Think – Day 27 – The formulas for concocting a deeper state of joy
“All meaningful and lasting change starts from the inside” – Lou Tice
You may have noticed I had a hard time keeping this month’s messages under five minutes…
…that’s because there is SO MUCH of importance to discuss on this THINK topic.
And there is still so much more we won’t fit in!
Don’t worry though, I’ll find a way to mix in the most important things in other modules.
The truth is, every single month we are focusing on our thoughts in some way…because our thoughts drive everything in our life.
“Remember that your thoughts are the primary cause of everything. ” – Rhonda Byrne
So, the topic of thinking will continue…but I will close this month with a few final powerful formulas from an enlightened ‘thinker’ to send you forth.
Shinzen Young, a mindfulness & meditation teacher who wrote ‘The Science of Enlightenment’ said: “Meditation enables you to live in happiness regardless of your condition.”
This has been a major theme this month: regardless of your circumstances you can choose the meaning and your thoughts.
This allows you to end suffering by ending resistance.
Meditation is the practice of improving at this skill of mindfulness, which decreases resistance.
Shinzen gives us some great formulas that are well worth remembering…the first one is: “Equanimity = Acceptance”
What is equanimity??
Equanimity defined: mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.
That’s a desirable state right?
As we abide in a state of ‘acceptance’, we abide in equanimity.
Another important formula he shares is this: “Suffering = Pain X Resistance”
The key behind this principle is that when resistance is ZERO, even in pain you do not suffer.
Anything multiplied by zero is zero, so your suffering is zero when your resistance is zero.
All who have experienced peace and joy even in the midst of pain can attest to truth of this formula.
The only way those states of pain and joy can exist simultaneously is with acceptance – equanimity – which contains zero resistance to anything.
Choosing the belief, ‘Everything is conspiring for my benefit’, is at the root of this ability to accept all circumstances.
You will experience pain in your life. Period. It’s inevitable – part of life.
The habitual practice of meditation will change all your future experiences with pain.
Mindfulness practice will increase your ability to move through the state of suffering quicker and with greater and greater ease…
…Which leads to spiritual purification.
One of Shinzen’s formulas for this is: “Spiritual Purification = Pain X Equanimity”
In other words, as you go through your life in a state of calm, peaceful acceptance, the pain you experience serves to PURIFY you, instead of simply making you suffer and hate your life.
This is pretty dang important stuff.
With spiritual purification comes greater capacity for joy.
It’s also important to note however, that spiritual purification comes NOT ONLY through pain.
An equally important formula Shinzen discusses is: “Spiritual Purification = Pleasure X Equanimity”
So, whether you are experiencing pain, or pleasure, when you combine either with a state of equanimity (calm, peaceful, acceptance), you become more spiritually purified – which increases your capacity for joy.
That is why it was said correctly “Meditation enables you to live in happiness regardless of your condition.”
Practicing mindfulness increases your ability to live in a state of Equanimity – the key ingredient for Spiritual Purification and Joy under any circumstances.
In a state of Equanimity – acceptance of what is – you are not grasping for more of anything.
You don’t crave more pleasure like an addict (which is the most common state among humans in general)…
…You simply accept, and appreciate the pleasure fully that you do experience.
Just like you accept and appreciate the pain that you happen to experience.
Shinzen’s final definition is this: “Fulfillment = Pleasure / Grasping”
In other words, when you are grasping for more pleasure, like an addict, you reduce your fulfillment.
If your grasping for more is equal to the pleasure itself, you find zero fulfillment in pleasure.
That is our state when we slip into seeking pleasure in ‘things’, usually to numb the painful void we feel from our disconnection to the present moment.
Always grasping, always striving, but never arriving at fulfillment…
…because ‘stuff’ is not where fulfillment is found.
Where there is zero grasping, total acceptance in calm equanimity – living in a state of gratitude for what is – the maximum state of fulfillment is experienced.
Let the practice of meditation free you into the state of acceptance.
One of my friends and mentors said it well: “When awareness comes it always brings its best friend, Freedom” – Preston Ely
Thank you for your commitment to daily growth!
I love you for your desire to live amazingly.
I’m proud to be your friend on this journey with you.
I truly hope you are able to keep the practice of meditation throughout your life…I know it will be of enormous value to you.
Onward and upward! Make Today Amazing!