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What is in the way of happiness?

Magdi Badawy, 03-07-2024

Hello, everyone
Lovely to be with you.

This meeting will start with a brief meditation
Then we can have a discussion, questions
whatever you want to explore

So sit comfortably and welcome
Welcome yourself
Meaning welcome your experience
just as it’s appearing to you

As best as possible, do nothing

Simply be with full availability
to whatever is appearing to you

A sort of relaxation in presence
Like taking a break
Taking a break from the mind
From the world

Just for now, sink deeper and deeper
In not-knowing
In being
The simplicity of being

Whatever appears to you
Maybe some thoughts or
Sensations in the body
They are neutral

Meaning, there is nothing you need to do

Notice the gentle breath
The soft movement in the belly, in the chest

The warmth of the body
The heartbeat

Notice how in this moment of being
In this moment of presence
There is no one doing anything

In a way
Whatever is unfolding
Is unfolding on its own

And there is no distance
No separation

It’s so lovely when there is this inner quiet
Not trying to fix anything or get somewhere
Or remember something.

Like a child in mother’s arms
Abandoned in her embrace and her love

Simply noticing without knowing what we are noticing
Being without knowing what being is

The mind appears to you
Meaning thoughts, images
They appear to you

Nothing happens to you
You may perceive a beautiful sunset or a stormy sky

The surface of the ocean may be quiet or windy
Maybe there is some movement within the body
Nothing is happening to you

And, in a deeper sense
Nothing is happening at all

Like, waves on the surface of the ocean
Nothing is happening to the ocean

But when we struggle with the waves
Wanting the surface of the ocean to be quiet
This very struggle that defeats the peace
Veils the screen

What stands in the way of happiness and peace?
What is it we’re trying to protect
To maintain, to safeguard?

The world-body-mind is constantly in flux
The dance of Shiva.

What is it that wants to interfere with this dance?

We are not apart from this dance
The totality of it

And there is this transparent
Silent, still aware presence
It’s always there.

Whenever we take a look at being
The transparency of being
It’s right there
The elephant in the room
Not visible to the senses

But the senses are merely an instrument
To perceive the play, the human play
Part of the grand design

The Maya

Sometimes we sit on the bank of a stream or a river
We love watching the flow of the river
The flow of the stream.
Hearing the sound of the gurgle of the brook
The birds chirping

Inwardly, it is possible for us to sit on the bank of the stream
Watching the stream

Now and then a leaf may fall
Onto the surface of the stream
And we may decide to pick a stick
and play with it or not

There is no personal goal
Or something we’re trying to attain
We’re amazed by how the stream flows

And yet, we live
spinning around personal concerns
We want peace and happiness
And at the same time
we want our personhood to flourish
We want safety for the personhood

So the mind and the body become very engaged
In fixing, managing, adjusting
Correcting, resisting, blaming, avoiding

The complexity of trying to safeguard an illusory me-character
Trying to safeguard my family
My tribe, my goods, my future
The future of my tribe
My ancestry, my progeny

Can we see this complex process
Of maintaining a personal identity
Being so preoccupied about this me, this me-hood?

And then the ray of the sun shines
Through the window,
Onto our face, onto the desk

Such effortlessness and creativity

The preoccupied mind
Preoccupied with the me-bubble
Me, inside my bubble
Overlooks the beauty

And now and then, we see through it
A glimpse into the illusion of a separate entity

A collapse of the structure
A moment of pure happiness and peace
And Aha!

It’s always available to us, this Aha!
I am not what I imagine myself to be
I am not defined by the structures of the mind
Not defined by the shape of the body
I am not what I believe myself to be

I am is!
I am is undeniable and transparent
This invisible reality
Which right now is
And knows it is
I am, and I know that I am

Sat Chit Ananda

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