Our book is published by Mythologem Press and was released October 6, 2016 and just after was named one of the Top 100 Indie Books of 2016 by Shelf Unbound! The book is available in paperback, audio-book, and digital e-book formats. Purchase a copy here.
Happiness becomes our true nature once we learn to let go of anything that gets in the way of sharing love. We are spiritual beings having human experiences, and the primary purpose of our mission is to share love. The Dali Lama teaches that we feel happy when we are happy for another’s happiness. This understanding reveals the possibility of living life as a vibrant and joyous celebration.
The state of happiness can be elusive. We cannot create it, but we can remove the obstacles that hide it from our perception. In this way we are able to skillfully unfold seeming obstructions to reveal our capacity to be in a truly happy state of being.
Happiness is the greatest prosperity we can experience. It goes far beyond the idea of material wealth. When we reach a state—and it is a state—of happiness, the desire to prove to others why we are happy disappears. The thoughts and stories we share in this book are ideas and tools of self-discovery we have found along our personal paths. They have lifted the veil and helped to unfold and reveal happiness as a real place of being. They are our experiences. It is our hope that we can help you, dear reader, in your search for happiness.
The title of our book, “Unfolding Happiness,” was inspired by a lotus seed that gestates, grows and unfolds into a beautiful lotus flower, revealing its splendor and true nature. Under favorable circumstances, the seeds of the lotus can remain viable for centuries. The oldest recorded lotus seed to germinate is from a 1,300 year old specimen that was recovered from a dry lakebed in northeastern China.
The patience of the lotus seed inspires us to know that it does not matter how long the journey to unfold our true nature of happiness takes. Just as the flower’s full potential is held within the seed, so is our own possibility. It just needs to be nurtured and then, by its true nature, unfolds when the conditions are right.
Throughout history, the image of a lotus flower has often been used as an example of divine beauty. Every part and stage of its development holds significant meaning. The seed represents potential. The stem illustrates a connection between water, earth, and sky, and relates to our bodies, minds, and spirits in this way. In Hindu art, the thrones and pedestals used in the creative expression of the gods is often the blossom of a lotus flower. In its fully open form, it also represents the Sun, the supporter of life on our planet and the center of our solar system. The Hindu deity Vishnu, often referred to as the “Lotus-Eyed One,” signifies the sustainer of the universe.
The image of a lotus flower’s unfolding petals suggests the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the muck and mud of its origin holds a spiritual promise of revealing its true nature. A Confucian scholar, Zhou Dunyi, wrote,
“I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained.“
Here we share our ideas and feelings about the unfolding of happiness, classified in distinct chapters that relate to the phases of the lotus flower’s life and regeneration cycle. We invite you to think of the entirety of this book as an ongoing process in which all the information is a continuum that merges into itself.
Enjoy the journey from identifying the seed that carries the potential of happiness—through the nourishment stage where we explore the creation of a nurturing environment for the seeds of happiness to unfold, grow, and flourish. We encourage you to try the ideas and offerings that we share and hope they lead you to a happy life filled with joy and bliss.
Gratefully, Ambika and Vijay
Ambika Devi, MA has taught meditation and holistic health for more than three decades. Her pockets are filled with degrees including an MA in Yoga Vedanta Education and a BS in Astrology. Ambika’s first novel Lilith won finalist in the International Book Awards. Here she shares how
Ayurveda has unfolded mysteries and increased intuition that have brought great healing and opened her path to happiness. www.AmbikaDevi.com
Contact Ambika for Consultations and Speaking Engagements.
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“Our natural state of bliss is obscured by our thoughts, feelings, emotions, judgment, criticism, likes, dislikes, and trauma. That’s why people are suffering. This book brings a practical approach to unfolding inner happiness and joy through a clinical approach to Ayurveda. It is a helpful guide to every Ayurvedic individual who seeks happiness.”
Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc, Ayurvedic Physician
Author of Ayurveda: Science of Self-Healing: A Practical Guide and
Textbook of Ayurveda
“Happiness resides within us, but we have forgotten how to access it and instead run after all the new gadgets and glitter of information technology. Dr. Vijay Jain and Ambika Devi unfold the yogic secrets of uncompromised and unshakeable peace and happiness so that we can move beyond all dependencies and additions. This book makes for fascinating reading, providing many practical tools and transformative insights as how to discover the Ananda, or bliss, that is our true immortal nature.”
Dr. David Frawley, Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies
Teacher of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Jyotish
Padma Bhushan Awardee
Author of Shiva, the Lord of Yoga and over thirty other books
“Happiness is our true nature, but the ego-mind hides this with attachments, aversions, and emotions, which create illness and depression. Ambika and Vijay reveal the insightful ancient teachings of yogic and Ayurvedic lifestyle that removes the obstacles to inner happiness, performing miracles in healing. Through their knowledge and inspiring personal stories you will learn how to provide the right conditions to naturally unfold into the state of happiness. This book will touch your heart and transform your life.”
Yogi Amrit Desai, International Yoga Grand Master
Founder of Kripalu Yoga and Spiritual Leader of the Amrit Yoga Institute
“Unfolding Happiness is an extraordinary book—a beautiful rendering of ancient wisdom updated through a modern lens. The authors are well-versed in the subject, yet the book is far from a dry exposition. The authors have effectively woven personal stories and practical tips into every chapter, taking readers on a journey towards unfolding happiness. No matter where you are in your life, there is a gift for you in these pages.”
Susan S. Freeman, Founder and President of “Step Up Leader,”
Author, and Speaker
“Enjoyable and interactive, Unfolding Happiness illustrates and reveals the possibility of living life as a joyous celebration through communicating with readers. The Sanskrit glossary, with simple translations, enhances the usability of the book for Ayurveda and Yoga readers seeking health as the foundation of happiness.”
Dr. B.V.K. Sastry, Yoga-Samskrutham University
“Ambika and Vijay keep it REAL! Their heartfelt stories about the small victories and the pursuit of happiness hit just the right spot.”
Dave Romanelli, Author of Happy is the New Healthy
“When I think about happiness now, after recently reading the intriguing words of Unfolding Happiness by Ambika Devi and Dr. Vijay Jain, new ideas on the subject float through my mind like kites or party balloons, or confetti in a parade. They urge me on to explore, ruminate, play, and luxuriate in the fantastic plethora of newfound wisdom they offer that wafts up in a fantastical celebration of frontal cortex enlightenment and bliss. This is not the usual tired, recycled wisdom one typically encounters in similar books of this genre. As you might guess, I can’t recommend this book highly enough, and sincerely thank the authors for such a thoughtful and insightful analysis of all that happiness means in our individual voyages through life.”
Dr. Patagonia, poet