On April 19th I walked into a room full of individuals without shoes on sitting on a bunch of yoga mats. I was here to see the Professional Devamrita Swami. The guru and yogi master who was supposed to teach me how to manage stress and make me “perfect”. Quick spoiler alert – obviously this didn’t end up happening.
Swami offered a few rather interesting insights on life… as a whole. First, he asked the audience what made us happy. He listened to our responses to funny stories that kids experienced from the weekend before or how the cupcake we ate at lunch made us content for the rest of the day. Swami listened and listened, then proceeded to tell us none of us had actually experienced “real happiness”. He asked if we had real happiness in the moments described then why did the feeling eventually go away. According to him, an individual needs to experience full enlightenment to gain a sense of happiness that never disappears. Perplexed with the task of becoming enlightened, the audience continued to ask questions of how we could reach this constant state of happiness. The answer was simple. Swami responded by saying, “just buy my book, then you can read and find out how”.
And my experience of becoming perfectly stress-free and relaxed turned into a stressful book-pitch and I learned that I am not ever going to be truly happy (just kidding, I strongly disagree with Swami).
However, I do not see attending this speaking event as a waste of time. In fact, it made me realize that all the small moments of happiness do matter (even though the yogi disagrees). I learned that the most important thing is to be present in the moment. I don’t think humans are meant to be constantly happy because if we were how would we move the world forward? If we never experienced the anxious feeling or urge to learn more – discoveries wouldn’t be made. Society wouldn’t progress. In fact, it is the feelings of competitiveness and curiosity (along with many other of course) that benefit the human race as a whole.