All beings want happiness all the time. No being ever forgets this. And no being ever needs to be taught this. We want happiness all the time, because peace and happiness are our true nature. We do need, however, to learn what happiness is and how to find it.
Happiness is found only in our positive thinking. When we have loving thinking, we are naturally happy. When we are generous, we are happy. When we are grateful, we are happy. Problems arise when we mistakenly think that something external will make us happy. When I get new clothes, then I’ll be happy. When I go on vacation, then I’ll be happy. With this perspective, we keep happiness in the future; we’re never happy now. Khenpo calls this “the then-happy waiting list”.
Negative thinking causes suffering now. When we worry, we are suffering. When we’re jealous, we are suffering. We need to recognize that our habitual negativity is causing us to suffer and commit to decreasing it.
For example, we need to decrease pride. Khenpo describes two kinds of pride. Hot pride means considering ourselves superior to others and therefore not seeing their good qualities. Cold pride means considering ourselves inferior to others, and therefore not seeing our own good qualities. Both forms of pride prevent us from improving; the first because we think there’s no room for improvement, the second because we think we can’t improve.
When we do something loving or kind, we should rejoice in our good thinking and actions. If we want happiness, we should genuinely rejoice when good things happen to other people, instead of wishing those things were happening to us. We should spend a lot of time in gratitude, thankful for our many blessings. We should realize that whenever we share with others we are much happier, and that helping others is the way to true happiness. And because we care about each other, we should help each other stay on the right track with positive loving thinking and actions.
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Pati Kearns teaches Yoga and meditation at Dance Etc. Call 279-9523 for more information.
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