Yesterday, in the middle of a profound meditation session, whilst reading "Taming the Tiger Within" and generally being in a state of solid mindfulness, I stumbled like Alice into a rabbit hole I much enjoyed.
I finally understood some very intense concepts I'd been struggling with - after studying several Yogic and Buddhist texts - and realizing that sent me into a state of deep calm. What concepts?
Primarily, and more potently, the concept that happiness can only exist in the here and now, in a state of mindful focus. I've always been the kind of person that has these inner dialogues:
- I'll be happier once I am thin
- I'll be happy when I get married
- I'll be happy when Spring comes around
- I'll be happier when I'm richer
- I'll be happier when I can drive
From what I gathered from books and my own understanding, you get this state of happiness by understanding a few things:
- Many of the super duper things we want are really empty shells of what we truly want.
- Most times, when we get those super things, we are less happy than we anticipated, leaving a hunger for more.
- The great things we want are impermanent, but in our minds are eternal in a way.
- The great things sometimes come at the cost of something else.
- The great things can come at the cost of someone else.
- The super things can require more maintenance than you originally thought.
- The super things can break, and the bigger the want, the harder the separation pain.
When we connect with the small happinesses more often, we feel happy more often - and therefore have more of a happy life. More serotonin, more dopamine, more of the good stuff flows through our body.
So everyday, at least once a day, I try to stay in a mindful state and count all the little things that make me happy - from the colour of the room I'm in, to the fact that I can go see Cute Overload, the fact that I have access to running water and a flushable toilet, etc etc.. the list covers such tiny and seemingly insignificant things - however, once you get started on the list, you'll find that it gets longer and longer faster each day.
During this time, I try to do mindfulness meditation as much as possible daily. You can do it while doing chores, walking, sitting, anything.. and it's really easy. At first when you're trying to get into a mindful state, you may be trying too hard if you think it's hard.. ease up and just look around you without judging anything. Just try not to think about anything, and don't zone out. This isn't about tuning out, it's about tuning in. Tune into the walls, the ground, the furniture, the people around you, your breathing, etc. Tune into everything around you.
Ok so what is the "momentary" part of the title of this post? Well, this morning the state had vanished, as my pain is nasty in the mornings.. it's like waking up in a frying pan. I need to get better at this so that it carries on into the worst of my pain, and so when I wake up I can hit the ground running instead of tumble like a butcher's charge falling out of the abattoir's wagon.
So now that the next step is seen, the work is imminent.