I Have Enough: A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life

Lama Marut explains that the quest for happiness starts with radical contentment: being truly satisfied with what we have.

| July 2012

  • Spiritual-Renegade-Cover
    In “A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life,” Lama Marut introduces a simple set of exercises that offer a revolutionary, and yet wholly practical, approach to creating and sustaining happiness in a frenetic modern age.
  • Woman With Shopping Bags
    Among the most revolutionary actions a person could take in a society like ours is really no action at all. Just stop. Don’t buy any more stuff. Don’t even want to buy stuff. Just be content.

  • Spiritual-Renegade-Cover
  • Woman With Shopping Bags

Transform problems into opportunities; set yourself free from fear and anxiety; unburden yourself of past resentment; create an action plan for true happiness. In A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life (Atria Books/Beyond Words Publishing, 2012), Lama Marut voices the next generation of spiritualism by addressing today’s need for fearless honesty, practicality and simplicity, and offering meditations and action plans designed to incite true, unpackaged happiness. The following passage is from Chapter 1, “Burning With Desire: Consumerism and Its Alternative—Radical Contentment.” 

Getting Happy

I grew up in a religious household. My father and grandfather were both ordained Baptist ministers. Our meals and bedtimes were occasions for prayer, Mom led us in regular Bible study, and the family went to church all the time—three times a week, at least (Sunday morning’s traditional service, Sunday evening for “youth group,” and Wednesday evening for some long-forgotten reason). And nobody was that happy about it.

We kids didn’t want to go. We had to take baths and put on uncomfortable clothes and were precluded from watching television or playing with our friends during the time we were in church. So we were all crying. This irritated our parents, who were not only unhappy with us kids but, soon enough, were fighting with one another.

Then we’d get to church and we’d sit for an hour and a half in those intentionally uncomfortable pews they make especially and only for churches and synagogues. Dad more or less immediately fell asleep; the kids fidgeted the whole time; and Mom stayed busy trying to contain the fidgeting kids. Everyone was looking at their watches to see if it was almost over yet. We could hardly wait until the religious part of the week was finished so that we could go back to the more enjoyable aspects of our lives.

What’s wrong with this picture? Something was seriously askew. Why, if the purpose of religion is to bring contentment, happiness, and joy, can the practice of religion seem so tedious to so many of us?

Religion is not supposed to be mind-numbingly dreary. If the goal of a spiritual life is to bring its practitioners to happiness, the means to that goal cannot be to make them as bored and uncomfortable as possible until—presto chango!—suddenly somehow everyone’s joyful.

5/12/2014 1:14:01 PM

Dear Lama Marut: Thanks so much for your advice. I consider myself a 'happyist' because I've been researching happiness for some years. Although the U.S. Declaration of Independence mentions the “Pursuit of Happiness,” I don't think happiness is something you can pursue succesfully. In my opinion, happiness is always there, self-arising, if we do not obscure it in various ways, mainly by convincing ourselves that we somehow are separate entities from the rest of the Cosmos. (smile) After a half-century of trying out various methods and techniques, I now subscribe to the idea that if the body is blissful, then the emotions and the mind tag along after it like happy puppies. Although there are meditation methods that work, even 'no-mind' is still mind, the access route is long and difficult. Achieving happiness via the emotions is also a long and arduous trek through one or more psychotherapy methods (most of which don't pay off for anyone but the therapist). For these reasons, I first focused on body-centered methods such as hatha yoga, tai chi, etc., but by chance some 40+ years ago, I discovered that by vibrating the trachea, at first by 'deep OM-ing/humming' and then by learning to purr/snore, I could put the full body into a state of tingling joy head-to-toe. Your cat friends will think you've become enlightened - and oh! Some 13 other species of animals also purr: 13 species also purr: ring-tailed lemurs, guinea pigs, foxes, gorillas, elephants, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, bats, civets, genets, and mongooses. Why not join the crowd? 
I've posted a 3-minute demo video titled 'Purring to Nirvana" here: 
and a technical explanation about purring here:
http://www.raysender.com/trachealresonance.html ENJOY! OM-Tat-Sat!

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