What Makes You Feel Alive?

6 February 2023
A picture of a person wearing sunglasses in front of a graffity wall to show the empowerment of a life well-lived.
By Ben Schoelzel
As the soul and the brain of Samaṇa, Ben focuses on changing his being in the world via a 2-hour daily meditation practice, authentic relating and interpersonal meditation, as well as in an ongoing IFS-practice. He started writing poems in his teenage year and rediscovered his joy for writing with the newsletter and articles for Samaṇa.

Tackle the ongoing ecological collapse

As some of you might know, Samaṇa is also built on the idea that to tackle the ongoing ecological collapse, we need to consume less and, relatedly, realize that happiness isn't achieved by "having more" but by "letting go". Samaṇa is also built on the belief that we need people to embody responsibility and bring forth action: that's the showing up part of the four facets.

Another component that we deem important is integrity: walking the talk. For me that means aside from working on Samaṇa to teach inner work to be inherently more content, it also means head-on engaging with ecological collapse as a behind-the-scenes activist offering emotional support.
A picture of a person wearing a colored hoody and t-shirt with the words techno
Happiness isn't achieved by "having more" but by "letting go".

The "desire to feel alive"

I thoroughly enjoy the emotional support conversations with activists: they're a fun bunch of people deeply caring about the environment, they put themselves aside to work on the Greater Good, are keen to relate to each other deeply, and in the process weaken their sense of Self. They also embody responsibility! In short, there's a lot of similarities between their activism and some of the facets the Samaṇa program helps people grow in!

Recently, I had a conversation with an activist about how to make decisions and I mentioned that the "desire to feel alive" is a strong desire for most people affecting their decision-making. Think about it: people chase after emotional highs, often risking a lot to just feel intensely. Feeling something means we're alive, thus one of the driving forces underneath is the desire to feel alive.

This desire to feel alive is, I have to assume, inherent in anything that's alive: it thus also becomes a connecting force, relating me to anything that's alive. It also brings with a moral prerogative: if I want to feel alive, and other beings share that experience, it's my responsibility to help them be and to feel alive. This leads me full circle to climate activism: Currently, mankind and a lot of its actions are destroying the environment and other beings - for me it's imperative to resist this destruction.

What makes you feel alive? What things are you pursuing to feel alive? How do your daily actions and decisions reflect back onto this greater perspective of feeling alive?

If you're wanting to engage more with what makes you feel alive and what it means to take over responsibility for yourself, your life and your world, then feel free to check out our structured, deep, and integral Samaṇa program on our website and sign up for a cohort of the Samaṇa program!

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The information in this article is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult a professional for guidance about a specific condition.