Where Self Awareness begins…
Why are you unhappy? Why has life been such a series of disappointments? You must be thinking that there are lots of reasons, right?
Maybe you chose the wrong career, or married the wrong partner, or shouldn’t have bought that car, or that house, or started that stupid business. It is easy to think that failure is at the root of your unhappiness. But is it?
Or we could blame others for our unhappiness. We could blame the pandemic, or the lockdown, our partner, our boss, or whatever. If only things could be different.
We seem to believe that success gives happiness. Isn’t that what you believe? That, if you win the lottery, you will be happy? Or if you have children, or become famous, or cherished by others, you will be happy? So, what happened to Robin Williams? Or Elvis? Or Michael Jackson? Or Heath Ledger? Or Whitney Houston? The list goes on and on. They had everything in life. And then committed suicide. How is that possible?
So, what do we do to hide our unhappiness? We keep busy, busy. Too busy to face the truth. We fear doing nothing, because if we keep busy we can avoid the suffering, the misery of life.
When Buddha defined his 4 fundamental truths, he didn’t even consider happiness. He said that happiness, or pleasure, is fleeting and not even worth considering. He spoke only about the suffering of life and how to overcome it.
It may surprise you to hear the truth about unhappiness. It can be quite shocking to hear that there is only one reason for your unhappiness.
Some of the happiest people I ever met were also the poorest. When you move around in the foothills of the Himalayas, you come across many subsistence farmers. They live off the land, with small crops and a simple system of bartering. They call those foothills the Land of the Gods. And God provides. But not much. Just enough to live. And yet, many of them have what seems to be a light shining from within. You see it when they smile. Simple people. Loving people. Integrated people who can afford to trust others, because they have nothing to lose.
And then, when I came home to South Africa, I was always struck by all the wealth and suffering that permeates our society.
Shakespeare, in Hamlet, said: “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” And then goes on to speak about the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and about taking up arms against a Sea of troubles.”
I achieved a lot of success when I was young. I ran a small kite business when I was twelve to earn pocket money. By the time I reached twelfth grade I was the top athlete, and top academic student in the best school in Natal. Whoever came first there, came first in the province. And yet I was miserable. I got the new girl that all the guys wanted, but it didn’t help. My misery was coming from within. I felt discontented within, and nothing that I achieved on the outside could make up for it.
Looking back now, it is clear that I hadn’t learned how to be. I was a victim of my thoughts and emotions. My thoughts and emotions ruled me, instead of me ruling them. I didn’t know how to be above them.
In 1990 I became a bodybuilding champion, placing first in Southern Transvaal province, and then second in the South African championships, which made me eligible for Springbok colours. The guy who placed first was a veteran, and I was poised to take over from him as the best in the country. Everything was going my way. I was CFO of the largest parcel logistics business in the country, with more than 1000 staff under my command. I had started building my dream house on the top of Northcliff Hill. I had a beautiful girlfriend. I had that sportscar I had always wanted, but I was still miserable. Nothing on the outside was changing how I felt within. That was the turning point in my life. It set me on a journey of a lifetime, in search of the holy grail of happiness. Initially to the west, to London and New York, and then to the east, to the foothills of the Himalayas. And finally, one day, on a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the truth of happiness was revealed to me.
Isn’t it true that the quest for happiness has been your quest too? Haven’t you also been searching for happiness all of your life? Isn’t it a fact that every object you have chased, every experience you hankered for, and every feeling you longed for, was in search of happiness?
Today I am going to share with you what I was shown about happiness on that distant island in the Indian Ocean.
The first secret is that you have to understand the difference between having and being. You can have things on the outside but you are within. Knowing how to be is much more important than having things. Having things cannot change who you are on the inside. Something on the outside can influence your state of being on the inside for a short while, but soon it passes and then you are back to being yourself. Then you run after the next thing that can make you feel good about yourself once more. But it can never make a real difference. Not for long. Having a car, a career, a partner, a house, even children, or fame and fortune, can make a difference for a short while. But it doesn’t last. Soon, the honeymoon is over, and you have to chase after the next person who will make you feel good about yourself. Are you getting this?
So, how do we get out of this situation? Having more is not going to solve it. There are so many guru’s in the world today who claim they can teach you how to have more, better, the best. How to be successful. But it is not going to help. Because you haven’t learnt how to be. You haven’t learnt how to shine from within. How to be the master of yourself. If you are not the master of your thoughts and feelings, then they are your master. You dance to their tune. Once you have learnt how to be, it doesn’t matter what happens to you in life. Because then things happening on the outside don’t change how you feel. You are happy in spite of what is happening on the outside. Your happiness becomes untouchable by what is happening in the world. I know you are getting this. There are two steps to being happy. Firstly you have to learn how to be. And once you have learnt how to be, you can choose to be happy. Two steps, and happiness can be yours. And once you are happy in spite of the world, you will become a beacon to others.
Learning how to be is the most important thing you will ever learn in your life. It changes everything. It sets you free. Life runs after you, instead of you running after life. It is the answer you have been searching for all of your life. If you are interested in learning how to be, join us on our next masterclass or enrol today and start your journey.
Evoking an integrated state of being allows you to rise above the vacillation of life. Allows you rise above the stream of relentless thoughts and feelings. To be or not to be. That is the question.
One day you are going to discover that it was never about having. And not even about the experience of having and experiencing. It has always been about the feeling. A wife yearns for a child. But it is just a feeling. It starts with a feeling. This could be a conscious feeling. Or the feeling could be completely unconscious. And then, when she becomes pregnant, the experience of having a child begins. This begins before the child is born. And then the child is born. Feelings are causal. Feelings are causing your life. Not the other way around. And the only thing that can permanently change feelings is not having. Having comes at the end of the process. The only thing that is causal to feelings, is being. Evoking an integrated state of being will permanently change the way you feel, and in turn will transform your entire life. But not that it would matter to you. Because your state of being is above your emotional, mental and physical reality. It is not dependant on it. It causes it. Trying to influence how you feel, by having is silly. Because it does not last. It lasts but a fleeting moment. And then you have to have more, or something new. And nothing changed at your level of being. Have you noticed this in your life?
Why do you think the same kind of thing keeps repeating in your life? Because it is being manifested by your state of being.
Remember when you fell in love that first time. At worst it broke your heart. At best you got the girl or guy and they became the centre of your universe for a little while. But how long before your beloved lost the ability to make you feel good about yourself? How long before those old feelings and thoughts that brought you down before, intruded again? How long before the honeymoon was over? More than 75% of romantic encounters fail, and most of the remainder end in compromise. That feeling of being in love does not last. Even when you got that partner you so desperately wanted. The passage of time seems to drain the joy of having from the very experience we so desperately yearned for. Even when you get what you want, even when you are successful, the feeling doesn’t last. Hasn’t this been the story of your life? You were so excited about your new car, but just a few years later you hardly think of it. All you think about is how much money you still owe on it.
So, how can I change the way I feel directly? I have to learn how to be. How you are changes how you feel. The same thing can happen to 5 individual people, and they will all have a different feeling about it. Your state of being determines how you feel about things. When you are happy, you don’t sweat the small stuff. But when you are depressed, molehills turn into mountains. I know you are getting this: your state of being is the key to happiness.
So, how can you change your state of being?
Would you believe me if I told you that you can change your state of being by simply doing a meditation practice for 5 minutes, five times a day? And you don’t need to hide in your room to perform this practice. You could do it anywhere. Without anyone noticing. What would you say if I told you that you can drop running after everything, and just spend 25 minutes a day, to transform your life into a happy one?
Your happiness is determined by your state of being. Everything in your life is determined by your state of being – how you feel, how you think and how you perform actions. To master the Art of Being, you will need to learn the difference between trance and meditation.
When you surf the web, or check out app suites, you will come across many meditation sites and apps claiming to offer guided meditations. It is important to realize that any technique that requires you use your imagination, or to concentrate, are not meditation techniques. At best they will bring you to a state of mindfulness, and at worst they will take you into a deep state of trance. Trance can be a very pleasant experience, and it certainly can help with your stress and anxiety, but it will not help much when it comes to mastering the Art of Being, or being happy. Trance is like drinking a pain tablet, which treats the symptoms, rather than dealing with the cause of the pain. If you have a thorn in your foot, which causes pain when you walk, you can drink pain tablets, so you can walk. But it won’t address the cause. If you want to address the cause, you will have to know how to remove the thorn. So, be aware of who and what you put your trust in.
Trance is like hypnosis, it can give you some relief, some relaxation. But it is not going to change your level of being – your default state of being. This requires conscious effort. And conscious effort is connected with the present moment. When you concentrate on something in the present moment, you become mindful. When you relax your awareness, and allow it to expand fully into the present moment, you enter the domain of meditation. But you are still at the door. Truly Being is beyond the surface of the senses and the present moment.
Your True Being is the consciousness that contains your entire present moment. Any authentic meditation technique will not only bring you into the present moment, it will help you to connect to that consciousness that contains your entire present moment. You are this consciousness. Have you got this? Don’t be fooled by all the trance techniques out there claiming to be guided meditations. Trance is like medicine, it will help you, but cannot change your natural state of being – the state of being you default to when you are not following some technique. To achieve happiness, you have to learn how to simply be. The art of being. Everything else is just temporary.
At School of Samaya, our technique that teaches you how to be, is called Maha Khala, the Art of Being. Maha Khala is the most powerful technique available to mankind today. It uses its understanding of the duality of our body, mind and heart, to bring us into the present moment, and then to take us beyond sensual perception, to the very consciousness that contains it all. The very root of your being. Learning the Art of Being is the only way you will ever achieve happiness in your life.
Practicing the Art of Being is not limited to the ashram, or the meditation hall, or the privacy of your bedroom. A true technique is something you can practice anywhere, even at work, or when you are washing the dishes. You don’t have to become a Zen monk, confined to a monastery, to master the Art of Being. A true technique turns every activity into dynamic meditation.
You will often hear athletes speak of runners high, or composers rave about a state of flow when the music gushed out them, effortlessly. This experience happens when you enter a dynamic state of meditation. It is also known as the state of flow.
We have all witnessed those miraculous moments when the golfer sinks a hole in one from the tee, or a basketball player scores that impossible hoop, or when a soccer team pulls off an amazing feat of singularity ending with the ball in the back of the net. It is almost like witnessing the hand of God. What it reveals, is the power of being. When your awareness becomes one with all, you harness the power of all. You integrate with all. Such is the nature of the power of being. When you master the Art of Being, you don’t need to sweat the detail. You become the integration point. You become the witness of all. At this elevated state of being, you naturally connect to the joy of action, the intelligence of the moment, and the bliss of existence. It courses through you as if sent from above. When you learn how to be fully in the present moment, happiness chases you. You no longer need to chase after happiness.
Just twenty five minutes a day will transform your entire world.
To understand a little more about the dynamic state of being, you are welcome to watch this free video that describes this elusive state, and how to achieve it. All your feelings, thoughts and actions are determined by your state of being. If you are depressed, life goes one way, and if you are excited it goes in the opposite direction. Hasn’t that been the story of your life? Would you say you are generally focussed on the problem, or are you more focussed on the solution? Which polarity captures most of your attention? And what if there was something that was beyond both? Wouldn’t that be something you would like to have access to? What if there was a way beyond problems and their solutions? Wouldn’t you like to know this way? I would like to assure you there is another way. It is called the Art of Being.
Can you remember when you were really down, and couldn’t see a way out? Maybe you are feeling that way right now. It is at these moments when prayer comes so naturally, isn’t it? We speak to God. We ask for a way out of this suffering. We all know how to pray, especially when it is from the heart. Prayer happens when you sincerely speak to God.
But most of us have not learnt how to listen to God. In order to listen, you have to be silent within. Mentally silent. Emotionally silent. Available to the whole.
You have probably heard the story of the professor who approached the Zen master for some wisdom. And, as was the custom, the Zen Master offered the professor some tea. But when he poured the tea, he didn’t stop when the cup was full. He just kept pouring. And the tee overflowed onto the table, and onto the floor. “Stop,” the professor shouted, “it is full!. Nothing more can go in!” The Zen master smiled knowingly
When you are full of your own ideas, your own solutions, nothing new can go in. Your consciousness is like a cup. If you are full of ideas and thoughts, how can you hear God speak? Have you noticed that you are thinking all the time, one moment about the past, and the next about the future?
To access the intelligence of the Divine you will have to learn how to become that pure consciousness that contains it all. Your consciousness is like a cup. When it is empty, something new can enter. You can hear God speak. This is the Art of Being. Being fully present, without thinking, or judging or reasoning. Just simply being. Receptive. Then you can integrate with a consciousness which is beyond your senses, beyond your mind, beyond your intellect. Jesus used to say that the only way to the Father is through him. The only way to hear God is through the pure consciousness of your being, your soul. The soul is the Son of God. The soul is your true being. Everything else comes to pass. When you learn to simply be, without thinking, without having feelings about everything, you become available to a larger consciousness. You become receptive. And you enter the realm of Flow.
So, enough said! Have fun with Maha Khala and enjoy the journey. Let the practices integrate with your daily activities and include the whole family.