“If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows them like a never-departing shadow.”
We all are searching different things in life to find our share of happiness. Some of us seek money; some seek love, some seek people, some look for health while there are some who are searching for fame. But, ultimately, we all are looking for happiness in our lives.
The next question that arises is how much do we know about happiness? All living beings, including animals, look for joy. Although most of us do not have any idea about what is happiness, our subconscious instinct automatically looks for ways to achieve it.
Types of Happiness
We were always of the opinion that happiness is a feeling. But, according to Buddhists, happiness also has different kinds, and there are two types; Emotional Happiness and Timeless Happiness.
Emotional Happiness is temporary and is like seeking relief from the cold, or the joy associated with status, monetary and other ‘worldly things’. Although there is nothing wrong with this form of happiness, when we give a thought on the examples, we understand that the feeling is quite temporary.
Timeless happiness, on the other hand, is what we get through the understanding of our inherent qualities like compassion, kindness and gaining wisdom about our actual nature. When we think about this type of happiness, we understand that it is permanent and is worth seeking.
Often, we confuse timeless happiness with emotional happiness. They are so closely connected to each other that we feel that eternal happiness is easy to attain. The fact is that it is quite easy to achieve. Here are some of how you can get timeless pleasure.
Happiness in Family
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa recalls that His late grandmother led a simple life. In fact, she was the greatest example of eternal happiness. A mother is also a perfect example of timeless joy because she showers love and kindness no matter what kind of situations she is in. A mother has an unaltering attitude towards life. The qualities stem from her consciousness.
Karmapa states that he has led his life as a spiritual practitioner, but he draws inspiration from the way a mother carries her attitude to life. Timeless happiness is just like this memory. It is always there. It is evident and visible and brings a smile on our face and heart just like the example.
Buddha and Happiness
According to Karmapa, Buddhism believes in the potential, seed and the quality of real happiness is present within every living being’s center. Hence, attaining timeless happiness is possible. It is something that we can get involved in, no matter what type of life we are leading or conditions we are in. Noticing the timeless happiness is important.
The word eternal has immense meanings hidden in it. According to the Buddhist perspective, the advantages are virtuous, decent and noble right from the beginning to the end. When we are given full rise, we understand the real essence of timeless happiness. In other words, the best example of unchanging happiness is Buddha himself.
Buddha means the ‘Enlightened Being’ or a fully awakened being. If we highlight on the path he sought and the way he achieved timeless happiness, it is similar to what we are doing today. We also think and examine the causes and conditions of happiness.
We can find happiness only when we look deep into ourselves. It includes the way we carry ourselves, our behavior and habits and also our way of being. By doing such an introspection, we can understand more about ourselves. When we understand ourselves better, we understand others.
We have the necessary qualities to attain happiness, and we share the potential because we have consciousness. In fact, we all possess the same wish and aspirations since we are looking for happiness.
Buddha’s life story states that he could have had, and indeed he did have, everything he could wish for from worldly life. But after examining it, he realized that all the earthly things, no matter how satisfactory, were only temporary. He saw that his priority was not to attain ‘emotional happiness’ but something different. So, he left the life in search of something that was lasting and unchangeable. Buddha’s way and path of practice are called as the practice of Timeless happiness.
To seek happiness, do we have to change the way we live? Should we abandon things from our lives? Probably, these are the questions and doubts that would plague your minds. However, to seek timeless happiness, we just have to tweak our attitudes towards life, the way we live our lives and prioritize our goals. We must ‘reflect’ to attain timeless happiness.
Every day we must reflect what we are seeking, the conditions we have been gathering and the methods we are using. Taking a little time from our schedules is a must. We can start initially by taking out just five minutes a day. All we need to do is sit or stand in a comfortable, quiet and peaceful place and only meditate and reflect on a calm state of body and mind.
Focus on the last 24 hours, think about what has happened. When you do this in an unemotional way, without judging, you will benefit. You will understand yourself better; you will understand the unusual aspects of your life. This will help you gain clarity and also help your memory to know the true nature of happiness.
When we achieve timeless happiness, we understand the past, present and the future. We feel more confident and gain an insight into joy.