Pranam Horlbeck from Zurich has been meditating since his teenage years. In this interview, and in the above video, he shares his evolving attitude towards happiness.
What does happiness mean to you?
Happiness seems to me to be a state of not needing anything on the outside but only to feel closeness to the divine within ourselves. It took me a while to reach this realisation.
I was always looking for true happiness and as I tried all the things that society suggested, but did not get the result I was hoping for. For example, I remember I had a desire to buy a snooker table. My friends and I managed to import one from Ireland, and I felt now I will be happy. But as ill-luck would have it after quite a short time this happiness again left me, so I had to find another way.
Then I came across meditation. Initially the goal of my friends and I was to become millionaires by the age of 30, and retire to Ireland to meditate. But later I realised that you can also be happy and still be in the world.
What makes me happy ?
I am very fortunate to be able to do a lot of different disciplines. One thing I started doing was running a lot of long distances – even longer than the marathon and often for many days at a time. I finished a 700 Mile race, which was very special as it taught me so many things about my own inner potential.
I also love singing spiritual songs – especially in a group. I am currently in a group which is trying to sing all 22,000 of Sri Chinmoy’s songs. Three times a year, we learn around 250 songs and then sing them for our fellow meditation students – that’s around 750 songs a year, which means we should be finished singing them all in 2031! It is definitely a lot of discipline learning all those songs, but it gives me tremendous Joy and fulfilment.
But for me – going to New York, and sitting in meditation in our meditation-garden where my meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy used to meditate with us is probably the happiest moment.
I also love playing Golf – I could write a lot about being unhappy while playing Golf and learning many spiritual lessons about surrender and just being happy no matter what the result!
By making myself really, truly happy, automatically a love of humanity and a wish to be of service to humanity springs up from inside.
What gives you most hope for the future?
I definitely feel the World is progressing. Young people seem to be much more aware and conscious then we were when we were young. For example, I give a lot of meditation workshops, and the new people who come to our meditation classes or join our meditation path are so inspiring, humble, and inwardly deep.