Happiness isn’t about feeling pleasurable emotions. Pleasure is temporary. Genuine happiness has more to do with wisdom, being attuned to reality, and freedom from mental toxins. Nothing wrong with pleasure, it just doesn’t have much to do with happiness.
Authentic happiness comes from the long-term cultivation of wisdom, altruism, and compassion, and from the eradication of mental toxins such as hatred, grasping, judging, and ignorance. To accomplish both the cultivation of the good and the eradication of the toxins – meditate.
Why meditate? When you admire an artist or athlete, you understand that they have trained to become skillful. To train the mind is equally necessary in developing human qualities that you admire such as emotional balance and inner strength as well as learning how not to be swept away with negative emotions such as jealousy, hatred, or craving. You need mind training to develop this mindset and meditation is the training.
We all have within us the potential to be kinder, more mindful, and to experience greater well-being, but we often use just a fraction of this potential. Meditation nurtures the potential within that may be dormant, latent, or unused entirely.
“Meditation teaches us to let go. It’s actually a very important aspect of friendliness, which is that you train again and again in not making things such a big deal. When you have pain in your body, when all sorts of things are going through your mind, you train again and again in acknowledging them open-heartedly and open-mindedly, but not making them such a big deal.
Make space for honoring things completely and at the same time not making them a big deal. It’s a paradoxical idea, but holding these two attitudes simultaneously is the source of enormous joy: we hold a sense of respect toward all things, along with the ability to let go.” ~ Pema Chodron