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Monday, July 15, 2013

To be happy simply be

Just being is happiness. In fact, all of creation is happy, except man. Only we humans have this uncanny ability to be unhappy. And that’s because we bring our egos and our desires into the picture and complicate our lives.

This is best explained with an anecdote. A man went to the venerable Buddha and asked to be taught a method, a practice, a ritual, a prayer that could lead him to happiness. The Buddha asked him why he wanted such a method.

“I want happiness,” replied the man.

“First drop the ‘I’. Then drop the ‘want’. What you will be left with is happiness,” said the Buddha.

It indeed is so simple. None of your situations can affect your happiness unless you choose to be unhappy!

Let’s say you are in a great mood and are walking down the street, whistling to yourself. Surely you are happy! Suddenly a car speeds past you and splashes dirty rain water from a puddle on to you! You immediately get angry. And worry that “your” clothes are soiled and complain that “you” now have to go back home to change. You “want” to be able to get to a cinema in some time but now you will be late! You are overcome with anxiety and are filled with rage at “your” state of affairs. Examine closely to know who caused your unhappiness. Is it the driver of that speeding car, is it the car itself, is it the overnight rain or is it the dirty water puddle on the street? While all of these may have been co-conspirators in your story, the sole person responsible for you switching from happiness to unhappiness is “you” and the key contributor to this changed state of mind is your desire – your wish, your want, that this episode had not happened at all.

The Buddha anecdote and this example may seem too simple when you consider more complex Life scenarios. But whoever said that happiness is rocket science? In any situation in Life, it is your ego and your desire__that things be different than what they are__that make you unhappy. Remember: you are happy as long as you don’t impose conditions on whatever’s happening in your Life. Which is why just being__in acceptance of what is__is the way to happiness. 

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