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Finding happiness without seeking

supreme happiness

supreme happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ankush Chauhan

Mostly we look for happiness in the outside world. What we do not know is that it lies inside us. In our own mind lies the secret to be happy.

I am a Zen master and I help people find happiness. A happiness which is not the opposite of sadness. Here in this article you will find the secret to my happiness which does not depend on outside situations.

We attach too much importance to the outside world. For an average person, things like a posh house, a well-paying job, a successful business, money, car etc. are the source of their happiness.

If they do not get it, they are unhappy. As simple as that. They have made themselves dependent on those things. In other words, they are attached.

According to Buddha, the reason for all troubles is ‘attachment’. Attachment to things, people, objects etc. bring sadness/unhappiness.

The interesting thing is that we spend almost 99 percent of our lives looking for happiness. And we believe that we are going to get it by chasing money, chasing success etc.

Whatever we do chasing those things, brings a lot of tension and unhappiness in our lives.

The more we exert ourselves seeking those things that we ‘think’ will bring happiness, the more we find ourselves in depression.

SO, WHAT IS THE WAY FOR TRUE HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT?

Here is the Zen buddhist approach:

Accept everything in your life. A total acceptance of everything: good, bad, ugly, beautiful, pain, pleasure is needed.

As soon as you start accepting everything that comes your way, you will live in the moment.

Living in the moment will bring about real happiness. The reason why it is called ‘PRESENT’ is that this moment you are living now is a Gift from nature/God.

The present moment is a gift. Once you begin cherishing everything in it, you will discover real happiness.

All the energy of the universe is concentrated on THIS moment now. Once you discover the hidden energy by living in the present moment, you will get everything you want.

Then your life be truly happy and blissful.

Fore more on this, read:

http://www.ankushchauhan.com/why-so-serious-the-spiritual-secret-of-joy/

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ankush Chauhan is a Zen master who helps people realize the bliss in this moment! He blogs about his meditative experiences.

Hailing from a middle class family, Ankush now works full time helping people realize the Buddha that they are. The aim of Ankush is to bring more and more people to the world of bliss and joy that is the result of spiritual awakening.

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God is Love by Anagarika Eddie

Photo by Roobee via Flickr

Copyright © Anagarika Eddie 2012. All rights reserved.

A good friend of mine, a Methodist, asked his minister if people who didn’t believe in Jesus were destined for hell. The minister thought for a moment and said, “God is love.” This reply is a sign of the shifting landscape of spirituality.

Successful spiritual institutions have always reflected their followers’ level of conscious awareness. This is so because spiritual institutions are not isolated. When they become isolated, the conservatism they hope will preserve them is exactly what destroys them. Followers seldom challenge their spiritual institutions when they intellectually outgrow them; they just walk away.

As humanity evolves, and its level of understanding expands, the current institutions and their doctrines have no choice but to evolve as well. We are no longer ignorant people living in middle age muddle. If institutions don’t adapt, they will be discredited and replaced by institutions that satisfy the hunger of an evolving consciousness. This has happened throughout history, and it’s happening now.

This new consciousness is not a choice for people, or something to be stamped out; it is inevitable, unstoppable. Attempts to stifle it will be temporary at best and eventually unsuccessful. It will be wiser to simply adjust, because armed with this new consciousness, an individual’s religion will be thoroughly tested and investigated from a standpoint of free inquiry, no longer from a standpoint of blind belief and intimidation. The world is not becoming less religious; it is becoming truly religious.

Truth, that enigmatic quality of lasting peace and security in our hearts, cannot be imparted from an outside source; it must be experienced. Spiritual institutions that dictate, and then expect us to follow blindly, will no longer be tolerated. Just as democratic societies love political freedom, those of the new consciousness will demand spiritual freedom as well, where each individual will discover his or her own truth inwardly without fearing the judgment of an outside, authoritarian power. If you look carefully, you can see this happening all around us.

The old consciousness, which is a throwback to medieval belief systems handed down by authoritarian Gods, is giving way to new spiritual freedom. Controversies throughout the world reflect this change of behavior where ruthlessness is clashing with an arising sensitivity and intelligence. Falling in love with a religion, then defending it against all opposition, is as illogical and emotional as a lover who imagines dangerous rivals encircling his beloved, and risks his life to protect her. Fortunately, this form of lust is usually only short-lived obsessions for those with a developing new consciousness.

Institutions, including spiritual ones, which adjust to the needs of this new, evolving consciousness of individuality and freedom will thrive. Those dragging their feet and fighting it will not. This will not happen overnight. Many will continue to look upon all of this as blasphemy, but those who examine things carefully will see the implications clearly, and prepare themselves for the coming changes.

Acceptance of this new reality is only beginning. The infighting and disagreements will be no different from clashes of cultures in the past, where new ideas were looked upon initially as so threatening that the messengers were shunned, sometimes killed. Eventually, new ideas ease their way into a society that can’t quite accept them, but are intrigued nevertheless and acknowledge the new ideas as cultural jokes. Finally, new concepts are accepted seriously when the culture reinvents them as their own original ideas to fit into their particular beliefs, as they must.

This shift in consciousness is happening now. The human longing for creativity, historically reserved for the few artists, writers, and those of inspired occupations, is going mainstream. The need to be creative is overwhelming the need for pleasure and security. Artists think nothing of living in their cars while painting their masterpiece, writers hammering out pages in one-room apartments oblivious to worldly pursuits, while truly spiritual people are going deep inside, taking the time, the risk, and the sacrifices involved to understand themselves, to understand what Truth really means, to come face to face with God just as the prophets throughout history had done. Why accept second hand spirituality from something read or heard?

Material things so valued in the past no longer will weigh us down so much. A certain level of material comfort will always be necessary, but now, more importantly, we will demand our time to create. No longer will it be, “How much money can I make?” but rather, “How can I make ends meet while I support my passion?” Will society as we know it change? Yes. Will crime decrease? Of course. Will we be a stronger and happier society? Definitely. We see this happening in small ways already. What passion could be more creative than one of authentically finding out what God really is for oneself, instead of being spoon-fed and mislead about Him by unenlightened, self-righteous sermonizers?

Many ignore warnings that rich men have a better chance of passing through the eye of a needle than getting into heaven. The fact remains, however, that a rich man cannot relate to a poor man. He patronizes those less fortunate, but secretly, or even openly, fears them, seeing poverty as a threat, a reminder of what he could become because his values embrace only power and wealth. As a new consciousness evolves, however, we will become increasingly vulnerable and sensitive to the pain of those less fortunate, less intelligent, less endowed with creative energy. Those whose consciousness is slower in evolving will fight to maintain the status quo (to keep “economics” the real present day world religion), but nevertheless, a freedom from the mass hysteria that too often now represents our beliefs, will certainly evolve.

Christ and the Buddha recognized the blinding influence of wealth and organized religion, and gave us examples to follow. They were literally beggars, turning their backs on the established religion of the day armed only with enlightened minds. Currently, how many are prepared to follow them, that is; become enlightened? Who welcomes financial hardship and psychological upheaval in exchange for a spiritual life that, as promised by these two unique men, holds out the real possibility of total inner freedom instead of guilt and fear?

But because we lack faith, few have experienced an authentic spiritual life; we really don’t believe the teachings of the Buddha and Christ. They tried to tell us about spirituality, but we weren’t paying attention; we opted to take the easy way out — we built religions around these men instead of following their ways and finding true spirituality within ourselves – and we got what we deserved; a shallow understanding of spirituality. We don’t intuitively feel it. We prefer to noisily talk and think about it while going about the business of amassing fortunes and worldly relationships, instead of reaching in the silence toward God.

St. John of the Cross describes the risks of fame and fortune in his masterpiece; “The Ascent of Mount Carmel”: . . . “and the fourth degree of evil that comes from joy of worldly things is: And he departed from God, his salvation. This man has made money and things of the world his God, and David said, ‘Be thou not afraid when a man shall be made rich, for when he dieth, he shall carry nothing away, neither riches, nor joy, nor glory.”

Clearly, we have refused to believe what was being taught; spiritual self-sufficiency through our own efforts. We refuse because it is easier to just believe. If we are born in India, we believe as a Hindu. In Thailand, as a Buddhist. In the US as a Christian. We believe what our parents taught us because putting forth the effort or time to see for ourselves requires courage and work. We are too busy with everything except God. We talk the talk, but we don’t walk the walk, however, this is all changing; if you look closely, you can see the signs everywhere. The new consciousness is beginning and you can be a part of it.

It is always your choice.

Anagarika eddie is a meditation teacher at the Dhammabucha Rocksprings Meditation Retreat Sanctuary and author of A Year to Enlightenment. His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Thervada Buddhist monk.


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Review – Buddha Wild: The Monk In A Hut (DVD)

Title: Buddha Wild: The Monk In A Hut
Genre: Documentary, Buddhism, Spirituality
Distribution: Reality Films

Buddha Wild: The Monk In A Hut is one of the best documentaries about Buddhism to appear in a long time. Written, directed and filmed by Anna Wilding, this film is fresh, sincere and fun without sacrificing its critical edge.

One would scarcely know this was Wilding’s first documentary. The polished narration, interviews, camera work and editing seem more like the work of a seasoned director, while the soundtrack enhances but never overshadows the story.

The film kicks off with a brief synopsis about the historical spread of Buddhism. Then it shifts to a Theravada temple nestled deep in Thailand, where much of the footage takes place.

We learn about the legend of the Buddha–his early life, insights and subsequent enlightenment. In addition, the film takes a penetrating look into some of the rules, opinions and objectives of several monks and an abbot, and is sprinkled with comments from visiting lay Buddhists.

Before watching this DVD I prepared myself for the usual ho-hum cliches about how materialistic city folk just don’t get it because we’re locked into our so-called “monkey minds,” obsessed with gadgets, and so on. But this film contains none of that talk, which usually comes off as thinly veiled discrimination and hypocrisy. Instead, these monks seem sincerely gentle, playful and compassionate.

Also commendable is Wilding’s probing with regard to the status of women in Buddhism. Some of the monks she interviews attribute questionable gender-related practices to “Tai culture” and not to Buddhism, itself, where women and men are said to be equal.

This raises the hot button issue as to whether any person, religious or otherwise, may justify unfair or discriminatory practices by pointing to “culture” or “tradition.”

Buddha Wild pursues the question of gender inequality without upsetting the apple cart. Wilding is provocative but also diplomatic. After all, if she’d pressed the monks too hard, the film might not have been finished and gone on to receive the Dalai Lama’s official blessing in 2010.

Like most religions (and many things in life), Buddhism abides by an organizational hierarchy. And these particular monks know that politics matters. They even say so. At first glance they might seem naïve and simple, but it soon becomes clear that they’re well aware of the complex world around them and, for the most part, university educated.

Central to any worldview, political or not, is the meaning of freedom. Wilding observes that the monks are free from worry when it comes to paying the monthly bills. But they’re not free, she adds, to pursue the worldly pleasures that many of us take for granted. For instance, the monks observe a rigid mealtime schedule and, like their Catholic counterparts, take a vow of celibacy.

Perhaps the most engaging part of the film occurs when Wilding enters a monk’s hut. But don’t conjure up images of a quaint straw dwelling without any modern conveniences. In this hut spirituality and technology converge. The joyful and contented monk in the hut sits at a computer, reads in two languages, meditates, and has, as he puts it, “sweet dreams” in his simple but adequate bed.

Wilding talks candidly about her initial apprehension to enter the hut alone. But she leaves somewhat relieved, finding the experience to have been wholesome and refreshing.

Altogether, Buddha Wild is a great introduction to the philosophical underpinnings, ideals and observances of Buddhism. It’s one of those films where theory and practice easily coalesce to produce something really quite memorable.

Bonus features include a segment with a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk residing in Los Angeles plus a shorter scene with the Dalai Lama, amid countless camera flashes, talking about the intimate connection between personal and global caring.

–MC

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