“I envy you” said few friends of mine over a period of few years and quite recently too which prompted me to write my thoughts on this topic.
I asked my friends “why are you envious of me?”. One friend said, you have everything — a loving and caring husband, financial stability which allowed you to quit your job, you were professionally doing well, you both are world travelers etc…while I am trapped in my life. The other friend also more or less listed all materialistic things and also went onto say “Don’t have kids, they are just a burden!”. As the saying goes, the grass is definitely greener on the other side; I told’em both that while they have the perspective that my life is all hunky-dory through what is posted on the social media, I wouldn’t wish my life on even the worst enemies in my worst dreams.
Every one goes through suffering, and happiness — they are like sine-waves. Every moment will pass eventually. Naturally, I was also in the similar boat as my friends, used to feel terrible mentally for all the pain we (Husband and I) went through in the year of 2015. Told my friend’s that if there is anything to be envious of me — be envious for me doing “Vipassana” earlier this year. Vipassana is a silent meditation for 10 days without any communication to the outside world. For more information, read it here.
Through this course, I learnt a great deal about myself, became a little bit more wiser, was able to internalize the suffering, and over all became a lot more equanimous (still in infancy stage on this aspect).
Equanimity (Latin: æquanimitas having an even mind; aequus even animus mind/soul) is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.
During this course, S.N.Goenka’s discourses had many small stories which help you learn of not being envious of others. He talks and teaches how to get over the impure thoughts mind generates. An impure mind thinks the following way:
“Why did they get this, and not I? I’m a more deserving person. Why are they given such a position of power, or status? Why not I? Why have they earned so much money? Why not I?”
More you practice Vipassana, the purer one’s mind becomes and the purer it is, one will feel happy when they see somebody happy and progressing in life.
Another Guruji that I follow is Sadhguru. I love this story which he shared in one of his lectures.
One farmer from a village, has one cow. It helps him with farming, gives milk and he took care of him very well. They were happy until they get a neighbor who has two cows. Suddenly, the first farmer starts comparing about how he can have two cows or more just to feel more accomplished.
Another story from Ratnasundar Maharaj and it goes:
One friend has a Mercedes Benz car. We want it too just because our friend has one. We make ourselves unhappy at this thought, we work hard to buy one beyond our means, along the way we forget to find out from the friend, if he/she is happy just because they own a Mercedes Benz.
The seed that I want to sow in all the readers of this article is, not to be jealous — every living soul has a journey. Some may be truly blessed because of their past life karmas while others may have a tough journey in this life before moving onto the next. Also I want to sow the seed of “Vipassana” — believe me it works wonders when you practice it. It was the best gift I gave to myself, please do the same in order to attain peace, mindfulness and equanimity!