I Climbed it

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Singh on a Cycle

Do you seek happiness? Do you seek peace? I am raising my hand. My hand is up!

I struggle to stay happy these days. Existential angst can be a real angst!! Whats the meaning of this life? What have I done? Where am I going? Where do I want to go? I feel frustrated quite often. My close friends from past remember me as a smiling girl! An optimist!! I want to write I am an incorrigible optimist but thats just a nice phrase.

My ego hurts. People tell me to get a husband. Some suggest I adopt a kid. Some say I should just continue working. Rare few tell me that I am intolerant. Rarer few tell me that I am rigid. May be that number will increase. It hurts my ego further. I am not as 'complete' and as 'loving' as others. Thats why I am not happy! I have protested much too often. Thats why I am not happy. I have been a 'rebel' without a cause thats why I am not happy. I have been rebel 'with a cause' thats why I am not happy!!

Happiness is a simple thing I am told!! You problematise everything, challenge everything and you are losing out on simple joys!! Is it??

Is Happiness and Peace really that simple? Maybe sometimes but can it really be so essentialised? I don't want to give the leisure of 'being happy' but I also want meaning!

Elizabeth Gilbert throws these lines from her rather pop spiritual book-
"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it."
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)

I had not expected to like this book. But I love it.

Howard C Cutler says i his beautiful book:
Dalai Lama believes that happiness can be achieved through compassion and training the mind.

From his perspective there is an inextricable link between one's own personal happiness and kindness and caring and compassion towards others. It's not only from the Dalai Lama's perspective – from his particular view of life and Buddhist philosophy – but also from the scientific standpoint that shows that happy people are much more likely to show compassion.

What's remarkable is this amazing link between happiness and kindness towards others. Happier people are more likely to help the other person. But the Dalai Lama feels that it works the other way around as well.

That the deliberate cultivation of kindness and compassion and caring and tolerance and forgiveness and these type of things will make one a happier person.

Dalai Lama's approach to achieving happiness begins with distinguishing between spirituality and religion. To have a spiritual dimension in your life, you should appreciate your potential as a human being and recognize the importance of inner transformation through a process of mental development.

The art of happiness has many components. It begins with developing an understanding of what are the truest sources of happiness and setting your priorities in life based on the cultivation of those sources. "It involves an inner discipline, a gradual process of rooting out destructive mental states and replacing them with positive, constructive states of mind, such as kindness, tolerance, and forgiveness." To Balance is a key element of a happy life.

......Hmmm....So If I am unhappy today let me remember its not easy to be delighted with life all the time!! Life sure sucks sometimes! But it can be a romantic journey!! After all a good romance has many ups and downs...many a passionate moments!! Are 'we' ready to 'make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it'?? Well sure we are. 'We' as in me and my four brothers(read Eat,Pray,Love) and all the while we'll also remember that there'll be times when things will be tough...very very tough...but life Buddha says is a cycle!! A Bicyle!!

The wheel will keep turning...keep moving and keep travelling!


  1. I had planned to post the much overdue remarks on the Syrian sojourn but was driven towards this piece instead. Novelty has its own flavour!

    Well, Happy Singh takes us on a very thought proviking ride, at times even testing one's comprehension powers.

    Coming to the theme, i believe you have yourself answered most of the confusions that have engulfed you. But, how much in practice i'm not sure about for an upset thought pattern takes some time to settle down even when put on steroids of optimism. Such introspection and worries tend to arise at periodic intervals and goad us into seeking (often)compulsive answers.

    Living a SIMPLE life is actually of the most COMPLEX things..willing or unwilling, we keep paddling the bicycle of life.

  2. this is the first time i've read anything you wrote! i like! we are all searching for happiness... some are happy, some are content... other's just enjoy lemon juice from the lemon's they are handed... i think you and i are the lemon juice kinds!

  3. Good reading Mini. Happiness is surely over rated. As one of my friends Bhakti said once -" why is it necessary to be happy all the time? why do people keep on asking me are you happy? are you happy?" I mean really how will anyone pass one life without experiencing sorrow, anger, jealousy, madness, pain and all other emotion. may be we are making ourselves unhappy by wanting to be happy all the time? :)

  4. Hi! We'd met in a cafe in Delhi once and you'd told me this 'trick' for being happy - every day, write down things that make you happy on chits of paper and put them into a bag. By and by, your bag of happiness will grow...

    I've followed your advice and I have a big fat happy bag now.

    Thank you! :)