Inner Engineering | Sadhguru

Summary of: Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy
By: Sadhguru

Introduction

Are you seeking happiness and fulfillment but finding them elusive despite your achievements? ‘Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy’ by Sadhguru explores this conundrum and explains how true fulfillment lies within. By understanding your self-generated emotions and honing your ability to respond consciously to life events, you can achieve personal growth while leaving the notion of ‘bullshit’ success behind. Discover the importance of responsibility and unity within yourself, and tune into the cosmic influences surrounding us. This book summary will guide you through essential yogic teachings for attaining balance in the four dimensions of your existence: body, mind, emotions, and energy.

The Illusion of External Fulfillment

How focusing on the external world can prevent you from finding true fulfillment.

Have you ever wondered why some highly successful people still struggle to find happiness in life? It’s because they lose touch with their true selves while striving to succeed at work. This may lead to initial success, but it’s not a lasting fulfillment. An Indian story about a pheasant and a bull illustrates how focusing on external factors can be misleading and may not bring lasting happiness.

Many people tend to fixate on the external world, assuming that it’s where their experiences and emotions stem from. However, this is an illusion. For example, when we read a book, we perceive it through the reflection of light on our retina. The book is seen within us, just like everything else in the outside world. Recognizing this concept is crucial because a fixation on the external world can prevent us from finding true fulfillment.

To find genuine fulfillment, we need to focus on how we experience the world within ourselves. Achieving inner clarity and self-awareness is key to living a fulfilling life. This means that the outer world cannot sustain us in the long run. Focusing on external factors such as status, money, or social media can be misleading and a trap that leads to unfulfillment.

In conclusion, true happiness and fulfillment come from within. Focusing on external factors can only provide short-term satisfaction. Recognizing that our experiences and emotions come from within is vital to achieving a fulfilling life.

The Power of Self-Generated Emotions

Our perceptions, feelings, and emotions are self-generated, which means that we have the ability to control them consciously. Humans create their own experiences of life, and the release of anandamide, or the “bliss molecule,” can produce absolute pleasure naturally. yogis can produce this chemical through concentration and willpower. This book delves into how we can take control of our emotions and experiences in life.

Learning from Pain

When faced with painful experiences, such as a breakup, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of obsessing over what happened. However, there’s a more conscious way to respond to life events. Reflecting on these experiences and carefully learning from them enables personal growth. By becoming conscious of our reactions, we can step out of the cycle of reliving hurtful emotions and take a different path. Responsibility for our reactions to life events is the next major concept to explore.

Responsibility Gives You Freedom

Responsibility is not just about taking action; it also involves acknowledging and thoughtfully considering choices. When we act responsibly, we can respond consciously to the world’s problems. Responsibility is not a burden; it is a means of obtaining freedom and the ability to make informed decisions. The author believes that responsibility gives us the opportunity to take a step back, consider our options, and decide how best to respond to a situation. It’s responsible simply to acknowledge and thoughtfully consider our choices. When we feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of tragic events in the news, responding consciously to everything is doable. When we learn about a crisis, the responsible reaction is to determine whether we can genuinely help. If we can’t help, responding consciously is better than turning a blind eye.

Unity towards enlightenment

To attain enlightenment, a tight-knit cooperation between body, mind, emotions, and energy is necessary. This is beautifully illustrated in a traditional Indian story of four yogis seeking shelter from a storm. They finally embraced a deity at the center of an ancient temple, and at that moment, God appeared to them. Similarly, an individual seeking enlightenment must attain balance in all aspects of their being through meditation, physical yoga, prayer, and exercises that affect their energy centers. This requires rediscovering one’s place in the universe, which is elaborated on in the next part.

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