When things don't go the way we want them to, we get agitated or suffer. We feel that the suffering arises as a result of what happened. No! The suffering arises as a result of our non-acceptance of what happened or what is! Don't get me wrong you can and should try to change what happened if that's what you feel pulled to do but there is no reason to not accept it as it is!
Acceptance is not necessarily passive. One can accept things as they are and yet have a drive to change them; one accepts the latter drive as well! Further, whatever the outcome of our efforts, one accepts that as well. In daily living I see it unfolding thus: Simply accepting life as it happens without comparing and cribbing. If one can do something to improve the situation at hand then one does it desirelessly i.e. accept the outcome with equanimity whether failure/success; if one cannot do anything to improve the situation then one accepts that as well. No matter what happens in life one accepts it; not making our happiness conditional upon anything! Coz one knows that happiness is not in the objects/events but rather causeless!
Acceptance is the key to unlock causeless happiness! If you feel like you want to change something then by all means try to do so but don't make your happiness conditional on the outcome i.e. accept whatever is the outcome of your efforts with equanimity. If you cannot do anything to change things i.e. are helpless, then accept that as well.
When a problem is solved we are happy or peacefully content. We wrongly think happiness arises as a result of the resolution. No! Happiness or peaceful contentment is always here, it is the disturbance (non acceptance) caused by the problem that had veiled it and now that the veil has been lifted, Happiness is once again allowed to shine in its own glory!
Happiness is causelessly present! Nothing is needed to be happy, the notion that something is needed is the source of ignorance and suffering! Think about deep sleep, how peacefully content you are then. Is there a reason/cause for your peace and contentment?? No! It's unmeditated. Same is the case with happiness in the waking state! It's already always here! Even right this moment!
Desires are objects/events which we think bring us happiness. We think our happiness depends on them. This as we now know is incorrect, our happiness depends on nothing! It is causeless! And if it's causeless then it must be equally present during the craving (for the desire) as it is upon its accomplishment! The only difference is when the craving is taken seriously it veils the ever present happiness! By the craving being taken seriously I mean: we forget that happiness is causeless and wrongly believe that it is conditional upon the successful satisfaction of the said craving! Secondly, if happiness is causeless then it has to be as much right now as at any other moment!
Buddha has said, desire is the root of suffering. I would like to add: the search for happiness is the root of desire and the notion that happiness is not already unconditionally present here and now and that it's caused by objects/events is at the root of the search for happiness! Let’s look at it another way: what is it that causes suffering? Veiling of Happiness! What veils Happiness? The notion that happiness is caused by some thing (object/event). The latter notion is what is commonly referred to as desire! That succinctly explains Buddha’s original statement.
But all that I've said here is of no use if it's not put into practise! So once again practise makes perfect!! We often ask ourselves, “how can I be happy?” but that is entirely the wrong question! Since happiness is causeless the question how to be happy is illogical! Happiness is our natural state, nothing is needed to be happy. The real question should be: how am I making myself unhappy? At any moment see what's causing suffering; my bet is it will be either beliefs, comparisons or desires. Drop that and see how causeless happiness effortlessly shines in its own glory!
Going in search of happiness results in the exact opposite i.e. suffering! The search is futile and illogical; how can you search for something that is already here and now! Doesn’t make sense! Is it any wonder then that such an illogical and futile search results in suffering? Once again I point out, the notion that happiness is not causelessly here and now but is instead in the objects/events out there is what is driving the search. Once the said notion dissolves, happiness shines in its own glory! The said notion can be dissolved in two way:
When the desired object/event is obtained; this is what we’ve been doing for ages now but we all know that the happiness obtained thus is only temporary and is soon enough veiled by either the same desire arising or a new desire arising!
See that happiness is not dependent on objects/events but that it is our natural state; once we see this clearly we will no longer make our happiness conditional on anything and thus we shall attain to unconditional happiness; that which is never again lost!
Sai Ram :)
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