Sustainability From The Inside Out
...happiness blooms naturally in the hearts of those who are inwardly free. It flows spontaneously, like a mountain spring after April showers, in minds that are contented with simple living and that willingly renounce the clutter of unnecessary, so-called “necessities”—the dream castles of a restless mind. - Yogananda from How to Be Happy All The Time
What is the connection between sustainable living and the spiritual path? What is the connection between the consciousness with which we live our lives and how sustainable our lifestyle is? The most popular definition of sustainability can be traced to a 1987 UN conference: “meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Sustainability refers to a way of living that is healthy for people, the planet and its natural systems, and can go on indefinitely without exhausting resources on which human society is dependent.
This is an exciting time to be alive, when we humans are absolutely being forced to figure out how to live sustainably on this garden planet of ours. It is a time of being open and willing to change both in our outer way of living and in our inner state of consciousness.
Inner sustainability means being even-minded and cheerful, not being a victim of the roller coaster of one’s moods, emotions and desires. It means realizing that coarse or unkind words and negative emotions hurled in anger can act as weapons of mass destruction on those we love.
The path of inner sustainability involves cultivating an open heart, wide open in compassion for all beings. It involves the development of listening, communication, negotiating and compromising skills so conflict can be successfully resolved and creative solutions found. Living sustainably means to overcome fear and act from one’s center even in challenging situations.
Going deep in meditation will enable one to dwell in the still quiet place within at the center of one’s being. It is from that center that the universe’s wisdom, divine guidance or intuition will speak to you. Following that guidance we naturally live our lives in the most sustainable and healthy way!
Seek happiness more in your mind and less in the acquisition of things. Be so happy in your mind that nothing that comes can possibly make you unhappy. Then, you can get along without things you have been accustomed to. Be happy knowing you have acquired the power not to be negative. Know, too, that you will never again become so materially minded that you forget your inner happiness, even if you become a millionaire.
- Yogananda from How to Be Happy All The Time
Namaste, Darlene & Jamey