I'm reminded again and again that when I chant it is best to chant for the happiness of others and my own happiness. Why? Why not chant for the perfect teacher, the best house, the yummiest lover? Because desire is never fulfilled. We know this when we think we will be happy when we get that really comfy lounge delivered, or that book, or that ingredient, dress, pair of shoes, sewing machine, paint tin or that thing we think will fill the hole. That hole is never ending because we cannot become happy with stuff. It is like adding extra fuel to the fire, the fire continuously burns generating more heat. We need to add more to the fire and it just gets bigger and bigger.
We become happy from the inside out, not the outside in.
If I chant/pray for very specific certain things these things might not be the best things for me right now. How do I know what is good for me right now? I can't see into the future. What I think I need one day can very well change the next. We all know those situations. Imagine you want to enrol in a university course. You chant obssessively for this desired outcome. You get in and then realise that this course is really not you. Getting out of the situation is costly, irksome, uncomfortable. Our mind so easily gets caught up in the intellect, the details, the desire, the want. The mind - it being a very cheeky, drunk monkey - runs away with things. It starts thinking what if, maybe this would be better, blah, blah, blah. Our sweet, dear exhausted mind hops back on that treadmil, around, around, around.
Time to get off.
We all want happiness - I'm sure about that - so how do we develop it?
We start by understanding that we are not this mind. We are eternal bliss divine. This is our nature. It is just that we are caught up in this material life. We are easily swayed by 'things.' I'm highly suggestable. So we become aware of the mind. We watch it like a movie. Slowly, step by step we can recognize why the mind is reacting the way it is and we can become detatched from the mind. It is a little bit like observing a child having a tantrum. Watch, understand, be gentle, sooth the mind. Stand back become the witness. Don't try to control the mind, simple watch it.
In meditation the mind is quietly observed like a movie. The 'stuff' or dross comes up and if there is no reaction it simply sloughs off and up to never return.
The things I need to sort out in mind I look at from every angle. I work out what the 'problem' is. I look for solutions. I find resolves, action. I find amongst most things, hope. The concept to never give up, to never disparage.
I turn my mind to a higher consciousness. I feel happy when I'm sitting at my altar. Life is peaceful there. Sometimes it is a torrent. But I can choose to simply watch it - no reaction.
I replace the negative thought not by supressing it but instead by not-reacting to it. The weeds in my mind turn up and die. I replace it with a higher vibration - mantra. It brings me back to my true self.
Eventually the mind becomes silent, eventually, eventually.
I chant for happiness and the happiness of all other sentient and non-sentient beings.
May you be eternally happy.