Do you feel sore after a yoga class? Stressed about not being able to meditate? Straining to achieve happiness?
The purpose of life is the expansion of happiness and while we may have got caught up looking for it in the wrong places and straining to achieve it, the natural tendency of life is for fulfilment. Happiness comes from within and while most of us acknowledge this, we still spend a lot of time chasing it on the outside. We seek satisfaction in material possessions; nice cars, beautiful clothes, comfortable homes; and while there is nothing wrong with having these they will not make us happy. We may look for fulfilment in relationships, looking attractive or being successful in our career but these cannot fool proof us from feeling anxious, depressed or insecure.
A state of bliss consciousness is at the depths of our being. Experienced at the deepest level of the mind it can permeate all phases of living. Initially it is experienced when the body is deeply resting. The mind and body are intimately connected. Mental stress creates tension in the body just as poor health affects the quality of our thinking. A stress free physiology is more conducive to bliss.
The mind naturally moves in the direction of more happiness. When we are enjoying a good book we cannot put it down but if it gets boring the mind will drift to other thoughts. Trying to control the natural movement of the mind is like trying to stand in the fast flowing current of a river. It can be hard and create resistance for a time, until it will at some point it will be swept along with the rush of the current.
Transcendental Meditation is like going with the flow. The technique also gives the mind the direction to go inward so we are not just floating along on the surface of the mind but going deep within to the source of thought. These quiet levels are like gravity to the mind, so in an effortless way, the mind just sinks within. It is opposite to concentration or control.
Likewise attempting to relax the body by forcing it into painful positions or pushing beyond what is comfortable may improve our flexibility but causes stress and strain to the body in the process. Ayurveda advocates exercising to less than your full capacity to improve fitness and overall health. While you are exercising you should be able to breathe comfortably through your nose. Initially you may feel that you cannot run as fast or exercise as heavily but over time your ability to run faster and go for longer will improve without creating strain in the body. Exercise should release stress not create it.
Creating a routine or lifestyle where you are constantly trying to better your self can also become a source of stress. Strictly following a diet while craving the ‘wrong’ foods can be a detrimental to health and happiness. Sometimes we do need to avoid certain foods if they are creating health problems but if we are just doing it because we have an intellectual idea that particular foods are bad or we should eat food we dislike in the name of good health then it is time to tune into how we feel when we eat or avoid them.
Finding happiness should not be hard work.