Of all the places in the world you could live, Australia is considered to be one of the best countries - it is dubbed the "Lucky Country" for very good reason. We have some of the best cities in the world to live in, we are safe, we are prosperous, and we have some of the highest standards of living in the world. In many ways, we are the envy of the world! So why is it that on google, the term "Meditation" (a term synonymous with mental health) has it's highest volume of traffic per person in Australia? It's something I've been interested in for a long time, whhy aren't we all just blissfully happy? What are we missing as individuals? In this article I will explore this topic and provide a solution that as worked for me.
What makes this country so damn good?
I'll admit, I never truly appreciated Australia until I travelled outside of it, and the older I get, the more I realise how blessed I was to have been lucky enough to be born here. I've covered this in previous posts, but there is some strong evidence to support this!
We consistently rank high in quality of life, a strong economy, excellent healthcare system and education system, and a country rich in natural beauty and a splendid climate.
"Our land abounds in nature's gifts Of beauty, rich and rare"
So why so sad?
What makes us so damn sad?
Does everyone remember where they were when Jonny Wilkinson broke the hearts of the nation by sinking the Wallabies in the World Cup? I was on School Leavers (Jesus....), and it broke my heart. On the outside, what a remarkable moment for any man, kicking the winning goal to win the cup for your nation.
Do you know what he felt? Emptiness and depression (and not the kind that he got from his Buddhist practice). How much more evidence do we need to see of people "achieving it all", only to find that it never matched their expectations? The "midlife crisis" phenomena is happening earlier and earlier, with people in their 20's achieving astounding success, only to wonder "is this it?"
Why is it that everything on the outside seems so good, but everything on the inside is rotting to the core?
We habitually search to fill a cup that can't be filled
If you're deeply honest with yourself, you will know that it's true. We just keep chasing the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing, and it's the chase itself, the rush that we thrive on, deluding ourselves that this is life.
We just keep moving. We don't stop to think. We can't stop to think. We're afraid of what's in there, so we keep moving and doing and filling up a mind that can't be filled. We're running on autopilot, programmed with the belief that happiness is something that happens "out there", but it's quite literally the direct opposite. The only true happiness is within you!
So, what does it mean that happiness is within?
It means that you don't need anything to be happy. It means that your natural state is to be happy. It means that your family, your circumstances and society have programmed your mind with a certain set of beliefs that you live habitually chasing.
And then we slow down and reality sinks in....
As a meditation helper, I try to help people find their true happiness within them, as I now know from experience that it's truly there and nowhere else. More and more people are coming for a solution to their stress and anxiety, their lack of sleep, their countless thoughts, or just to have a sense of peace and calm in their mind.
You can hack your mind, but if you want to get to the true treasure, then you need to go beyond just hacking the mind and just wipe the hard drive clean. Get rid of the programming.
Behind that false reality you've built up in your mind is the true reality. It's the source of your true, everlasting happiness.
Do we have a happiness crisis in Australia?
Maybe not. I think we're exceptiopnally good at distracting ourselves into a state of happiness.
But given "meditation" is searched more in Australia than anywhere else in the world, and we have it better than almost anywhere else in the world, I would say it's absolutely a crisis. There's also the rising suicide rate and mental health crisis and so it's created this melting pot.
But in every crisis there is a silver lining. Gold is forged in the middle of a roaring hot sun. In that way, my optimism is that because we can clearly see the answers to life and happiness don't exist out there, we can lead the consciousness revolution and lift ourselves up, and in that process lift the rest of the world up after we've taken care of ourselves.
That's my dream.
The evidence is overwhelming - no matter how good you have it on the outside, if you don't take care of your inside, it's meaningless. Absolutely meaningless. We are learning, at a faster rate than ever, that material possession and conditions bring only fleeting happiness, and it's drawing people towards trying to find a more sustainable, long term solution. And this is why people are desperate for meditation in Australia.