Saturday, March 27, 2010
I got this article from Sushma, my batch mate from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She attends “Art of Living” and this is an article on her experience from both “Art of Living” and the books she read on life and philosophy. I just like to add one few lines to this article that “Happiness lies within; it depends completely on us to be happy. Also, a learning my brother shared from a leadership program he attended, in which the trainer said that “its we who are responsible for the state we are in” that means that we need to be brave in facing tough situations and be happy. Infact, what Aamir Khan said in the movie 3 idiot is also similar “ Aall is well”…..
And apology to Sushma , that I have changed the title of this topic from “ Who says life is easy?” to “ Happiness lies within- sab kuch theek thaak hai”
So here she goes ....Life is difficult. And it ain’t no joke. Scott Peck was damn so right when he wrote his book. As if all the fundamentals of Gods creation have been squeezed in this one small sentence by this genius. After all the good and bad experiences I guess we all at one point come in terms with this simple yet the most amazing fact about the expedition that we call LIFE.
Today, while thinking about someone I realized that no matter how hard we try to hold on to our fears, frustrations, anger, failures, regrets, loneliness or anguish, its only going to hurt ‘us’ at the end. And at that point what the other person is going through or feeling is out of question for us because we’re not living their life and neither is they living ours that they would understand our pain. PAIN…. it hurts alright… it is indeed a VERY uncomfortable feeling. And damn it’s a big deal because I wonder how we always allow people to enter the territory of our very own life, touch us deep inside, get into our soul, be a part of us and than just go away as per their choice. Like what we want doesn’t really matter. And it hurts big time. Somewhat equal to how you would feel if someone stabs you in the chest with a knife. Do you know what my Little Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Pain’ as? It says it’s a strongly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury slash a mental suffering. I tried to look for a wound. None I could find. Than I tried to see if I am suffering mentally. No way! That’s gonna be the last thing I would allow myself to get into. So, what is this restlessness or anxiety or unease that I label pain?
Not long ago I learnt a lesson at one of the programmes I attended. This one was called ‘The art of living’. Yeah trust me they tell you how to live. Sounds funny right? As if all this while people were not living their lives. No offense to anyone here and honestly I really appreciate the efforts H. H. H. Ravi Shankar has taken to bring about a change in peoples’ lives. I would like to tell you why I think so. On my first day to the Basic course of Art of living I saw this elderly couple who looked really depressed and it only made me wonder why after decades of living their lives and experiencing ups and downs for so many years, now they have come here to learn the art to live. Later, I got to know that they lost their only child who was in his late twenties when he died. I observed them everyday for those few days. The wife always tried to comfort her husband but he was so down in the dumps that he could not even look up. He always used to look at the floor like he is trying to find something down there. May be something that he lost or may be just an answer to his questions that someone might have had written for him on the ground. One day when it was the last day of this course I saw the husband dancing. His eyes were watery yet filled with joy. He was looking at his wife as if he is trying to tell her that he finally has found the missing thing or may be the answer to his questions. So no matter what people or even I say about ‘The Art of living’ I’m sure it has influenced many more lives like that.
Now coming back to what I have learnt from this course. The person who used to deliver the sessions one day asked all of us if we are happy. To which every single person said NO without even giving it a thought. Than he asked us to write in our notebooks the one thing that would make us happy. Everyone wrote the thing that was on their mind and so did I. After making us listen to what everyone had written he made us realize that the young ones wanted to get good grades to be happy, little older than those wanted a good job or a life partner of their choice to be happy and as the age increased the things that they desired to have in order to be happy kept varying. He asked the more experienced ones if they were happy when they were young and got good grades or were they happy when they got a good job. Listening to this we all laughed because no one was ever happy even after what we wanted was received by us. We all did rejoice for sometime but it was all momentary. Because than we had a desire for a new thing and the absence of that particular (new) thing in our life was making us feel unhappy again. So what I learnt was, that practically unless we understand that happiness is a feeling that comes from within and not from the things that we have or want, we would never be able to experience the goodness of each moment of our life. So can we conclude here that when there is an absence of this feeling of being happy is when we start thinking that we are in pain? May be... So does it mean that Pain and Happiness are relative terms? If the answer is yes than this would mean that the moment we let go of all our desires and negative emotions or feelings is when we can actually be happy and out of pain.
I would like to give my own example here. I have a kind of job I always wanted, a loving family who truly supports me for all my decisions, a nice apartment with all basic things required in day-to-day life, a bunch of good friends who are always there whenever I’m in need and most of all I feel God is ALWAYS with me. So after all this goodness that God has blessed me with, anyone would think I must be very happy. But I wasn’t. Because there was something missing. And only when I got what was missing and lost it again is when I realized that I was in pain. GREAT PAIN. Then I read some verses from the Holy Bible. It made me feel protected. Than I got a call from my dad and I felt I do belong to someone. It’s a weekend so couple of my friends called to ask if I’m free to meet them and it made me feel I’m not alone. This made me wonder, do I REALLY have to keep thinking about ‘that one thing’ that I don’t have. And it took me back to some faded memories of a book I read a long back. In this book, John Gray tells us about the techniques of ‘How to have what we want and want what we have’. The later part as per me should be the primary focus for each of us to lead a good-quality life. Because not many of us realize the importance of wanting or for that matter even realizing what all goodness we already have in our life. We always have a desire to have what is not there. And that is what makes our life DIFFICULT. Trust me if you actually want to be happy… just remember what Jiya Khan said… Take lite… ;)