Seriously, life isn’t serious
By Dasi Ishaya
Since learning Ascension, the technique taught by The Bright Path Ishayas, not taking life too seriously has become a game. There are aspects in my life where tension and stress take over, mostly in relationships.
It's been a journey of discovering incredible things and what I like the most is that seriousness hasn't been necessary at all!
I hope that my experience is somehow helpful and helps you in your journey.
The serious life
I don't know precisely when I started to realize that most adults surrounding me were all stressed out and worried. Joy seemed not to be part of their day-to-day anymore.
Perhaps they allowed themselves to have a good time on weekends when they were finally resting and relaxed, although I saw that alcohol played an essential role in occasions or endless hours of watching TV.
They all went back to acting serious, knowing what was coming for the week on Sunday night. Bad-tempered complaints and frustration were what I perceived and meant that's a "normal responsible adult." I was wrong.
My respect and admiration for those adults stay intact, but getting a glimpse of what it is like living in the adult-world limits the enjoyment of life, and it is so unattractive. These same adults learned the same when young, utterly unaware of how they were perpetuating the same behavior patterns.
When everything was important
And so I grew up making very important the things a grown-up gives importance to work, taking care of others, health, safety, earning enough money, acquisition of goods, the future and bit by bit joy and spontaneity started vanishing.
I used to think: "Yes" I'm going in the right direction! I'm becoming a grown-up,". And at the same time, my heart was closing down, "my" things and "my" life became more important than the others, and a little bit more neurosis got stuck in my nervous system.
These actions translated into becoming more reactive, defensive, and in a constant rush. Everything I did or said seemed to have a stamp of "responsible adult in charge," from preparing my food to doing my work.
Responsibility = Seriousness. In all honesty, I felt at some point feeling bitter, and I was not even 30 years old!
My mum had already learned to meditate a few years back with a tool taught by the Ishaya Monks called: Ascension.
Even when I was criticizing mum for spending hours sitting doing nothing (that's what I saw), a part of me recognized she was the most loving, peaceful being I had close to me. She always loved me no matter what and was so willing to help me patiently. She embodied a type of presence that I didn't know how to describe but that I was longing to have for a long time.
I had so much resistance to learning Ascension, but life turned upside down for some time that I knew I had to do something. The roller coaster of my mind was taking away the joy of living. I wanted stability and just a little bit more calmness.
So, I learned to Ascend. I quite frankly didn't believe in anything the teachers shared with me. The teachers seemed to exaggerate things and looked a bit hippy to me, yet I needed to change, so I started to use Ascension to put it to the test.
I noticed changes from the first few days. I wasn't reacting anymore. I felt more flexible and willing to listen. Life seemed to be more fluid and effortless.
The best advice for my life
Not long after learning Ascension, I attended a conference organized by an Ishaya Teacher, and he said: If you want to have a joyful life, I'd suggest you do the following:
"Take a bit less seriously every day of your life, but mostly yourself."
The realization that seriousness wasn't necessary and that it was just something I had learned shocked me. It was a big release to see it. I noticed that by ascending, I was putting myself in a place of less "self-importance" and that we are all connected from a place of peace, harmony, fluidity, and a natural acceptance of what is.
That's where the journey began. I started changing my relationship with a mind that's unlimited. It was then that I decided to take that advice more seriously!
Playfulness, exploration, and discoveries
From the first day, I was fascinated by all my discoveries. I saw that all seriousness links to taking things too personally. Those things that are important to us seem to define us, those things that we have invested too much time and energy. For me: music, to be a teacher, my spiritual path, being a sister, a friend, and most of all being a partner.
There's a great contrast when I feel contracted. It's challenging to see humor in situations. I felt like running away, not wanting to talk, feeling rejection or resistance, and being less present. The invitation is to continue playing.
To laugh at me more every day in the middle of chaos is impressive! Freshness and freedom reveal instantly. There is enjoyment and a deep connection with everything around me.
Today the contrast is one of my best allies to become aware of when I am taking something too personal. And it is terrific that using Ascension is the natural and straightforward way to return to that place where I experience union, where whatever I thought was essential dissolves. There's an immense space to be and let be what must be.
The advice on living more joyfully has been one of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten, and I wish the same for you. I hope this is a loving invitation to explore, play and discover how life could be for you if you decide to let go of the seriousness.