Meditation..., just wasting time

I have an appointment with Lisa, she comes for the first time. Recently someone said to me: "Maybe you are not of meditation, maybe meditation as an entrance is not suitable for you." I wonder if that is the case. She continues: "I now read a book where meditation is recommended and I notice that I keep myself from it. I would like to look at this subject with you."

Okay, I say, tell me something more. I am not afraid of silence, says Lisa, I have also done some retreats including a 7-day vipassana retreat and yet I feel quite a bit of resistance at the thought that I have to spend time, every day, to meditate. I wonder what that is. Is it that I don't allow it myself? Don't I think it's worth it? Or is there something else going on? I know that I am a huge doer, she says. When I sit still, the thought soon comes up that it is a waste of my time.

Okay, I say, I hear you, would you like to share something about the 7-day silence retreat? What was the state of affairs and what did you encounter in that?

We meditated many hours a day and the meals were also in silence. We also did chores like washing dishes etc. The first days of the retreat I looked at the other participants with astonishment/admiration and thought: "What are you doing all your very best..., well, I can't do that." I just pulled my own plan, I did what I needed, sometimes I lay down during the meditation while everyone sat. Later the other participants indicated that they found me so strong that I state with myself, doing what I needed, but I thought it was very strong of them that they meditated hour after hour on their cushion or chair. My experience: the days were terribly long..., and I just missed out on contact with people..., a weekend in silence..., oke..., you can do that, but longer than a weekend..., it's really hard, I also need contact with others to grow and to mirror and if I sit or lie like that, then it just stagnates in me, then I get stuck in my own thoughts. Well, after 4 days I stopped, I had enough of it.

Okay, so you pulled your own plan..., you didn't surrender to the program as it was, but you did your own thing. That is already a remarkable fact, right? To see that through that behavior you create an escape route for what was going on in you during meditation. And that the mind then comes up with a explanation for your behavior: "I need other people to flip, without contact with people nothing happens, no insight, nothing, meditation just doesn't work for me." Interesting to watch all this, right?

Yes, says Lisa, I didn't look at it that way, I was actually proud of myself that I went my own way. Too bad the teacher didn't mirror this back to me.

And if you had completed the 7 days, what would you meet in yourself?

I would be bored to death, says Lisa sincere. I also often had thoughts like: "What am I doing here?, What is the use of this?, What a waste of my time." In my daily life I always arrive just in time at an appointment, never too early. Because I don't want to waste my time. I have to spend my time well and doing nothing, meditate, is not useful.

Interesting. So this is what you encounter during a 7-day vipassana. Every one meets his/her own pieces. And this is it for you: you go your own way, you miss the contact with others ..., you think you need others to meet yourself on a deeper level ..., you seek the fulfillment outside of you ..., without the exchange with the other you are thrown back on yourself and you feel that you are stagnating in your thinking, you discover that you are bored to death and you now realize that there is a conviction at basis: doing nothing is a waste of my time, I have to spend my time useful. Silent sitting and stagnating in your own thoughts is not useful, it does not yield anything, you decide to stop after 4 days.

Yes, Lisa says, I realize this now on a deeper level, I have not looked at it this way before. But how do I get rid of that conviction? And from that doer?

To see is to be free.

You see it now. You see the beliefs that determine your actions. That's where it starts. With 'seeing'. See what is happening, what is touched, just look at it, without judgement. Let the lamp of Consciousness shine on it, that's all. Don't fight with boredom or with lack of contact, don't get away, don't hook on, don't go with it, stay spectator of what the mind conjures up when you meditate: the boredom, the senseless and useless, the lack of contact and the explanation that the mind gives you after those 4 days.

When we want to get rid of anything, it just stick to us longer. If you are fighting with the mind, who in you is fighting? That is also the mind. Then you remain a prisoner of the mind, of the beliefs, so that is not the solution. Look at the resistance, the boredom..., and at some point it goes out automatically. Going inwards, slow down, is a first step to get out of the doer's addiction, to kick off the pattern in you that constantly thunders from one project to another.

If you understand what we are talking about, then you realize that there is a conditioned pattern: the doer (you can't do nothing, you have to be useful, you can't waste your time). Realize that the doer is driven by adrenaline. And that adrenaline ensures that your system is always 'active'. So a de-conditioning process is needed.

Sit or lie down on the couch, with calm music or without music, be relaxed, want nothing, don't expect a result, just be present at what passes by in body and mind on the moment you don't give in to the doer. Maybe you start to feel agitated when you are laying on the cough, all kinds of thoughts are passing by like: I have to hang up the laundry, do the shopping, I am wasting my time, etc. Something to that effect... do you recognize that?

Very recognizable, says Lisa.
Follow the process, that's all. Look. That is meditation: Being present at what is happening in you, without wanting to change anything. You allow yourself every day to be for half an hour (or longer), total relaxation for half an hour. And you will see that the adrenaline rush, which always wants to incite you to activity, decreases over time. You then experience more and more that you can rest in existence, can be ordinary, which is very healing, fulfilling and nourishing.

And if you still want to be useful, to use that term again... start with yourself. When you come home to yourself, at the source of love and wisdom that you are, you can assist the other on a deeper level. Now you give all kind of advice out of your mind (as you say yourself), but you don't incorporate the wisdom, you don't live it. So, to what extent can you really be of use to others when you are not living what you are talking about? Start with yourself. And if you see deep through a pattern (the doer) for long enough (when it is active again), from Consciousness, then a change process automatically takes place.

In the beginning it requires some effort to spend half an hour on yourself (kicking off the doer), but at a certain moment you discover and experience the power of 'doing' nothing: just be.

Delicious right?
Yes, thank you, says Lisa, I am glad that it is clear now what stops me to meditate. I need some time to digest what we spoke about, but I will experience and discover it.

When you are not doing anything at all, bodily, mentally…, on no level…, when all activity has ceased and you simple are, just being, that is what meditation is.
LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes

What is the key to happiness?

What is happiness?

And is there a key to happiness? If so, what is the key?

Is there such a thing as permanent happiness or is happiness just temporary: it comes and it goes.

Is happiness feasible? Can you do or create 'happiness' or 'being happy'?

Does 'happiness' demand effort from our side, because it isn't there in advance, it can only be obtained through endeavor?

Or is 'happiness' something that happens to you?

What does the word 'happiness' or 'be happy' mean to you? Take the time to examine this... Go inside and ask yourself what 'happiness' means for you in your daily life.

Is happiness in the little things: a sunset, a rose, a look, a smile? So in something outside of us? Or in a state of Being that gives shine to everything that is?

And what do we do with 'being unhappy'? The opposite of 'happiness'.
Happiness can only exist by the grace of its opposite: 'suffering' or 'being unhappy'.

Are we giving ourself permission to be 'unhappy' in the rat race to 'happiness'?

Is happiness possible if we realize that every 'happiness' carries the seed of 'unhappiness', because it is temporary: happiness comes and goes, today you have a great day and tomorrow it is over.
And every 'unhappiness' carries the seed of 'happiness': after rain comes sunshine.

Would the pursuit of happiness be related to the fact that we often feel unhappy?

Could it be that the desire for 'happiness' (fill in: a partner, the right job, a child, peace in the world, recognition, appreciation, harmony, enlightenment) is precisely the cause of our suffering?

Could it be that these same desires cause us to feel unhappy in the here and now, because our attention is elsewhere, focused on realizing a desire somewhere in the future? Because we believe that life as it is, is not fulfilling, is not sufficient...

Not satisfactory? To what? To the image that the mind creates about reality: how it should be. Recognizable? It always has to be different than it is. We don't know a full 'yes'.
'Yes' in the sense that life is good as it is, with all the trimmings.

We 'live' from a 'no'. Because we believe that something is wrong with us, the other person, the world, the circumstances as they are: it has to be different..., says the mind.

Are you happy'? Stop a moment before reading on.
What is your answer to this question: Are you 'happy'?
Where do you say 'no' to? What doesn't meet your expectations?

And can the 'I' be happy?
The 'I' that strives for..., the 'I' that doesn't want this, but that (something else), the 'I' that disapproves and approves, the 'I' that sets so many conditions on life itself, the 'I' that has so many opinions and judgments?

If being happy is not possible for the 'I', then the question arises whether permanent happiness exists at all? Or is permanent happiness a fairytale?

The only way that I know to true happiness is 'awakening'. Being at home in the Self. Get  get rid of all the demands we place on life (on ourselves, the other and the world).
Live Life as it comes and goes, without assumptions. 
In the heart, out of the head which has all kind of ideas about 'happiness'.

And then I listen to the words of Osho:

'Life moves from perfection to perfection. Not from imperfection to perfection. No, life moves from perfection to perfection. '

Nothing needs to be improved or changed: all is well. Precisely all those efforts that it must be different than it is, is the cause of 'suffering'.
Awakening is about happiness that doesn't come and goes, happiness that is permanent. Call it Pure Awareness, Consciousness, Love, Light, the Buddha Nature. Then you are at home, at home in the Self that transcends light and darkness, the Self that knows no polarities (happiness/unhappiness), the Self that doesn't set conditions and makes nog demands on existence. The Self which is neutral, full of love.

Does that mean that there is no emotion or experience of sadness or pain anymore?
No, emotions appear and there can be pain. And that is it: there is an emotion or there is pain. If you don't have an opinion about that, then there is what there is: an emotion/pain. But at the moment that identification takes place with the emotion or the thought, then there is charge, then you are a prisoner of the mind, you believe the thought (I am worthless), in your mind it is really true (you are rejected), you are convinced that something is being done to you by someone else or by certain circumstances (you are fired), you make it personal (I am not good enough), a 'story' arises..., yes..., then there is 'suffering'. 

As awareness goes deeper, identification with the mind dissolves, which doesn't mean that you can't get caught now and then, but the identification is superficial and short-lived.

And yes..., coming home to the Self is a gift, then life is fulfilling and a deep sense of gratitude arises from the heart..., for everything that is..., as it is.

PS I lie on the massage table and listen to mantras. A thought appears: you have just written a blog about 'happiness', but how do you see the death of your daughter that took place in the summer of 2016? That is a great suffering? That is a big loss? That is terrible, isn't it? Yes, that is a big loss. Certainly... And yes, there were tears and strong feelings of loss...

And then Lao Tse (a philosopher from the 6th century BC) blows through me: 'Don't go that far to say that the death of your daughter brings bad luck (suffering). All you can say is that she is dead. That's a fact. Whether it brings misfortune or a blessing, you don't know, because this is only one fragment of reality. Who knows what else will follow?'

Yes, I don't know. And I don't need to know either. I can share what I experience now, six months after her death: total neutrality concerning her death, a neutrality that is loving, a neutrality that transcends attachment. Every now and then Simone blows through me, a warm wave, there is a heart connection, a connection that transcends death and life. Of course it is a great loss, a pity that she is no longer here on earth, we had a deep connection... And it is what it is: she is dead. And that's it.

What I also know is that Lao Tse speaks from the Source, the Source of Love that is neutral, the Source that knows no judgments. Is the death of our daughter a blessing or a curse? Who will say it? Everyone will be inclined to say that it is a curse. But what if you are at home in the Source? In the Self... where no form of polarity (unhappiness/ happiness) is present, because it is neutral. Not neutral in the sense of 'lifeless, death', but neutral in the sense of an unconditional 'yes'. Is it then still a blessing or a curse?

Discover it, meditate, find a living master who can guide you, who sees through your structure, who rattles your foundations. It takes a lot to defrost, to dismantle the structure (the ego/mind/conditioning/ convictions/beliefs/attachment/security/safety). The transformation process to Light, through all layers (physical, emotional, mental layer) is an enormous transformation. Years of fatigue, various physical complaints, the recognition of the black swan in me (which I experienced as a painful process)..., it wasn't easy but more than anything in life - worth it. Meditation and self-examination and a living master are the keys to 'happiness' for me.

Wake up, wake up.
That is the path to true happiness.

'Life moves from perfection to perfection. Not from imperfection to perfection. No, life moves from perfection to perfection.'
Linked-In: Caroline Ootes