I am feeling happier than ever in my life. Not because of anything outside, although things in my life are good. But because I want for nothing—there is no sense of lack. Nowhere to go, nothing to accomplish, I can just be.
Clearly, I am fortunate. I don’t struggle to put food on the table, and my basic needs are met. Yet many would find my lifestyle modest. I don’t live in a palace—except in my consciousness.
I discovered this palace just recently. I confess, the word palace is a little enhancement—actually it was more like a mansion. On the ground floor is a room that represents my personality. Other rooms on that floor represent my work and daily life. Then there are two more floors which are incredibly open and without divisions. It is enclosed by glass, but feels like the most open interior space I’ve ever seen.
Reminds me of Pharrell Williams “room without a roof” in his award-winning song, Happy. There is nothing closing in or cutting off the view.
The “room without a roof” is like living outside mind. The sages all say we lose our mind and come to our senses, which they mean very literally. We come into the world we meet through our eyes and ears, our sense of smell and taste and touch, and it is a luscious world.
The happiness researchers come to this from a little different place, talking about things like the practice of savoring, and of gratitude. It’s nice that these are things you can do. The more you do them, the more second nature they become.
For me, this deep, rich contentment comes more from my spiritual work. The more I find the no-mind state and the other floors in my mansion, the less I want to be limited to that lower level. In fact the words I heard inside were, “Don’t make me go back to that small room.”
I used to find such satisfaction in my thoughts. I indulged in orgies of insights. Now I find my attention going elsewhere. I find the no-mind state is not void of awareness but it’s different than the thinking that comes from my mind and that is shaped by my usual filters. There is also a difference in where I locate myself. When I am thinking, I am centered in my head, but in no-mind states I inhabit much more of my energy field and am much less delimited. More like sky consciousness.
Now perhaps this is sounding a bit esoteric. Some of you read my blog to have your pain validated and may have mixed reactions to this discussion. I know. I remember when a therapist told me on my first visit to remember to “bathe in grace” each day, and it felt so out of synch with my experience that it didn’t compute.
I’ve put in my time, a “process queen,” going through unbelievable layers of emotional baggage. I want you to know 1) the more baggage you’ve unloaded, the lighter you feel, and 2) you don’t need to be without baggage to feel happy.
You need to be without identification with your baggage. You need to let your baggage go unattended for a moment. (Likely no one will steal it.)
You need to know, for starters, that however defined you feel by what has happened to you, by your thoughts and feelings, likes and dislikes, these are only a small part of you. There is so much beyond the usual identity you take yourself to be. There are many more rooms in your mansion.
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