Class-Where Is Our Permanent Happiness ?
Sat points out that to have true, lasting happiness, peace and tranquility one must wake up to the Truth and no longer believe in the contradictions of the mind.
*Sat is abbreviation for Sathyam.
Sathyam: Let’s take a moment and renew our vow, and renew the reason for which we are here, so it doesn’t get tucked away in the stream of our thoughts. This way we can actually dive deeper. Let us all find the reason for which we came here tonight and honor it. As we take each breath in and we let it out, let’s for a split-second look inward, and see that we begin to sink in, we begin to let go and relax.
Meditation takes place for a few minutes
Sathyam continues: Would any of you like to share on the meditation that we just did, where we emptied ourselves?
One of the women talks about feeling free in her meditation and abandoning her worldly knowledge during the process. She also asks about the ‘ego.’
Sathyam: Yes, if worldly knowledge was true knowledge, we would be a lot less free without it. Just the fact that when we drop it, we feel more freedom, goes to show that it is just being used to make our mind be active.
To answer your question about ego, ego is misunderstood; it simply means identifying with the false, identifying with the body and the mind. Ego exists as long as you think you are somebody and you know something, because it is fed on that. Once we drop all of our knowingness and all of the images of who we are and admit to ourselves, ‘I really don’t know’ and sit down and contemplate on that, honestly, we will all realize that we really don’t know. Yes, we can go to the old files in our memory, and bring out supporting documents on why we do know. It is not however the truth, because it does not exist here and now. It is an old newspaper.
Spirituality or self-realization is extremely simple, but it can be very complicated if you have a complicated mind. In order to make it easier for us, we have to admit to ourselves that we don’t know anything, not necessarily in front of other people, but at least to ourselves. And if we still feel like putting on the mask of ‘knowing’ in front of others, we can certainly do so.
I have given you this example before- each time I walk in here (the health food store), I empty myself. By saying ‘I am nobody and I don’t know anything’, we open our heart to the Omniscient, the All-Knowing. However, we cannot be rewarded if we are so busy looking at the things that are seen (the world and its affairs). In order to see the unseen, we cannot be so busy looking at the things that are seen. And that’s what makes it so beautiful!
We talked about this point last week also, but I would like to talk about it again tonight, just so it gets reinforced because it is such an important point. The mind is constantly in a stage of contradiction, the same mind that tells you, you should come to these classes, would also convince you that you shouldn’t be coming. The same mind that tells you, you should move from this area to another area, is the same mind that once you do make your move, sits you down and crucifies you for having made the move. This is because there is a list of do’s and there is a list of don’ts in the mind.
As I was saying some time ago, once we go with the faculty of the mind and believe in it, we’ll be playing ping pong by ourselves. Hitting it from one side and then running to the other side to hit it back. This is why a lot of mental, physical and emotional diseases come into play; it is because of the sheer drain of energy from living a life that is constantly persuaded in this contradiction and yet never satisfied. Even when our desires are satisfied or fulfilled, it’s just a temporary relief, and something else will come out that we will feel dissatisfied with.
What is the solution then? The solution is as it always is, it’s nothing new, and I am sure all of you have had a taste of it, or we wouldn’t be sitting here together. The truth is, the solution is, to wake up, to just simply wake up. And how do we wake up? We wake up by no longer believing in the contradictions of the mind. The judgment will drop by doing that, and there is a tranquility and a peace that starts happening.
I have said this before, but it is very important: people say if you have a teacher, you are worshipping an idol. They also say that if you love someone with all of your heart, you are attached to that person, and you are worshipping that person as an idol. I would say that the idol we should be worried about is the images in our mind that we bow to as reality. Those are the ones that need to be broken, those are the ones that have to be shattered. To me, the meaning of ‘worshiping idols’ is the imagery that we have in our mind that steals our peace and tranquility. That is worshiping idols; idols which are never real in the first place, since they are mostly just statues.
Now, why is it so important to journey inward? The journey inward is not important if we are not tired of suffering. In that case, it is not important at all. If we are not tired of the contradiction in the world, it is not important to go inward. But if we are fed up with what is going on with our government, with our country, with the world, and with the way our mind is thinking, then there is only one solution. And that is to surrender to the treasure that we are.
The world does not give us satisfaction, and without a doubt every knee will eventually bend to the hardships of this world. I can vouch that the inner life is a quiet life, but it is precious, very precious! And the good news, like I always say here, is that this is the only true life, the rest of us are not living, we are dead men walking.
Is it wrong to be educated, is it wrong to go around and learn? No, thousands of people have done it. It is not wrong at all; it just doesn’t bring us the happiness and the peace we want. We see it every day, we see people who are multimillionaires, those who have PhD’s and other doctorates in many fields, who are just not happy. What is happiness then? That is what we are going to discuss tonight.
My Teacher says that happiness is union with God, and I will translate it for those of you who are not very fond of using God’s name: Happiness is union with the truth of who we are and what is real, which is the same as God. That is what happiness is.
Say that you go to a movie that is very moving or uplifting; the script is very gentle and inspiring. Does the movie bring its hand out and put inspiration in your hand? No, it only triggers what is already in you. You think that the movie gave you inspiration; no...it was already in here (pats her heart), it just got triggered.
The same goes with happiness, we think that if we go and live in the east of the United States, we will be happy, and then to the west of the United States, and then on to another country. But the point of the matter is that unless this happiness is felt here, (pats her heart) whatever is done outside of that realm is not true happiness; it is a temporary relief, what I call a tranquilizer.
When I first started on this path, I had a lot of self-doubt. As I looked around, I said to myself, ‘Nobody is doing these practices, what makes me think what I am doing is right?’ I hate to clue you in on this, but believe me, just because nobody is doing it, it’s the right thing. This is one place that you don’t want to go with the crowd; you just don’t want to follow them. That is because it would be like the blind leading the blind and you both end up in a ditch. Honest to God that is so true. (Everyone laughs)
Is it a lonely path however? Oh, it is, it’s a very lonely path, because you look around and you don’t see as many friends who can fly with you. So, you keep quiet and, in that quietness, you improve even more.
Any questions so far? Any resistance or criticism? (No one says anything)
Is it a privilege that I am here, or is it a privilege that you are here? This is the question.
The desire that each one of us has for our freedom, will bring us whatever is needed to free us. Whe.
When you come on the spiritual path, there is a huge difference between interest and desire; but they go hand in hand. It (desire for freedom) is not a binding desire, like a desire for a new car that you have to look after closely and work really hard just to pay for it; it is not like that. When you desire freedom, you better have a lot of interest to go after it. This is because the desire alone does not get you there.
This yearning and this interest have to be fed. How do we feed that? We feed it by looking around and saying to ourselves, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to be like others.’ (Laughs) It’s true! That is what sent me to India: ‘I have done what others have done and it never worked.’
When we come on the path of freedom with an earnest desire and an earnest un-quenching thirst, we also leave the world and its affairs alone. Now, why do we do that? When you are still entangled with the fulfillment of your worldly desires, yes, interfere with the affairs of the government, the affairs of the country, finances, etc.; basically, interfere with everything you want to interfere with. But once you come on the spiritual path, the interference with the affairs of the world would constantly drag you away from your goal, and it is no longer helpful to do that.
What happens then? Do we become aloof to the problems in the world, do we not care, is our heart turning to stone? No. What shifts is that instead of looking at the opposites, like who is good and who is bad, who needs help and who does not need help, (meaning) instead of (seeing) two, with our vision seeing with two eyes that have two different sides to them that create conflict all the time, it begins to transcend into one eye. This single eye sees nothing but the reality, the fulfillment, the purity and the perfection. Now, once this vision is developed, we become a beacon of light to the society, without us even knowing that we are a beacon of light, we don’t know, we just are!
By all means, as long as we are still in the dream of doing and becoming, we should help; we should go around and solve problems. We should go and vote and bring the President that is needed, we should criticize things that are not good, we should be for the war, or against the war, etc. However, once you find that quiet place, you realize that the most important thing that would remedy all of this discord is to wake up! I cannot emphasize that deeply enough. And how do we wake up? By going ‘in’ to the Source. And where is the Source? It is nearer than the eyelid is to the eye; literally, there is absolutely no distance.
Like so many others, I could sit here and say things such as ‘Yes, I agree, we have a terrible world; our lives are hard; I can’t believe my spouse left me; I can’t believe this or that happened to me; I can’t believe this happened to you…’ etc. But that is not the solution, what good is it for me to sympathize with everyone about everything that may be going on in their lives? Isn’t it better to find a way to wake up and put an end to this nightmare? In that, we find that the love we thought we had is not even a drop in the ocean, in comparison to what is experienced- to the degree that we feel oneness with God or Truth.
Before I ask you a question, let’s forget about our knowledge, what we think, what we have learned, what should be, hearsay, etc. I would like for us to drop all of that. I would now like to ask everyone what true, lasting happiness is; does it even exist at all, or are we merely chasing a rainbow?
Class participants give their various answers, ranging from accepting things as they are, experiencing liberating and powerful vibrations, peace of mind and tranquility, quietness in the mind, existing in bliss and peace, being in the moment, etc.
Sathyam continues: So, do all of us agree that a mindless state is a peaceful and happy place? (Everyone agrees.)
Why are we going with the mind then (laughs wholeheartedly)?
Now, this is the question I would like us to take into meditation. This is because unless we dissect it with our soul, happiness is just an inspirational word, and at most we will experience it here and there.
Let’s just take it into our quietness for a few moments. Let’s ask ‘Where is true happiness?’ True happiness, not temporary happiness!
Meditation takes place for a few minutes
Sathyam: Slowly open your eyes. Would anyone like to volunteer their answer?
A woman talks about happiness not being outside of her.
Sathyam laughs wholeheartedly and says: It is definitely inside. That is a huge realization, because until now, we thought that it is outside of us, at least most of the time.
A man says: Happiness is a word for me that I relate to a temporary state. I think it is not the correct word; I would refer to what we are talking about more as ‘bliss’.
Sathyam says: Yes, yes; what we are talking about is that bliss and peace.
A few other people agree that it is on the inside.
Sathyam: So, if it is on the inside, let’s find out why sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not. Let’s take that into meditation, if it is a part of us, why is it that sometimes we experience it and sometimes we don’t?
Meditation takes place for a few minutes
Sathyam: Slowly open your eyes. (Sathyam asks the class about their different experiences during that meditation)
A man talks about having experienced happiness not as inside or outside. He adds that inside and outside do not exist, because that would be the duality again, and we do not experience real happiness in duality.
Sathyam: I have to stop you right here, and make sure that nobody misunderstands what you are saying. Ultimately, there is no inside and outside, but until we come to that realization, one has to be very, very quiet and extremely vigilant. The only way you know that there is no inside and outside is by going ‘in’, the ‘outside’ will not give you that information at all.
A woman asks: How do you guard yourself from the punches of the outside?
Sathyam: How do you protect yourself from these punches?
She continues to ask: How do you center yourself amidst them when they are bombarding you?
Sathyam: Well, you see, this needs years of prevention and none of us have had years of prevention. Prevention means that you dwell in a high place before the punches come, so when they do come, you are ready. When we are getting punches, we feel as though our shield is down.
I can tell you something that is the truth, whether you want to accept it or not, even if you are getting punches and continue to be punched, it is better to continue digging in and start a prevention now, than to try to cover and protect yourself with every punch that comes at you from the world. This is because the nature of the existence as we know it from the outside, again there is no inside or outside, but for our purposes I have to talk this way, its nature is to give punches and to take punches.
It is like the ocean, when you are swimming and are on the top surface of the ocean, there are days when the waves are horrendous. But no matter how horrendous the commotion is on the surface, as soon as you put your mask and oxygen on and you go deep down, you find that there is nothing going on, everything is peaceful.
It is so important to know that you have a sanctuary within your own self, that you can go there and find fulfillment that none of those punches could take away from you or give to you, to rely on your own conscious voice, and to have self-confidence beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are Divine. Then if the punches come and it hurts, it hurts. We are not here to make a better life; we are here to wake up. You are getting punches, I get punches, and the others in the class get punches. I know what you are saying, I feel you, and at times it is really lonely and it makes you angry. But the important thing is to allow each punch that comes to send you deeper; find so much un-fulfillment and anxiety from it that it becomes an avenue as a friend to send you ‘in’.
My Teacher says that sometimes there are incidents that are dramatic and even traumatic; they are however the best friends we ever had, because they are the ones that for some reason, make us disgusted. As long as people are not disgusted with their life, their society’s life, they will never enter this room, or any room that speaks the truth. So, what is bad is not really bad, and what is good is really not good, because we never know what will push us to the limit where we say ‘I give up, I don’t even want it.’
There were days and nights that I would go around and say, ‘God, take the good and the bad, take them all, have it for yourself; I just want the Truth.’ What happens is that through the punches, as well as the good times, you learn that none of them are lasting. So, you begin to be wise about the impermanence of the world and the permanence of the Self or God. That is why I say we don’t know, because who are we to say that the punches are bad and that the caresses are good or vice versa.
Before we leave tonight, I would like to extend this invitation from one heart to another. When I say ‘I’ it is not the person called Sathyam that is sitting in front of you, but rather the ‘I’ that is within each one of us. The Truth would like to invite you to accept that wherever you stand is a Holy Ground- as long as you are entertaining the One and the Only.
Therefore, instead of spending our time trying to mend, repair, fix and change our character, our environment, our work, home, country, office, I would say it is much better energy spent by telling ourself that we are unlimited, unbounded, perfection, as God is. Why? Because this is the truth. I am not saying this because out of suggestion, we want to tell ourselves that we are that instead of something else, but rather because this is the truth.
And how do we know this is the truth? Of course, we know by experience and I invite all of us to do that. God is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent; and if God is Omnipresent, what can I be but That? Omnipresent means that there is not a place that God is not, so, it does not (sighs) put me out of this circle. If God is Omniscient, what is it that I can learn that could be greater than what is already within me, if only I reach in and get it?
If God is Omnipotent, what is it that I am protecting myself against? Are there two powers? If God is Omnipotent, all-powerful, tell me where is the other power that brings conflict in my life or in your life? These are the high places to dwell on, these are phrases to dissect, and these are the sentences to live by.
Life is short as we know it, and yet it continues and continues to eternity. So, let’s find that life that lasts forever, rather than mend, repair and fix the life that is only here for a few days, in comparison to eternity. The invitation then is to wake up, and in order to wake up, one needs to invest in oneself, whichever way is suitable for you.
Only one life will soon be past,
Only what’s done for thee will last,
For me to live is in Christ (she says: ‘Christ’ means Truth),
For me to live is in Christ,
Jesu Pitta Jesu Pitta Jesu Pitta My Lord,
Open my heart, open my heart, open my heart, receive me,
Only one life will soon be past,
Only what’s done for thee will last,
For me to live is in Christ,
For me to live is in Truth.
Class-Where Is Our Permanent Happiness
September 27, 2004