Why do we believe our happiness is external?
‘The great arises out for the small things that are honoured and cared for. Everybody’s life really consists of small things. Greatness is a mental abstraction and favourite of the ego. The paradox is that the foundation for greatness is the honouring of the small things of the present moment instead of pursuing the idea of greatness.’ ~ E Tolle.
Ken Wilber says it in another way: ‘It is about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.’
We tend to believe that happiness and quality of life is ‘out there’, and yet it can only be found within by being present in the moment. Is this perhaps why it seems that the lives of so many famous people are unravelling? They are supposed to be living what our culture has promised would be the ultimate and yet the depth and positive emotion is eluding them. We are chasing an illusion.
Everybody has moments that from the outside would seem highlights or ‘top moments’. I used to work as a model, which for some is considered a dream come true, on an occasion met the queen and had other experiences that from the outside would seem special. Did I feel a ‘high’ while in them? Perhaps a ‘high’ but not bliss, not depth, not a deep sense of gratitude and connectedness.
The emotion was nowhere near as pleasant as what I feel some mornings standing by a little lake filled with water lilies taking in the stillness of the water, the absolute stillness, the peace and calm. This is experiencing the place in ourselves where all is sacred, it is where we reclaim or sense our connectedness, where we experience something greater than ourselves. Naturally this can only be experienced in the Now. This is what Buddha was calling forward in us by asking us to just observe a flower as the starting point for a spiritual practice. Claim your moments.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
~ William Blake