You could be happy...
Imagine a happy life. A truly, real sense of happiness. Not the usual "I have a car, a house, a job and one too many gadgets" life. No. The sense of happiness that comes from really feeling alive, like when you were a child and the space between your head and the sky was infinite. A life that regardless what your daily activities were, you would wake up feeling content, excited for what the new day could bring. Nothing particularly needed in order for your nervous system to produce endless bubbles of joy, peace and love. It could be the toast in the morning, a glimpse of a raindrop, or the smooth feeling of your computer when you touch it. Imagine that what happens on the outside is absolutely not directly proportional to how you feel inside. You are free of the external circumstances. You just live sunk in absolute stillness and life presents itself in what it seems to be a perfectly orchestrated eternal musical piece. Those bubbles that come from within seem to grow outside of you and cover the whole world. Everything and everyone around you are tinted by a sense of just the perfect amount of smoothness.
Now, that is a cool life.
Most people I´ve met do not truly believe that a life like that is possible. Some of them think that life is meant to be taken with a constant frown, trying to understand every single thing that happens. Others, work. Like, really work. Their muscles tense as the years go by and they seem to have an underlying belief that you gotta earn your right to be alive, by working as if nothing else existed, completely forgetting that the wonders of life are present in every moment. Another line are the ones who believe that life is a rollercoaster, with more downs than ups, and you better enjoy the high while it is there, cuz it ain´t lasting very long and the lows or uneventful times are much more common. Either way, the common thread is a lack of belief in that life is meant to be lived in unbounded joy. As if they didn´t deserve otherwise. As if being human wasn´t one of the most miraculous things happening in the whole Universe.
I do not think that people aren´t truly happy on purpose. It is possible that they don´t know any different. Is what our parents taught us and that their parents taught them. Life is hard, life is tough, you must be fearful of God and you certainly do not come to experience magic. But over all, I believe that the strongest barrier to happiness is that over generations, we were all taught that we are what we think.
You think, therefore you are. You better think, otherwise you are stupid. Knowledge comes from thinking and thinking will get you through life.
Well, I know another group of people. A land in which the previous statements do not exist. A thinking rehab center, you might call it, even though it is more like the place where life, finally, doesn´t feel upside down. Human look like true people: happy, shiny, bright eyed people that laugh, love and give as if there was no tomorrow. These people are the Ishayas, and I am mostly blessed to be part of this amazing worldwide community of monks. Consciousness warriors that perpetuate a lineage of what means to be a true human: one that lives as an eternal being that enjoys experiences through a body.
And how did we all became true humans? By breaking the addiction to thinking. By transcending the limitations and concepts of the mind. See, the mind is like a computer that belong to someone that really doesn´t know anything about them. The memory is filled up with so many programs, softwares, applications that are a bunch of junk taking space and making everything slow. Everything starts collapsing, the system runs low because after all the processes it has to go through to complete a task, there is no energy left to do anything else. You don´t really know your computer so you haven´t the slightest idea of where these programs went to. You can´t get rid of them, yet, they are running constantly below the surface.
As soon as you wake up in the mornings, all your programs start running, wether you know it or not. No matter if these programs where adopted when you are two years old, or last week, you have accumulated hundreds of them. And they all run at the same time, making your whole carcass slow, complicated and really, really hard to work with. It doesn´t matter how much clarity you have in what is it you want to achieve, the same as with the computer, all the useless programs make it almost impossible for it to happen despite your will, and definitely it will not be smooth.
You can always buy a new computer, you can always wait to die and possibly get a new fresh start in a new body, but the main problem will remain: as long as you don´t learn how to use it, eventually, your system will get crowded again.
So what do these Ishaya dudes do that is so awesome? Transcend the mind. They learn how the mind works, the subtleties of it to its deepest, oldest programs, in order to get rid of all the junk and actually have a proper functioning system. And the byproduct of it is a fluid, smooth, easy life. An overall sense of constant joy, unlimited access to peace, and 100 mb of love. All for a very small price: giving up the addiction to thinking. And what is left? The happiest life you can ever imagine.
It could still be life with a car, a house, a job and one too many gadgets, but you would be true human. A human that actually lives.