What is Inner Harmony?

It’s been said that all negative emotion is due to an ignorance of true inner nature.

It’s been said that all negative emotion is due to an ignorance of true inner nature.

inner harmony

Ever wondered what it would be like to achieve inner harmony?

Any Eighties baby who watched, open-mouthed, as Bruce Leroy scoured the Bronx in search of the Glow, undoubtedly has Inner Harmony somewhere on their dream board.

The Last Dragon said that one could achieve the Glow if the body, mind, and spirit became one. Only then would they be a true master.

It can be impossible to know for sure if complete inner harmony is even a thing. Of course, there are Gurus, Monks, and Priests that publicly give off the demeanor of perfect harmony, but how do they act in their private time?

Better yet, does that even matter?

Even when you live with someone, can you know for certain if they are always harmonious?

I was watching Tom Hanks portray Mr. Rogers when the protagonist in the story asked his wife how Rogers always remained so calm. His wife said that he wasn’t perfect, and that his demeanor was something he has to work hard at to maintain.

Similarly, any good gymnastics coach or ballet teacher is well versed in instructing their students to be a silent storm.

I remember watching one of the coaches at the gymnasium as he instructed one of the girls.

Perched on her hands, upside down, in a full split, her arms were imperceptibly quivering.

“Smile,” he’d demanded, “you can’t show out here what’s going on in there!”

silent storm

The only way you could tell what she was doing was impossible, for the average human, was by the tiny beads of sweat forming along her hairline.

Perhaps, that’s what inner harmony really takes…

God knows it is beyond stressful today! All of these emotions, and then hiding them behind an actual mask!

Of course there’s a prescription for everything. Feeling anxious? Pop a pill. Feeling bored? Have a drink. Feeling insignificant? Anti-depressant. Less than fulfilled? Food. Tired? Coffee!

It’s the total prescription for inner harmony. In just five easy doses. But stop managing your inner state with all of these artificial emotions, and you best be ready.

It can be one hell of a roller coaster ride to inner truth.

What is it inside of us that is the real stuff? What is the real me, when it comes down to it? And is it the same for everyone?

Is it peace, happiness, exuberance, and love?

Maybe.

But to find it you’re going to have to dig down through all of those emotions that you’ve been avoiding, and the soil gets pretty thick with skeletons along the way.

Persevere, and you may unearth a reserve, beneath all of those old fossils. A fuel that, if refined well, will be plenty to keep your lights burning in even the darkest times.

Thing is, you have to be the refinery. Only you can decide when it’s right to burn the midnight oil.

Sometimes it’s better to think of it this way: Only you can decide when NOT to burn the midnight oil.

Stressors, in any form, can cause us to inadvertently burn the precious reserves of our energy. Take worry, for example. Entertaining the imagination with unnecessary thoughts is like pressing the accelerator in an F-150 while the transmission is in neutral.

The oil will always be burning, but only we can keep it at an idle.

Remember, it only takes an idle mind to watch a thought pass by.

One of the hardest things for kids to do is sit still. That habit can follow us through adulthood if we are not taught how to control it.

It’s not necessary to put yourself in a room devoid of input and learn to stay sane (though that exercise is more difficult for most than could be imagined), but putting a halt to over-processing every little thing would be a good start.

Sadghuru has said, “If you get bored while sitting all alone, then you might be in bad company.”

I have often wondered at that comment. Does he keep his own mind busy? Does he simply enjoy breathing in and out? I decided to do some research and find out.

For those who don’t know, Sadghuru is one of today’s most influential Mystics. He’s traveled all over the world, and sat with people and audiences of every walk of life, from the rich and famous to the downtrodden. His advice is sought out by political and religious leaders alike.

After six months of reading Sadghuru material, watching his videos, and practicing his breathing techniques, I think I finally narrowed down what he may have meant.

Of course, like all of his advice, he says it with an air of humor and with the grace of tact. But beneath, we can peel away layers of meaning like an onion.

The self-apparent lesson that will come from challenging boredom with gentle idleness, is firstly, that being bored is being ungrateful. This is an easy point to see as a hard-working adult who never gets a chance to take a breather, right?

“What I would give to be bored!”

But, we can’t stop there because, obtaining the boredom and moving past it is the real game changer. Any busy person will say that they would love to be bored!

Besides, you can be at work, busy at your desk and still be bored out of your mind. Especially if you’re good at your job.

You get so good at some things that they just go on auto-pilot and then, all of a sudden, you're bored while being busy. Crazy right? But it is only natural. No one has taught us how to deal with it. That is the real issue.

So what have I learned that can help?

When I start out by saying that being bored is being ungrateful, it can almost bring all of your philosophizing about boredom to a full-stop. And if it does — great! It’s all the thought going on in your head that is really the culprit here anyhow.

But, understanding that we should just be grateful for what we have; breath, life, nature, emotions, senses… isn’t going to fix your issue.

The real issue is psychological.

We have gotten so good at thinking of all of our own shit, that we actually get bored thinking of it!

Did you know that idleness can be a very invigorating thing?

Yes. Have you ever sat and thought about a memory, or a joke, and laughed or smiled? If so, I commend you, because that is properly using the brain.

But to really take ownership of the power of the magic brain, you must learn how to start with a clean slate. A blank DOS Prompt on a computer screen awaiting input.

And there is only one way to get there. Through practice.

I’m not talking about all-out transcendental meditation. Only putting a halt to over-processing every little thing.

Once every hour. Then once every half-hour. Then once every ten minutes.

I’m suggesting total disengagement. I’m talking about doing nothing with the mind. It can’t really be taught, just realized. Like an empty vessel.

I could imagine a person screaming at me, are you in there? do you understand what I am saying to you? and me just staring blankly hearing only sounds. Might as well be a dog barking, until I decide the sounds mean something.

That kind of disengagement; even with your own thoughts. Because realistically, our own thoughts scream at us louder than the voices of others! Those should be the main ones you constantly let go back into the world of abstraction.

The world of abstraction. Strange way to put it, I guess. But after all, it’s all potential energy. Thought, I mean.

That fossil fuel we were talking about digging up earlier and refining; putting to use. Yeah, that’s just the base element of pure fire- will to live. Right now, that fire may just be smothered so badly, with all the thought on top of it, that it’s hard to even believe it’s there.

That base element is transformed, stoked, smothered, or focused through the commands that we give it from our magic brain. It’s all just electrical signals, waiting to be turned to output. Well, it should be waiting, but it’s not. You have to practice making it wait.

Once you get to that DOS prompt again, only then you can decide if you want to execute a program titled: Humorous Invigoration, and run that funny memory from last year.

Wow! Who would have thought the brain could do that? Did you know they use to take pills for that?

Now we’re getting somewhere!

That’s the thing, though. The brain is doing that all of the time, but it’s out of control. You must spend more time at the DOS prompt. Then… forget about the DOS prompt.

All of that abstract energy in the brain should be waiting to be solidified into opinions, plans, values, good uses, and defenses. Like wet clay, spinning, waiting to take shape.

So let it spin. In the meantime, did you know that the cushion you are sitting on top of is made of billions of little fibers. Possibly made by worms living thousands of miles away? Or the cotton in your pillow was plucked by a migrant worker, afraid of losing her job to an industrial machine she watches do fifty times her labor, two fields over?

Let your senses work awhile.

You don’t have to be totally inanimate. Nature is never inanimate!

You don’t have to use your energy to focus on, or count your breathing. Rather, just study it!

What does your breath feel like? What does your saliva taste like? What does your heart beat sound like?

Don’t be surprised when, sitting with yourself, you notice little discomforts that maybe you had been drowning out before. Places that the body is working on and healing. Places, dare I say, that you alone have injured!

Something else I learned on my journey: Do you know who is the most vulnerable person in the world?

Yourself.

Your body has no voice, save your own. Would you put a cigarette in a child’s mouth? At least a parent is there to defend them if you try. But who can defend your body, but you?

Some say it is more cruel to abuse yourself than it is to abuse a baby. Maybe it is most cruel?

Seeing things that way can make you have a pretty bad opinion about yourself, if you think of how you’ve been in the past. But then you’d just be entertaining that high-octane imagination all over again. Let go. You’ve studied. Learn.

Be purposeful. Laugh.

Then get fully involved when activities present themselves. Go full play mode. Be playful.

Then when the opportunity presents itself again, go full peace mode. Be peaceful.

Get to know yourself. There’s a lot to learn.

Then, you’ll see how little you actually know about everything else.

A true voyage of discovery comes not from seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Jay Horne is an author and publisher out of Bradenton, Florida. He is a husband and father of four.
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