A recent dhamma talk by Vimala Bhikkhuni was all about happiness and what that means to each of us.
The general consensus was that we all wish to obtain happiness. And Bhikkhuni’s suggestion was to be open to happiness always. Allowing it to enter our lives whenever and wherever it may happen.
I was the only person to slightly disagree with most people with my answer that acceptance is the meaning of happiness. Meaning that each moment, regardless of positive or negative feelings, can be accepted just as they are. With no aversion (dosa), desire (tanha), clinging (upādāna), or stories attached, lies the true happiness that might be better termed peace.
Now I am far from a Monastic or Buddhist scholar, so my view on this could be totally wrong. But I have learned that happiness is always fleeting and fluid. Any attempt to hold on to or maintain happiness will assuredly lead to dissatisfaction and suffering.
I have seen this my whole life, both in the self and in all those around me. Even the grasping for happiness can instill an immediate frustration and sadness. Ones mind is instantly fantasizing about what could or should be, but in fact is not present in any way.
The endless cycle of happy and sad become a form of suffering in and of itself.
So what’s the way out of this cycle of ups and downs in our life? How do we quit chasing our tails?
I only see one logical answer to this, and it is one of acceptance.
When something terrible happens, we only need to smile and accept this. Any other decision is the same as trying to hold our inhale or exhale of the breath.
Seeing the flow and nature of this existence is the path to ease (cessation of suffering) and equanimity (upekkha).
I encourage you to share your thoughts on this with me.
And as always, may you be well, happy and peaceful.