Temporary Happiness And Lasting Happiness
When I was learning more about myself, learning more about emotions and learning more about happiness, this idea of temporary versus lasting happiness always comes up. People always say that you are not going to get permanent or lasting happiness with material things, you are not going to get permanent happiness with another person, you are not going to get permanent happiness with money and so on.
It got me thinking, okay so where am I going to find lasting or permanent happiness? They always say that you can only find lasting happiness within. This did not make any sense for me at that time. Even the people that were preaching, creating talks, and making lessons about this do not seem happy at all. Most of the gurus out there are either fake or not happy at all. They do not look happy. For someone (the gurus) who is preaching about lasting happiness, they sure don’t look like they are enjoying life. So they don’t know what the hell they are talking about either. Most of them heard it from their teacher and they just repeat what that teacher says without knowing what it really means.
The way I was thinking before is that if I cannot find long lasting happiness, and these guys do not look happy then I may as well go for temporary happiness. I may as well go for all the money that I can get lol. But as I practiced more enlightenment and becoming more loving everyday, I figured it out. I have not figured it out completely because I still suffer from expectations and attachments but I figured out how to get happiness most of the time.
Permanent Happiness Can Be Achieved If You
Permanent happiness can be achieved if you become ‘love’. What does this mean? The answer is ‘love’. The answer to everything is ‘love’ for some reason. Anyway, this is very very simple and very complicated at the same time. We need baby steps and we need guidance to see this. Our minds have already been preconditioned and filled with lots of useless stuff that we cannot really see something so simple. Without steps and guidance, everything sounds like mumbo jumbo or hocus focus. Maybe this will sound like that for you but this path of mine does give me a lot of peace and happiness. To some Buddhists, this is not Buddhists enough so they will not try it. To some Christians, this is not Christian enough so they will not try it. To some Hinduisms, and so on. But to people like me who want to be more loving, more happy, and so on then we tend try everything lol. If it will lead me to more happiness and love then I tend to try everything lol.
Sun And Clouds Analogy
An analogy would be that happiness is like the sun and suffering is like the clouds. If there are no clouds then there will be no suffering and you will be happy all the time since the sun is shining all the time. Suffering is the clouds. Suffering is made out of fear and unloving beliefs. So all of your unloving thoughts, judgments, attacking thoughts, persecutions of others, hatred, and all of your unloving beliefs prevent happiness from happening in your life. So the best test to how enlightened you are is how unloving you are. How loving you are is also determined by your unloving thoughts. So it does not matter if you are loving or good as long as you have unloving thoughts. Loving is our natural state. Unloving is our creation.
So it does not matter how happy you think you are, how good you think you are, how loving you think you are. All it matters is how unloving you are. I will discuss this more in the next article but for this article, I will just talk about happiness which is our natural state.
If You Take Away The Future, Everyone Would Be Miserable
In New York, in order to get out of Brooklyn so I can hike upstate, I have to go through Manhattan. It is cheaper and less tolls that way. In order to get out of Manhattan, you have to spend like an hour or more in a horrendous traffic during the weekdays. I was thinking where are these people going? They are blowing their horns, yelling at each other, people in my app are commenting how the traffic was not caused by anyone and that people are just idiots. A lot of name calling and etc. These people are going to their jobs, or maybe away from the traffic or out of Manhattan. They do not want to be in that traffic.
Why is the traffic so miserable? Even for me, I was getting irritated. All the people in the traffic are trying to go to the next moment. They all want to be in any moment as long as they are not in that moment. I asked myself, what is so wrong with this moment? If I am not in this moment, I will be walking in the woods with a very hot sun or sitting at the top of a mountain. I am sitting in a car and I am very comfortable physically. So there is really nothing wrong with the present moment if I compare it to what I am going to do in the future. Physically, they are the same. Walking in the heat is actually not as enjoyable as sitting in an air conditioned car if I think about it. I have music in the car too. So the suffering is happening in the mind and not physically. It is really hatred of the present moment. Our minds are conditioned to hate the present moment and that we have to find happiness in the future.
If you take away the future from everyone, everyone would be miserable. Maybe the monks would be okay and the rest of the world would kill each other. For example, if I tell someone that this is the best that they can get in their lives, that they will not get that car that they want, the house that they want, the girl that they want, the promotion that they want, the job that they want, the company they have can no longer expand to make more money and so on, and everything can only get worst or be the same then the people will be miserable.
The way we think is that we have to abandon the present moment because the present moment is not good enough for us and we believe happiness is in the future. If I get that car, I will be happy. If I get that job, I will be happy. If I get that house, I will be happy. If I get that girl, I will be happy. If I do this, I will be happy. So if God comes or you see the future that you will not get the car, not get the girl, not get the job, not get the house and so on then you will be miserable. It is because you are hoping to get happiness in some future scenario that does not exist and when it is revealed to you that you cannot get that future scenario then you are done. Your happiness is gone. You will most likely kill yourself because you found out that there is no happiness in the future.
We Can Only Experience Anything In The Present Moment
The sad truth is that we can only experience anything in the present moment. Like I said in my consciousness article, we cannot experience anything in the past or future. We can only experience emotion in the present moment. The past and future are only thoughts. They are just thoughts that exist in our heads. When the future comes, it still becomes the present moment. Since you trained your mind not to find happiness in the present moment, there is a big chance your mind will look for it again in the future. For example, I went on a hiking trip. It was beautiful, the view was amazing, the hike was fun then in the middle of the hike, I started thinking about work. I was thinking I need to work so I can make more money so I can hike more and travel more. I am already hiking and yet I cannot enjoy it because my mind is thinking of hiking and traveling to somewhere else once I get the money. When I get the money, and go to travel in some exotic, there is still a possibility that the same thought pattern continues or appears again.
The present moment is all there is, nothing else, no past nor future. Only place you can experience anything.
Experiencing The Present Moment Leads To Happiness
The ego or unconscious mental mind pattern is to seek happiness in the future, seek happiness with big events, and seek happiness anywhere as long as it is not in the present moment. So you try to find happiness out there, somewhere else, and most of the time you find out that the happiness in the future concept is very fleeting. There are lots of sources of happiness in the present moment, all you have to do is “pay attention”. All you need to do is pay attention to what you are doing. When you pay attention, you stop the excessive mind talk, and excessive repetitive mind garbage that goes through your mind.
An example would be that you are taking a hot shower before work. In that moment, you are thinking about work already, how dreadful the day is going to become, how you will hate your time and so on. All this mind chatter happening that you cannot enjoy the shower. All you have to do to enjoy the present moment is to enjoy the shower by paying attention to it. A good exercise is to enjoy the last 10 seconds. So for 10 seconds, just enjoy the hot water hitting your hair, and flowing through your body. Just enjoy the sensation of being cleansed. It is really really a good feeling. Same thing with your coffee or breakfast. Enjoy the first three sips or the last three sips of coffee. Just enjoy the taste in your mouth. Enjoy how it tastes and not think about anything else. Same thing for your breakfast. Just enjoy the first few bites or last few bites. Just enjoy the taste of eggs, or cereal, oatmeal or whatever your prepared for yourself.
What you will notice is that everything becomes more alive when you pay attention to it. The coffee tastes so much better. The breakfast tastes so much better. The shower feels so much better. Your senses amplify the sensation when you are paying attention to it.
Gratitude Flows Into The Present Moment
Gratitude flows easily into the present moment. When you put your attention in the present moment, appreciation flows easily first. Let’s say you are taking a shower, you just put your attention to the hot water cleansing your body and how it feels on your skin. It will feel good. In that moment, appreciation may happen, you start to appreciate the hot water. How good the hot water feels, how incredible it is, how lucky you are that you have hot water and so on. Another example would be your bedding or comforter. You are so sleepy and when you tuck yourself inside your comforter, it is so warm and comfortable. You pay attention to that warmth, comfort and relaxing feeling of your comforter. You just start to appreciate it.
Gratitude comes in easily. I am so thankful for my comforter. I am so grateful for the hot water in my morning shower. I am so grateful for the coffee and breakfast that I have. I am so grateful for my towel. I am so grateful for my shoes and so on. You can find appreciation and gratefulness in the most little of things.
Gratitude is a form of love. Gratitude is an emotion that feels good. It makes you feel light, abundant, good, and so on. When there is love, fear cannot come in. Your mind ceases to produce garbage and chatter when you are paying attention to the present moment. So you can have heaven and happiness just by paying attention to what you are doing. So for 10 seconds or more, you can find happiness whereever you are or whatever you are doing.
Gratitude Is Attractive
If you know anyone that is spoiled or maybe you were spoiled, or maybe you watch kdrama or tv and see spoiled people, then you can clearly see that they are very unattractive. One of the most unattractive qualities is being spoiled. People hate seeing ungrateful people. Spoiled people are usually the villains and antagonists. They are usually spoiled brats. I’ve seen teenagers get cars in youtube and they hated it. People that see the video just hated the girl or guy. I have seen this clip before and people in the USA just hated her completely.
There are also grateful kids who get terrible presents in youtube but they were very thankful. Here is the clip. Everyone loved the kids. They were very nice. They were so grateful. So gratefulness is very attractive for most people. People that are very grateful for what they have are often very happy people also. So it is a very good quality to have and develop if you do not have it. It is very attractive and at the same time, it keeps you very happy. Gratefulness is a great source of happiness.
I unintentionally discovered that gratefulness is very sexy. You do not need to do anything. If you are a grateful person, it just leaks out of your personality and body language. If it is fake or people are faking their gratefulness, then it is very cringy or people will cringe. But if gratefulness is very authentic then it is very attractive. I remember this guy, he has a gratefulness book also. He did it in such a way that he is using to become popular. It was very fake. It was cringy and maybe even disgusting. His personality is to get views so it was very easy to see that gratefulness was not inside him or he was faking it.
Once You Practiced Enough
Once you practiced enough by paying attention to what you are doing or being in the present moment then we are ready to practice peace. Peace is the absence of conflict. It is the opposite of war. It is the opposite of drama. So you have to make a stand, create a line, and consciously choose to have peace in your life instead of conflict. The way to do that is to choose forgiveness. For example, you were driving and some guy started yelling at you. “Where did you learn to drive, you Mother%$%$*#$#, you are the most stupid Mother$*#$#& Bi%#$ A$%hole I have ever met.” The common reaction would be to curse the guy out also or give the guy the finger. But if you are practicing to have more peace in your life then you just let him go. Let him be on his way without reacting to him. Even though you did not do any action, this does not mean you should curse him out in your head. “That guy is Mother$*^$* stupid, not worth my time to stoop to little people with pea sized brain.” So practicing peace means forgiveness. Forgiveness means you are against conflict, drama and war because you want peace.
Practicing Peace In The Present Moment
In my previous example of gratitude, you put your attention and focus on objects, or any stimulus. To have peace in the present moment, you have to put your focus into nothingness. You have to pay attention to emptiness. How do you do that? You can focus on the silence.
So I like the Buddhist bells. These bells have a nice sound. You do not focus on the sound, you focus on the silence after the sound. So just focus on the silence for 3 seconds. This is what peace feels like. The silence. The emptiness. The lack of content. Just pure nothingness. When nothing is happening, there is peace. So focus on that lack of sound. Focus on that space between each ringing of the bell. This is what peace feels like. You can even hit the stop button so that the peace can last longer or that you can focus on the silence longer.
Pause Between Words
Another way to focus on the silence is the pause between words. Whenever someone is speaking, there will be a pause every word. That pause is silence. It is emptiness. So play something in youtube and focus on the pause between words. In that pause, you will find peace. You will find nothingness. So focus on that peace in the present moment.
Space Between Words
You can also focus on the space between words in my writing. Each space, there is nothing. Words are content. If you take out content, or blur it out, and focus on the space between them then you can find emptiness or nothingness. In that space, you can find no conflict, no content, only nothingness. In that nothingness, there is peace because there is no conflict that can happen when there is no content to be found.
Experiencing Unconditional Love
They call this stillness or inner stillness. When you focus on nothingness, meditate or whatever, you will find stillness. There is love that comes into that stillness. This guy says that you need to spend 1 hour or a long time before this unconditional love can be felt. For me, it does not take long. I can invoke it. I am not sure if the love I feel is as strong or as fulfilling as his though. But when I do this, there is love that comes into my being.
So you need to use the present moment and peace that we talked about before to get the love to flow into you. So in the present moment or now, you have everything you need to survive. Right now, you most likely have plenty of food, enough money and you have shelter. You are provided for. You can worry about everything else in the future but for now, you just focus on the present moment. Maybe for a few seconds or maybe 10 seconds. So for 10 seconds, you do not need anything to survive. You have everything you need and you are provided for.
So for this moment, don’t give yourself any expectations. All your expectations of yourself, give to yourself again in the future. For this moment or for the next 10 seconds, you have no expectations of yourself. For the next few seconds, you do not need to make money, you do not need to find a lover, you do not need to be pretty, workout, or do any chores, you do not need to do anything for yourself. You just accept yourself for who you are. For the next few seconds, you are complete. You are complete and you are accepted by you lol.
In the present moment, you give yourself no judgment. You don’t judge yourself. You don’t judge your financial wealth. You don’t judge your love life. You don’t judge yourself. For the next few seconds, you don’t judge yourself also. You can do that in the future, for now, you are non judgmental. For this moment, you also have no conditions for your happiness. You don’t need a car to be happy. You don’t need a lover to be happy. You don’t need a house to be happy. You don’t need anything to be happy or to love yourself.
So in this present moment, you just enjoy the peace or stillness. Just focus on the silence or emptiness. Focus on the ‘NOW’ and forget about the future for now. What happens for me is that there is this love that comes in. I can feel it in my chest. It feels good. It feels amazing. It feels like completion and certainty. Just by focusing on the present moment, I gain peace and certainty. I gain lots of love. Like there is nothing more I can do, nothing more I should do, nothing more I need, I feel love unconditionally. It is like I become love so I feel complete.
The Power Of Stillness
The love that comes into the stillness feels very good. Even people in prison, they find the stillness and all of sudden, prison becomes bearable, it becomes peaceful, and even close to paradise. You can be anywhere and you can feel this love that comes through in that stillness. It is very fulfilling. You stop looking for yourself out there. You stop trying to find happiness out there. You stop trying to complete yourself out there. You see yourself as complete already.
If your business blooms and you get a million dollar then that is nice. It is added to your happiness. If you get a car, house and etc, then it is added to your happiness. However, material things or anything outside of you are no longer the source of your happiness. There is a sense of completion once you find yourself or you find love in that stillness. You never stop trying to achieve your goals, or dreams. You never stop going for the material things that you want but at the same time, you also know that you can find happiness and love from absolutely nothing. This can give you a sense of peace and certainty in your world. No matter what the outside world looks, you found peace and love in your inner world.