Celebration can be attributed to any reason, because the nature of our spirit is to celebrate. The new year is a time when the spirit of celebration engulfs the whole world. This is also an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and take stock of the lessons learnt. A celebration has social, emotional and spiritual components. Often, we focus on the first two and forget the third. True celebration happens when the spiritual aspect is attended to.
Very often, people ask me how I see the future. And I say that the future is for them to build however they want it. The unwise regret the past, think the future is destiny and are miserable in present. The wise see their past as destiny, the future as free will and are happy in the present.
However significant the events of the past year were at the time, looking back, you cannot see them all as anything but a dream. Reflecting on these events, what stands out is the impermanent nature of all things. Events are like stones and pebbles in the great river of time which keeps flowing unabated. In life, things are to be learnt and forgotten -- learnt so that you do not repeat the same mistakes and forgotten so that they do not leave you traumatized.
Here are four ways to a happier 2014:
Make Meditation a Part of Life
Modern life's demands lead to stress and restlessness, which can be released through a few minutes of meditation. Meditationgives you deep rest. The deeper you are able to rest, the more dynamic you will be in activity. It is the best tool to wipe your mind clean of all past impressions that weigh you down.
Often, we get pulled in different directions and are unable to devote time to ourselves. We do not take out the time to think and reflect. This can leave us dull and tired. A few quiet moments everyday are the source of creativity. Silence heals and rejuvenates and gives you depth and stability. Sometime during the day, sit for a few minutes; get into the cave of your heart, eyes closed, and keep the world away.
Make a commitment to make this world a better place to live. Do some acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. Service alone can bring contentment in life. It creates a sense of connectedness. When you bring some relief to someone through selfless service, good vibrations come to you. When you show kindness, your true nature, which is love and peace, come to the surface.
Our love, faith, and belief should be deep-rooted, and then everything else moves on its own. The feeling that "I am blessed" can help you overcome any failure. Once you realize that you are blessed, then all the complaints and grumbling disappear, all the insecurities disappear and you become grateful, contented and peaceful.
Spend time with Nature
If you are not amazed by the magnificence of this creation -- your eyes are not yet opened. Tell me, what in this creation is not a mystery? Birth is a mystery; death is a mystery. If both birth and death are mysteries, then life is certainly a greater mystery. Being completely immersed in the mystery of life and in this creation is samadhi.
Just like we live in the outer world of events and circumstances, we also live in the inner world of emotions and feelings, which we are not always aware of. The distance between the outer and the inner worlds is just the blink of an eye. Yoga is the skill of keeping attention on the inner world while acting in the outer. When you are lost in the outside world, there is disharmony in the inner world and life is like a war. When you are established in the inner world, there is clarity in the outer world and life becomes a game.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
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For more on breathing and meditation programs, visit www.artofliving.org
To attend a meditation and silence program, please visit: http://www.artofliving.org/intl-meditation-center-usa/meditation-retreat-nc
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