What is your commitment in life? You may say you are committed to happiness. Every living creature wants to be happy. Whether it is money, power or sex, you get into it for the sake of happiness. Some people even enjoy misery because it gives them happiness !
To be happy, we seek something. But despite getting it, we are not happy. A school-going boy may think that if he goes to college, he will be more independent, free and therefore happy. If you ask a college-going boy whether he is happy, he feels that if he gets a job, he will be happy. Talk to somebody who is settled in their job or business, you already know what he will say! He is waiting to get a perfect soul mate, to be happy. He gets a soul mate, but he now wants a kid to be happy. Ask those who have children if they are happy. How can they relax until the children have grown up and have had a good education and are on their own. Ask those who are retired, are they happy? They long for the days when they were younger.
All of one’s life is spent in preparing to be happy someday in the future. It’s like making a bed all night, but having no time to sleep.
How may minutes, hours and days have we spent our life being happy from within ? Those are the only moments you have really lived life. Those were perhaps the days when you were a small kid, completely blissful and happy or a few moments when you were surfing, swimming or sailing or on a mountain top, living in the present and enjoying it.
There are two ways of looking at life. One is thinking that, “I’ll be happy after achieving a certain objective.” The second is saying that “I am happy come what may!”
Which one do you want to live?
Seeking a guru
Before looking for a guru, it is important to know who is a true guru, and who will guide you to the path of happiness.
One who says he is a guru is not a true guru. A guru is not one who claims authority on you. A guru is not one who dictates terms to you. A guru simply means one who brings more joy, alertness and awareness into your life. He is the one who helps you get in touch with yourself, who reminds you to live in the present moment, who pulls you out of your guilt, agitation, sorrow, anguish and allows you to be yourself. Also, a master lives the values he teaches.
Enlightenment does not come through authority. Somebody cannot command you to get enlightened. Once life blossoms, and love and compassion become a reality, then silence dawns and the transformation happens. That is enlightenment. It is a personal experience.
God is also a very personal experience. It is something akin to pain. If you have a pain in your leg, can you prove it to anybody? Can you show your pain to anybody?
Much the same way, the opening of infinite consciousness is also a personal experience. The basic substratum of creation — you may call it God or any other name — opens up to us more and more as we get rid of the stresses and start living in the present moment. And then dawns surrender.
Surrender is not an act. One cannot “try” to surrender. Most often, one keeps wondering as to how to surrender. And this struggle blocks one from being “in” surrender. Surrendering is in your nature. Just like it is a child’s nature to love toys, candies, and ice creams.
How can one find his true guru? Just be open and keep learning, and when your learning is complete, it becomes obvious. When you’re on the path, don’t worry about the guru. First look at your own life, your own self. Have trust in yourself. And as knowledge unfolds, you’ll find that there is suddenly a lot of gratitude in you towards somebody and then you can accept him as a master.
Live in the moment
Life is 80 per cent joy and 20 per cent misery. But we hold on to the 20 per cent and make it 200 per cent ! It is not a conscious act, it just happens. Living in the moment with joy, alertness, awareness and compassion is enlightenment. Being like a child is enlightenment. It is being free from within, feeling at home with everybody, without barriers.
Don’t judge and don’t worry about what others think of you. Whatever they think, it is not permanent. Your own opinion about things and people keeps changing all the time. So why worry about what others think about you. Worrying takes a lot of toll on the body, mind, intellect and alertness. It is like an obstruction that takes us far away from ourselves. It brings us fear. Fear is nothing but lack of love. It is an intense sense of isolation.
This can be handled by relaxing and doing some breathing exercises. Then you will realise that, “I am loved, I am part of everybody and I am part of the whole Universe.” This will liberate you and the mind will take a complete shift. You will then find so much harmony around.
To find harmony, it is not as if you have to physically seek it by sitting somewhere for years and practise. Whenever you are in love and feel joyous, your mind is in the present . At some level, to some degree, everybody is meditating without being aware of it. There are moments when your body, mind and breath are all in harmony. That’s when you achieve yoga. The art of living lies in the present moment.