By Seamus Anthony Ennis
If you have tried different methods to achieve happiness (meditation, reading self-help books, therapy, etc.) but have not succeeded then I’d like to share with you a very simple trick to being happy that has been blowing my mind lately…
In fact I actually believe it is the key to enlightenment and world peace.
Here it is …
Let go of all that you are clinging to.
Let go of all the ideas in your mind.
All the should’s. All the want-to’s. All the trying-to’s. All the seeking-to’s. All the how-to’s. All the going-to’s.
Just drop ’em like hot potatoes.
When you manage to do this, even if it’s just for a few moments, you will suddenly see who you are. Who you have been all along. You will understand all that goofy zen-talk that you’ve read, and you will see how it is that words can never truly explain this state of mind.
And you will feel high. Not always in a hallucinatory kind of way, sometimes, but not always. Sometimes you will feel high in a crystal clear, jiggy-with-the-here-and-now kind of way. You will reach a place that many meditators have given many different names to: Nirvana, enlightenement, Buddha-mind, enrapture, Christ-consciousness, Satori, Bliss, or my favourite, the Clear Space of Good Feeling.
And it’s all about letting go.
It’s not about learning how to do something properly. It’s about letting go.
It’s not about attaining skills. It’s about letting go.
It’s not about getting somewhere. It’s about letting go and realising that you are already here now.
This morning I was at a yoga class. I am just a beginner at it and was finding the postures quite difficult. But every time that I figured out why my body wouldn’t get into position, I realised it was because my mind was holding on, and this meant my muscles were holding on. The secret is to let go.
Same goes for when you are meditating. Let go of wanting to meditate effectively and it will happen.
But the thing is, the mind is very subtle and the ego is very tricky (the ego is the scared little wimp inside of you who does not want to let go for fear of what could happen). Just when you have let go of one thing (one idea, train of thought, fear, etc) the ego will latch on to another. You may even find yourself latching on to the idea of “letting go”.
Let it all go.
And when you think “I can’t let it all go”. Let that fear-based idea go.
And when you think “That’s it! I’ve let it all go!”, let that go too.
Let go. It’s the secret to happiness in this life – or at least one of them.
Imagine if you let it all go, all of those things that you worry about: the rent, the future, your health, your career, the kids, your parents, your love-life, your social life, your to-do-list, the past, the bad things, the good things, what people say to you, what you think of other people, your opinions, the environment, the wars, the human rights atrocities, the poor, the rich, the indifferent, the misguided….
It’s a big call, just to let go of all of this, but then again it’s not – because it’s not about doing anything difficult, it’s just about letting all those difficult things that we take on go.
I am not saying I have totally done this, but the more I do, the happier I get and the more I get out of life and the less I worry about anything at all.
Meditate. Let go of trying and just sit.
And let go of what you are waiting for. And of waiting.
You see for some reason, getting what you want is a topsy-turvy affair. You have to try not to want things too bad or else they somehow get repulsed. What it is that repulses is the fear you have of not getting what you want. It’s like a teenage boy who is keen on a girl, if he is too keen chances are she will smell his fear (of not getting her) and be turned off. But if he was initially interested but was detached enough to take it or leave it, the chances are she will find herself intrigued and will be more inclined to return his attraction. (It’s cruel, but that’s the way it works kids!)
Same goes for trying to find happiness. If you are too attached to the end result, you will never get there. You have to detach from what you want and just do your meditation.
Every time you find yourself thinking about something irrelevant – let go of that thought.
Then return to your technique – and then let go of returning to your technique.
Then when you are successfully practising your technique – let go of the technique. Still do it – but let go of doing it.
It’s a subtle art, and it takes some practice – but if you try you’ll get it.
Then let go of trying!