The difficulty I have found with “happiness” is that when I chase after it, I never find itl But when I STOP, and just stay with what the moment holds, it often bumps into me!
Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson’s research indicates that the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones! That means that our thoughts, beliefs and strategies have an increasingly negative direction!
PROCESS: Hanson suggests that we pay strong attention to the positive ones, to be more aware of good experiences that happen throughout the day. He says it is helpful to savor these experiences for at least 30 seconds, and then to continue to be aware of them for as long as possible!
This causes more neurons to fire and wire together, creating a strong memory trace. It is good to connect with the experience in the body, as well as visually. And the more this is done, the more positive experiences are woven into the fabric of the brain.
The Indian Mystic, Osho, made mention of this approach quite a few years ago!
He has said:
“Dissatisfactions are felt, miseries are felt, pains are felt. Whenever you suffer, you become the suffering. That is why the whole life becomes a hell. You have never felt the positive; you have always felt the negative. Life is not such a misery as we have made it; misery is just our interpretation. A Buddha is happy here and now, in this very life. A Krishna is dancing and playing on a flute. In this very life here and now, where we are in misery, Krishna is dancing. Life is neither misery, nor is life bliss. Bliss and misery are our interpretations, our attitudes, our approaches, how we look at it. It is your mind — how it takes it.***************
“Remember, and analyze your own life. Have you ever taken account of happy moments, of contents, of satisfactions, of blissful glimpses? You have not taken any account, but you have taken every account of your pain, suffering, misery, and you go on accumulating. You are an accumulated hell, and this is your own choice. No one else is forcing you into this hell; this is your own choice. The mind takes the negative, accumulates it and becomes negative itself. And then this is a self-perpetuating misery. The more negatives you have within the mind, the more negative you become, the more negatives are accumulated. The similar attracts the similar, and this has been for lives and lives. You miss everything because of your negative approach.
“This technique gives you a positive approach, a total reversal to the ordinary mind and its process. Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatever act, actualize this, feel it, become one with it. Don’t take it just as a passing phase. The satisfaction can become a glimpse of a greater positive existence.
“Everything is just a window. If you become identified with a pain, you are looking from a window, and the window of pain, of suffering, opens only towards hell. If you are one with a satisfactory moment, a blissful moment, an ecstatic moment, you are opening another window. The existence is the same, but your windows are different.
“Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatsoever act, actualize it — wherever! No conditions: wherever! You see a friend and you feel happy; you meet your lover or beloved and you feel happy: actualize this. Be happiness in that moment, and make that happiness a door. Then you are changing the mind, and you will start accumulating happiness. Your mind will turn positive, and the same world will look different.” Osho
Our concern for what others think of us is one of the primary obstacles to enjoying life. At some point, we have to inquire what motivates us to want to be accepted by others, so that we can penetrate this unknown territory and understand what is really happening. Why are we willing to be inauthentic – to play roles and wear masks – to gain others’ approval?
Why not take this question up today and explore your answer….
Andre Gide, the French author, spoke about his unwillingness to play these roles: “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”