This book is an exploration of why happiness seems elusive. Sometimes it is unattainable, other times just out of reach. When we do find it, we eventually feel the sting of its impermanence.
This book has been divided into four sections, each one rooted in yoga philosophy:
Section 1, The Problem, looks at the kleshas, the underlying misperceptions of ourselves that we assume to be true. The kleshas form a narrative, the conditioning of thought and belief, that is invisible because it is taken as the norm. They limit our happiness, hijack our minds, and promote the very suffering we try so hard to prevent.
There are five kleshas, each one giving rise to the next:
- Avidya – not knowing (ignorant of) who we are
- Asmita – giving definition to who we think we are
- Raga – seeking to feel good
- Dvesha – seeking to avoid feeling bad
- Abhinivesha – fearing death, loss, and change
Section 2, The Platform, looks at the mind, how the thinking mind works, and how the kleshas interfere with the innate, peaceful state of the mind, causing a mind that is scattered, dull, and most often not under our control. The mind is the platform where the battle of bondage to the kleshas, or freedom from them, occurs.
Section 3, The Power, explores the dual actions of practice and nonattachment that liberate us from our misunderstanding and place us on the path to lasting happiness and fulfillment.
Section 4, The Peace, looks at what the experience of finding freedom from the kleshas, as well as what living with a clear, peaceful mind, begins to look like. What are the lived benefits of freedom on both a personal and collective level? What is on the “other side” of bondage?
Each section of this book is populated with reflection questions to support digestion of the material and deepen understanding of these concepts. This book is designed to be used for personal or group study and provides a focus for teacher trainings, ethic and psychology classes at the high school and college level, AA meetings, prison settings, and book studies.