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Detach and Find True Happiness

While spending a month at an Ashram in India this summer, our Guru (Dr. Omanand) kept saying the same things… “Detach from your expectations, detach from your ego, detach from the external world, and let it go, true happiness and bliss comes from within.”

I wasn’t really sure what all this meant, but after months of trying to understand and practice this, I am beginning to develop awareness. I think the reason I have had a difficult time understanding this way of life and thought is because it is opposed to the Western world I live in.

In my world, a competitive, success oriented western culture, that essentially trains us to believe that things like money, nice cars, a beautiful home, respected careers, relationships, fame, talent, and family will somehow make us “happy”. We give toys to children, to make them happy. As adults, we are so happy because we have a new car, nice clothes or successful careers. And when we are not happy; we still turn to the external world to help us be happy. Unfulfilled, stressed… have a glass of wine. We live in a world of constant entertainment for our pleasure. We ask, demand, complain, judge, and fulfill our desire, lust and greed.

At the end of the day does it work? Are you happy? Or are you still stressed, uncomfortable, and anxious? Look at all the famous, successful, talented musicians and movie stars who have everything anyone could ever want, but somehow are still not happy or fulfilled.

I learned from Guruji, that Yoga is much more than what the West has turned it into, an exercise class. Yoga is about changing the mind from expecting things to help you, to the self-realization that through Anushasan (Discipline) you don’t have to be victim to the ego, situations, surroundings, stress or tension. No complaints, no wanderings, but rather centering, mindful presence, and flow of compassion.

Maharishi Patanjali starts his Yoga Sutra “Atha Yoga Anushasanam” (PYS, 1:1) “Now be disciplined and Yoga begins”. Authentic Yoga teaches us that through your own mental discipline, you can find true happiness within.

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