Ruth Whippman’s short article (on page 22 of the August 8th issue of Time Magazine) on “Women’s empowerment” was eye-opening. In her write up, Time mentions she has a book coming out October 4th entitled How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks.
I know a little about the subject of pursuing happiness. She is right. It’s the pursuit that’s the culprit.
Here’s the deal, most psychology professionals will agree that when we pursue something we have to have, the pursued tends to be harder to catch. So, to obtain it, somehow we must get to the point where it doesn’t matter whether we have it or not.
This is the point where many professionals may part company. The ancients say a deep-down satisfaction cannot be found, it finds you. So here’s where the “somehow” comes in. How can this happen? The ancients say satisfaction is residing inside of us, and when we do helpful things for ourselves and others, happiness or satisfaction will happen. What could happen to influence us to be more helpful?
The ancients say the top most respectable thing we can do is to honor and be truly grateful for our own human animal.
They say our happiness is not out in the world around us; it’s in our animal, and we can commune with it and do it on a regular basis as you would commune with a loved one.
Silence is the medium.
Our animal is our all. Our appreciation of our being’s skills, talent and awareness is key.
Our animal keeps us safe in a pattern in its brain. [I don’t know if the ancients would agree with that statement.] And long ago, our animals put you an me in charge of their care about the time we learned to respond to our names.
So, how does this communing work? We use the animal’s awareness. Classical meditation (using a mantra and correct posture) helps at this point and allows us to drop our language habit for longer and longer periods and in different circumstances.
When there are no thoughts, you and I do not exist and our animal responds to this recognition of its total underpinning of our existence. Awareness or sleep happens. We need to practice being in the moment until we no longer need to practice it.
When we are in regular touch with our animal, our being, it can give us a continuous deep satisfaction even when we experience sad or hurtful situations. Happiness is something else and happens in a wide spectrum from joy at an enemy’s death to giving birth to a normal and healthy baby.
Deep satisfaction happens and is available if we don’t have to have it.
Meditation without expectation.