A Buddhist friend of mine was telling me about Buddhism. He said “It’s very simple, the teaching is: a happy mind, a happy life. You must be happy.”
Easy – right? Just choose that.
The teachings of yoga are the same. The mind is the problem. You need to foster happy thoughts. You need to work at this because the mind is always going other places, like fear. Sometimes this is good. You need to have a certain amount of fear to keep you from walking out in front of a car, or being eaten by a wild animal.
There is a certain area of your mind that is designed to do this. It influences the part of your mind that makes decisions. That part is called buddhi (no coincidence). Buddhi gathers information from the other parts of your mind like where memories are stored, for example: “the last time I did that, I almost got hit by a car.” Or, “I remember that smell, I love that scent, good things happened then.”
There is also the part of your mind that is your ego. That feeds into decisions, “If I do this, I will be important.”
But where we get into trouble is when these other parts of the mind start making the decisions instead of the part that makes wise decisions. We do not want fear, memories or ego running the show.
How do we know? Well, it takes self-study, svadyaya and practice, lots of practice. The thing is, we were never taught how to discern these things. The ancients knew all along. It is our ignorance that keeps the truth from unfolding. Luckily we have many ways to get back to our inner teacher and our true purpose.
Yoga is a great way. Faith, spirituality, love and compassion are the way. And Practice….. So get into your mind and start looking for where your decisions are made. What is making decisions for you? Ego, fear and memory should not do this. Ask yourself where it’s coming from and if it is best for you and the world. Then, make a choice.
You have the power to make yourself happy. “Happy mind, happy life.”