Our world of distinctions is built on paradigms, on the collective agreement of human-created models. Frankly, many of these models have outworn their welcome; many of them have stayed on the shelf long past their due dates.


There are numerous teachers today of something called ‘The Secret’, something called ‘The Law of Attraction’. These people, in many cases have tapped into the Stillness and have gained the realization there are no limitations. But to bring that awareness back to this world and to teach that we can all have everything that we want is to forget that wanting is the source of suffering.


This craving for more is based on a limited understanding of the Absolute. When there is action without true understanding, it is action without heart. This has been the course of humanity, at least in the so-called civilized world, for long enough. Some would say for too long. Yes, we can each own and enjoy the luxury of things—the latest gadget, the biggest TV, the newest and greatest cell phone—yet we must not forget that someone else in this world may be suffering because of our greed, because of our lack of understanding.


When we are looking for economic solutions from within a model that is fatally flawed, we will not find lasting, sustainable solutions. We need to look outside the box.


It is a delusion to think that if enough is enough, then more is better. When we’re in touch with who we really are, what is here right now is perfect. Then our needs, our true needs, are fulfilled and there is an immense sense of gratitude, an immense feeling of peace and spaciousness.


One of the messages of my first book, In Search of Simplicity, and other writings is that we need to take a close look at what our real needs are. We need to re-evaluate our lives. If we have enough money—and  lets face it, most people reading this have enough since we have clean, comfortable shelter and enough to eat—do we have enough time? Do we have enough quality time? In today’s world some are money rich and time poor.


The art of living is learning to be content with where you are now, with what is. An example would be with relationships. Isn’t it interesting that when we are in a relationship, we may think it would be better to be on our own. And when we are on our own we wish we had a partner.


Don’t look for a partner when you are not content with yourself. Be happy with one and two will find you. When Lucia and I met in India, we were each content on our own and we became good friends. Our relationship grew out of this friendship, and it was possible because of the personal contentment we had each found at the time. We weren’t consciously looking for each other. What we need finds us when we are looking the other way.


Yes, we can apply our will and certain techniques to get anything we want. Yes, we can use the law of attraction for this. The risk is that we become manipulative, that we are playing God. We are assuming we know what we need.


When we live each moment in a state of presence, when we look at the world with our ‘child’ eyes, when we stop to smell the roses, when we are happy, truly happy, what we need automatically comes. We don’t need to ask for it.


It has been said that when the student is ready the teacher comes. In this world, everyone and every experience can be our teacher. Be happy and allow what you need to come to you. Believe in magic and magic is. Love what you are doing in the moment and the moment will reward you in wondrous ways you least expect.


This is the art of living.


John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives.

In Search of Simplicity is a startlingly poignant real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life. John Haines hosts a popular weekly interview program, Voices from the North, from his place in paradise in New Zealand’s subtropical far north, and leads what he calls ‘playshops’ in voice, sound and communication.