Like the tides of the ocean,
Like the passing of the storms,
Like the changing of the seasons,
Life is up and down.
Yet is the sun touched by the clouds that pass underneath?
That sun is your awareness, is your freedom, is you.
Life is up and down. That is whatmeant by “Life is suffering.” It’s not that every day sucks, just that unhappiness is inevitable because happiness is .
Think about it – that deliciousyou ate the other night, where is that good flavor now? That day you were so happy you got married – where did that joy disappear to when your wife was pissing you off the other night? The elation you felt when you got that dream job – why do you wake up now dreading going to work? The truth is the same – happiness is impermanent.
Feelings are like the tides, waxing and waning because Nature is like this and we are Nature through and through. So what of it? Well, I propose that happiness is not in how you feel. It’s in the awareness of what you’re feeling. Yesterday crazy, today wonderful. It is. Can we learn to let go of judgments about it? Can we learn to stop labeling sadness as bad and happiness as good? Sadness comes, sad. Happiness comes, happy. It is. Can we learn to trust that the Sun of true joy is ever-shining despite that passing clouds?
I believe we can. I believe we can trust that everything is really fine here, despite the sadness, despite the lack of energy, despite the irritation, and in that that subtle awareness is where true happiness is found. I believe that awareness is you. I believe that awareness is freedom.
Sometimes the mind is not enough to overcome itself. It goes nuts and we can’t stop it, we can’t find our way back to awareness, back to freedom. That’s when it’s helpful to apply a technique.
There are many techniques and they comprise what’s normally referred to as spiritual practice – meditation, prayer, tantra, mantra, prostrations, etc. All of these amount to one purpose – overcoming the mind so we can just observe in non-attached presence.
I won’t go into the details of all of these but nearly all make use of the breath, and the kumbaka, or pause between breaths. It is one of our greatest tools to come back to center. Control the breath, control the mind.
One technique is to sit silently and just breath, focusing on the sensation of the breath in your body. Do this for 5 minutes or so, then slow it down. Allow a pause between he inhale and exhale, and the exhale and the following inhale. Learning to pause here will quickly begin to feel natural. It is very powerful and can quickly bring the mind into calmer brain waves. Try it. 🙂