Focus – Knowing what Matters

By Desmond Yeoh SC

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One of the most important benefit or result of our spiritual practices is the increased focus on matters that truly bring happiness and inner-peace. The average human mind thinks that happiness depends on many external factors. The current belief of humanity is that happiness depends on success and wealth but fails to define what success means or how much wealth is necessary. If everyone has a million dollars, who is wealthy? Does wealth depend on others having less than us? Do we really want to wish that upon others?

In an average day, there are many things that will go our way. If our state of mind fluctuates along with external events, then we can be happy one moment and disturbed the next. It would feel like we are on a perpetual roller coaster ride. This is not a wise way to live.

As we progress on our spiritual path, we begin to see this world of duality as it truly is. Everything has a price. Fame and wealth can be stressful burdens to carry. Just read the news. Not getting what we want can often turn out to be blessings. Hence the saying, “Be careful what you wish for as you may just get it”.

If we depend external factors for our happiness, then anything can disturb our peace of mind. Our mind tends to focus on what is wrong instead of the many other things that are going well. This is the sorry state of humanity; of an unevolved mind.

Many of us may get irritated or angry If a stranger is rude to us. Should we let that stranger, a person who is not important in our life, disturb our peace of mind? It does not make sense to do so but yet, we allow it because we think that our happiness depends on how others are to us. Even if a wise person gets irritated, the anger quickly fades away when he realises that trivial nature of the event.

If we have a roof over our heads and enough to live a simple life, should we be upset if the others who are richer look down upon us? Are their opinions really that important to our well-being? Common sense tells us that our inner-peace if much more valuable that their opinions.

So, the good news is that as we progress on our spiritual paths, whichever they may be, less and less external factors will disturb our inner joy and peace. If we chase after visions and psychic abilities, then we are truly after the wrong goal. Nevertheless, the Divine will slowly guide us towards the real goal. That is for certain. Let is not fight over whose spiritual path is better. They all lead to the same destination; the discovery and realisation of the Divinity within.


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