I am sitting in a coffee shop on West Nanjing Road, drinking exactly what I want (latte), eating exactly what I want (a croissant), and doing exactly what I want (writing this piece). It is a beautiful spring day, and many of the people passing by on the sidewalk seem to radiate good fortune from their pores. Several are so physically attractive that I am beginning to wonder whether Photoshop can now be applied to the human body ( or they might have cosmetic surgery as it’s getting more and more popular these days.) Up and down this street, and for a mile in each direction, stores sell luxury jewelry, clothing and, cars that not even 1 percent of humanity could hope to buy.
So what did the Buddha mean when he spoke of “unsatisfactoriness” (dukkha) of life? Was he referring merely to the poor and the hungry? Or are there rich and beautiful people suffering even now? Of course, suffering is all around us — even here, where everything appears to be going well for the moment.
First, the obvious: Within a few blocks of where I am sitting are hospitals, convalescent homes, psychiatrists’ offices, and other rooms built to assuage, or merely to contain, some of the most profound forms of human misery. We know that the worst can happen to anyone at any time — and most people spend a great deal of mental energy hoping that it won’t happen to them.
But more subtle forms of suffering can be found, even among people who seem to have every reason to be satisfied in the present. Although wealth and fame can secure many forms of pleasure, few of us have any illusions that they guarantee happiness. Anyone who owns a television or reads the newspaper has seen movie stars, politicians, professional athlete, and other celebrities ricochet from marriage to marriage and from scandal to scandal. To learn that a young, attractive, talented and successful person is nevertheless addicted to drugs or clinically depressed is to be given almost no cause for surprise.
Yet the unsatisfactoriness of the good life runs deeper than this. Even while living safely between emergencies, most of us feel a wide range of painful emotions on a daily basis. When you wake up in the morning, are you filled with joy? How do you feel at work or when looking in the mirror? How satisfied are you with what you’ve accomplished in life? How much of your time with your family is spent surrendered to love and gratitude, and how much is spent just struggling to be happy in one another’s company? Even for extraordinarily lucky people, life is difficult. And when we look at what makes it so, we see that we are all prisoners of our thoughts.
And then there is death, which defeats everyone. Most people seem to believe that we have only two ways to think about death: We can fear it and do our best to ignore it, or we can deny that it's is real. The first strategy leads to a life of conventional worldliness and distraction — we merely strive for pleasure and success and do our best to keep the reality of death our of view. The second strategy is the province of religion, which assures us that death is but a doorway to another world and that the most important opportunities in life occur after the lifetime of the body. But there is another path, and it seems the only compatible with intellectual honesty. That path is — Spirituality.
What is exactly spirituality?
Traditionally, spirituality refers to a religious process of re-formation which "aims to recover the original shape of man," oriented at "the image of God" as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world. In modern times the emphasis is on subjective experience of a sacred dimension and the "deepest values and meanings by which people live, often in a context separate from organized religious institutions. Modern systems of spirituality may include a belief in a supernatural (beyond the known and observable) realm, personal growth, a quest for an ultimate or sacred meaning, religious experience, or an encounter with one's own "inner dimension.”
How to achieve spirituality and the status of “waking up”?
Personally, I found practicing yoga is super helpful. Your brain which generates your consciousness controls your body movement through each inhalation and exhalation. You are more aware of your body, your thoughts during the process, feeling alive.
I believe every yogi enjoy Savasana at the end of the practice, which is intended to rejuvenate the body, mind and, spirit. A complete yoga practice will furnish the nervous system with a host of new neuromuscular information. Shavasana gives the nervous system a chance to integrate that into a brief pause before it is forced to deal with the usual stresses of daily life once again.
In addition, I have been listening to Sam Harris’s Podcasts and reading his book — < Waking up >. If you don’t know about Sam Harris, Google “Sam Harris”. You will find all the information you need.
He wrote a whole chapter about Meditation in his book, also provided with an audio meditation guide to help you get started. I
Last night, I had an evening yoga class with my favorite instructor who has that magnetic, sexy voice and totally relaxed during the Savasana with the spiritual music he played. So I got the song's information from him. The album is called <Long Ambients> by the artist Moby, easily to memorize as LA ( Los Angeles ), the city that captured my heart. I thought it's perfect for meditation as well.
“Sharing is caring.”
To be a better human being.