Our bunny was with us all day yesterday. He (or she?) lives under the big blue spruce tree outside the front door of our townhome and we like to think of him as our mascot.
In any case, there he was. And as I watched him nibbling happily at the new spring grass I thought, "Hey. Spring is coming. What a great time to share some thoughts about happiness and inner peace with my readers." So here we go.
35 steps to happiness and inner peace
1. Yes, the world is in a bit of a fix. But the stars still come out every night just where you'd expect to see them.
2. Your body may be aging but the unconquerable spirit that you truly are is not aging at all.
3. How could your being age? Being doesn't have a form. It exists outside of the range of time and space.
4. Who you truly are is unborn, and undying.
5. Are you grieving the loss of a loved one? The truth of that loved one is timeless, just as you too are timeless.
6. I lost my dad a little over 10 years ago. But I feel the presence of his indomitable spirit more strongly now at times than I ever did when he was here in physical form.
7. How come laughter is so contagious? On the news last night my wife and I saw a clip of this cute baby laughing its head off every time a letter was torn up in front of its face. It only took a moment or two -- and JoAnn and I were laughing as hard as the baby.
One being. One spirit. One whole.
8. We think we are separate, individual beings. And we are, I suppose, up to a point. But we are also one. One being. One spirit. And one whole.
9. You don't have to do great things to change the world. Just be still for a moment amid the clamor and turmoil -- and the whole world is affected immediately. The world has a calm center, and it is you.
10. The human voice is a miracle. It's a conveyor for love. Just for fun, try using your voice sometime to comfort yourself. For example, you could say: "It's all right." Or, "Be strong." Or, "You always do your best." It sure comforts me sometimes, makes a difference to how I feel.
11. Respect is at the core of our divine character. Determine to live one day with total respect for people, Nature, and circumstances. It will change your life.
12. Be kind. Kindness is one of the most powerful forces in the world.
13. Are you afraid you may get to the end of your life and find it was all in vain? I have some good news. It's never too late to be still for a moment -- and realize that who you truly are is already redeemed, and already whole. You are already worthwhile, and nothing can make you more worthwhile than you already are.
14. I used to think that stillness was a nonentity, a kind of emptiness, a waste of time. But that was then and now is now. Now I know that stillness is the very source of happiness and peace. It is the truth I was seeking for so long until one day I stopped, and simply surrendered to the source of my being.
15. Do you love rivers? Find a nice stream and gently, with love, let all your regrets be carried away to some faraway ocean.
Which world will you choose?
16. There are two attitudes to life, and they create very different worlds. One attitude is characterized by truth and love and compassion. One is toxic with fear, anger and greed. Which world will you choose?
17. As long as we are in this world, feelings of fear will arise in us. But they don't come only to warn us of danger -- they come also to be blessed, and set free in the light of our own true presence.
18. Are you at a low point in your life? Does it seem as if all is lost? Take heart. There is one thing you can never lose -- and it is your own unconquerable spirit.
19. You are a masterpiece. You always have been a masterpiece. You don't have to add anything to the light that you already are. All you have to do is let it shine more brightly through you.
The truth is true, and all is well
20. A favorite quote from my mentor long ago went like this: "The truth is true, and all is well. Unconquerable life prevails."
21. Do you love birds? Of course you do. Birds remind us that we too can fly -- it is why we have the gift of imagination.
22. When you fulfill your primary purpose in this world, that is, to know yourself and be at peace with your life, all of Nature gives a deep sigh of relief.
23. When you stay true to the wisdom and truth of your own being there is nothing you cannot meet, and no despair that does not contain a blessing within its wings.
Be strong and of a good courage
24. Be strong, and of a good courage. There is a reason why the Angel loves to speak these words to us.
25. The truth is not a teaching, and a teaching is not the truth.
26. Is something troubling you? Don't get agitated. Don't try to push the thought away. Don't try to draw it closer to you either. Just be still, and listen to the wisdom of your own unconquerable being speaking through the fear.
27. Happiness is our natural state.
28. Happiness comes from within. But there's a paradox here. It was only when I stopped looking for happiness in the external world -- gave up on it, you might say -- gave myself up for lost, to be honest -- that I became conscious of the happiness that is permanently present at the core of our being.
29. When we become conscious of our own true presence it doesn't take much to give us joy.
30. Seeing a bird will do it. Or waving to a neighbor as I drive out of our complex, or even -- can you believe this? -- going to the supermarket.
31. Sipping a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, watching a child at play, going to the gym, sitting in my chair or going for a walk... they can all give us pleasure.
32. But while pleasure and pain come and go like storms at sea who we truly are does not change.
What is true is never lost
33. Death is a loss, yes. It can wrench us to the bone. When my first wife died suddenly of a stroke on our 25th wedding anniversary, I was numb with shock not just for a day, but for years.
But now I see that what is true in a person never dies. Only the forms that life creates through which to shine its splendor actually see birth and death.
34. Another favorite quote. This is from the Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi: “Discover the undying Self and be immortal and happy."
35. We will live in a very different world when we replace the fear of death with an increasing awareness of our own divine essence -- and the gifts of the loving universe of which we are a part.