February 28 : Happiness from Within

We should look at some of our wrong conceptions, the various levels of our wrong conceptions, our expectations, and our rules of the universe. One of the misconceptions where we get really stuck is to believe things that by their very nature cannot bring us lasting happiness. We get really stuck there. Like holding a kitten. It is so nice to hold a kitten, but when she starts squirming, eating your food, digging in her claws, and so on, it is not really happiness anymore. 

We work hard to get the things we expect to bring us lasting happiness. We do backflips and all sorts of things to get them, thinking, “This is really going to do it for me. If I have this… If I go here… If I do that… If I’m with this person… then I’ll be happy.” But that is not what our experience is, is it? We do these things and they bring some pleasure for a while, but then they get boring, or they become something distasteful. You get tired of sitting there with the cat in your lap. You want to do something else. Or you get tired of the job. Or the job brings with it a whole lot of problems you did not know you would get. 

This idea that all these things are going to bring us lasting, ultimate happiness is a misconception that permeates our life and leads to a lot of disappointment, disillusionment and even depression. We are counting on external things and external people that just do not have the ability to do what we want them to do, which is to make us everlastingly happy. This does not mean that you just throw up your hands and say, “There’s no purpose in anything. There’s no enjoyment whatsoever.” That is not true. We all know that there is enjoyment and we can do good things in the world. The problem is when we expect more of things than they can really give us. 

We are doing serious spiritual practice when we start to see that real joy and happiness come from transforming the heart. When we transform our hearts, when we transform our minds, we are not so dependent on the outside world for our happiness. That means we become much freer. We can go to different places and do different things and our happiness follows us because our happiness radiates from within our own hearts and is not dependent on the outside. 

“365 Gems of Wisdom” First Volume (January — March) e-book is out now!