Thoughts on International Day of Happiness
“Happiness is not created by a set of circumstances, it can only be created by a state of consciousness.” – Thom Knoles
We live in a time when happiness, for most people, is often illusionary and infrequently real and sustainable. In the western world we are constantly inundated with and tantalised by a mass of convenient, flippant, or status driven material we don’t need.
Our happiness is based on the illusion that if we have that car, or we are in a relationship with that person, or we have more zeroes in our bank account we will be happy. It’s easy to forget that this ‘happiness goal’ will be replaced when something better comes along, and therefore it is not sustainable.
This ‘ignorance-based’ happiness – and I mean no offence by that, it’s how we’ve been conditioned – can be replaced with something more powerful, transformative and everlasting. Something formed from experience, and supreme inner contentedness.
Too often we make the error of thinking that fulfilment is the result of achieving something, which is endorsed by our results-driven society. Our path of thinking, acting, and achieving is engaged for the wrong reason. Instead of the concept that we have to acquire something in order to be happy, the starting point can be replaced with fulfilment, the silence inside you, the source of thought.
With Vedic Meditation we practice a technique which goes beyond thought. It takes us to inner contentment, and it is then that our fulfilled mind moves into thought, action, and achievement from an entirely different place. Through meditation we can access our conscious mind without thought, experiencing our essence without distraction.
Can we ‘train’ ourselves to be happy?
Happiness and unhappiness are brain habits and, like athletes in training, we have to work on getting the results we want. We may not realise that our behaviour is informed and constructed by the experiences and thoughts that we have every day. Often, we find ourselves holding on to a snapshot of some happiness we have experienced in the past, not realising that everything around us is changing, and not allowing this change to naturally occur.
To be truly happy, we must shift our awareness. We must ban the assumption that we can stop the world around us from changing. We try to stop it, because so often we don’t want it to change.
We believe that by expending effort controlling everything and attempting to determine the outcome of situations involving others, we can achieve and maintain happiness, and somehow freeze that happiness into permanence.
Vedic meditation provides an experience of consciousness which trains the brain into accessing what could be considered the ‘baseline’ of happiness. Daily meditation sustains it and in this simple technique, which I teach, we let go of effort and go beyond thought.
The old habit of pursuing an unsustainable and transient form of ‘happiness’ can be corrected. Our perception of what it means to be happy can be transformed. If we are finding fulfilment from our meditation, we have to keep at it every day to deal with a lifetime of culturally supported indoctrination.
Working on this alone is challenging. This is I why, with MindMojo, I am creating a community of like-minded people from all walks of life to help support you in your meditation and maintain that often elusive ‘baseline’ of happiness.
MindMojo's Vedic Meditation courses are taught in both London and Brighton. Find all of the upcoming dates of our free, no-obligation introductory talks, and book your free place online here.