SELF-TRANSFORMATION

Self-Transformation: –

Mere intellectual understanding is not enough. It is not by leaving the doctor’s prescription by the bedside or learning it by heart that we are cured. We must integrate what we have learned so that our understanding becomes intimately bound up with our mind’s flow. Then it ceases to be theory and becomes self- transformation.

I have been lucky enough so far to have had enough to eat and wear and a roof over my head. I consider my possessions to be tools, and there is not one I consider to be indispensable. Without a laptop I might stop writing, and without a camera I might stop sharing pictures, but it would in no way impair the quality of every moment of my life.

Inside Out:

There is essentially only one way in which you can bring about self-transformation – that’s if you want to – but you will not think you need to if you are still taking your happiness from outside yourself, and still managing to tolerate the periods of unhappiness which result. As soon as your happiness is dependent on anything outside, you make yourself a slave to a condition, substance or perhaps a person. A slave is not free. And happiness is impossible if you are not free. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why our happiness fluctuates. Real happiness does not go up and down. Real freedom means that your happiness comes from inside out. That will require detachment and renunciation, not least from the illusions and conditioning of society which would have you believe happiness can be acquired from outside in. Can you see it? Inside out, not outside in!

Do Now:

Procrastination is not only the thief of time; it is the creator of subtle inner tension. You know you are cheating yourself. There are three secrets to overcoming procrastination.

1. Don’t wait till you feel like doing it – the feeling will come only when you start doing it
2. List all the things you have to do and then prioritize the list.
3. Create a vision of the result and be motivated by the vision of the out- come, not the thought of the process.

And the options to those ideas?
1. Ask for help.
2. Completely forget about it, you don’t have to do anything!
3. If there is anything you can learn from the process then see it is action learning.

GIVE:

Give happiness and you will receive happiness.
Give peace and you will feel peaceful.
Give sorrow and you will get sorrow in return.
Create thoughts and words that give only peace and happiness. The world is filled with worry and sorrow. Do something different.

HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS 03

Time of Happiness: –

At the time of happiness, one gets completely involved in an activity for its own sake. There is a sense of transcending the Ego and Time. Every action, movement, thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing Jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you are using your skills to the utmost.

Consider walking just for the pleasure of walking, freely and firmly, without hurrying. We are present in every step. When we wish to speak, we stop walking and lend all our attention to the person, to speaking and to listening. Stop, look around, and see how wonderful life is: the trees, the white clouds, and the infinite sky. Listen to the birds, delight in the light breeze. Let us walk as free people and feel our steps growing lighter as we walk. Let us appreciate every step we take.

As satisfying as it may be to cultivate the experience of flow, it is still only a tool. If it is to make any long-term improvement in our quality of life it must be filled with human qualities, such as altruism and wisdom. The value of the flow depends on the motivation coloring the mind. It can be negative in case of the burglar, neutral of mundane activity- ironing clothes say – or positive when we are involved in a rescue operation or meditating on compassion. That experience is a source of inner peace and openness to the world and others.

Ethics of happiness: –

It is not possible to live happily if one does not live beautiful, righteous, and wise life; or to lead a beautiful, righteous and wise life if one is not happy. The goal of Buddhist ethics is to free all beings, including one-self, from momen- tary and long-term suffering and to develop the ability to help others to do so. In order to accomplish this we must equitably balance our own aspirations for well being that of others. It is not a question of defining good or evil absolutely, but of remaining alert to the happiness and suffering we cause by our deeds, our words, and our thoughts. Thus the very core of ethics is our state of mind, not the form our actions take. If we relied solely on a deed’s outward manifestation, it would be impossible to distinguish, for instance, between a white lie and a malicious one. If the killer asks you where the person he is chasing is hiding, that is obviously not the moment to tell the truth. The same holds true for an aggressive action. When a mother roughly shoves her child across the street to prevent the child from being hit by a car, the act is violent only in appearance; she has saved the child’s life. Conversely if some one approaches you with a big smile and showers you with compliments only to rip you off, his conduct is non violent in appearance, but his intentions are actually malevolent.

Evil is not a demonic power external to ourselves, and good is not absolute principle independent of us. Everything occurs in our minds. Love and compassion are reflections of the true nature of all living beings – what we have called as basic goodness. Evil is a deviation from this basic goodness, which can be remedied.

Buddhism says that a person’s goodness remains intact deep within even when it is horribly marred at the surface. This is not about naively ignoring the extent to which that good nature can be buried beneath hatred, greed and cruelty; rather it is about understanding that the mere fact of its existence always allows for its potential reemergence.

HOW TOACHIEVE HAPPINESS 02

HOPE: –

Hope is defined by psychologists as the conviction that one can find the means to attain one’s goal and develop the motivation necessary to do so. It is known that hope improves student’s test results and athlete’s performance, makes illness and agonizing debility more bearable, and makes pain itself (from burns, arthritis, spinal injuries, or blindness, for example) easier to tolerate. It has been demonstrated for instance, using a method to measure resistance to pain, that people who show a marked tendency to be hopeful are able to tolerate contact with a very cold surface twice as long as those who don’t.

The optimist does not give up quickly. Strengthened by the hope of success, one perseveres and succeeds more often than the pessimist, especially in adverse conditions. The pessimist has a tendency to back away from difficulties, sink into resignation or turn to temporary distractions that will not solve one’s prob- lems. The pessimist will demonstrate little resolve, for one doubts everything and everyone, foresees the failure of every undertaking (instead of potential for growth, development and fruitfulness), and sees every person as a schemer and an egoist. One sees a threat in every new thing and anticipates catastrophe. In a word; when hearing a door creak, the optimist thinks it’s opening and the pessimist thinks it’s closing.

Time of Happiness: –

At the time of happiness, one gets completely involved in an activity for its own sake. There is a sense of transcending the Ego and Time. Every action, movement, thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing Jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you are using your skills to the utmost.

Consider walking just for the pleasure of walking, freely and firmly, without hurrying. We are present in every step. When we wish to speak, we stop walking and lend all our attention to the person, to speaking and to listening. Stop, look around, and see how wonderful life is: the trees, the white clouds, and the infinite sky. Listen to the birds, delight in the light breeze. Let us walk as free people and feel our steps growing lighter as we walk. Let us appreciate every step we take.

As satisfying as it may be to cultivate the experience of flow, it is still only a tool. If it is to make any long-term improvement in our quality of life it must be filled with human qualities, such as altruism and wisdom. The value of the flow depends on the motivation coloring the mind. It can be negative in case of the burglar, neutral of mundane activity- ironing clothes say – or positive when we are involved in a rescue operation or meditating on compassion. That experience is a source of inner peace and openness to the world and others.

HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS:

HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS: –

Happiness goes hand in hand with the capacity to assert one self with extro-version and empathy. Happy people are generally open to the world. They believe that an individual can exert control over oneself and one’s life, while unhappy people tend to believe they are destiny’s playthings. It would seem that the more an individual is capable of controlling one’s environment happier the person is. It is interesting to note that in everyday life, extroverts experience more positive events than introverts, and neurotics have more negative experiences than stable people.

How do we explain that there is ultimately so little correlation – 10 to 15 % – between health, wealth, beauty, and happiness? Because it depends upon the way people perceive the world, which is more important to happiness than objective circumstances. It is also about the goals we set for our own lives. Having a lot of money necessarily plays a role in the happiness of someone who has set personal enrichment as his main objective, but it will have less impact on some one for whom wealth is a secondary importance.

Don’t let your happiness be dependent on any object, person or situation: –

It is the art of living, the purpose of our existence. Happiness is the true index of quality of life. Without happiness, life is dry and meaningless. With happiness, life immediately becomes fulfilling and wonderful. Happiness is an infectious feeling that immediately lifts the sagging spirits of people. Happy people keep themselves happy because they know the little ways to appreciate themselves and to see the humor and magic in each mo- ment.

Happiness and Humanity: –

People are much more inclined to come to the assistance of a friend or of someone with whom they have something in common like ethnicity, nationality, religion and opinion, than to help a stranger to whom they feel no particular connection. The Buddhist approach is to gradually extend that sense of belonging to all beings. When our sense of belonging, extends to all living beings, we are intimately touched by their joys and sufferings. Those who believe themselves to be happiest are also the most humanitarians. When we are happy, the feeling of selfimportance is diminished and we are more open to others. Acute depression is accompanied by difficulty in feeling and expressing love for others. Selfishness is the essential ingredient of true happiness.

True humility is freedom from all consciousness of self, which includes freedom from the consciousness of humility. The true humble man never knows that he is humble. The humble person has nothing to loose and nothing to gain. If one is praised, one feels that it is humility and not oneself that is being praised. If one is criticized, one feels that bringing one’s faults to light is a great favor. Free of hope and fear alike, the humble person remains light hearted. People, who consider themselves superior, judge the faults of others more harshly and consider them to be less forgivable. Humble person makes decisions on the basis of what he believes to be right and sticks by them without concern for his own image or the opinion of others.

RENUNCIATION AND NATURE vs NURTURE

Renunciation: –

Renunciation is not about depriving ourselves of that which brings us joy and happiness – that would be absurd; it is about abandoning what causes us the inexhaustible and relentless distress. It is about having the courage to rid us of the dependency on the root causes of suffering. To do this we first have to identify and recognize these causes and then become mindful of them in our daily life. Renunciation involves simplifying our acts, our speech and our thoughts to rid ourselves of the superfluous.

Being free also means being able to follow the path of inner transformation. To achieve that, we have to overcome not only external adversity but also our inner most enemies. Like laziness, lack of focus, and the habits that constantly distract us from or differ spiritual practice.

Nature and Nurture: –

Are we born with varying genetic predisposition to happiness or unhappiness?

How do our upbringing and our life experiences favor or undermine our subjective well-being?

To what extent is it possible to modify our personality traits and generate a lasting sense of satisfaction?

What mental factors contribute to that transformation?

Many researches and studies have answered above questions in following three ways.

1. About 25 percent of our potential for happiness appears to be deter- mined by Genes. Yet genes act more like a blue print that can be ap- plied or ignored depending upon circumstances.

2. Outward conditions and other general factors, such as wealth, educa- tion, social status, hobbies, sex, age, ethnicity and so on have circum- stantial influence, but account altogether for no more than 10 to 15 percent of the variable satisfaction quotient.

3. We can exert considerable influence on our experience of happiness and unhappiness through the way we live and think. How we perceive our life’s events, and how we react to them.