The secret to being happy
I have just returned from two amazing retreats in the US. The first was with Jack Kornfield and Dan Siegel. The backing up of Buddhist Psychology by Science is simply dazzling.
Scientists agree that there’s oxygen from ocean plants in every breath we take. Most of this oxygen comes from phytoplankton that live near the water’s surface. As with nearly all other plants on this earth, phytoplankton photosynthesizes using sunlight and carbon dioxide to make food. The byproduct of this process is as we all know oxygen. It is believed that phytoplankton contribute between 50 to 85 percent of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. Hence it is important to keep the oceans healthy!
Simply, in every breath you take, the elements within the air have spent time within the ocean or a tree, within other animals and within other humans. This means that our interconnectedness and intimacy with the planet is very real, not just some hippy idea! Take a moment to appreciate this while noticing the breath.
In every mouthful you take there is sunlight, rain, earth and human effort.
Our body, through neuroception, is constantly ‘tuning’ into the environment to see if all is ok, if we are safe, this information affects our physiology. We are only beginning to understand the complexity and scope of neuroception. We also know about mirror neurons. When we watch someone eat for instance, the ‘eating’ area in our brain is activated. In effect, our brain mimics what is going on within our fellow human.
Our interconnectedness is a reality which we feel disconnected from when we are stressed, when we experience competitiveness, greediness, shamefulness, resentfulness or anger etc. In effect when we are identified with our feelings, thoughts, possessions and social status etc. This is what Buddhist psychology calls ‘delusion’; not understanding or seeing things as they really are.
Piercing delusion, even just for a moment, opens us up to amazing richness and the mystery all around.
So try this: See if you can stop being aware, just for a moment…
We can’t not be aware, it is the only constant. Eckart Tolle calls this the essential “beingness’. This ‘beingness’ we can experience as the space and grace of the moment.
Another way to pierce the delusion is to focus on service, others, gratitude and nature. This leads us away from the limited self identification.
You will see the same message in this wonderful article: A 69-year-old monk who scientists call the ‘world’s happiest man’ says the secret to being happy takes just 15 minutes per day. Read the article here.