December 28th, 2008
How to Be Happy in this Economy
Economics is the study of choice.
A Professor studied sets of 4 college students completing a group
assignment. In some groups he planted an actor with a negative attitude. The
assignment scores for the group with the actor were lower than the others,
proving that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. Do you have any bad
apples in your life? Choosing avoidance is not always practical. So how do
you insulate your self from a negative environment and choose to be happy?
Think of yourself in a boat and our current Minnesota real estate market is
a lake you need to cross. You are in this economy, and since its global,
choosing a different lake may not work this time. So you are on this lake,
but if the water (the bad apples of the world) comes into your boat, you
sink. How can you choose to be in the economy without letting it sink you?
The answer is in my new favorite opera, Thais by Massenet.
Thais is a high priced courtesan in Greece. This Christian Monk is convinced
Thais is the source of sin in the town and sets out to rescue her from her
lifestyle choices. The Monk gets a private audience with Thais and she tries
to seduce him (he is a very hunky monk). He runs out and says he'll meet her
in the morning. Thais, who is in high demand, rarely has time alone for
contemplation. So left alone, she realizes that once her beauty fades she
has nothing. So she agrees to burn her home and all her stuff and go with
the Hunky Monk. After an exhausting desert trek, he dumps her at the convent
and goes back to his monk buddies. After three months of praying, fasting
and whipping himself, he realizes he made a huge mistake. This total
contemplative life doesn't work: he is in love with Thais. So he goes back
to the convent to declare his love for her. Meanwhile, she has totally taken
to the nun thing. As the Hunky Monk declares his earthly love for Thais and
tries to persuade her to leave the convent with him, Thais sees a vision of
God in heaven and dies.
Great story-what does it have to do with Minnesota real estate? What I took
from this story is that you can't be at peace in extremes-being totally in
the world all the time, like Thais, or in alone in the desert all the time,
like the monk. To be happy you need both the world and contemplation.
The answer to making the right choices and thriving in our current economy
is found in the most famous music from Thais: a beautiful violin solo called
Meditation teaches you how to be in the world without the world being in
you. How to avoid taking on water that sinks your ship.
The ultimate purpose of Meditation is to achieve bliss. But there are many
* Reduces your health care costs. Meditation has been proven to lower blood
pressure and improve digestion. And headaches melt away like ice cream in
*Meditation helps to turn down your emotional reactions and increase your
powers of concentration and efficiency.
*Meditation helps see past the negative news and recognize the opportunities
in our economy.
*Meditation does not eliminate all of life's problem, but it allows us to
view them from a the right perspective, not get overwhelmed by them.
Even my cat meditates with me-and Brewster used to be an irritating hyper
kitty but now he's calm and happy. The simple method I study works with all
religions and you don't need to sit like a pretzel. But you do need a
teacher/coach. My teacher offers FREE meditation classes in Eagan,
Minneapolis and Maple Grove. Let me know if you want his contact info.
Economics is the study of choice. Meditation helps you make better choices.
Choose to be happy in 2009.