Suffering is a state of mind. To find happiness, peace of mind, and joy, we need to find the fundamental connection we have with ourselves.
Are you satisfied with your life right now? Are you happy most of the time in your daily life? What are your feelings and emotions about the environment around you? The truth is, no matter what the circumstances, your mind is a great asset and you can maneuver it so that you can be at peace with yourself and the world around you by choosing to be happy most of the time. Now how do you handle this?
When you feel pain, grief or regret it is your imagination that does all of these things. People in general never associate their suffering with their imagination. Because they do not believe that it is themselves, who produce these sufferings or sorrows.
If you are suffering, it is due to your imagination, your mental conversations. You change your mental conversations, you change your outside world. Once you realize that it is you and no one else who is producing your outside world, then you will never turn to someone else for what you want.
Is happiness associated with external things? Can happiness be measured? We can see studies abound today on the internet to measure the level of happiness. I have tried to answer these questions by drawing on some reflections from the great spiritual masters that the world has known. Read on to learn more about happiness.
What is Happiness?
“Happiness is your true nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.” —Sri Ramana Maharshi
I believe the quote from Ramana speaks for itself. There is no point in commenting on such a clear and neat quote.
Your outside world is a production of your mind. When you feel good, joyful, happy, your external world must reflect this internal aspect. The reverse is not the case.
People are too likely to be influenced by external circumstances and think that having a few things of certain types will make them happy. It is not true at all.
Of course, we all need material things to function in this physical world but it is our deep attachment to those things that bring suffering.
“All conditioned things are impermanent — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” —The Buddha
If happiness is your very nature, and if you produce your outside world through your imagination, which is what you really are, then you need nothing from the outside to be happy. And those who try to measure happiness through scientific studies are missing the mark. The physical world cannot produce the spiritual world, the reverse is true.
“Everything you want is because you think you will feel better in the having of it. We want you to show yourself that you can feel better without having of it, and then you can have it.” —Abraham Hicks
This means that the happiness you seek in the world is already lodged in you. Happiness is not to be found outside or with someone else. Go inside and find what you are looking for in the world, no matter what it is (love, money, health, joy, etc.). No one else is able to do this for you, you are the only person to be changed and no one else.
“Your opinion of yourself is your most important viewpoint. You are infinitely greater than you think you are.” —Neville Goddard
So if you are focused on the circumstances of your life that are not going well then you have a bad opinion of yourself. You are causing suffering around you without knowing that it is you who is the author of your world and no one else is doing it against you.
The Mind must be disciplined
Most of the time, focus your attention on all the things that are beautiful, the things that you enjoy the most because you get the same energy that you diffuse. Be vigilant about your thoughts. Observe your mental conversations because often we say things to ourselves without even realizing it. Invest in your positive thoughts, in what is joyful, in the beautiful things of this world, and move away from the circumstances you do not want, regardless of what it is.
The mind must be disciplined because otherwise it goes from all directions and this brings more confusion than clarity, more suffering than joy. Stay as faithful as possible to your good humor, to your inner joy, that is to say, you are housed in what you really are, your Inner Self, in order to lead your mind, in places you want to go and not in relation to the circumstances of your environment.
“What would the feeling be like were you to realize your desire? A new feeling, like a young colt, is a very difficult thing to ride unless you ride him with a disciplined mind. If I do not remain faithful to the mood, the young colt throws me off. Every time you become conscious that you are not faithful to this mood, you have been thrown from the colt.” —Neville Goddard
So working your mind to discipline it is the right thing to do. In this way, you see things in life as they really are. You will no longer be disturbed by the worries of life because your mind will not be disturbed, it will remain fixed on the things that you want to live in your life. How to discipline your mind; meditation, silence, be within you most of the time.
“Can you allow your mind to be quiet? Isn’t it difficult? Because the mind seems to be like a monkey, jumping up and down and jabbering all the time. Once you’ve learned to think, you can’t stop.” —Alan Watts
If you want to feel it real, go within!
What would the person you want to be, look like if your wish were already fulfilled?
If you are suffering, it is because of your imagination, your mental conversations that focus more on disappointment topics and negative thoughts. But don’t be harsh on yourself, these are things that happen. No one can say that he is a life expert. We live in a world where negative things exist and we have to deal with them, but it’s up to you to sort, to choose, to collect what is good for you.
You have to be very nitpicky about choosing your thoughts. Do not accept any thought. Stop having any negative mental conversation with yourself. You must invest your time in thoughts of well-being, joy, happiness, and nothing else.
The only thing left for you is to place yourself in a quiet place where you can be in silence for a while. Be relaxed. And if you know the emotion that you would have when you were in possession of your desire then hold it. If you know exactly what you want, and really want it, this step will not be difficult.
Create a scenario around this emotion by playing the role as an actor and not as a spectator of your scene. Invite your relatives and friends in your mental scenario and make them speak of your desire while congratulating you on your success.
This is the exercise you can do, whenever you have free time. Don’t get distracted by your everyday reality. What your imagination can see, your eyes cannot so do not worry about your five senses.
Persist in playing the role of your script and stay in it most of the time even if you are doing the daily chores.
Remember that the mind needs practice, determination, and patience because “it is used to doing things that it is used to doing”.
If you have practiced this exercise well then the feeling of your wish already fulfilled implies that it is already done, the creation is finished. You have to prevent your mind from going back and looking at the past because you are moving away from your wish.
How are you going to do that? Watch your mental conversations, watch your emotions, they’ll give you directions from where you’re on the track. If you are enthusiastic, happy, positive, joyful when you think of your wish, then it is good to continue, if not stop immediately and go in the silence to exercise until it becomes a new habit.
Know that you are lovely!
Before wanting to change the world, you have to change yourself because there is no one else to change but yourself.
“Without understanding yourself, what is the use of trying to understand the world?” —Ramana Maharshi
If you don’t like yourself what’s the point of wanting to like someone else?
For most people, the love of one’s neighbor is something extremely difficult to grasp because there is so much violence, negative circumstances reported by the world’s media that it leaves very little room for love.
And what most people fail to grasp either is that by telling and rehashing the world’s news about the violence, they attract the same energy.
Man, in general, finds it so hard to turn to himself, to his own Inner Being.
He does not often give himself the opportunity to return inward to feel his Being which is Love and Joy, that is to say, what he really is. He cannot believe that there is a peaceful and joyful place within himself.
But when it does, he takes all the benefit of a world of peace and love and compassion. He is unable to see anything other than joy, happiness, and compassion. He then understands that this is the only reality.
In conclusion, I’m just going to direct you to Alan Watts, one of the greatest philosophers who has understood what happiness is.