees long-term happiness. Prioritizing happiness means a single-minded focus on shreya. Are your eating habits interfering with your health? Change them.
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Is your anger spewing unhappiness around? Let it go.
Are you spending more money than you make? Get financially smart. Are your relationships in trouble? Work at them. Is your yen for fame or power coming in the way of your happiness goal? Off with their heads. Are these easy? How do you access such superhuman will? This takes us to the next step.
All spiritual masters and texts are united in this one. The answer to the human condition lies in understanding our true Self. According to Vedanta, our primary error is to mistake ourselves for our body, or even our minds or egos. Our real Self lies beyond these limited factors of identity, and is boundless, infinite, pure reality, consciousness and bliss.
7 steps to a happier life!
Those who know they are neither body nor mind, But the immortal Self, the Divine Principle of existence, find the source Of all joy and live in abiding joy. This knowledge, even if only an intellectual concept to begin with, will give us the perspective to progress further. Vedanta graphically uses the concept of a chariot to convey the real nature of the Self. In the Katha Upanishad , Yama, lord of death, tells the young seeker Nachiketa,. Know the Self as lord of the chariot, The body as the chariot itself, The discriminating intellect as the charioteer, And the mind as reins.
The senses, say the wise, are the horses, Selfish desires are the roads they travel. When the Self is confused with the body, mind, and senses, they point out, he seems to enjoy pleasure and suffer sorrow. In other words, the reason why we choose preya rather than shreya is because our untrained senses gallop after a drink or espying a pretty girl, leaving our charioteer toppled on one side with the reins hanging loose.
The nature of the senses is to run after objects of desire, and only a well-trained mind controlled by a discriminating intellect, which takes its guidance from the sequestered Self, can rein them in. This then is the task before us: to train the senses, discipline the mind, and strengthen the intellect to awaken the Self. The Buddha said the same thing when he observed that attachment created suffering.
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Attachment arises out of our reactions of like and dislike, which are a result of the contact of the senses and the mind with the world. These, in turn, are part of universal mind and matter, which arise out of undifferentiated consciousness. The Buddhist approach to ultimate happiness is the abolishment of the entire structure of consciousness by focusing on reaction.
The cessation of reaction would cause the cessation of like and dislike, which would cause the cessation of contact between the senses and the world, eventually leading to the collapse of consciousness. While Vedanta moves you towards a positive identity, Buddhism unshackles the construct of all identity.
Each, however, forces us to confront the very depth of our nature. In her book, Spiritual Intelligence , Danah Zohar draws upon the latest discoveries in quantum physics to substantiate her claim that we are made of the same stuff as God. The first thing to emerge from the vacuum is an energy field known as the Higgs Field.
This is filled with very fast, coherent energy oscillations that are the origin of all fields and fundamental particles in the universe. If proto-consciousness is a fundamental property, then there is proto-consciousness in the Higgs Field. And meaning has its origin in the ultimate meaning of all existence. There we have it. Even science acknowledges that we are divine stuff, children of immortality, amrutasya putraha , to quote the Upanishads. Identifying with the body or the mind traps us within the sensory world.
Preya becomes our only concept of pleasure so that happiness becomes purely a question of how much money we have, how beautiful we are, how many houses and cars we own and whether we belong to the A list of socialites. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. Before we get to the actual task of discarding our false self, we need to take certain preparatory steps. The most crucial of these is robust self-esteem.
Seven Steps to be as Happy as a Finn—and Happier! by The Sun Also Rises playlists - Listen to music
The task of confronting yourself and coming to terms with every aspect of you, essential aspects of de-identification, can only commence if you are capable of containing and accepting the less than flattering truth. Renouncing the ego can only be successfully accomplished by those who have a healthy one to begin with. These are:. Do this with the other pillars too and you will find that the very fact of thinking and writing about these will help you move towards these states of mind. In her book, The 12 Secrets of Health and Happiness , Louise Samways suggests that a good way of achieving self-acceptance is not to surrender to labels about ourselves created by others or us.
Seven Steps to Happiness – steps 1 – 7
Stick to facts, she says. You feel confident that you can change if you want. The other way of accessing self-esteem is through the knowledge of who we are. If we are divine, an aspect of God, then surely that is reason for self-esteem? Self-esteem is innate; an aspect of our true nature and what stops us from experiencing it is our ignorance and conditioning. Count down slowly from 20 to 0 until you find yourself feeling peaceful inside. It is enough that you started working on it and have reached a basic level of inner stability.
It is time now to go within. This is the key to the whole enterprise. If you can direct your mind inwards with unshakable commitment and steady application until you have seen through it, you are home and dry. What you must do is direct your attention to the uncharted inner regions: the zones of thoughts, feelings, reactions and actions. You are going to take the measure of your mind.
Remember what the Buddha said, that we live in a mind-made world? That our thoughts create our reality? Are these thoughts supportive of happiness or not? Let us explore. The first thing we learn is that we have very little control over our mind. And that we are never in the present.