This post was originally written in Sept 2016 after attending a Silence Retreat.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says there are 4 pillars of knowledge.
The third pillar is made up of six wealths and one of the wealths is called ‘Uparati’ or the ability to enjoy.
What does it mean to enjoy life?
Often we think that enjoying life means having more. More money, more opportunity, more vacation time, more clothes, more food, more friends.
What I realized this past weekend in the Art of Living Silence Retreat is that enjoying life does not need you to ‘have’, it needs you to ‘be’. I have a loving family, I live in a beautiful house, plenty of sunshine and trees around. I have beautiful clothes, I have shelves filled with books I love, drawers and boxes filled with painting supplies. I have a pantry filled with delectables and the means to get what I want. …
And yet it took me a few days of Silence and deep meditations to realize that the breeze rustling the leaves of a tree is one of the most beautiful sounds in this creation. That nature celebrates every moment in tall and short trees, blue skies, fluffy clouds, chirping of the cricket and the swift dash of a squirrel.
That life is full. There are so many experiences to be had in my inner and outer world.
That there is so much beauty in this world.
This world is beautiful. And I am beautiful.
I realized that life is to be enjoyed; to be discovered and lived to its fullness.
And I don’t need more things to do it.
I can just do it…
I am doing it …as it’s an inner quality that has awakened in me
I am not saying ‘enjoy what you have’ or ‘Count your blessings’. Of course, you should do that. This is something deeper.
Uparati means the ability to enjoy life. It’s an ability. Not seeing life as one problem after another. Stress and work numbs us, hardens us. It robs us of the ability to be present and alive. We lose touch with the refinement in us and our life.
Uparati is the refinement in us that allows us to enjoy life.
It’s a shift in our consciousness that allows us to experience life’s fullness in every situation. Its brings bliss, contentment and joy to any moment that we are aware.
I understand why it’s a wealth. And that’s what I gained in the Silence Retreat.
PS After I wrote this article, I realized that Uparati allows you to enjoy not only the good experiences in life, but the bad and the ugly. Life is to be enjoyed, sometimes through the senses and the sense objects, but more importantly by rejoicing in the spirit inside us.