Updated: Jan 9
What is the point of Life? Happiness. These are the teachings of Lama Marut, a Buddhist Monk/ University Professor/Surfer/Motorcycle Enthusiast.
Buddhism's Core Belief
By surrounding your thoughts with more positive thoughts and learning new things I believe you can achieve happiness any day that you want to. If you're disappointed and expected something else then change it. There are some things that in certain beliefs are required to do first before we can be truly happy though. For instance in the book A Spiritual Renegade's Guide to the Good Life it says that many people live in the past pains and sufferings of their lives and sit in unhappiness think that it will make them happy eventually but that is not the way to go about it. We must first accept that life is suffering and happiness will not come from ignoring the pain and suffering in your own life, past or present, or in the lives of others. In fact, it says that recognizing the suffering of life is a precondition of genuine happiness. Our desire to be happy is literally hardwired in our DNA. From the time we wake to the time we sleep we are motivated to avoid painful hurtful things of all kinds and are driven toward things that will make us happy. Famous historical figures like William James, Sigmund Freud and St. Augustine have all made statements regarding happiness being the driving force of why we do everything in life that we do as human beings. There's also random statistical studies about money and happiness.
Researchers did a study that ended in a result showing how people are satisfied with $10,000 annual income, reported increases in pay do not lead to higher levels of happiness. In other words it only takes roughly $10,000 for us to have that happy feeling inside our bones.
We must first be a doctor before we preform brain surgery, and we must first be happy before we help others to be happy, and the recipe to happiness lies in helping others. There is, apparently, no other way to bring on true happiness other than this.
So there's your answer to being happy, stop worrying about your happiness so much, take interest in someone else's happiness and you will obtain happiness your self. Sounds pretty contagious to me! In order to be happy the book says we must have our cake and eat it too, therefore knocking down all our walls we built that stop us from happiness. WE have to let go of the huge resistance we all have towards being happy.
Buddhist belief is not so much of faith and belief as it is using ones head to figure out exactly what is what. The friction we have against letting ourselves being happy is the Buddhist version of what is negative and evil spirited. We must run over those hurdles keeping us from happiness or we will have a negative energy around us. Happiness is the key to fighting off negativity in this belief system. Simple and yet imagining it sounds like it works already. I think that is really cool. I am going to be happy for no reason whenever I can now, and not care if I'm way too happy for no reason... Because in reality we have so many things to be happy about.
Unhappiness is the demon to be exorcised out in this case...and by all means do so. This is truly the epidemy of evil at its purest, something causing unhappiness, just imagine all the forms that takes, that is definitely not good, healthy or anything or that nature, that i for sure. The devil doesn't want you to be happy enough to help others be happy. He wants you to be in need of help that you're not getting forever. He knows no peace. We are the sole architects of our own suffering and so we can be our own savior.
Another precursor to happiness is content with life as it currently is, without wanting more or anything different. You can't achieve higher levels of happiness if you don't have contentment, you could say it is "entry-level happiness". Lama Marut states that we are all afraid of radical change in our lives but such radical change is our only chance at true happiness. He also has three categories of obstacles he suggests starting with when it comes to letting go of what makes you unhappy... it could be your past making you unhappy, your future or your present could also be making you unhappy. It is all starting with a thought though and for the rest of this blog post about Buddhism will about how to overcome the obstacles to your true happiness.
First of all you will never be happy is you hold onto anger, bitterness, and resentments. We must transform those ideas and feelings into those of forgiveness and gratitude. This means in our everyday thoughts and memories we must cultivate positive emotions and thoughts from the negative to overcome this obstacle.
Secondly, we have to stop letting our anxiety about the future thwart our happiness in this present moment. The amount of time and energy spent worrying about things is huge and could be spent being happy because putting negative emotions towards our future may not result in what makes you truly happy and we shouldn't waste time on things that ultimately do not bring us true happiness. Simple as that. If we want a fulfilling and awesome future you must remember that what you are doing in the present is directly effecting your future so may as well spend the moments happy in turn the cause and effect karmically is future happiness as well. You pave the way to your own happiness if you just let yourself. "He who knows enough is enough will always have enough." -Lao Tzu
You must practice your spirituality everyday to get the full effect of it and the happiness it brings. The ultimate goal of any religion or spiritual practice is joy, peace, happiness, in some beliefs "nirvana"... So ask yourself, are you practicing it (your beliefs) properly? You must put in the effort and make time for it with a regular, consistent, and intentional effort on the practitioner's (your) part. Sometimes our practice isn't bringing out that result and that is because we have forgotten that this is and always was the point of religion.
Practices of Buddhism to Achieve Happiness.
One of the practices in Buddhism is to say mantras. An example of one for your very beginning of the journey to happiness, referring to attaining contentment of your life as is, is saying the "contentment mantra". It has some "Sanskrit" in it to let you know it is a mantra (the "om" sound etc) but English as well for the mantra itself. "Om" is the traditional way to start a mantra, it means "here comes a mantra". One way to signal the end of a mantra is "ah hum'. meaning the mantra is now finished". Those are the Sanskrit parts. Go ahead and say it aloud: "Om, I have enough, ah hum". This mantra means exactly this, I have enough of everything you can think of. When you say this over and over again and then when you believe it you will then have santosha. At this point you'll be on the way to higher levels of happiness. Unless you are first content you have not begun to even scratch the surface of your happiness.
Another way to be present in the moment is focus on your breathing, relax and meditate on all the things you want to do, whether it is work you want to get done or places you want to go and then think about why you want to do those things. Well, you think it will make you happy right? We do everything with that intention, but realize the other intrusive thoughts that might get in the way of doing these things or try to. Exile them! Realize all the things you have heard about seeking your own happiness being trivial or selfish and then realize that this is no small task, in fact, it is quite the task! It takes hard work and overcoming a lot to let yourself be happy.
A practice you can use to begin your quest to being content is to go on a "consumption fast". Make a pact with yourself not to buy anything you do not need for 24 hours. When you catch yourself wanting something you do not need like a new candle or shoes, just try to be content with what you already have, Try to do this once a week and start familiarizing your brain with the idea that you are satisfied. I am not going to lie this particular belief system isn’t as complex and say others but it focuses on really realizing the everyday miracles of life. it focuses on the everyday mundane being reviewed frim a different perspective as more actually miraculous. One last part I found important to mention here is they believe that the Worst thing you can do is believe that rhings are happening to you and coming at you (from the world) rather than believeing that things in the world are in fact coming From you. As if they are pretty much saying we create our own realities and even the world around us, and the events…. Food for thought. The rest leads to higher and higher levels of happiness by practicing different self control tactics in order to make you realize you’re ok with what you have. Also different ideas to meditate upon.