A work colleague and I were having a cup of tea after lunch and discussing a variety of topics, from the meaning of life through to the rising price of petrol. During this chat, she commented that she understood why so few people experienced true happiness, because you had to work really hard to achieve and maintain any sort of happiness.
The lunch bell went and we were inundated with students (I work in a high school). So our conversation came to an abrupt halt.
It was only later that I had a moment to reflect on what she’d said, and I realised how wrong she was. If it weren’t for the students in the classroom, I would have gone to her and taken her by the shoulders and said, “No, you’re wrong. Happiness is so easy to achieve. It’s the easiest thing in the world.”
The simple fact is that as a Sahaja Yoga practitioner, I find happiness is the easiest thing for me to achieve. I can sometimes struggle with reasoning, sometimes with finding answers, sometimes with the appropriate reaction to other people, but happy is something I seem to always be. I spend most of my time in the present, and I am able to enjoy even the most mundane of tasks.
My friend meditates, but not using the Sahaja Yoga technique. As with many other forms of meditation, the meditation she does requires effort, is difficult and requires a certain level of skill. With her meditation you have to “earn” the peace, as opposed to Sahaja Yoga, in which the state of meditation (known as thoughtless awareness) is spontaneous. My friend’s oversight is that she’s simply trying too hard.
If you are a Sahaja Yogi, there is a small level of dedication and motivation that you must have, but it is simply enough that you sit down for 10 minutes each day in front of Shri Mataji’s photograph. When I first began meditating, I had to talk to myself as if I were a small child; I often chastised myself for being lazy or procrastinating, and I would gently encourage myself to incorporate this 10 minutes of meditation into each day. After a while, this chastising wasn’t necessary.
Sometimes it’s a little bit like telling yourself you have to get out of a warm bed on a cold winter’s morning. Often we will have an inner conversation with ourselves outlining the reasons why we should stay in bed rather than get up. However, my chastisement of myself was always humorous – to take yourself too seriously can take away from the spontaneity and pleasure the meditation brings. Humour, smiles and laughter can often, in themselves, chase away negative behaviour and feelings.
I want to sit down with my friend and show her how easy Sahaja Yoga is. But I also know from my own experience that we often don’t believe that anything of value can be this easy. We’re always being told, “You don’t get something for nothing”. When I first started meditating I, too, would try hard to achieve the state of meditation. But that was my problem. I was trying. I simply had to be. I eventually learned that thoughts (and interruptions and noise) weren’t bad or frustrating or wrong. They simply were. I learned to watch my thoughts and allow them to pass. In a way, I forgave my thoughts (because there’s nothing wrong with thoughts). I allowed them to be. And gradually, the space between my thoughts grew. And it was in this space that I found what Shri Mataji was talking about. In this space was peace. In this space was the place of serenity and healing.
In the beginning, the space between thoughts would last one second, and sometimes it didn’t arrive at all! But I can only encourage others to keep sitting down for 10 minutes each day. You will, with Shri Mataji’s vibrations from her photograph, find this peace. And even in such small amounts it can transform your day. It’s amazing how beneficial a small amount can be. So imagine what it’s like being able to be in thoughtless awareness for long periods. If I can do it, anybody can. I’m a Virgo, with a mind that used to travel 100 miles an hour. I couldn’t sit still, and when I did I was always thinking and planning; going backwards and forwards into the past and the future. No wonder my body was ailing; it was simply reacting to the lack of peace I was insisting on.
Now my life is very different. And the reason is so simple that it’s beautiful – Sahaja Yoga. Very soon I will sit down with my friend and show her what I’m talking about. And she will be able to see for herself that happiness is the easiest thing in the world to find.
Originally posted 2008-06-01 00:28:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
Other Sahaja Yoga tags: happiness
, Sahaja Yoga
, Shri Mataji
, thoughtless awareness