It has been with much trepidation and mental rumination that I come to this blog.
. . .You see, I am in the winding down stage of life. I have blown threw my twenties, thirties and forties in an endless search of something called happiness and it continued to evade me well into my fifties.
A few years ago, I closed my store down and re-entered the work place, relieved to be rid of the constant worries of owning a retail establishment. As I wandered the aisles of my place of employment a deep and worrisome thought began to reoccur in my mind, “What if this is it? What if this WAS my life?”
I knew I had to do something, but what?
I turned to my age-old remedy of reading the classics in my spare time and pondered the meaning of life. In time I began to really dig into what exactly was happiness and from where does it originate?
I began to read Nietzsche, I mean really read him, which led to Schopenhauer and Kant.
Was I nihilistic?
. . . Or like Schopenhauer, did I believe that once you have suffered the indignity of being born, was a quick and painless death all I could hope for?
I knew we had killed god for some time, but did that make me atheist?
My search led from the age of enlightenment down through the centuries, back to Rome with Epictetus and Seneca. Marcus Aurelius sprung from his pages into my mind ferociously as I devoured book after book.
My search led me further back in time to Plato and the Greeks, then, as I suppose is inevitable, to India, to the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, to Advaita Vedanta.
I was hooked.
From the pages of “I am” to “I am That” I could not read fast enough, nor enough times. Nisargadatta Maharaj became my mentor and constant companion.
I began the work of dismantling the Ego, piece by piece, tearing it to bits.
It has been a very long two years but worth every painstaking second of it. What has emerged on this side of things is very different than I could have ever imagined.
I took the time during my journey to keep journals to mark my growth.
What follows is both excerpts from those four books and insights as they come to me. My only hope is that someone somewhere can launch their own epic from these humble beginnings.
The most important things that have come to me are the teachings of the Buddha, of Maharaj, and of the Upanishads.
. . . But, the one thing that I have found to be of absolute necessity is to learn to meditate, and to do it properly.
Maharaj stated that, “There is but one meditation and that is the absolute refusal to harbor any thoughts.”
In other words, turn off your mind.
That is all you need do, but it can be quite a challenge.
I sit comfortably and focus on the Buddha statue in front of me.
I feel my breathing slow and a calmness comes over me.
I then focus my awareness in between the thoughts as they race by, slowly allowing my mind to stay in that empty space for longer and longer periods of time.
This is the most important thing you can learn to do. It literally changes how your brain functions and opens you to a different world.
If you don’t get anything else out of this body of work then please begin this one practice, meditate every day for at least twenty minutes, it will change your life for the better.