Happiness Or Waking Up
We all look for happiness in our life. The world needs happiness. But what is this happiness that we all want? We do not realize that we take for granted many concepts like “happiness” and never question them. We do not realize that they come from a cultural and ideological background we live in. In fact, 90% of chances that your “happiness” is dependent on the outside. Meaning. if you get what you want, or receive good news, you are happy. But “happiness” soon vanishes when you experience something that you do not like. Just be aware that this is not the type of happiness that we talk about in spirituality. The “true” happiness (which some spiritual masters call Joy) is from within, not dependent on the outside. So, what about shifting your perspective now and experiencing a different kind of happiness that lasts forever as a state of mind rather than a temporary feeling, and that makes you see the world with a peaceful gaze and an inner smile?
The 21st century is asking us to shift our consciousness, to wake-up, otherwise we are going to face undoubtedly more suffering. Yes, we have reached a dead end in our human evolution. For the first time in modern history, we need to move all together as One and evolve with consciousness. The paradigm of “me, myself, and I” is outdated. Meditation, among other techniques, is an excellent practice to help you be on the wake-up path. But what does it mean exactly to wake up?
Waking up is to shift consciousness in a way that makes us experience reality beyond opposite thinking (good/bad, right/wrong, love/hate, etc.). In opposite thinking, there is no Oneness, only compromises, agreements, contracts, etc. Opposite thinking makes you live in a limited time and space reality, and there is no possibility for expansion of consciousness in such a view. For the first time in modern history, quantum physics and spirituality come together to show that gravity is after all the field of consciousness all around us…is, in fact, what the universe is made of. Our human mind must adjust to this new reality. We need to stop feeling and believing that we are separated from the world, the universe. In the wake-up consciousness, happiness becomes a permanent state of mind (although the expression “state of mind” is not quite right, but you get the point). As a parallel, the same holds true for “silence” that everyone wants to reach in meditation. If a dog barks or the neighbor’s music is playing, we are upset because the noise interrupts our silent meditation. But this “outside silence” is not the true silence we speak about in Zen, for example. The silence from within is the powerful silence we should all experience, as it encompasses both the inside and outside notions. The “inner silence” is when you do not attach to your thoughts passing by, or your feelings, or the noise around you. When your center-hara is strong, your focus on your breath is steady, and all around is simply happening without you reacting to it, then the true silence rises like an open and clear space of stillness, emptiness, infinite possibilities of time and space. We say in Zen that when your center is truly strong even the barking of a dog becomes the “om”, the sound of the universe. That is the power of Zen meditation.
Waking up is what everyone, and humanity itself, should be doing in this beginning of the 21st century. We need to change consciousness. I am not referring to the short moment of great connection with nature you may feel sometimes in the forest or facing the ocean. Those moments are wonderful, but unfortunately, you go back to your dual mind, as a default, with the feeling of separation with the universe. I am talking about cultivating in your everyday life the connection to your true self – only that will help you move out of the dual mind, help you “wake up.” We all need to make an effort in the spiritual practice of our choice (for me it is Zen meditation), to help move humanity to a higher level of being, existing.
I remember one day on Zoom telling my Zen master Bon Hae about my little disappointment with my meditation practice. I could not feel the plenitude I had experienced the week before. Her face came so close to the camera, I had the impression that she was coming out of my screen. She said: “Viviane, Zen is about waking up, not feeling good and peaceful. So, wake-up!”
“Whether we perceive our experiences as joyful or painful doesn’t matter. The more we awaken, the less we make distinctions. We gradually stop thinking in terms of opposites and simply are with each moment in a clear and open relationship. Our healing, our growth come from being open and awake…This is the healing process – awakening to the original wholeness of life.” Zen master Soeng Hyang.
Only then, true happiness naturally arises, and your inner smile radiates everywhere you go, or do with others, or for humanity. This is the 21st conscious evolution of humanity. Be part of it…consciously…and truly be happy!
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