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How to understand happiness?

Spiritual understanding is attained through the right life experiences and vice-versa. This virtuous cycle of self-discovery starts with a genuine intention to grow into the better version of ourselves. It is a conscious search for moments of presence and inside peace. Therefore let’s have a closer look at a short spiritual message about happiness which I found along my travels. I hope it will inspire you as it did for me and help your inner-self on its spiritual path.

"Every time a problem arises,

the essential thing is to immediately

become aware that the problem comes

from our selfish mind,

that it is created by

self cherishing thoughts.

As long as you put the blame outside

yourself there can be no happiness."

Lama Zopa Rinpoche -

In this short message, Lama Zopa Rinpoche shares his wisdom about happiness. He tells us that happiness is not something that you can acquire by buying a house or by achieving a goal like getting married or status. He points out that happiness is a way of consciously being with your body, mind and emotions. To be happy is to take responsibility for the three, nourish self-esteem and acceptance.

To understand happiness, one needs to think about what's "suffering". One does not come without the other. The key is not to attach ourselves to our moments of suffering in a way that it becomes part of who you are. Suffering is constantly knocking at our door with human problems: emotional, mental and physical. Any of these problems will arise from our way of experiencing reality through distorted perceptions, negative thought patterns, poor habits and bad intentions. Living intensely in our problems can be a vicious cycle. The more we feed suffering the more we will crave something else than who we are, which in turn brings more suffering. Suffering becomes part of who we are, our karma, our vibration and our energy.

Therefore, you need to learn how to detach ourselves from suffering. You can do this by developing consciousness. Consciousness is the exercise of thinking seriously through our own "self". Zopa Rinpoche is not talking about intellectual thinking or logical thinking, but rather about an awareness capable of noticing what are we feeling, sensing and thinking at each moment. This awareness allows us to deconstruct our sense of being and make us understand that the impermanence of any problem doesn’t make who we are. Instead of blaming our outside environment for what we feel, sense and think, we discover that all can be re-engineered inside ourselves. We are the subject of improvement.

Accepting our outside as it is and respecting the way we are is key to end our causeless fight with others and our environment. A new meaningful fight for self-development can then begin: happiness is the path towards it.

Self-development tip:

Try for the next 7 days to identify every negative emotion and thought patterns when they arise. At those moments, don't judge or try to understand those negativities, just be aware of them. Look closely at them and sense how they make you feel. Don't think... just notice how they don't make who you are if you chose so. Soon, they go away as they came. This is you muscling your consciousness, being mindful. Slowly, you are detaching your "self" from suffering, avoiding it to be dragged to your next experience. If this makes sense to you, try to create a habit of 20 minutes of meditation every day to clean your mind and create space for presence and positivity, therefore happiness.

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