is how we manage our lives.
We all seek happiness. This means different things to different people. It could refer to outer achievements, inner achievements or a little of both. Achievement is about managing our activities; it’s how we channel* our energies, and it’s what guides us, our code of conduct, our personal behaviour.
This is a reflection of our inner state – the state of our mind. There are two aspects to mind: pure empty awareness, and the contents in that pure empty awareness.
So, what is happiness?
Well, it’s that state of pure, empty awareness. It is the feeling of ultimate contentment, being totally at peace. Complete, unchanging satisfaction. There is no conflict, and no sense of anything to defend. However, the word ‘happiness’ has been hijacked by the idea of pleasure, which is never satisfying and has no lasting inner peace. So happiness can be understood in two ways.
We all get frustrated and dissatisfied – that’s life. This can either bring us down, or make us look more closely at the problem. If life brings us down, then we get more of the same – although we may spend our life justifying it, thereby turning an illusion into delusion and remaining unhappy. But, if life is seen as patterns of behaviour that control us, then we have the possibility of seeing and recognising our true potential; we can change our attitude – and that is an important step towards freedom. That is the state of permanent happiness that no outside force can destroy.
Happiness is a feeling of ‘rightness’, and in that, there is satisfaction which brings inner peace. When something is right, we know, and we don’t need praise or recognition. When we complete an activity – even a simple one of clearing the table – there is a feeling of rightness. In facing something we have put off, there is a feeling of rightness; to overcome procrastination is satisfying.
The important point is knowing that we have overcome our fears, which are merely ideas in the mind. This right conduct is the continuity of meditation, and the realisation of pure awareness. Pure awareness is never wrong because pure awareness is ultimately right; happy for no reason.
There is now spiritual energy in everything we do, which builds a conducive atmosphere to manage life.
*The original of the word ‘conduct’ is conduit, which meant ‘to channel’