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Happiness Hacks: “Yoga’s Six Steps to Bliss” The Art of Eastern Serenity in a Western World

Welcome to a transformative journey, where the ancient wisdom of yoga meets the rhythm of our modern lives. Imagine yoga not just as a physical exercise but as a science of happiness, a roadmap to a joyful and harmonious existence. This journey is both practical and philosophical, blending heart and mind, logic and love, intellect, and intuition. Join me as we explore the six steps that unravel the secrets of inner joy and serenity. It’s an adventure within, a quest for a tranquil mind and a joyful heart. So, let’s dive into the art and science of happiness through the lens of yoga. You have all the tools within you; let’s discover them together.

Chapter 1 : Samadhi Pada

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मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातश्चित्तप्रसादनम्

English: The mind becomes tranquil by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards happy, Compassion towards unhappy, joy towards the virtuous and indifference towards evil.

First Step -How to Cultivating and attract Happiness: The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Sutra

Natural Attitudes: Feeling jealous when others are happy is a common natural response.

Patanjali suggests that feeling friendly towards happy people is key to cultivating a tranquil mind.

Overcoming Jealousy: Jealousy prevents us from experiencing happiness in the joy of others.

Patanjali emphasizes that happiness is not a competition; it’s infinite and can be shared.

Personal Responsibility:

Misery is self-created; blaming others is an escape from truth.

Taking responsibility for our own misery allows us to find its cause and eliminate it.

Attitude Towards Happiness:

Being friendly and feeling happy for happy people opens a door to happiness for ourselves.

Happiness is not a possession;

it can be shared, and it depends on our attitude, not others’ actions.

Choosing Higher Company:

Seeking the company of those higher in wisdom and happiness is a ladder to personal growth.

Associating with the higher ups leads to transcendence and personal elevation.

Art of Participating in Happiness:

Participating in others’ happiness is a foundation for personal joy.

Instead of being shocked, jealous or judgmental for others’ happiness, embracing and appreciating their happiness creates a situation for our own inner joy.

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Second Step – Jouney towards peace by Cultivating Compassion towards Misery

Clear Distinction:

Patanjali emphasizes compassion over friendliness towards the miserable.

Compassion involves helping without wanting to share the same state as the person in misery.

Friendliness vs. Compassion:

Friendliness is good towards happy person with whom you seeks to be on the same level as the other person, desiring their state.

Compassion desires to uplift and help without personally experiencing their misery.

Underlying Happiness in Sympathy:

Patanjali points out that even in sympathy, a subtle current of happiness exists.

Feeling superior or higher when showing sympathy to the miserable is a self-deceptive mechanism leads to subtle misery.

Compassion Defined:

Compassion lies between feeling miserable and feeling happy when someone else is miserable.

It involves extending a helping hand without being affected by the misery or feeling superior.

Avoiding Affection to Misery:

Patanjali warns against making misery an object of love or affection.

Affection to misery opens a door for it to thrive; remaining aloof is key to compassion.

Third Step – Cultivating Joy for Virtue: A Transformative Approach

Common Criticism of Virtue:

People often criticize virtuous individuals due to their own insecurities.

Criticism arises as a defense mechanism against acknowledging personal shortcomings.

Ego Protection Through Condemnation:

Criticizing virtue allows individuals to protect their ego and avoid self-improvement.

It creates a mindset that virtue is unattainable, making one comfortable in their current state.

Negative Bias in Belief:

People tend to believe negative judgments more readily than positive ones.

This bias serves the ego’s need to resist acknowledging virtues in others.

Self-Harm Through Negativity:

Constantly denying virtues in others harms the individual’s growth and self-awareness.

The negative mindset hinders personal development and settling in misery becomes inevitable.

Breaking the Cycle:

To break the cycle of negativity, one must cultivate joy towards virtuous individuals.

Acknowledging and appreciating virtue opens the door to personal growth.

Importance of Being Open-Minded:

Being open-minded to virtues allows for personal transformation.

It creates an environmentfor higher planes of existence.

Fourth Step Indifference: A Path to Inner Freedom

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Understanding Degrees of Connection:

People often unknowingly always attract the opposite or what they oppose. This connection happens at different degrees, influencing thoughts and actions.

Dangers of Being Against:

Being against something can make you vulnerable to it. Patanjali advises against opposition as it may lead to becoming a victim of what is opposed.

Embracing Indifference:

Indifference is the key – not apathy or antagonism. It means treating events as if they don’t exist, without any judgment or attitude.

Upeksha: An Ancient Way to discover peace

Patanjali uses the term “Upeksha” for this indifferent state. It doesn’t imply ignoring but rather seeing events without personal judgment.

Being indifferent requires looking inward without condemnation or approval.

Lesson of Indifference No Absolute Good or Evil:

What’s considered good or evil can change with time, one’s judgment may not hold true as life moves forward.

Be mindful and aware, allowing indifference without any preconceived attitudes.

Indifference frees the mind, opening doors to unexpected revelations and transformations.

Scientific Approach of Patanjali:

Patanjali’s perspective is scientific, not sentimental.Understanding and applying his teachings leads to a tranquil mind and a joyful life.

Chapter 1 : Samadhi Pada

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प्रच्छर्दनविधारणाभ्यां वा प्राणस्य

English: By throwing out and restraining the Breath the mind also become calm. 

Fifth Step – Practice : Harmony of Breath and Mind: Patanjali’s Tranquil Technique

Connection Between Breath and Mind:

Breathing and thinking are linked, forming two aspects of one entity.

Changes in the mind are reflected in the rhythm and quality of breathing.

Alternative Approach for Tranquility:

Patanjali knows cultivating friendliness, compassion, joy, and other mental transformations will be challenging in starting so he offers an alternative through practice.

Tranquility can be achieved by consciously regulating the breath.

Observing Breath and Emotions:

Patanjali suggests observing the correlation between different emotions and breathing patterns.

Negative patterns will bring the breath to upper chest and breath will be fast, chaotic and shortened and on other hands when emotions are positive and at ease breath will be slow, rhythmic, from belly(diaphragm)

Conscious Alteration of Breathing when negativity takes place

To influence the mind positively, consciously modify the breathing pattern.

For example, if a person find that there is stress , tension, Jealousy, misery is taking place inside, just exhale deeply and throw the whole breath out from the mouth and hold the breath the out as long as easily possible, then inhale deeply in the belly than in the chest and hold inside as long as easily possible. This will help to bring the mind in a positive state. 

Exhaling deeply eliminates accumulated toxins, bringing a cleansing effect on the body.

Rhythmic Breathing and Mood Transformation:

Creating a rhythmic, slow and deep breathing pattern helps the mind to be in the present moment and breaks the cooperation with negative emotions.

Inhale 4 seconds then exhale 6 seconds creating this rhythm will slowly but surely change the quality of your life experience.

Breath as the Key to the Mind:

Yoga recognizes the profound connection between breathing and thinking.

Changing breathing patterns allows one to influence and transform their mental states.

Understanding Personal Breathing Patterns:

Maintain a diary for seven days, noting breathing patterns during different moods.

Awareness of these patterns provides insights into personal connections between breath and mind.

The yogi becomes a witness to life’s drama, skillfully participating without attachment.

Understanding the breath-mind connection empowers them to navigate the vast stage of existence.

Sixth Step – Discovering Inner Serenity: Meditation on the Inner Light

Perceptive Meditation:

Close your eyes, focus inward, and visualize a serene blue flame near the heart.

Center of Being:

Positioned near the heart, the blue flame represents your core essence.

Transcendent Experience:

Concentrating on the inner flame brings unparalleled bliss, a sense of dance, music, and harmony, creating a tranquil, collected state.

Tool for Transformation:

Patanjali offers a powerful tool: meditate on one who are enlightened.

Examples include spiritual figures like Buddha, Mahavira, Christ, or your personal guru.

Magnetic Force:

This meditation allows the figure,  example a statue of Buddha and you meditate on him will become a magnetic force within you.

By meditating on such an enlightened being, you open yourself to them and their qualities will start flowing in you.

Conscious Attention:

Be mindful of what you pay attention to.

Attention is the seed, and it grows into the tree of your being.

Sow Seeds of Light:

Focus on the light to become light.

Rather than counting thorns; focus on the beauty of the flower.

As we are together on this beautiful journey into the heart of yoga, remember that the magic lies in the daily practice of these six steps. Watch your mind as it encounters happiness, misery, virtues, and evils in the world around you. If you find your inner self responding with friendliness, compassion, joy, or indifference, then your journey is right on track.

But if you notice a misalignment, Take it Easy ! The tools are in your hands. Work on your breath, observe its rhythm, and let it guide your mind to tranquility. Meditation is your sanctuary, where the inner light awaits your focused attention.

This isn’t just a six-step program; it’s an art and science for the evolution of your being. Embrace it with dedication, and witness the subtle yet profound changes within yourself. Your daily life becomes a canvas, and you are the artist shaping your existence with the wisdom of yoga. So, my fellow journeyers, keep breathing, keep meditating, and keep evolving. The masterpiece of your life is in the making.


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Acknowledgement – it is inspired and guided from osho book on yoga “Yoga Alpha and the Omega”

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