Beyond Success: The Hidden Key To Lasting FulfillmentMar 08, 2023
Have you ever noticed that some of the most successful people are always searching for more, despite having achieved so much in their lives?
One of my friends, a very successful entrepreneur, is a perfect example of this. She has a thriving business, a beautiful home, a wonderful marriage, and is always jet-setting off with her husband traveling around the world. But, whenever we meet up, she always talks about how empty she feels. She’s always looking for something that will make her feel a deeper sense of purpose and connection with life. Her experience is a clear reminder that success alone isn't enough to find lasting fulfillment.
You might remember that last week I wrote about how, the desires of kama, arta, and dharma can offer temporary satisfaction, but ultimately fall short of providing true and lasting happiness.
That's why the fourth and ultimate desire of moksa (aka awakening), is so important. According to yogic teachings, it’s said that at some point in time, every person will realize that fulfillment can’t be attained through ordinary means. It’s at this point that a sincere desire, rooted deep within ones being to awaken comes online.
This desire feels notably different that the other three desires because it’s motivated by a deep yearning that feels hard to articulate. In fact, many of the clients I work with who have reached this point feel at a total loss for words when trying to explain it. And that’s because no words can capture the depth and power of this desire which is beyond language and concepts. It’s a yearning for something that is at once familiar and yet unknown, something that transcends our ordinary experience of time, space and identity.
The most amazing thing about this desire is that as you commit to the practices that support the process of awakening, you discover that inherent to the process is the fulfillment of each of the other desires. Awakening to our true nature reveals to us the deeper purpose and meaning of our life (dharma). This discovery brings you a sense of success and fulfillment that is not based on external standards or achievements, but rather a deep alignment with our true nature. And you also realize that pleasure isn’t limited to certain experiences. Rather, you discover that you can find pleasure in the simplest things such as a sunrise, a smile or a kind word as well as in the most complex and challenging situations.
So by aligning with a sincere desire to awaken to your true nature, you actually end up fulfilling the other desires as well. You find lasting happiness, success, and meaning, as well as a sense of purpose and pleasure that are not subject to conditions or limitations. The pursuit of moksa, is not a rejection of the other desires, but rather an integration of them in a deeper and more meaningful way. The best part is that moksa isn’t a distant goal, rather it’s a living reality present within each of us at all times.
Practice: Inquiry into the Desire for Moksa
Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably without distractions. Take a few deep breaths and relax your body.
Bring to mind the desire for moksa, or awakening to your true nature. Allow yourself to feel this desire deeply, without judgment or expectation.
Now, ask yourself the following questions answering them honestly and openly:
- What does the desire for moksha mean to me?
- How does this desire show up in my life?
- When have I felt this desire before, even if I didn't recognize it at the time?
- What is holding me back from fully embracing this desire?
- What steps can I take to cultivate and fulfill this desire in my life?
Allow yourself to sit with these questions and notice what comes up for you. Know that this inquiry is not meant to provide definitive answers or solutions, but rather to open up a space of exploration and discovery.
As you continue to reflect on these questions, allow yourself to feel a deep sense of curiosity and wonder. Know that the desire for moksa is not a distant or unattainable goal, but rather a living reality that is always present within you.
Know that you can return to this inquiry whenever you feel the need to deepen your understanding of the desire for moksa and align with your true nature.