This beginners meditation course features a variety of meditation techniques including mantra, meditating with the breath and music, concentration and meditation on a object. Each class includes a discussion topic and a guided meditation exercise. The Meditation Society of Australia (http://meditation.org.au) has no religious, political or financial affiliations, it is a community organisation designed to help people meditate.
September 29th, 2008
Episode 34 of 51 episodes
Many of us are under the misapprehension that happiness is defined by a constancy of laughter, an absence of conflict and a lack of pain. But it is actually a much different beast, or should I say dove. Laughter without connectedness is just empty comedy, it does not last. Harmony without understanding and love is just a low form of tolerance. And no pain with no love is just a vacant existence. 'It is far better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all' (Tennyson) The real definition of happiness from a spiritual perspective is very simply about connectedness. The more connected we are with each other, nature and God the happier we will be. This happiness is about lasting fulfilment. It is not imprisoned by one or two emotions. At its highest, real and full happiness encapsulates them all. It is a little like the perfection of nature itself. It changes. Often. Some days there are cyclones, some there are tornados, often it is sunny and calm, at other times it is rainy. Every day, though, has its perfection. Every moment is faultless. Every emotion, every feeling is an expression of love the more love, the higher it will be and the more connected it will make us. As we have talked about before, pain is like this. Even anger at its highest can make us happy. Most emotions that we call negative, however, are usually about disconnecting us from each other, it is only at their absolute positive pole that they become obviously loving. I have a friend who felt the most love in her life at the funeral of her son. She was extremely sad and in pain, but there were moments were she felt immense love and connectedness. It was the saddest and happiest and most connected time of her life. Many women speak of childbirth as the most significant moment of their lives. A time of the greatest pain, but also, perhaps the most love, the most connectedness, the most happiness. For most sports people, the ultimate experience often comes at the apex of the most pain. The runner, the gymnast, the ballet dancer tell of pushing through pain to effortlessness and blissfulness. Or to be even more mainstream, if you have ever done a fun-run you will know the pain and the bliss. Many artists feel they have to have pain for them to be creative. That their best works often comes at the time of most pain. Many people that have major tragedies occur in their lives, such as an accident or other near-death experience, recall these events as turning points, often as epiphanies of great connectedness or love. Others have got very angry about an inequality or injustice and that anger has fuelled a flow of love and connectedness that became immediately immensely powerful. This oneness is born in anger but immediately is transformed via determination into the flow of love that creates enormous happiness. Some people argue that Christ was not happy being crucified, but in that great pain, I would contend, came his moments of highest connectedness and greatest happiness. To be really happy does not mean there are not events that from an outsiders point of view look painful. The happy person sees all of them as expressions of love and is therefore happy. The point is that to be truly happy we need to fill every moment, every emotion with the highest love, the highest connectedness. This is actually the nature of God if you think about it. Being omnipotent means you are involved in every thing, every experience, the difference is God is always connected and knows it, and is therefore ultimately blissful, but also full of pain. Our paths are all completed in that blissful connectedness. No matter which journey we take to get there. In the end, it is the one thing that is sure. In the beginning, the middle and the end, we are one. The highest happiness is simply being in the highest flow of love.