The great masters smile because they understand a big secret that few of us get at first—meditation isn’t difficult. Meditation seems difficult because it’s a mirror reflecting our lives. We make our lives difficult. We do. The masters look, and see our lives reflected in our meditation!
But they won’t tell you, you have to find out for yourself, you have to know it in your bones. You gotta “get it!” You.
So they play a game. They even help you by making everything even more difficult than it is. They will set up obstacles, send you on wild goose chases, ask impossibly absurd questions, running your brain in circles.
Why this nonsense game, this wild goose chase, this elaborate hoax? Our lives are difficult enough and yet our minds keep making matters unnecessarily more difficult with our obsessive thinking, mental suffering. And to make matters worse, we’re constantly looking for someone to tell us what to do, someone to blame when things go wrong.
The enlightened one, Gautama Siddhartha, The Buddha, actually figured that one out 2,600 years ago. He came up with one fundamentally simple rule: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
Unfortunately, most people still don’t get this simple truth today. We still want some guru, boss, parent, spouse or other authority to take responsibility … to tell us what to do … so we don’t have to. That’s just human nature … and that’s why our life’s so difficult!
We are our problem … The Buddha’s not out there.
The day came when Buddha decided it was time to pick his successor, someone who could pass on this new way of living. He came into the great lecture hall. Everyone sat patiently, expecting the great one to give them yet another lesson, telling them how to live the good life, another lecture about the four noble truths, the eightfold path, about how to make their living less difficult, how to stop the suffering.
But this time The Buddha said nothing, for a long time. The silence was dragged on and on. The crowd became restless, they wanted answers, wisdom, truths, instructions on what they should do next. Not a long silence. Tell us what to do.
After sitting for a while, Buddha silently held up a lotus flower. Said nothing.What? Why? Everyone was baffled … except one savvy monk. He got it, broke into a big smile, laughing to himself. The Buddha winked back, smiling too … for he had his man!
The same happens today, a nod, a wave, a secret handshake—you get it, you’re in. Some master smiles when you smile, when you finally figure out that life isn’t as difficult as your brain makes it. You see, meditation is a mirror of your life, a doorway to living with a smile … you get it!
Make your meditation—and your life—less difficult, discover your smile!

About the author

Paul Farrell

Dr. Farrell is a Behavioral Economist. His books include The Millionaire Code; The Millionaire Meditation: Stress Management for Wall Street, Corporate America & Entrepreneurs; The Zen Millionaire; The Winning Portfolio; Expert Investing on The Net; Mutual Funds on The Net; and The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing. He also published 1,643 columns on DowJones-MarketWatch and for years was their #1 traffic-generating columnist. Before the Internet, he edited & published FNX: Future News Index, a financial newsletter for stock market traders. Earlier he was a Wall Street investment banker with Morgan Stanley, Executive Vice President of the Financial News Network; and Associate Editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He has a Doctorate in Psychology, Juris Doctor, Masters in Regional Planning and Bachelor of Architecture. He worked on the Esalen organic farm and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as Staff Sergeant in aviation computer technology.

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