Monday, January 08, 2007

Happiness and Inner Quiet

yoga in living room
Yoga in the living room

This is all it takes to be happy: stop being unhappy.

The trick is, this isn’t a matter of “trying” to be happy. This is a matter of turning off the juice that is lighting up the unhappiness.

Now, the essay on Byron Katie shows a simple and direct route toward turning off this juice.

Here is another route and, as in the Katie work, it is both “simple” and profound all at once.

This is it: feel the pain as sensation and separate out the words about and around the pain, and stop paying attention to them.

Some examples. Someone does something that makes you really angry. Okay, fine, you are angry. Sense where in yourself that anger resonates. Discover where in your body you feel tightness, or a muscular readiness to strike out, or a changing of your breathing. Sense each and every particular of this conglomeration you call “anger.”

And then drop all the accompanying words about how bad, stupid, selfish, awful, f….ed up, and so on that so and so is.

Just sense the anger, and skip all the words. In a way, this is exactly question four of the Byron Katie Work: who would you be without the story? Except that this is not even an answer, this is just a pure sensation of yourself in the moment, with whatever feeling you are feeling minus the usual words that keep your misery fueled for hour after hour (or, year after year – don’t we all know someone, if not ourselves, who has nursed a grudge for decades?).

Another example. One day, I was working in the community garden and someone told me that a friend of ours, one we knew had been struggling for quite a while, was dead. The immediate effect was as if a small blow to my heart area and a sort of pressing in our myself from all sides. As I sensed this and walked in the garden, looking at the flowers and feeling this pain, I felt, wordlessly sad, and at the same time, immensely happy to be alive and to be sensing this “pain.”

Then, the words kicked in. I should be visited. I should have written and sent a poem. I should have….. And then I felt awful.

And why not? All these shoulds are impossible to do once the time had past. The here and now sensations in me where real, but the “should have…” story was completely unreal.

In reality I could be both sad and happy and full of life at the same time. Out of reality, it was just more of the everyday unhappiness that we can get anytime we blast ourselves with a bunch of words of shame or blame or guilt.

So that’s it: sense whatever you are feeling and leave the words out of it and experience what that is like. If I tell you what will happen, I will be denying what this is all about: sensing our own reality, for ourselves, in each and every moment.

(Note. The essays are rotating through the three blogs, more or less one per day.
So you might want to check:
WakeUp Feldenkrais®
Tai Chi Yoga Health Weight Loss Joy

for the last two essays.)

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