In preparation to Yoga Community Breakfast – May 7, 2014.
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting.
I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering. True happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion.
Seeking untold wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair.
Aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy.
How to develop the practice of being happy?
Happiness is a choice
Evolution teaches us to constantly be on our guard. Our natural response to most things is the classic “fight or flight”. From competing in school for grades, to competing for better wages the natural reaction is hooray for me. Realizing that being mindfully happy takes work and is a choice we make, happiness so many times elusive, starts with developing this mental attitude.
Being grateful for what you have
In some ways we all suffer. Suffering is part of evolution. You touch something that is hot you react by jerking away thankfully and then you think about how to not do that again. If you ice skate you are bound to fall down. Sometimes this is enough to not ice skate. In some ways however it is not about falling down but falling up. When you do fall (inevitable if you skate, walk, run) how do you get up. Do you get up and complain, say how stupid you are? Hopefully we can be grateful, learn from are falls, become better for it. Make everything that comes your way a blessing.
Acceptance of who you are
Being truthful to yourself, yet not caving into other people made me do it, making your parents (it’s in my genes) responsible. Many Buddhists exhort most suffering originates from being something you are not. The opposite is accepting who you are based on what other people say and do. Accepting some falsehood like your father was argumentative so you can’t help it. Especially as we get older, take the time to be present, empty out who you were, what you have done, what you might of done.
Honor yourself with moments of kindness, silence, meditation, finding refuge, conscious breathing
Practice moments of kindness – Let someone you know very well have there way. Take the time to listen to what your loved ones ares saying.
Practice moments of silence – Observe what happens when you are silent.
Practice meditation – In the beginning practice with a group, so fewer distractions.
Practice/develop refuge – find places of refuge, develop them into places you can go to reduce stress.
Practice conscious breathing – lengthen the inhales/exhales, fill and empty the lungs
Being kind and gracious to others
No criticisms, harsh language, poisonous games
Do this for hours, days at a time, practice.
Finding balance not in the mathematical or short sighted view. The pendulum swings and is only briefly centered. However the ebbs and flows of the pendulum, finding balance.
First bring our thoughts into consciousness, then developing these thoughts into actions, and then finally practice, practice, practice.