The Bliss of a Vacation from the Internet

MedGalWalkingRecently I was on vacation, and with the exception of a few email checks, I also took a vacation from the Internet. Though I have done this many times before, I was still amazed at the blissfulness of the mind without the energetic push and pull of the Internet. The mind is so much more quiet and unconcerned with the goings-on of the world when released from the tyranny of the Internet :–). I highly recommend you give yourself a vacation from the Internet the next time you go on vacation.

Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. © 2013 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Live in an area with good energy

Pink FlwrsWhere you choose to live is extremely important. There are some places on the planet that have better energy than others. Places with good energy make you feel better, more awake and more inspired. Everything seems brighter, edges seem more defined. Places with less energy make you feel dull, sleepy, even hopeless. This may sound strange at first but when you think back on specific places you have visited and how you have felt uplifted or dulled by them, you can see how where you live affects your day-to-day energy level and happiness. With this in mind, it makes sense to spend more money for a place with good energy than to spend less for a physically similar place that doesn’t have much energy. The savings from living in an energetically low neighborhood cost you in many other ways, but primarily in that you don’t have the energy or inspiration to do whatever it is you want to do! That being said, be sure not to spend more than you can afford on your living space, since living above your means is one of the shortest paths to stress, worry and unhappiness.

To find a house or apartment that works for you, pay attention to how you feel when you are in the place. If a place has a lot of positives and fits your needs from a practical perspective, but something just doesn’t click despite it seeming right in every way, it’s not the right place. On the other hand, if you walk in and feel a smile on your face and think “Yes!,” this is a good place for you. This methodology may sound childish, but it is your non-physical body that is assessing the energy of the place. This part of you is more intelligent than your mind and is better at assessing energy. After you try this method and see how well it works, you will lose your skepticism.

© 2013-20 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Core Practice: Meditate daily

MedGalSitting

Meditation calms you down. It chills you out. It makes you sharper and smarter. It can improve your health and make you feel younger. But most importantly, it makes you happy!

When you meditate you go into the light inside of you, the light that makes up everything and everyone. It’s the light of eternity and it’s happiness itself. So when you meditate, you are making yourself more available to the light in your being, which literally makes you happy!

When you meditate you come to have silent knowledge about the universe that makes some of the seemingly harsh and random events of life more understandable. You come to see that you are not just your body and your mind, but that there is a part of you that lives beyond the death of the body. You see that who you truly are is eternal.

This might sound simplistic or fantastical, so you have to check it out for yourself to see that it is true. In fact, one of the reasons I like the practice of meditation is that it’s not about blindly believing what someone preaches to you, but rather finding out for yourself what is true.

For meditation instruction, download the free eBook on How to Meditate.

© 2013-20 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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How to Be Unhappy

(Reposting as this is one of the funniest and most liked posts. A day in the life, inspired by the use of inversion for illumination. Meant to be humorous—mostly!)

  1. Go to bed latethat way you can use the snooze button excessively when the alarm jolts you awake, have a rushed meditation, and never feel quite refreshed throughout the day.
  2. Eat foods that are convenient and tasty, but make you feel uncomfortable, whether they give you congestion, heartburn, gas, or constipation. (Or, bonus, degrade your health long-term!)
  3. Take the most obvious/congested route to work during peak commute, so you can stew in the impatience and low-grade anger of your fellow commuters.
  4. Check your phone constantly, that way you can receive small injections of bad energy throughout the day (if checking the news), or you can become numb to the true wonder and beauty of the world, like when checking Instagram to see endless photos of beautiful and wonderful things. Bonus: checking your phone constantly keeps you from having solid blocks of concentration that are foundational to meaningful work!
  5. Talk shit about others! Nothing drags you down more than criticizing colleagues, friends and family.
  6. Say yes to everything—projects and work you’re not interested in, so you (seemingly) please the boss; and social events that bore you and keep you from your true interests, so you please your family and acquaintances.
  7. Watch TV instead of exercising, or even better than TV, spend a lot of time on the Internet. Click on every article that sounds scandalous, critical or gossipy. Go down rabbit holes, and for an extra dose of anger and righteousness, read the comments!
  8. Stay indoors a lot—nothing keeps you in the same headspace as staying in the house.
  9. Ignore your “gut” and niggling feelings, and instead squash or cover them with your drug of choice: alcohol, drugs, butterfat, TV, internet, video games, etc.
  10. Play small, and give up easily. Hew to the limited mind set or agenda delivered to you by your family and upbringing. Don’t go for the thing you really want, like a big career move or Enlightenment. But if you do go for it and experience some opposition or impediments, give up quickly and take it as a sign you were never meant to change.
  11. Let your mind wander all over the place and particularly indulge in negative emotions, like hatred, anger and sadness. Pretend that negative emotions have more reality and value than love.

© 2019-20 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Silence of the Buddha

buddha

The historical Buddha refrained from answering many of his students’ metaphysical questions, such as whether a self exists or not, whether an enlightened being continues to exist after death or not, or if the world is eternal or not. This is often referred to as the silence of the Buddha. The Buddha said he was silent on these questions because they didn’t lead to liberation, but instead were a distraction.

The Buddha illustrated his position in the parable of a woman who has been hit by a poisoned arrow. The woman is taken to a doctor, who wants to remove the arrow at once. But the wounded woman cries out, “The arrow shall not be pulled out until I know who the man is who shot me, to what family he belongs, if he is big, small, or of medium build, and if his skin is black, brown or white.” Just as the woman wounded by the arrow would have died before she got the answer to her questions, so the student would be laid low by the suffering of the world before solving these metaphysical questions.
—Paraphrased from the “Silence of the Buddha” entry in The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion

Sara Weston is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR, IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

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Core Practice: Keep Your Mind Quiet

Keep-Your-Mind-Quiet3

Our incessant internal dialogue—all of the strategizing, defending, regurgitating and worrying that we do—covers our true nature. When you stop thought, you directly experience that you are made of light, Consciousness, God (you choose your favorite word).

Keeping the mind quiet won’t make you unconscious or an idiot. Rather you become wiser as you begin to see the vast wisdom that is at your core. You’ll find that you begin to understand things without having to think them through and that you have access to greater knowledge that isn’t available to you when your mind is a cyclone of thoughts and concerns.

But keeping your mind quiet is hard to do in our digital, socially-networked world, where we are constantly bombarded with information and never out of reach from…anyone! How do you do it? The answer is simple—you meditate. For instruction on how to meditate, download the free eBook on How to Meditate.

© 2013-2019 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Wait—I’m thinking more now that I’m meditating!

Since I started to meditateA concern I hear frequently from folks who’ve recently started meditating is that they feel like they are thinking even more while they’re meditating than they did when they first started.

What’s really going on is that when you begin meditating and practicing mindfulness, you become aware of the quantity and quality of thoughts that flow through your mind. You’re not really thinking more, you’re just more aware now of what is flowing through your mind.

Be patient with yourself. The number of thoughts that go through your mind will slow down the longer you practice meditation. You may always have thoughts flowing through your mind at the beginning of your meditation, but what changes is that they begin to slow down more quickly the longer you practice.

© 2019 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

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You Are Not Your Mind

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Your mind is an amazing and essential tool, but it is not who you truly are. All the thoughts and ideas that run through our minds feel very close, like “us,” so it can certainly feel like our minds define who we are—but if you put your mind on “Pause” for a moment and stop your thoughts, you will find that there is still a presence there. You find that you are still there even when your mind is not thinking.

What is that presence that is still there when the mind is gone? I can tell you that it is your true self, the light and consciousness that make up everything and everyone. But it’s not very transformative to read that. What’s powerful is to experience that eternality for yourself! What’s transformative is to start meditating and slowing down the mind so you can find out for yourself that who you truly are is beyond the mind and the body, is eternal and is good.

Everyone at their core is made of this light. Both the best person and the worst person have this light at their core. What this means for you is that this light is inside you and available to you all the time, but you have to slow down your mind to be able to see it. So, yes again, meditate!

Download a free eBook on How to Meditate here.

© 2019 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

Download on the App Store

Don’t judge your meditation

Lakshmi-Yantra

It’s important to not judge your meditation. The only bad meditation is the one you don’t do! The truth is even when you have meditations that don’t feel as “good” or “powerful” as others, the light is still transforming you. It’s still working, even if it doesn’t feel like a good meditation to you.

© 2013-2019 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

Download on the App Store

Eliminate the Extraneous

“One of the great secrets of life that Buddhist monks have learned from their study of meditation is how to eliminate anything extraneous from their minds. If something doesn’t contribute to their happiness and well-being, or to the happiness and well-being of others, they are able to remove it from their thoughts and keep their minds focused on what does matter.”

— One Buddha or another