Happiness

It's a simple word, happiness, but much expectation, desire and striving makes the whole idea suddenly very complicated. It is seen as something to reach out towards. Some people think it is about doing only things you like. Others will say it is about having 'fun' Or perhaps you are happy when you are not unhappy, when you are free from fear, anxiety, worry.

To me it is solidly anchored in my inner state of being. It is a feeling, yet is also related to thinking. While outer circumstances may certainly influence how I feel and what I think, it is more about how I interpret those circumstances. The cliche of 'is the glass half empty or half full' is actually spot on. Same glass. Same amount of water. To one person it seems half empty, to another it seems half full.That's just a thought though. The feeling follows.

Out on a walk through the hills, can I enjoy the views and be captivated by the sounds of birds, crickets and a stream? Or am I drawn to the feeling of strain in my legs, the hunger in my stomach and the cold wind on my face? Or am I able to hold both in my awareness and accept them both as part of the experience of this walk?

All this may sound as if I am suggesting you just practice 'thinking positively'. But as an outward effort, and attempt to forcibly change the way you habitually think about things, that approach is likely to lead to frustration.

With meditation you learn slowly but surely to just observe without judging. So let's start with the feeling being happy itself. One moment I may be happy, the next I may be miserable. Sometimes I can point to a cause, often I cannot really identify it. One morning I feel great, the next I can hardly get out of bed. Rather than trying to change anything from the outside, through the practice of meditation you gently teach yourself to observe all this from within. You will come to the realisation that these moods and feelings are much like the weather. They come and go and it is hard to control them!

Let's not try to control them. Just observe. Breathe. Allow the feelings to come and go, just like you do with the throughts during a meditation. Then after some time you may begin to notice subtle changes, in yourself, but also perhaps even in the outer circumstances. It is as if the universe moves along with your persistent, non-striving, practice, just like the moon travels along the road with you.

So yes, meditation will indeed make you happier. But not in the external sense that you will have more fun, or experience less worry. No, it is more likely that you learn to detach somewhat from the very feeling of being happy itself and see it for what it is. Your mind suddenly becomes free to think for itself, seeing that certain thoughts lead to joy whereas others to sadness. You learn to steer your thinking to those thoughts that fill you with energy and joy and you learn to observe, without judgement, those moments of unhappiness that just come over you.

return from happiness to benefits of meditation

return from happiness to meditation for beginners

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