Last month, I secretly took off to Palma, Spain, to attend and preview a private meditation retreat at a Lama’s house who had studied religions for over 40 years with a particular inclination for Buddhism.
The concept of the retreat was to get out of the matrix through meditative techniques.
I didn’t realize how deeply lost I was in that matrix until we took the time to reflect upon it in peace, away from all distractions, in the countryside of Mallorca.
First of all, what do I mean by “matrix”? It’s the idea that happiness depends on “having”.
It’s thinking: “I’m happy because…” or “I’ll be happy when…”.
In fact, the conceptual idea of happiness that is commonly shared in the western society nowadays depends on 8 “superficial” motivations:
Seeking pleasure / Avoiding pain
Seeking gain / Avoiding loss
Seeking celebrity / Avoiding anonymity
Seeking praise / Avoiding blame
Consequently, the goal of my meditation retreat was to deconstruct and lose attachment to those motivations, realize that change is internal, be more in the moment and learn to observe whatever happens in my life without reacting emotionally (or let’s be honest, at least, not as intensely).
At first, as I started to lose attachment to those motivations, I felt extremely low. I was surprised to notice that detoxifying my mind from those addictions affected me physically as well. It was like taking a really cold mental shower.
In fact, interestingly enough, after having interviewed over 300 people all over the world on their definition of success and happiness, I had already come to the conclusion that happiness was indeed a mindset, not a thing. Things are illusions of happiness.
Which is also the reason why I stopped marketing random products.
But I had never really applied that concept.
So that was the biggest takeaway from the meditation retreat that helped me reflect upon the Tibetan definition of happiness through introspection and development of awareness.
It’s about being, not having.
Choosing to lose attachment is a difficult decision that I keep going back and forth on and for which I have to constantly exercice my strength.
I am tempted to wanting to keep the highs high and avoid the lows rather than enjoying the game. Attachment often drags me up and down like a yoyo in a roller coaster.
Putting that thought into practice when meditating, the whole idea is that, for instance, whether I own that studio in LA, keep seeing that guy, do that collaboration with that editorial or not, things will be okay. The idea is to embrace whatever comes my way with its load of surprises and challenges.