Our True Nature – November 25 2018

Our True Nature – November 25 2018

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 not in my life whom I miss. Some of them alive, some not. None of them available to me physically. It’s easy sometimes to think of what we are missing by not being together, and to feel the sadness of that. Some innocuous word in an offhand conversation triggers a thought that leads to a thought that leads to a thought, and there it is: grief, sadness, loss, discomfort. 
 
This isn’t a bad thing. Often it’s simply a release of stresses, something that needed to be uncovered and let go in order to move forward into a more expansive life. These experiences can be uncomfortable, but we know they will pass. But…
 
Sometimes the mind tells us this grief is the truth of life, that any happiness is only because we’ve been able to ignore the sadness our life obviously is. Maybe it tells us we don’t deserve happiness because we’ve done something unforgivable, or because we blew our chance, or because we’re just not worthy. Maybe the mind says life is despair, and anyone who says differently is a fool.
 
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, this reminding ourselves that we are not our thinking. We make a mistake only when we pay attention to these thoughts and identify with them. To struggle against them is to identify with them. To identify with them is to give them power that they don’t have.
 
For the most part we don’t have to pay attention to this kind of thinking at all. We can step right past it to the truth of our being.
 
And the truth of our being is happiness. This is what we are, in our least excited state, there in that place that is beyond thought, transcendent of thought. We have forgotten this, or we have been taught otherwise, but this is the truth. 
 
Truth is that which never changes. Happiness is the truth of our being. All we need do is look past that which tries to tell us otherwise and insist on getting to this truth within ourselves. It’s surprising how easy this can be.
 
Yes, 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.
Grand Tetons, Wyoming