The Art of Happiness

the-art-of-happiness

I have read many books on how to find happiness. I’ll help you save time: disregard other books on happiness, this is the only book that you need. 

Notes:

Four factors in an individual’s quest for happiness: wealth, worldly satisfaction, spirituality, and enlightenment.

Happiness can be achieved through training the mind.

By bringing about a certain inner discipline, we can undergo a transformation of our attitude, our entire outlook and approach to living.

Identify those factors lead to happiness and factors that lead to suffering.

Gradually eliminate those factors that lead to suffering and cultivate those which lead to happiness.

The purpose of our existence is to seek happiness.

Happy people are generally found to be more sociable, flexible, and creative and are able to tolerate life’s daily frustrations more easily than unhappy people.

Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events.

Happiness is a function of how we perceive our situation, how satisfied we are with what we have.

Happiness that depends mainly on physical pleasure is unstable; one day it’s there, the next day it may not be.

Comparing mind

Our feelings of contentment are strongly influenced by our tendency to compare.

Constant comparison with those who are smarter, more beautiful, or more successful than ourselves also tends to breed envy, frustration, and unhappiness.

We can use the comparing mind in a positive way. We can increase our feeling of life satisfaction by comparing ourselves to those who are less fortunate than us and by reflecting on all the things we have.

We can increase or decrease our life satisfaction by changing our perspective.

When you harbor hateful thoughts and intense anger somewhere deep down within yourself, it ruins your health.

The greater our peace of mind, the greater our ability to enjoy a happy and joyful life.

Having a calm or peaceful state of mind doesn’t mean being totally spaced out or completely empty. Peace of mind or a calm state of mind is rooted in affection and compassion.

As long as there is a lack of inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, no matter what external facilities or conditions you have, they will never give you the feeling of joy and happiness that you are seeking.

Inner Contentment

Excessive desire leads to greed.

Even after obtaining the object you desire, you are still not satisfied.

How can you achieve inner contentment? One method is to obtain everything that we want and desire – money, houses, cars, perfect mate, perfect body. The second and more reliable method is, to want and appreciate what we have.

 

The Path to Happiness

We don’t need more money, we don´t need greater success or fame, we don’t need the perfect body or even the perfect mate. Right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness.

The first step in seeking happiness is learning. We first have to learn how negative emotions and behaviors are harmful to us and how positive emotions are helpful.

If you desire happiness, you should seek the causes that give rise to it, and if you don’t desire suffering, then what you should do is to ensure that the causes and conditions that would give rise to it no longer arise.

Once you fill yourself with hatred or negative emotions, then other people appear to you as hostile.

If you maintain a feeling of compassion, loving kindness, then something automatically opens your inner door. Through that you can communicate much more easily with other people.

Mental Discipline

Identify and cultivate positive mental states; identify and eliminate negative mental states.

Through training, we can change, we can transform ourselves. For example, when the Dalai Lama receives tragic news, he will experience some disturbance within his mind. But there is no effect in the deeper mind.

Our brains are malleable, ever changing, reconfiguring their wiring according to new thoughts and experiences.

Bringing discipline within one’s own mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.

Learning and understanding how we perceive ourselves can have a very real impact on how we interact with others and how we conduct our daily lives.