In an interview to the Gulf News newspaper before an event at Dubai, Sadhguru looks at how we can take charge of how we experience our life and “Inner Engineer” ourselves.
Q: What is Inner Engineering; can you simplify it for me? Why is it the foundation of a successful life?
Sadhguru: As there is a technology to create external wellbeing, there is a whole dimension of science and technology to create inner wellbeing. We are not teaching philosophies, ethics or morals. These are simple, powerful methods with which your body and mind naturally function at full potential, peacefully and joyfully. Technology means doing something the way it works. Unless you do the right things within yourself, the right things will not happen. If you are not peaceful, joyful and ecstatic, that means you have not done the right things with this life. Inner Engineering is an exploration of how to do these things right.
Q: What are the components of the software for Inner Engineering and how do I use them for my well-being?
Sadhguru: The nature and basis of your experience is within you. Pain, pleasure, joy, misery, agony and ecstasy happen only within you. The very seat of your experience is within you. If you were aware of how the seat of your experience happens, would you make your experience of life pleasant or unpleasant? The answer is obvious.
Q: What are the simple changes in attitude I need to make to disempower stress?
Sadhguru: It is not your lifestyle, work, family or situations which cause stress. Whether you call it stress, fear or anger, essentially it is your inability to manage your body, mind, emotions and energy. The human body is the most sophisticated gadget on the planet. But have you read the user’s manual?
Stress is like friction in a machine. There is friction either because there is no proper movement of the parts or there isn’t enough lubrication. I am not talking about managing stress or keeping it under the surface. I am talking about how not to create it, because stress is your creation. If you start a simple yogic process, you will find your whole system begins functioning at a certain ease. Then there is no such thing as stress.
Q: How can I have a balanced relationship with food? And why is this so important to my overall well-being?
Sadhguru: The best food is whatever gives you the necessary energy and agility without causing inertia and stiffness. Experiment and see – for most people, vegetarian diet with 50% uncooked vegetables and fruits and 50% cooked food will do. Every individual must arrive at one’s own balance of diet, not by vows but by observation and awareness.
Above all, the food you eat is life. If we can eat with enormous gratitude for all the living things which give up their life to sustain us, food will behave differently within you.
Q: How do I keep my mind in a state of constant calm? Is this even possible?
Sadhguru: Right now your mind is the boss and you are the slave. The main aspect of meditation is you become the boss and your mind becomes the slave. Meditation is a certain quality, not an act. Meditation is not something you can do. But you can become meditative. If you cultivate your body, mind, energies and emotions to a certain level of maturity, meditation naturally happens.
Q: This thing called happiness. How do I learn to move towards true joy and share it with others?
Sadhguru: If you look at your life, whenever happiness happened to you – maybe you watched the sun rise or heard some music or achieved some success – whatever the stimulus, when joy happened to you it always bubbled up from within you. It never rained upon you from somewhere.
The source of happiness is within you but right now, the stimulus is outside. The choice is to keep the stimulus outside or inside. Right now, somebody or something is deciding what should happen within you. This is the worst form of slavery. Unless this slavery is abolished you will not see a better world. So one has to do a little bit of Inner Engineering to make this into a beautiful being.
Q: How do give my best at work and still make time for my loved ones in this hectic pace of life? Why is work-life balance important?
Sadhguru: There is no such thing as work and life, it is life and life. Your work has to be lived, and your life has to be worked at. Do not make a demarcation that there is something called as work and life. There are different aspects of life, and they need to be dealt with. I work seven days a week, 365 days – but I don’t need a vacation. If you really do what you care for, your whole life is a vacation. So make your life a vacation by creating what you care for. Above all, the most important work is to work upon yourself.