Updated: Sep 1
We often mix happiness with pleasure, something which is mostly dependent upon the external factors. In fact, we run towards more and more pleasurable feelings and mistake them for happiness. Real happiness is, where you are unaffected by your thoughts and feelings rather it be pleasant or unpleasant and know how to live life with full awareness. All the things like money, cars, house they all are the ancillaries for life, not necessities for happiness, the main thing required for happiness is living this life with knowing of what's happening around you and how not to identify with your thoughts and feelings, not just living it with ignorance.
We hear this a lot, where people constantly ask the way to obtain eternal happiness. Like, I didn't have money and family, but now I have money, family, but still not happy. Or some say they thought when they will achieve their goals they will be happier, but once they achieve them all they again go back to ground zero in their quest, why is that.
It's only because we feel happiness happens when we get all these things. But the really important thing which we all forget is these things definitely can bring pleasurable feelings and help in making life comfortable and do lead to fulfillment of many desires, but these things are still external, internally we are still the same. Our thoughts and our feelings they still control us in a big way, we are like slaves to them. We feel these bodily sensations and mental formations as us and identify with everything coming to mind. If thought says you are going crazy, you feel the sensations on the body and next minute the fear of craziness surrounds you, this is how we identify with them. We don't learn how to handle those bad thoughts or the feelings of stress and anxiety. Until we understand them and get mastery over them, the real joy is just illusion and we will be miserable doesn't matter how much money you make. Eternal happiness starts by working from inside rather than outside objects. Infact, if your inside is joyful, then you won't even need those external objects to be happy.
What we are running for is the dependable happiness, which is dependent on external things. But any wise person knows that real happiness is happiness which comes with freedom and let go.
Let's learn the ways for being happy eternally:
1. Being Present: This is one of the major factors, being present means you are simply just present and you're just a BEING in that moment. You are not a body or pile of thoughts, feelings and emotions. You do not identify with any of the input coming onto your mind and body. Once you stop identifying yourself with them and just be present, then any greed, anger, emotion, feeling have no control over you. You can't be touched and can't be broken. So being present is the most important for being eternally happy.
One has to learn first how this mind and body works, once that is learnt, one can very easily break all the limitations and come out joyous. For that, start with meditation, close your eyes and sit down, you will see yourself drifting into thoughts, thoughts about the past, future, some person, you will see how fast your thoughts jump from one topic to another. And based on these thoughts, our feelings jump from one emotion to another. They are so much interlocked with each other you cannot imagine how deep.
For eg good thoughts bring good feelings, bad thoughts can never bring good feelings. Out of ignorance we start identifying with these thoughts as us, but how can we be something which jumps from one point to another so fast and always changing. Have you ever talked to your own mind, replied to your own thoughts and have you felt that feeling which can see all this happening? We do that all the time, talk to our mind, if you can talk to someone means you are not that thing, it is something not you. What you are is that awareness, also known as chitta, you are that awareness which just knows but doesn't react. Feel that awareness, that is you and awareness is reality. Just this deidentification and realization can bring everest of awareness in anyone, which is all what is needed to get established in the present and know it all. Learn more about how our mind is a committee of members and ways this chattiness affects our decisions massively, click here.
2: Impermanence: Have you seen yourself when you were age 10 and how you look now. What you used to think that time and what is your thought process now. We can always notice the big changes, but it becomes very hard to notice the small changes. Our body is changing every moment and these moments add up to make big changes. It's like one day to next day doesn't look like any big change but one year to next year does. See and experience this impermanence in everything, this will help you reduce the attachment and identifications we develop with our thoughts, family and society. Once this is reduced and dealt with, awareness and being present becomes super easy.
3.Progress and Goals: When a person is progressing, he will always be happy. Give yourself some good productive goals, challenge yourself and your abilities. Not just materialistic goals, but make goals towards making others' lives happy, goals towards being more humble and kind and spiritual goals to calmness inside you. Stay ambitious, work hard and always keep your materialistic goals based on moral correctness, goals with no selfishness and no harm to others.
4. Content: At one point we talk about being ambitious and making goals but then we talk about Contentness, why so. By Content I mean, being content with your current situation, not feeling you are lacking something now and happiness will only come when you will achieve something in future.
Happiness is not something which you will get in future, it is present all the time, so learn to be content and appreciative of what you have now, as appreciating what you have will definitely make you more respectful and grateful. Which are great ingredients for happiness plus at the same time stay ambitious towards your goals in order for you to keep progressing. Surrender to your situation while striving for better.
5: Forgiveness and letting go: One of the most important virtues is forgiveness and with forgiveness comes letting go. When I'm talking about forgiveness I mean completely forgiving the person, holding no grudge at all. I have seen in many cases, we forgive the person, but still have the feeling of wrong done to us in our heart. We forgive but don't forget the incident.
For eg: 2 people in an unhealthy marriage, a couple gets separated after 2 years, but they spend the next 15 years thinking about that bad decision of marrying. Just let go and forgive each other and move on. Staying stuck to old emotions and things will just only stop you from moving forward. And believe me, moving forward is the only right way, let go of the grudge emotion, by loving yourself and the other person. Understanding what another person did or him being mean to you is only because he is not aware of his actions and words, he likes everyone else including you, he too gets overwhelmed by the emotions of anger and greed. So forgiveness and letting go always in every condition is the best way of living. Learn more about forgiveness and letting go, click here.
6: Metta(Goodwill for others): As Buddha said " Always be compassionate to others and give your love and kindness to people around you". There is no bigger happiness, then happiness which comes from giving. It doesn't mean you have to just give materialistic things, even sending good vibes and feelings around you makes a big difference. So always be kind to others, be loving to others and be caring, just distribute love.
Feeling of love towards others can only come, when you cultivate all this massive love inside you. Have compassion for everyone around you, and send out this love every moment of your life without expecting anything in return. This will make you less sensitive towards your emotions and more confidence in handling them.
These are some few important factors, which if used and developed properly, will bring immense calm and joy in your life.
Calm Mind Power
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