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The Happiness Project (Original)

Nearly all humankind is more or less unhappy, because nearly all do not know the true Self. Real happiness abides in Self-knowledge alone. All else is fleeting. To know one’s Self is to be blissful always.
~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, the sage of Arunachala

arunachala
APPROACHING ARUNACHALA – TIRUVANNAMALAI, SOUTH INDIA

I originally started the Happiness Project as a quest for true happiness and the holy grail of eternal bliss in 2003 in New York (way before the happiness craze and any New York Times bestsellers on the Subject). I ended up in India a year later with nothing but my video camera and a few personal possessions, as I adventured in search of the illustrious goal until spring 2005.

Here’s a fun clip from the video in India:

I think you can get a sense of the energy there…

Upon my return from India the world fell apart beneath my feet, compounded by the loss of my sister, Ananda Colombo, in a car accident in 2006. I spent a couple years scrambling to keep it all together, and eventually realized that it was far better to actually be in a state of grace than try to explain what a state of grace looked and felt like.

That’s when it all started to finally come together, leading to where you are now.

More of the incredible footage and interviews I captured from those earlier days of my journey will all eventually be revealed — much of it here — in due time. The original website (www.thehappinessproject.com) has been redirected to this site here at Fierce Wisdom.

From the Archives: I published this piece in October 2008, on my second trip to India. I think it captures the essence of the whole issue, and is surprisingly relevant to what I’m investigating now —

What does it mean to truly be a master of yourself?

That’s the question I’ve asked myself over and over since I met the tantric yogi master, Swami Amrit, who asked me the same question four years ago on my last visit to India. I think this last week I may have come up with the answer…

himalayas

Crouching at the Edge - Himalayas, North India

I’m writing from an internet shop in Pondicherry, India, drenched in cold sweat. The heat is syrupy and thick in the air, stifling any progress with the energetic pull of quicksand. The power is out again, it drops out intermittently day and night and everyone waits…we’re running on backup power now – any minute without warning the battery charge is finished and all systems are down. This is the tenuous nature of life here – the relentlessly stifling flow of time that forces me to reconsider the worthiness of just about every dream and goal I’ve ever considered undertaking.

I’ve been in India for a month and a half now – it’s taken me this long to just get to the point where I can begin to process this whole experience in a way that can reasonably be put into words. Here I begin to make an attempt at the endeavor: Continue Reading →

The Power and Practice of Mindfulness : Jack Kornfield + Jon Kabat-Zinn – Wisdom 2.0 Conference

Friday, Feb. 25th 2011 – Wisdom 2.0 Conference Evening talk:

Jon Kabat-Zinn and Jack Kornfield discuss the accelerating expansion of human consciousness and the implications of living mindfully, from a perspective spanning 40 years at the leading edge of this work.

A level of discussion which would only have been found in very exclusive circles just a few years back. Impressive and a joy to witness. Full talk.

The Power and Practice of Mindfulness
With Jon Kabat-Zinn and Jack Kornfield

Interviewed by Soren Gordhamer.

Anchoring Into a Life of Freedom (2 mins + 43 secs in the Fire with Danielle LaPorte)

I have a lot to say about this subject. But for now, I’m passing the mic over to Danielle LaPorte: (honestly, she’s quite a bit more eloquent than me)

These are some of my favorite juicy bits from my interview with Danielle for Freedom Business Summit. (Actually about 15-20 life-changing anchors you can put into use immediately to set your life and work on fire. Enjoy…)

danielleIf you’re at all on the fence about getting Danielle’s Fire Starter Sessions, I can tell you from experience you won’t be disappointed (as long as you’re willing to do the work). Life changing.

NOTE: for a really short time you can get Danielle’s “True Strengths + the Metrics of Ease” (part of the fire starter sessions) as part of Karol and Baker’s insane 72-hour sale with 23 lifestyle design + freedom business ebooks, guides and planners for the cost of one or two….

[UPDATE -- that sale's over now, but you can still get on the list there for the next one -- and of course, the Fire Starter Sessions are still here to kick you lovingly in the ass...! :) xo]

With Love and Passion,

satya-sig

What are you feeling around your work…your relationships…your “stuff” — ? What do you want to feel? What energies are you anchored into in your life and work and dreams…?

Share this with those buttons there, and thanks for your support…!  :)

How one small idea can and does change the world: The Girl Effect

A short intro:

Tara Sophia tweets about her project to get 100 bloggers involved in writing about The Girl Effect — a new initiative to help fund education and entrepreneurial efforts by girls in developing countries. If you watch this video, you’ll get it. A brilliant idea, and a growing movement:

The premise is simple and brilliant. The movement is powerful. The problem is epic, as Sunitha Krishnan explains in this engaging and important video on child sex slavery:

What I love about this, is it just demonstrates the power of a single idea, coupled with the initiative to take action around it. (A lot like what Tammy Strobel talks about in our interview for the Freedom Business Summit Small Steps to Making a Big Impact and Changing the World.)

I re-tweeted Tara’s post, and then she took the step to say — “hey, we’re waiting for your post too” — so I did. That was the little extra step it took for me to jump in, and Tara was willing to take the initiative to make that. There can not be enough support given to the children in developing countries, who die at the rate of 30,000 a day, mostly from starvation-related disease. Especially the girls, who suffer the most.

When you get to that point where you’re really at the brink, don’t back down – that’s the tipping point. If you really want to make a difference it takes extraordinary persistence, and the willingness to push past the final inertia to make it happen. That’s the hardest bit.

Are you willing to take that one extra ounce of effort when you’ve gone past your limits, and you don’t think you can handle any more? Make sure what your spending the majority of your time and effort on is really worth fighting for. Then you can’t fail. No matter what.


Click here to get involved.
Add your own contribution to Tara’s girl effect blogging campaign here.

Love,
Satya

What’s your message to the world? 10 Amazing leaders on building a life of freedom…

In this video, I ask ten out of the twelve amazing people in the Freedom Business Summit to share their message to the world, and specifically to people who are ready to go big with their passion. Here’s what happened…

(I’ve been really so moved by these interviews and interactions. I hope you enjoy this…!)

You may have read my top 10 online leaders changing the world with heart post — just realized as I was writing this that six out of ten of them are actually in the summit… (not a coincidence, but I feel REALLY blessed — never imagined this when I was writing that post…)

Of course, it’s one thing to have a message to the world, and another thing to get it out there…

I’d say my message right now, is: You don’t have to believe what you see and think to be true. You can choose your reality, every day, and every moment; the great thing is when you catch that screaming banshee and let it take you, you never know where in heaven you’ll end up…!


What have you found in your life that really works when it comes to having more of those moments of feeling really good, and lining up with having what you really want, at any given moment…?

Please share it in the comments, and let me know, I’d really love to hear it. Thanks and love! :)

Video featuring Danielle LaPorte, Charlie Gilkey, Johnny B. Truant, Gwen Bell, Everett Bogue, Tammy Strobel, Karol Gajda, Mark Silver, Leo Babauta, Corbett Barr (in order of appearance). Summit also features Chris Guillebeau and Mary Jaksch.

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Freedom Business Summit 2010: 12 Remarkable online leaders on building a life of freedom doing what you love.

UPDATED: Oil Spill Action Resource Page (Uniting in Response)

oil spillUPDATE: Click the image to join in signing the declaration–>

- I added several key articles and resource links to this post today, plus more responses and ideas from friends via the newsletter. Please feel free to add any additional links and relevant resources in the comments as well — much love, Satya

I was battling my emotions a while over this whole gulf oil spill disaster. Then I decided to take action, and make a short video in reaction. It was simple to know what to do with it (and to just get it done last Saturday afternoon) though it was a bit painful to go through the process.

The hardest part of bearing witness to this kind of disaster, is the feeling of helplessness, and not knowing what to do. Therefore, this page (post) is meant as a resource for those wishing to take action.

It’s starting small, with just some of what I have access to now, and will build gradually. I will add to it as more viable approaches come to my knowledge and awareness. (Done my best on this so far, counting on you to tell me what i’m missing) Will also add some more of my suggestions, and more of my favorite comment responses in a special action resource section in this post. SEE Resource section added below. I believe in the philosophy of just starting where you are, with what you have, and building from there, brick by brick…

Here is where I started, creating this video:

The reaction and comments from friends after posting on Facebook was strengthening and reassuring, and the piece was shared widely. Mostly, I felt a little better doing something, and having some kind of impact, facing up to the ugly truth for what it was. Continue Reading →

Meet Me in the Timelessness of the Eternal Heart?

When you realize that you don’t need anything, then you’re free to have whatever you want. – Ian Watson

How do you experience and understand the Absolute Essence of your being, of your very heart?

In early spring of this year, my friend Rafael Stoneman — an absolutely remarkable and remarkably real human being — went on a journey across the country and shot this wonderful little (big) film. A journey in exploration of Truth. No attachments to the outcome, no expectations, and no interest in the result.

I absolutely love what he’s done with this. I love the authenticity that exudes from the film itself, from the wonderful slate of characters, and the spaces of reflective meditation along the journey. Watch the film, and share your comments below…

“Authentic Heart” is a spontaneous, unscripted travel around North America, to meet with people of all paths and cultures, and to connect in the timelessness of the eternal heart. All we need do is listen without any sense of separation to each voice we hear, and know that every sound rises out of one collective, authentic heart.”

My favorite quote from the film is the last one, from Rafael himself, wrapping up the film: (spoiler alert!)

You know, what is this documentary about, really? It’s a living demonstration of how to stay in the heart – and not be distracted, not be rattled, not be deceived… because the heart does not want anything for itself, any pay off ever, any reward…just to love and just to care is completely natural…and to pay attention to every detail, to everything that’s revealed to us through this unfolding mystery…this miracle…what a MIRACLE this is…

You can find Rafe on Facebook, or visit his non-profit group site, Allwayshere.com.

To me, the absolute great joy of life is in the quest, and the experience, of Truth. (and, finally, in the sharing of it…on my good days, that’s all I really need.)

- Please share your thoughts in the comments below, would love to hear your thoughts…

Photo credit

Dancing Guy: It’s Not the Leader that Starts the Movement (video)

Watch a movement happen – start to finish – in under 3 minutes. Incredible.

When we choose to no longer fear what others think about us, we choose freedom. ~ (Me)

Said it before, I’ll say it again: Time does not exist. Here’s proof yet again…

When we really consider what it takes to make something happen, it’s pretty simple. The inspiration to do what you feel, no matter what anyone else thinks, and no matter how stupid you may look. That’s freedom. True freedom….

Make it happen!

Love,
~ Satya