Most are happy due to some things,
which means they will be unhappy
due to some other things.
I have two pieces of news for you – good news and bad news. I shall begin by sharing with you the bad news. Brace yourself, for it might be a hard truth to you! Here it goes… Absolutely nothing material (physical) or immaterial (mental) out there in this world can ever bring you True Happiness – simply because everything is subject to change – both yourself and the ‘objects’ of happiness you strive for. If your happiness depends on a zillion continually changing external factors, you would always be at their mercy! Now for the good news… Nothing can really make you unhappy either. True Happiness is dependent on absolutely nothing worldly, as it is unconditioned, experienceable in this world, yet ‘out of this world’.
There are conditions, however, for attaining the unconditioned state of True Happiness. You have to train your mind to be calm and clear, to see all things material and immaterial as they truly are – changing, dissatisfactory and unsubstantial. The clearer you see this reality, the nearer you are to True Happiness, that is Nirvana itself – boundless bliss beyond mind and matter, beyond change, dissatisfaction and self, beyond the material and immaterial, beyond space and time. Incidentally, in the Buddhist perspective, means that seek True Happiness via extrinsic means are regarded as spiritually deviant or ‘external’ paths. Even those who are born in Pure Land, which has a wondrous Dharma-permeated environment, use it to facilitate inner cultivation for liberation.
Here’s an example to illustrate the good and bad news. Two are waiting for a late train. One is frustrated while the other is at ease. As their reactions are opposite, the single train cannot be the same cause of both anger or peace of mind. External factors might condition un/happiness, but they are never their true causes. If they are, all would suffer due to late trains, but some never ever. The causes of un/happiness are thus in you, not external stuff. You choose how to see the ‘late trains’ of life – as bad, good or mere news. Likewise, you choose whether to suffer from your attachment, aversion and delusion, which are the causes of unhappiness, or to transcend them by cultivating generosity, compassion and wisdom, which are the causes of happiness.
Since nothing without can bring you True Happiness, why not stop seeking outside and reflect within? Being personally responsible for your happiness is spiritually empowering. It is to realise that you have the power to be happy by choosing kinder and wiser attitudes and actions. You don’t have to depend on conditions like traffic or the weather to be happy. No more such poor excuses to procrastinate your happiness! True Happiness remains unchanged despite changes in outer conditions, which include how your loved ones relate to you. To expect others to bring you True Happiness is foolish indeed, as we are each responsible for our own happiness! However, we can condition the seeds of True Happiness in one another to grow. I hope this article helps!
We can condition our happiness
to be less and less conditioned by circumstances,
to be more and more unconditional and thus true.