How to achieve happiness in what we do?


Let’s say you are getting ready for work, and the car breaks down. We almost instantly react by saying we have a problem. Do you have a problem? You develop an unpleasant feeling, and then your mind tries to connect that uncomfortable feeling related to any similar unpleasant experience in the past and eventually anxiety kicks in. Your car may have a mechanical problem and remember they don’t have feelings. The feeling is a natural response to any similar event to the past, which might not be a pleasant one. This is where we as individuals can work on to improve our wellbeing.

Point to note the actual response in the past matters a lot as to how we will experience the current reaction. If the experience was an enjoyable one; our mind most probably would emit pleasant feelings. This experience of referring to the previous experience has been pointed out by many researchers in the past. The mind is brilliant in creating visuals of a similar thought. So I believe to slow down and incorporate a slack might help to alter your response. Some of the mindfulness practitioners advise taking this moment to stay close to the problem space and not respond immediately. Systems have the ability to self organise wonderfully. This will help us learn the patterns emerging from the past. You can always seek guidance from people who have a holistic approach that would enable the conditions for the pattern to emerge

The mind has the ability to generate pleasant and unpleasant feelings. Some people would consider the brain and mind as same; they are not. The brain is a physical part of your body which can be seen and operated upon. So if the mind is not brain then what is it ? It is a formless continuum that functions to perceive and understand objects. And as it is formless, it is not obstructed by physical objects. For example, with a blink, your mind can travel continents. It is a very brilliant creator. We, humans, are mostly slave to our mind. It’s pretty impressive, how it creates thought bubbles.

Whenever our inner peace is destroyed, it is only due to delusions – anger, jealousy, desires, attachments etc.which exists inside the mind not outside

For example: Continuing with the above example, we get upset due to arriving late for work. And again drilling forward we will find that we might lose our job if we get late and by loosing of the job we might experience pain. Notice how clever your mind is to generate attachment to things. You might lose your job or may not at all. In both cases, the choice to think through the right set of options is in our hands. The experience of pain is always the mind starts pointing to.

It is not easy, I agree, to detach from the strong attachment to things in this world. However, our response can be altered by looking at the pleasant feeling associated with the problem. For example: How the issue of the car breaking down was eventually resolved. Delusions are a distorted way of looking at yourself, others or an object. These delusions are the cause of pain and yogis can detach themselves through tools like mindfulness, yoga etc.. Just by focussing on the breath and scanning your body is one of the many ways of practising meditation. There is absolutely no problem if your mind wanders, our diligence is to bring it back to our own breadth. After all, mind full of compassion and empathy for others is more productive and healthy. A continuous pursuit to work on mental muscles each day will rightly help you stay detached and happy. Do keep in mind, the problem exists only in mind and not outside.

Welcome to the practice of spiritual gym!

References: Gen Kelsang Dornying Talks, Swami Sunisthananda

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