By Chris Baker
These notes were written by me last year when in northern Vietnam, visiting the hilltribe people near Sapa…
Looking out over the rice paddies of Thanh Phu village, I feel a touch of envy for the easy acceptance these people show for what is. Life here is uncluttered, without the need for new plasma TV’s and 16 valve urban 4WD’s. The Tay people I’m staying with and the h’Mong group just a few villages away at Lau Chai are so joyful with everyday life, it’s a pleasure to spend the day with them. We have much to learn about what it is about life that brings joy and contentment.
Even so, the desire for improvement is creeping in, and seems to be growing in the younger people. As they become acquainted with western life, there is a pull that is stealing the contentment away from them. The wish for education is a desire that seems to be “good”, but I suspect they are exchanging wisdom for education. The earthy kind of wisdom of people in touch with themselves is being pushed aside for that western ideal of knowing endless information about stuff.
Is it part of the human condition that we fall into an endless seeking of making things better? And in doing so we get caught up in what is external to us, and get further from that innermost stillness which holds a deep wisdom. What comes with that innermost connection is a joyfulness that we can still see amongst the mountain people in northern Vietnam, and what seems like an elusive dream for most westerners.
It’s getting in touch with that inner stillness that brings me to Vietnam, and particularly to Hoi An where I’m attending some presentations by Serge Benhayon on the topic of actually putting into daily practice that connection with the innermost. Serge is Australian, and it’s kind of surprising to find that the person who has been able to help me actually feel that inner connection is not living in some Tibetan monastery, but is an everyday kind of guy who likes surfing and lives in Northern NSW.
And he’s hosting a retreat in Hoi An, where I’ll be for the next few days and where I’ve come for some more hints that may help me in my daily practice of connecting with my innermost. The ancient name for innermost is esoteric, and you can think of this as an esoteric school of ageless wisdom – because what he presents is not new, but something we all have within us. But the externally directed lives that we lead take us away from that connection, so it’s more a matter of remembering what we already know, or connecting to what is already within, than learning something new.
That connection is something that the mountain people haven’t entirely lost, and what most westerners have shut down, or covered over with daily busy-ness.
Over the years I’ve been to various so-called personal development courses, and been to retreats by spiritual teachers of different colours. But the telling thing for me is that it has only been the presentations of Serge Benhayon that have helped me to actually feel that inner connection in a way that is solid.
There have been glimpses of this in my life from time to time, but mostly I haven’t known what I was feeling and have let go of it, and gone back to thinking rather than feeling. When I have noticed that connection in the past I have tried to figure it out, using my engineer’s training, and in doing so have got lost in thought and analysis.
The truth I was missing is just about acceptance of what is, by feeling, not by analysis.
For me the journey to myself was a stop-start and erratic path of seeking which did not bring me closer to contentment. At times I achieved a passing acquaintance with joy and stillness and it came more or less accidentally, and it proved to be fleeting. With Serge Benhayon’s guidance I have come to a deep understanding, a visceral knowing, of that stillness that is within us all. And a knowing of how to get back to it often.
My inner connection with myself is now much stronger, and although I am sometimes still distracted by the busy-ness of life, I now notice much more quickly when I stray. My reconnection now comes more easily and is more consistent.
Thank you Serge for reminding me of the ageless wisdom that is within us all.
134 thoughts on “Pleasure in Simplicity”
Thank you Chris for reminding us that the Ageless Wisdom is within all of us. It is sad that our busyness prevents us from connecting to who we truly are and yet deep down it’s always there. Waiting to be re-ignited by a word, a saying, a moment, an incident or an accident.
I love how life truly presents what it presents for the sake of our own evolution, nothing is a mere accident. All we need to do is to keep the simplicity of it all. Life is our teacher but we seldom see it as one. It takes an ordinary man like Serge Benhayon present to us that there is another way to living, and that is from connecting to ourselves first, and allow the rest to unfold.
Chris this is a great topic of conversation because this happens to all of us the enticement of so called ‘improvement’ or ‘betterments’ of life that starts from a very young age where we loose that contentment and it gets replaced with an under lying anxiety to fit in with the social norms of society without realising that we are trading innate wisdom and contentment for cold hearted education.
The mind vs the body, it seems to be an endless game where the mind makes its decisions over and above anything else oblivious of the consequences. Where as the body is all encompassing and will work in a way that takes into consideration the all.
There is a forever search for connection and contentment. When we focus on the mind and look out to see what is there, we get distracted into thinking there are things we need in order to be connected and content. This shows in our Western world with all the “temptations” of society. When we visit a place and get to see the simplicity of life that we can all adopt, it is exposing to feel what we choose over the truth. And yet the offering of truth does not go away, for it is always there waiting for the one who discerns and makes a choice and movement in its direction.
Even whilst travelling around South East Asia, TV pervaded even in the villages and yet they lived a simple life but also thought life was better elsewhere.
The western life may appear better but with it comes the diseases and discontentment. It’s fascinating how our eyes deceive us constantly, when our bodies can feel much more than this. What a life if we lived from the latter instead of the former…
Chris, thank you for a great blog that highlights the fact that everything we ever truly need in life for connection simply lies within, and that the endless distractions that abound around us are just there to pull us away from the real search or the turning within. “My inner connection with myself is now much stronger, and although I am sometimes still distracted by the busy-ness of life, I now notice much more quickly when I stray. My reconnection now comes more easily and is more consistent.”
Serge Benhayon presents a practicality not seen with many other teachers. True connection and living with Soul must be practical, what else would be the point of it if we cannot apply it in lived practice whilst here?
This wish and desire for education to me is a plot that takes us away from our inner wisdom to rely on outside information, which we do not discern for its truth.
A lovely read and sharing thank you Chris, ‘With Serge Benhayon’s guidance I have come to a deep understanding, a visceral knowing, of that stillness that is within us all. And a knowing of how to get back to it often.’ Gorgeous.
Although I do not know the people of whom you speak I have had this experience of being in the company of uneducated people who have a knowledge that has come from their own experience lived over many years and in that there is a very real feeling of connection with that with which they speak, it’s as if they are talking with their whole bodies not just their heads.