“Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized.” ~Osho
This week’s quote from Osho is a reminder that the spiritual path leads ever inward. You can travel the Earth in search of the truth, but, ultimately, what you are seeking is not something that can be found in the external world, it can only be found by turning inward and exploring the depths of your own being. At this point in your spiritual journey, you have no doubt come across the claim that the truth lies within. But what does that even mean? What exactly is this great truth that resides within us, and how do we go about realizing it?
Deep down inside, we all want to be happy. However, for many of us, our happiness is reliant on external factors. We believe, for example, that our possessions make us happy- that the more possessions we own, the happier we will become. But relying on material goods for happiness only creates dependency and attachment in the long run. Being attached to your possessions leads to fear and anxiety about losing them. You also run the risk of identifying with the things you own, thinking of them as an integral part of who you are. By doing this, you tie your self-worth to your possessions, leading you to constantly seek out validation from others just to feel good about yourself.
So, where does lasting contentment come from? The answer lies in the realization of your true nature. Who are you really, beyond the illusion of your ego? Of course, this is a question that you must answer for yourself. If you take someone else’s word for it, then the truth won’t feel as genuine. Instead, we’ll end with a quote from Alan Watts who once explained that, “You don't look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you.”
“The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering." ~ Ram Dass
This week’s quote by Ram Dass is a reminder that suffering is not caused by unpleasant situations, but by your resistance to them. While we would all like to lead a harmonious existence, life consists of both ups and downs. It is easy to maintain your inner equilibrium when things are going smoothly, but you will inevitably encounter situations in life that you find unpleasant or challenging. How can you keep your balance, even when you find yourself in undesirable circumstances?
The key to overcoming suffering is to learn to accept unpleasant situations as they are. This doesn't mean that you have to like what is happening, it simply means that you acknowledge what is happening and you let go of your resistance to it. What does it feel like to be in resistance? When you find yourself clenching your jaw or your fists, chances are you are in resistance. When you grip your abdominals and tighten your chest, causing your breath to become short and shallow, you are physically resisting what is taking place in the moment.
There is a certain level of freedom that comes with the realization that you are the prime cause of your own suffering. It's not the situation you're in that makes you feel bad, what makes you feel bad is not breathing properly while you are in it. What happens when you don’t get enough oxygen? You start to panic. Your heart starts racing and claustrophobia kicks in as you desperately look for ways to escape from the moment. However, there really is no escaping since the present moment is all that there is.
As Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “Anxiety, the illness of our times, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.” The key to living in the present is, of course, to breathe. Breathe through the good times, breathe through the bad times. Breathe when you are in a hurry and breathe when you have all the time in the world. By doing this, you generate your own inner harmony, one that is unaffected by outside circumstances. By accepting the present moment, regardless of what it brings, you can remain centered and grounded at all times. By simply breathing in and out, you can release your inner tension and be in a harmonious state wherever you go.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.