Saturday, April 25, 2015

On keeping one's happiness

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong but I never let go of my happiness.

Two years ago, when I went to India I made a promise to hold on to my happiness- no matter what happens.  As if to test if I really meant this, my recent trip this year was like Ulysses' journey to Ithaca. I encountered so many monsters and challenges along the way.

Every time a situation comes up, I chant this mantra in my head over and over "I will keep my happiness. I will keep my happiness".

Series of Unfortunate Events
On our way to the airport, my travel companion was getting irritated because all the gates out of the village were closed.  We were going around in circles for 30 minutes.  We were lucky that our taxi driver was very composed.  I kept my calm too and  we arrived at the airport prior to the boarding time.

We scheduled a 2 day side trip in Bangkok.  However, we were billeted in the meditation center outside the city which makes traveling quite tedious.  Traffic in Bangkok is worse than Manila- even on a Saturday.  Though we know where to go, it was difficult to navigate around the city because of my topographical disorientation.  My other travel companions were relying on me, the map and my research.  When we ask the locals for help we cannot understand each other (most of  the locals don't speak English).  I felt though that I'm in an episode of Amazing Race but I enjoyed the adventure.  Moreover, staying in the meditation center allowed me to interact with the local students, engage in spiritual discourse and sample the local vegetarian cuisine (I only eat food prepared by raja yoga practitioners).  

When we got to India, our luggages were missing.  Our local guide said, "How inconvenient for you.".  I replied with a smiling face, "I didn't lose my happiness though".  We went back to the airport four hours after our arrival, and we were able to pick up all of our baggages.

At the academy in Mount Abu, we bathe in spiritual study and meditation for two weeks. However, our personal meeting with the most senior teacher was cancelled.  In the same way that Catholics go to the Vatican to meet the pope, students from 137 countries go to India for a single meeting with the teacher.  The 500 students from 50 countries and 25,000 students from India at that time were a little disappointed. Again, I psyched myself "whatever is happening is good".  On the day of the scheduled meeting, we were able to have an unexpected video conference with him.  It only lasted for 5 minutes but it made my journey to India complete.

The lesson
"Experience any upheaval as though you are watching a cartoon show", was the teacher's opening statement.

I was nodding my head in agreement.  I simply looked at the various situations (there were more actually that I can write a novel) and moved forward.  I did not allow it to influence me, hence, it was unable to pull my enthusiasm down.

"Why do you keep the wrong things in your heart? Why do you take something bad?", he asked.

"Don't keep these things in your heart because you have sat the Father in your heart.", he admonished.

For me, that means I have to keep my heart clean and free from the rubbish of wasteful thinking (Why is this happening? This one did this. The other one did that.).  The Almighty Father can only sit in a pure heart.  Whenever I allow anything bad to enter the space reserved for him, I shoo him away.

Lastly, he said, "Always remain happy and share happiness."

Well, I have kept my happiness and now I am sharing with you.   

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