The Well: Drawing from the Source
‘Tis the season where we exchange greetings of ‘Happy Holidays.’ I wish nothing more however then for you to be happy all the time. Happiness, after all, is your birthright. Yes, it is your right to be happy; so take your place in this world. Don’t wish for happiness; rather accept and live it. If you yearn for it, you already acknowledge you are unhappy!
Happiness is not something that comes to you. It is something you do; it is a function of your mind. What creates real and lasting happiness is not from ‘out there;’ it is within us, an attitude, consciousness, and mind frame that we take on. It has been said that ‘the greatest lie in our culture is the one that says you are broken, incomplete and need something outside to give you happiness.” The outer conditions of a person’s life are always correlated with his or her inner state; so if you feel you are incomplete, your world will be incomplete. Contentment means needing nothing else to make you whole.
Happiness springs from an attitude of contentment. Indeed, the definition of the word ‘content (adj.)’ is ‘satisfied; happy.’ Without contentment, a troubled mind arises. Only if a person is content can he/ she be at peace; and peace is happiness. In Kriya Yoga we say, “If a man has God but not contentment, what does he really have? But even if a man does not have God, if he has contentment, he has everything.” In Reality though, we all have God within us; and by knowing that and surrendering to that Supreme Intelligence that life is do we truly become content.
Contentment is acceptance of our life; acceptance of what has happened, what we have, what we’ve been given, and what we’ve earned. A sure way to unhappiness is comparing yourself to others and what they have. Many times we desire what is not ours or what we have not earned. The gratification of a desire brings only a brief and illusory satisfaction; and then it brings an even greater demand for gratification. It can lead to feelings of greed. And greed can never be satisfied. Such is the nature of greed. The elimination of all desire and greed brings a deep inner state of satisfaction and happiness. Indeed, contentment is an inexhaustible treasure.
If happiness came from outward possessions and misery from the lack of them then it would follow that the poor are always miserable and the rich always happy. We know this not to be true and some of the happiest people are found in the poorest countries; while some of the richest people suffer from boredom and repletion. Having said that though, if given a choice between being poor and happy or rich and happy, I would choose the latter..!
The point is that we don’t become happy from our possessions or the satisfaction of our desires. Desire cannot be satiated and it just clamors louder and louder as its demands are catered to. And when they cannot be satisfied, it leads to a deep dis-satisfaction, agitation, and anger.
The Holidays are a happier time for most of us because we are more focused on others and on giving during this time of the year. Indeed there is more joy in giving; and it is in grasping that one finds misery. Give of the heart without any thought of reward or benefit. Give of who you are, give of your intellect, give with your hands, and give of the love and light that is within you. Feel and understand that it is truly “more blessed to give than to receive.” Lose yourself in the welfare of others; that is the secret of abounding happiness.
It is gratitude that opens the door to contentment. And so in ending, I would like to express my gratitude to the wonderful community of students and staff that make up Hot Yoga 8. We all come from and return to the deep Source within all of us; our Divinity, the wellspring of our lives. May you be happy; always.