Secrets of Spiritual Happiness
Secret #5 - Remember Who You Really Are
By Sharon Janis
Play this chapter from the Audio Book:
It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope.
- Pope John XXIII
While getting to know who you are and why you are here, you can also remember that your deepest soul essence is beyond your personal appearance, personality, and all the things that people think make up who you are. Even if others don't see into your depths, that doesn't mean you should close your eyes to your own greatness.
One technique that can be especially helpful in remembering who you really are is contemplation. Contemplation is more than merely researching a topic. Contemplation is a combination of outer knowledge and inner wisdom. Wisdom is alive inside of you, and with a receptive and trusting stance, you can open the door to experiencing your soul's wisdom on a conscious level. Ask questions of yourself, and ask questions of God. Pay attention to life, and contemplate what it is all about.
Consider why your soul may have been placed -- and indeed, may have even chosen to be placed -- into the circumstances of your life and the qualities of your personality. What kinds of lessons might you be here to learn? Contemplating these questions will lead you into a more powerful space of observing and listening. Instead of fighting life as though it were an adversary, you'll become more patient, surrendered, focused, accepting, loving, wise, and happy.
Remembering who you are is like a person awakening from a dramatic dream to find him- or herself in the coziness of their own bed. However, in this case, you awaken and enjoy that coziness while still continuing to experience the "dream" of your life.
Imagine that you are both the producer and the audience for the play of your life. You are the creator, observer, scriptwriter, lead actor, and the whole cast and crew. Ultimately, your whole life is all made up of you, just as all the dreams you've ever dreamt while sleeping have ultimately been made up of nothing but your own creative consciousness. Your creative consciousness produces such a vast array of very realistic scenarios and experiences while your body is resting, and perhaps also when it is awake.
In this view, if there were an accurate credit roll at the end of your life, the credits would have to read, "you, you, you, you, you, you, and you" - not the little you , who needs to protect yourself from others, but the deeper soul you . Your greatest Self is forever one with everything that exists in this grand universal dance of the one supreme energy of life - this dance of the universal Soul.
Just imagine, our most dramatic "delusions of grandeur" may be but a shimmer of our true greatness. You may think that you're some version of "God's gift to women," when, in fact, you are truly God's gift to His or Her entire creation, and to His and Her very own Self. This kind of elevated awareness can be a great boon in your journey of spiritual happiness, especially if you remember that everyone else is also God's great gift to all of creation.
Just as the same rich soil can grow so many types of fruits, vegetables, and grains, so this great field of supreme consciousness has grown all of us. And just as many different ornaments, statues, and pieces of jewelry can be made from the same gold, so everything in this physical universe is made of the same atomic and sub-atomic particles, and ultimately, of the same creative consciousness. The great power of God's Supreme Will vibrates at many frequencies to manifest in and as every physical and non-physical object and creature that exists in this world. With this view of the world as a play of Supreme Consciousness, you may find it easier to discern and learn whatever lessons your soul is here to experience.
Contemplation is that condition of alert passivity, in which the soul lays itself open to the divine Ground within and without, the imminent and transcendent Godhead.
- Aldous Huxley
Perhaps you were born rich, and you may wonder why destiny would have handed you this experience of easy wealth. You may consider that perhaps your soul is here to learn lessons of humility or generosity in the face of plenty. After all, having great wealth can bring its own challenges to the evolving spiritual soul, such as potential propensities toward pride and callousness.
If you are wondering why you may have had the experience of being poor, you could consider whether that poverty may have been intended to simplify you, to humble you, or to remind you of who you really are. Sometimes the experience of poverty actually makes the outer world so uncomfortable that we'll be much more willing to turn within to touch the divine unknown that exists in the spiritual realms and in our own soul.
Of course, poverty and riches of many kinds come and go in any person's life, so we don't have to limit ourselves to interpreting the deeper meaning of only one particular phase of our lives. Each of us has moved through many phases, from infanthood to wherever we are right now. Some say that we've also had many lifetimes to boot, so that opens up everything for even more vast and creative contemplations in terms of our personal lessons and spiritual evolution.
There can be many possible reasons for any particular circumstance of life, so it's not that you're going to be able to write a thesis that neatly explains exactly why you have experienced every single circumstance. Nevertheless, the practice of exploring and contemplating who you really are definitely adds some interesting dimensions of thought and experience to even an apparently boring or mundane life.
Contemplating the deeper meanings behind outer events makes life more engaging. Even troubles can be enticing if you can see them as being rich in deeper lessons. You may find it helpful to have ongoing discussions within yourself and with other open-minded thinkers to contemplate what lessons may be on your "karmic plate," as well as on the karmic plate for the world at large.
I have found this kind of contemplation to be more potent in improving my life than just running all over trying to fix things without making efforts to decipher some of these deeper reasons and potential lessons behind whatever may feel challenging at any particular time.
Some people come, live, and die, without even trying to figure out what it all might be about. Many live lives filled mostly with worldly concerns, such as: How can I get this car? How can I get this job? How can I take care of my children? How can I find the right mate? Such questions may take up their entire sphere of day-to-day thinking, keeping these folks always focused on events they are expecting or fearing in the future, rather than allowing them to be present for every moment of their lives, as is, right here and right now.
In fact, one key to spiritual happiness is to be attentive to each moment. Even if you are thinking about something that may happen in the future, you can train yourself to think about the future while still being focused in the present moment.
Try it right now. Bring in all the tendrils of your attention and focus on this very moment. Look at yourself - your posture, your dress, your current location and environment. Look around. Listen to the sounds going on around you. Watch how you are breathing. Is there a breeze? Are there sounds or activities going on around you? Are there thoughts dwelling in your mind? Are you waiting for something, or hoping for something, or fearing for something? See if you can bring all the petals of your great flower of the mind back into the present moment, just by willing to do it.
From the present moment, think of all the many faces you've worn throughout this life and perhaps other lives, and in this world and perhaps other worlds. Behind all these faces that you've worn, there is a thread. That thread, upon which all your faces and experiences are strung, is your soul. And the divine thread of your soul is also connected with the soul fabric of everything that is known or unknown - weaving through every single person, being, and object that exists.
God dwells within you, as you.
-- Baba Muktananda
This personal and universal soul is what the ancient sages from India called Atman - the supreme Self. Some, who have experienced this Atman, have described it as a fountain of a universal happiness that the yoga scriptures call Ananda , or supreme bliss.
It is specifically to remember who they are and to enter this realm of supremely blissful Atman Soul that yogis, monastics, and meditators of many cultures and traditions have sat quietly - for minutes a day, for hours a day, or for weeks, months, years, decades, or a lifetime. The practice of meditation can certainly be a helpful support for finding spiritual happiness. It can bring peace, healing, and rejuvenation to body, mind, and spirit.
In the silence of meditation, we rest, aware. We practice being receptive, while surrendering to the purifying energy of nature's healing life force. We tap into the nourishment drip of the great Atman Soul, and receive its rejuvenating fluids into our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves. We settle back into our pure nature.
To remember and honor who we are is the root of our spiritual happiness tree.
Secrets of Spiritual Happiness
Book, e-book, and audio book
The Audio Book:
by Sharon Janis
Table of Contents
by Sharon Janis
Section One: Exploring HappinessDefining Happiness
Section Two: Introducing Spiritual Happiness
Section Three: 39 Secrets of Spiritual Happiness
3. Know Thyself
14. Choose Happiness
28. Be a Blessing
38. Enjoy the Trip!
39. Be Optimistic
Part of the Night Lotus Productions Offering
of Free Multimedia Spiritual Resources
Additional Works by Sharon Janis
Click on a book or CD cover to read excerpts or the full books online
View our videos on:
Home Page | Contact | Site Map | Books | Secrets of Spiritual Happiness | Links | Chanting and Devotional Singing | Inspiring Videos | Sanskrit Spiritual Scriptures | Nityananda | Workshops | Photographs | Kirtan Chanting | Chai | Sacred Music Concerts | About the Artist | Disclaimer | About Night Lotus | Purchasing Our Works