Way to Happiness!
Posted on May 5th, 2013

Compiled  by Orpheus Perera

 Happiness

We now live in a world where everybody is rushing with high ambitions to get all the materialistic things in the world. Every day there are new things coming up and we keep on chasing them. In this endless chase we get into stressful conditions . We need to spend some time with our-selves .

We will realize that we can be happy with few of these materials.

Relaxing your body and mind can be achieved by your-self without much effort. This will naturally lead you to observe Sathi-Pattana’ meditation as taught in Buddhism.  For a practicing Buddhist this can be the first step in the path to Nibbana, the  internal happiness. For the others, this may help to realize some of your wishes provided that you don’t wish for too many things.

What is Sathi Pattana?

The “four foundations of mindfulness” are canonically described bases for maintaining moment-by-moment mindfulness and for developing mindfulness through meditation. The four foundations of mindfulness are:

Mindfulness of the body

Mindfulness of feelings (or sensations)

Mindfulness of mind (or consciousness)

Mindfulness of mental phenomena (or mental objects).

Once you have mastered the relaxation meditation you may be able to heal your-self. In my experience so far I can get rid of muscular pains and aches caused by cramps.

The process of meditation will lead  you to clear your mind of Puncha Neevarana dharma, the mental objects that hinder the path to (nirvana) internal happiness.

They are as explained in Buddhist teachings:

 Sensual desire (kamacchanda)

Anger, jealousy,  ill will, cruelty and hatred (vyapada)

Sloth and torpor (thina middha)

 Excitement and worry (uddacca kukkucca)

 Doubt , and perplexity (vichikicca)

Other factors arising from the factors above are explained in Sallekha Sutta( The Discourse on Effacement) in Mujjihma Nikaya in Suthra pitakaya*.

*Suthra Pitakaya  is one of the 3 Buddhist texts. The 3 texts are Abidharma Pitakaya, Suthra Pitakaya and Vinaya Pitakaya

 The 44 items of Effacement

 1) Others will be harmful; we shall not be harmful .

 2) Others will kill living beings; we shall abstain from killing living beings

 3) Others will take what is not given; we shall abstain from taking what is not given.

 4) Others will be unchaste; we shall be chaste.

 5) Others will speak falsehood; we shall abstain from false speech.

 6) Others will speak maliciously; we shall abstain from malicious speech .

 7) Others will speak harshly; we shall abstain from harsh speech.

 8) Others will gossip; we shall abstain from gossip.

 9) Others will be covetous; we shall not be covetous.

 10) Others will have thoughts of ill will; we shall not have thoughts of ill will. 

 11) Others will have wrong views; we shall have right view

  12) Others will have wrong intention; we shall have right intention.

 13) Others will use wrong speech; we shall use right speech .

 14) Others will commit wrong actions; we shall do right actions .

 15) Others will have wrong livelihood; we shall have right livelihood

  16) Others will make wrong effort; we shall make right effort

  17) Others will have wrong mindfulness; we shall have right mindfulness. 

 18) Others will have wrong concentration; we shall have right concentration .

 19) Others will have wrong knowledge; we shall have right knowledge.

 20) Others will have wrong deliverance; we shall have right deliverance.

 21) Others will be overcome by sloth and torpor; we shall be free from sloth and torpor.

 22) Others will be agitated; we shall not be agitated.

 23) Others will be doubting; we shall be free from doubt.

 24) Others will be angry; we shall not be angry .

 25) Others will be hostile; we shall not be hostile.

 26) Others will denigrate; we shall not denigrate.

 27) Others will be domineering; we shall not be domineering.

 28) Others will be envious; we shall not be envious .

 30) Others will be fraudulent; we shall not be fraudulent.

 31) Others will be hypocrites; we shall not be hypocrites.

 32) Others will be obstinate; we shall not be obstinate.

 33) Others will be arrogant; we shall not be arrogant.

 34) Others will be difficult to admonish; we shall be easy to admonish.

 35) Others will have bad friends; we shall have noble friends.

 36) Others will be negligent; we shall be heedful.

 37) Others will be faithless; we shall be faithful.

 38) Others will be shameless; we shall be shameful.

 39) Others will be without conscience; we shall have conscience.

 40) Others will have no learning; we shall be learned.

 41) Others will be idle; we shall be energetic.

 42) Others will be lacking in mindfulness; we shall be established in mindfulness.

 43) Others will be without wisdom; we shall be endowed with wisdom .

 44) Others will misapprehend according to their individual views, hold on to them tenaciously and not easily discard them; we shall not misapprehend according to individual views nor hold on to them tenaciously, but shall discard them with ease .

   Meditation

 Directing your-self to relax

1.First of all find a chair where you can keep your back straight and the legs strait, so that your feet are     resting well on the ground.

2. Close your eyes , rest your hands on your lap and hold your thumb and   first finger  both hands) in Vitarka Mudra.

Vitarka Mudra                  

 3.  Concentrate on top of your head, be aware of the scalp and relax the scalp and the top of your head. Feel how  your head become relaxed.

4. Once you feel scalp and the top of the head is relaxed move your attention to your forehead.

    Feel the pulses on either side of the forehead. Now relax your forehead.

5. Once you feel that forehead is relaxed, gradually move your attention to your eyes. Be aware of the tiny muscles around the eyes. Relax all the tiny muscles and feel how the relaxations run all over you. Now relax your eyes and move your attention to your cheeks.

   Feel the warmth of blood flowing inside your cheeks. Now relax your cheeks and then your jaws.

6.  Now move the attention to your neck. Be aware of the back of your neck front of your neck, left     side of your neck and the right side of your neck. Relax all these neck muscles.

7. Once the neck is relaxed move your attention to the shoulders. With your mind, feel the shoulder muscles and solder  blades. Now relax your solder muscles and solder blades. At the same time you can relax your hands.

8.  Now move your attention  to your chest. Be aware of the expansion and contraction of your lungs as you breathe  in and out. Maintain this mind fullness for about one minute. Now tell your-self “I set my lungs to expand and contract in a rhythmic manner” and “I relax my chest muscles”.

9.  Now move your attention to your stomach. Be aware of the heart beating above the stomach. Now tell your self “I set my hear to beat at a regular speed”. Now slowly move your attention to your stomach area it-self.

10. If you have a knowledge of the organs inside your stomach, imagine each and every organ inside. Now tell your-self ” I set all the organs inside my stomach to function in a healthy manner”. Then “I relax my stomach muscles”.

11. Now move your attention down to your thighs. Relax your thighs.

12 When the thighs are relaxed move your attention to your knees. Relax your knees.

13 Now  move the attention further down the legs,  to your calf muscles at the back of the leg below the knees.

13. Now relax your calves and move the attention to your ankles.

14 Relax your ankles and then the feet and  your toes.

15. Tell your-self in your mind  ” Now my body is fully relax”.

16 Move your attention from your toes up to your head, following the same path of your anatomy as above in reverse order.

If the meditation is for the sole purpose of reaching a “ƒ”¹…” Jhana’ with the intention of working towards the Nirvana According to the opinion of Buddhist scholars this takes many life times), you can skip the next  3 steps.

17  Now let your mind wander off to a place you like   place such as a botanical garden or near a river). Visualize the environment. The birds, butterflies flowers. Listen to the birds singing and relax your mind. When your mind is relaxed, it is time to re-program your mind. Remove all the negatives put on you by others when you were very young. Think that you are great and you can achieve what ever you want. For example, if you like to travel, imagine that you are flying and going to see the places you like. Imagine your-self in   that place as you have seen in pictures or travel guides).

             Do not put a time frame.

18 At the end of the visualizations return to the environment and then to your-self .

                   Now you can open your eyes and end the relaxation or continue your meditation on a    selected topic.

The best meditation  to continue after relaxation, is “ƒ”¹…”Ana Pana sathi’ awareness of the air going in and out of the nose as you breath in and out ( mindfulness of feelings ). As  for beginners it is sufficient to practice this  for about ten minutes a day.

Once you have managed to keep your mind and body together in one place be aware of your mind. Be aware of the thoughts  that come to your mind. At the same time you have to be aware of your surroundings and what you are doing.

 Meditation of loving kindness and compassion Maithri Bavana

This is a good meditation as per Buddhist teaching to clear oneself of two of the obstacles to Nirvana KamachChanda and Vya pahdha).

Generally this is a good meditation to practice controlling your anger, jealousy, ill will cruelty and hatred, which are bad karma for this life as a layman, to have progress in work place and general day to day life. Meditation of  “ƒ”¹…”Meththa’ is a good anger management tool and as I wish of all the people in this world practice this we will have a peaceful world for us to live.

The best time of the day to practice Maithri Bavana is  early in the morning. This will help you to get through your day without bad incidents.

If you can practice it just before sleep, you will have less or no nightmares.

 This meditation can be done seated in a comfortable position, not necessarily the lotus position and easier just after doing the Breathing breath out awareness meditation “ƒ”¹…”Ana Pana Sathi’), because by the time you will have your body and mind together.

 I clear my mind of Lust, anger, jealousy, ill-will, cruelty and hatred

My mind is clean, my heart is pure

Now I fill my clean mind with peaceful and sublime thoughts of loving kindness, compassion and sympathetic  joy

At this stage you have to be aware of your body and your thoughts.

Repeat for nine times

“May I be well and happy, may I be strong healthy and peaceful!”

After repeating the above thoughts for 9 times

While moving your attention from top of your head down to your toe think;

“Now I charge all the particles of my system with loving kindness and compassion”

“Now my body is fully saturated with loving kindness and compassion”

“Now I have elevated my-self, I have ennobled my-self”

“May I be well and happy, may I be strong healthy  and peaceful!”

“Now I create an Aura of loving kindness and compassion around my body”

Imagine an aura around you.

“By means of this aura, I will cut off all the evil vibrations and I  will protect my mind from anger jealousy, ill will cruelty and hatred”.

“Now , what I have achieved I give to others”.

Now repeat the next step for nine times. Maintaining the awareness  of your thoughts as  it moves away from your body. As you move your attention out imagine that the rays from your body is being emitted and  touch others .

Think of your family , neighbors, relatives, friends, associates, enemies , entire world, all the beings on the earth and then in the universe.

” May they be free from  anger jealousy , ill-will cruelty and hatred!”

“May they be free from suffering!”

“May they be well and happy!, May they be strong, healthy and peaceful!”

 Awareness of the environment

There has never been a time when the politicians and  academies have been so much aware of the environment.  The environment is polluted so much in the past , the rate of the increase of the danger to the life on this planet is accelerating. The environment pollution also contribute the global warming. There may be other factors such  as the  change in the pattern of solar emission of heat. But we can do lot to slow down the dooms day.

The main culprits of this problem  are the human beings, our fathers and grandfathers. I mean  the people who lived in luxury and over used  the resources and pollute the environment.

 ***

Few decades ago we rarely met or heard about people suffering  from Diabetes, cancer or heart related ailments.  Majority of the people naturally  got their bodies to exercise, by walking to the bus stand , railway station or walking to the shops. Even the domestic chore provided the body some exercise to keep it healthy. We have come to stage that we don’t even walk to the TV to change the channels or turn the TV on and off.

 Compiled  by Orpheus Perera

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