The Paradox Of Choice

Yogis have long known that “Less is More” and insisted on the value of simplicity and owning less. Now Psychologist Barry Schwartz enumerates the reason why more choice makes us less happy in this funny and informative TED talk.

We must get away from the belief that when others have more stuff and more choices they are happier than us. Instead we should move towards the belief that true happiness is within and by reducing possessions and simplifying our lives we can accelerate our journey within and increase our happiness.

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Global Warming: Five Questions To Ask

Global Warming

The latest report on Global Warming compiled by 250 scientists collaborating with 195 governments has come to a startling conclusion: Climate change is real and sea levels are rising faster than predicted. But climate change is confusing so here are five questions to ask:

1. Is this controversial?

Rarely do scientists agree so completely on anything. The remarkable thing about the science of climate change is the almost total unanimity of scientists on this subject. The “controversy” regarding climate change is entirely manufactured; there is no controversy amongst scientists.

2. Will it be costly?

We all know that it is much more difficult to put together anything after its broken. This applies to Climate Change too. For every dollar we do not spend fixing the problem of Climate Change our children will spend hundreds of dollars doing so.

3. Can something be done?

Yes something can be done, but the answer is not with making cosmetic changes. The answer lies with accounting for the true cost of carbon usage and making sure that those who increase the level of carbon in the atmosphere pay for removing it. Once the pricing model of energy reflects the true cost of carbon usage, a thousand flowers will bloom and alternate technologies will rise up. As these scale up the cost of energy will eventually go down not up.

4. What if scientists are wrong?

If scientists are wrong and we end up switching to wind, solar, bio-fuel, and nuclear power for no reason that would hardly be catastrophic. But if they are right and we did nothing then our children will never forgive us for our lapse in judgment. Climate change or not we are sooner or later going to run out of non-renewable conventional energy sources that we currently rely on. All this will do is force us to make the switch sooner rather than later.

5. Who will pay for it?

The cost of hurricane Sandy or Katrina was not optional. On the same lines the cost of climate change will have to be paid whether we like it or not. The cost will be like an additional tax on energy use. If we act fast the costs will be much smaller and may be equivalent to an additional tax of $1 per gallon of fuel used. It will hardly make a dent in our lifestyle and in a few years the cost will rapidly reduce to zero as alternative technologies kick in. (From year 2000 to 2013 the price of gasoline has more than doubled and we have not been reduced to poverty by this.) If we do not act then our children may have to pay a much steeper price and the higher price tag will most definitely affect their lifestyle.

Many times the answer to a problem comes only when we ask the right questions. This article seeks to frame the right questions to ask regarding climate change. Once we do this the solution to climate change hardly seems difficult, expensive, or even controversial.

Related: UN Panel Endorses Ceiling on Global Emissions – NY Times.

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah. MyLifeYoga is about health and well being, and this includes both internal and external, and also the health of our environment and those around us.

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Wisdom From The Masters

Wisdom Of The Masters

When ur truly responsible, there is a willingness to surrender.
When ur truly confident, you are willing to bow down.
The only true knowing is that one doesn’t know.
In true Stillness all noise is allowed.
In true Love all pain is accepted.
In true vulnerability lies the greatest Freedom.
True Fearlessness is walkin into fear not avoidin, or denyin it.
The highest defense is to be Absolutely open.
The highest Mantra is Thank you! for our lives jus the the way it is!

Real Peace just is!
At the heart of all experience: the most sublime to the most dreadful,
All striving, struggle & suffering is transfigured in its presence,
Everyth is transformed & let be at the same time.

Love transforms everyth into itself & lets it play as its expression,
Noth is ever excluded, it’s All inclusive even beyond the concept of inclusive,
In the end there is noth to ever fear, cause there is only Love!

- Wisdom from the Masters.

Credit: This poem has been written by Rohit Sasvehalli. It is with some reluctance he has agreed to accept credit for writing it. According to him the poem reflects the wisdom of masters such as Mooji, Rupert Spira, Adyashanti, etc., and the real credit lies with them. Hence the title. Thanks to Kiran Gulrajani of CoEvolve for bringing this poem to our attention!

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What Happens At The Time Of Death?

A beautiful video where an enlightened master is asked the age old question: What happens when we die? The question is answered in an absolutely masterful way and is worth watching multiple times to get the full depth of all that is being said. The key insight is that “all is well”. What happens depends on what we want and where we are in our journey. If we are engrossed in the world of form and have unfulfilled desires our entanglement with form will continue for more cylces. If on the other hand we have begun the process of disengagement with the world of form then our journey will progress in that direction.

Another key insight is that even for an enlightened master there is room for sorrow and grief when a loved one departs. Eckhart Tolle discusses frankly his own reaction when his parents died. He says that it is entirely possible to have the coexistence of both a place of sorrow and grief combined with an underlying current of peace.

This video is really an invitation for us. It is an invitation to build towards a level of awakening so that our journey out of desires and form begins. It is also an invitation to build a level of disengagement so that the passing of a loved one does not disrupt the underlying layer of peace.

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Four Ways To Find Meaning

Search For Meaning
All our actions are aimed towards finding happiness and avoiding sorrow. The search for happiness is the most meaningful thing we can do.

This essay should end here. But alas, finding happiness within the context of the ego is like trying to build a sand castle at the beach. Waves of discontent and sorrow will eventually reclaim it.

It is important to realize that there are two broad categories of meaningful actions. To understand this we will explore two Sanskrit words:

  • The first word is “Artha” and relates to the first category of actions. Literally it means “meaning”. And it refers to action that leads to cessation of suffering. We spend our lives in “Artha” because we find it meaningful to act in a way that diminishes suffering and provides us with happiness. Sadly the actions related to “Artha” are ego centered and we never find lasting happiness.
  • The other Sanskrit word is “Paramartha” and relates to the second category of actions. This word means “Supreme meaning”. Because of the futility of “Artha” we have to go beyond it to actions that provide deeper happiness that cannot be destroyed. Such actions are “Paramartha” and are actions that take place without the ego’s interference.

We are all naturally inclined to act in a manner that corresponds to “Artha”. Many will spend entire lives doing so. But our moment of awakening begins when we realize the futility of “Artha” and instead synchronize our actions towards “Paramartha”. This is when our journey into yoga begins.

This essay shows how to take our ordinary actions and orient them in such a way that puts us on a journey into Paramartha. If we take this journey to its logical end it leads to a permanent end of all suffering. But the journey into the extraordinary starts with the ordinary. Here are four ways to find deeper meaning in life:

1. Selfless action

A far more superior type of happiness unfolds in our life when our actions seek the happiness of others. Selfless action can happen if we can control our thoughts so that ego-driven thoughts are minimized. The challenge for us to change our orientation from “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I serve?”

2. Love and connection

Selfishness takes us away from love, while selflessness take us towards it. The happiness that comes from selfless love is far superior to the brief glimpses of happiness that arise in a love that is possessive and clinging. The challenge for us here is to build an attitude of forgiveness and let go small slights so as to not make mountains out of mole hills.

3. Knowledge and creativity

When we minimize our ego-based concerns we are able to free up tremendous amounts of energy. This energy allows us to be truly creative and gain knowledge and expertise that would otherwise be beyond us. The happiness of such creativity is far superior to the happiness gained by power and position. The challenge here is to go from “How can I prove that I am right?” to “What does this mean?”

4. Direct exploration of consciousness

We are conscious creatures and our consciousness is naturally outwardly directed. When we calm down our mind-body systems enough then we are able to direct our consciousness inwards towards itself. When this process starts we are able to gain knowledge of our true identity. The happiness arising from such knowledge is far superior to the happiness gained by being engrossed in our sensory world. The challenge here is to disengage from the sensory world and seek solitude and quiet.

Every moment in our life is an opportunity to permanently end suffering. Sadly we fritter away our lives trapped at the level of the ego unable to break free from the cycles of temporary happiness and suffering. Let us resolve to move away from this and turn our actions from “Artha” to “Paramartha”.

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Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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