By José Carlos García Fajardo
The author of such beautiful books as "The Power of Meditation to Reach Balance", of which Daniel Goleman declares that he synthesizes the practice and turns it into a set of accessible and attractive exercises, talks about "meditation" but that it is not. which was understood since the Middle Ages by lectio, meditatio et contemplatio, as reflection on what was read or heard, but rather it would be about being attentive to what you do or do not do, here and now, to breathe as it should to fall into the Realize that the most eminent virtue is simply doing what we have to do. As my mother used to say, "you have to be where you are." It's not how much more the better; but the better, the more. And better in the sense of putting the heart "and with the five senses", he added. If there is something that all sentient beings do, it is to breathe, from the first gasp to the last breath.
We are all doing something every minute of the day, or doing without doing, the wu wei of Chinese wisdom. How we occupy our days is a matter of priorities. Of course, it is common sense to prioritize survival, to guarantee us enough food, shelter, clothing and medical assistance, and that our children can receive a good education. To use a university metaphor, the tasks that allow all this are the "core subjects" and the others are "electives." These depend on our values.
We can believe that it is about the search for happiness, fulfillment or a life with meaning, because as André Malraux responded to General De Gaulle, “life may not have meaning but it has to make sense to live”, here and now. Whatever our vital purpose, it will focus on people, things, circumstances or other more intangible qualities that provide us satisfaction ... or that we have no choice but to move forward and then, more than ever, not ask ourselves if we like it or we don't like what we have to do. We have been living for a long time and have sought happiness for decades. Stop for a moment, says Wallace, and ask yourself: How much satisfaction has life provided me so far?
Many of the great thinkers such as Saint Augustine, William James, Whitman or the Dalai Lama, have commented that the search for true happiness is the goal of life. They refer to something more than the search for merely pleasant stimuli. They are about a more complete and authentic well-being that comes from within. According to many specialists, true happiness is a symptom of a balanced and healthy mind, just as physical well-being is a sign of a healthy body. Nowadays, the idea prevails that suffering is inherent in life, that experiencing frustration, depression and anxiety is part of human nature. Although most of the time pain, which is a matter of the body, is confused with suffering, which is of the mind. This does not lead to anything while pain alerts us to an ailment that, once detected, must be eliminated. It is an affliction that does not bring us any benefit. When I was 18 years old, Dr. Marañón told me that the doctor's mission was to welcome, listening; eliminate pain once the cause is discovered and not interfere with nature's path to healing.
In our pursuit of happiness, Wallace argues, it is vitally important to recognize that there are only very few things we control in this world. Others - family, friends, co-workers and strangers - behave as they want, based on your ideas and goals. In the same way, we can do very little to control the economy, international relations or the environment in the hands of bastard, oligopolistic and sectarian interests bent on ignoring what I insist on calling the most lethal weapon of mass destruction that is the population explosion. that, in less than a century, took us from some 1,200 million inhabitants of the planet to almost three thousand seven hundred million of our days.
Hence, if we base the pursuit of happiness on our ability to influence other people and the world in general, we will be doomed to the most resounding failure. Our first act of freedom should be a wise choice of our priorities because, as Sakyamuni Buddha affirmed, whoever knows how to love himself will not harm the other; While he who does not know how to love himself how can he love others if no one can give what he does not have.