Student: I am unable to have peace of mind. I am planning to go to the Himalayas in search of it.
Ramana Maharshi: You have travelled 250 miles from Madurai and come here. How much mental quietness have you got? Multiply it by the distance from here to Himalayas to measure the happiness you would get by going there. Don’t forget peace is your real nature.
There are facts of my life that are not what I would like them to be. People I miss. Some of them alive, some not. It’s easy to think of what we are missing by not being together. Something triggers a thought that leads to a thought that leads to a thought, and there it is: grief, sadness, loss.
This isn’t a bad thing. Often it’s just a release of stresses, something that needs to be uncovered and let go of. Uncomfortable, but temporary.
Sometimes the mind tells us this grief is the truth of life, that any happiness we’ve had is a lie. Maybe the mind says we don’t deserve happiness because we’ve done something unforgivable, or because we blew our chance, or because we’re just not worthy.
In the Veda we learn that these thoughts cannot be from the truth. Nature never thinks this way. Ever. These thoughts are simply evidence of stresses being released, the mind making its best guess as to why we’re feeling uncomfortable, why we hurt. This is a natural part of our spiritual growth: reminding ourselves that we are not our thinking. We don’t entertain them, and we don’t struggle against them.
And we remember that what we are is something other than our thinking.
What this something other is, is happiness. We have forgotten this, or we were never taught this, but this is the truth of what we are.
Truth is that which never changes. Happiness is the truth of our being. All we have to do is look past the voices that try to tell us otherwise. It’s surprising how easy this can be.
There are things in life that can be sad. But sadness does not have to be the negation of happiness or a loss of peace. It can be what it actually is: a moment of discomfort in the peace and happiness that we are. A reminder of the sweetness of life. A nudge from God to get present and enjoy each moment, beginning now.
Imagine a happiness that is big enough to encompass even our sadness.
Today I will assume that the truth of my being is happiness, that I am meant to know peace, and I will take a moment to go within, to look past my thinking, in order to allow these qualities to shine forth.