True happiness is easier to obtain than you might think. It is much easier than owning a dream house, marrying a dream girl, or getting a dream job, etc. Where is it? Why is it that everybody of every race and religion is searching for it, but few people have ever found it?
True happiness is like true love. You cannot purchase true happiness. It is not like buying a lipstick, a Mercedes Benz or an ice cream. It comes from inside, from a place where force, money and charm have no access. Yet, its’ invisible presence has had a universal appeal since time immemorial.
Pleasure is often mistaken for happiness. Pleasure makes you forget bad things for a while, but it comes with side effects. Happiness is pure and unadulterated joy. It is free from side effects and free from the slightest bit of suffering. As much as we appreciate the pleasure of: sitting by the sea, watching the sunset, cruising along the river, being a parent, receiving a promotion or buying beautiful things for ourselves, we know that deep down these things all come with a certain amount of cost (thinking, planning, problem-solving, maintenance and sometimes even stress). Pleasure requires us to take action (to do something), whereas pure happiness asks us to do absolutely nothing.
That is because pure happiness relies on nothing. The presence (or absence) of a particular person, possession or circumstance are not the conditions of happiness. Pleasure is short-lived and relies on external factors, on other people and things outside our control.
This does not mean that we should deny all pleasures. It means that we need to know what real happiness is, where it comes from, and how we can have it. There have been and there always will be times when we realize, temporarily, that all the external possessions and the lovely pleasures cannot lift us out of emotional suffering. Even a nice house, a six-figure salary or a diamond ring cannot prevent love from ruin or save us from heartache. We feel happiness in the mind. It comes from the mind.
To be specific, happiness comes from the center of the body, the natural home of the human mind. Most of us cannot find happiness because we look for only pleasure. We look for happiness on the outside. Sometimes we even feel empty inside, despite owning a new car, a new house and all the beautiful things that money can buy. Sometimes, we work so hard and spend so much time to get all these things for ourselves or for others, to win their hearts. We think that they will make us happy or will return our love. Other people still expire, malfunction or die. They leave us in a most unkind and unexpected manner. We wonder why they left. Then we realize that none of these things can help us when we are worried, depressed or in pain. We will truly appreciate this fact and the difference between happiness and pleasure, only when we have experienced pure happiness.
Real happiness is much closer than you might think
Real happiness is much closer than you might think. It is within every one of us. We have only to station our mind (in the right place) and still it (in the right way) to tap into our private ocean of joy, located right at the center of our body. Have you ever noticed that when you have a good night sleep, you wake up feeling refreshed and energetic, ready to face the day? That is because your mind is floating near the center of your body, two finger-widths above your navel. Medical scientists call it the “center of gravity” because the energy at this center keeps your entire body grounded and in balance.
The center of the body is where our mind feels happiest, where sadness cannot exist and joy abounds, infinitely. It is a place of strength, energy and inspiration to be creative. A place inspiring us to do what is morally correct and useful for oneself or others – despite difficulties and obstacles. It is where our mind rest and it is strengthened and purified. The closer the mind is to the center of the body, the happier it is. The further away our mind is from its home sweet home, the unhappier it becomes.
Have you ever noticed that when you long for someone or something, or when you are angry with somebody, your mind is not with you? It is with that person or thing. By leaving its happy home, the mind exposes itself to negative forces, pressure and emotions – adding to the owner’s suffering. Similarly, when you feel pain in your leg or your arm and you focus on the pain, your mind is with that pain. It is with that painful part of the body. You feel more pain than when you rest your mind in its protected home at your center.
You have only to allow your mind to come to a standstill and rest in its’ home, to savor the pure happiness from your private ocean of joy. You can tap into as much peace and joy as you wish at your center. It is all yours. This permanently reliable source of joy is an inner wealth that you gain when you are born. It is your “true possession”. Nobody can take it away from you.
When your mind dips into the ocean of joy, you will experience an absolute joy that does not compare to owning any possession. Nothing in the world can compare with this absolute joy. Our body’s center guarantees that we all have the ability to make ourselves happy – independent of personal circumstances and external factors.