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Zen And The Art Of Happiness

Nov 9, 2007
When we say we are happy, we can be talking spiritually, emotionally or physically. When you feel you are content, have peace of mind and are worry-free, then you are spiritually happy. When you are excited and feeling a though things are finally going the way you had hoped they would go, we say you are emotionally happy. If you are comfortable with your body or with the way you look, then that is what we refer to as physical happiness. Which among these three types of happiness would you like to achieve? Many scholars describe these three forms of happiness as layers with the spiritual being at the top, followed by the emotional and the physical layers. Each holds a sort of government over the others below it but any of them can ultimately disrupt the ones above or below it depending on the seriousness of the problems that may manifest in either area.

In Zen and the Art of Happiness, it is said that during Zen meditation or zazen, we experience the ultimate acceptance and perfect harmony of all three of these layers. In our daily life, this experience may translate to our relationships so that we find ourselves naturally providing space for others to let them express themselves freely. This attitude that we possess will lead to a powerful relationship with those people which can then lead us to achieving a much easier success. The story does not end there however. People who achieve this success through meditation will often find themselves still not content and happy with their state of being. For Zen, real happiness comes from being detached from all the material needs and the emotional pushing and pulling of life. It means a higher state of existence which transcends and yet incorporates all other states of being.

Other reading material such as "The Art of Happiness, A Handbook for Living" has defined happiness as something which comes from our inner selves. According to its author, Howard C. Cutler, M.D., the Dalai Lama, a holy man from Tibet, sees happiness as the purpose of every man's existence. We live to be happy. There may be times in our lives when we feel hopeless and seem to be in the dark. However, thinking that it is the nature of life, to constantly be put to a test and to calmly accept our surroundings, gives us renewed hope and light each time we embrace it. This is the core of our existence and we need to see light from the darkest pits of our own soul. The Dalai Lama said that our belief in finding something even without evidence will give us a better chance of finding it. The key only lies among us, by overcoming these negative emotions.

It is unfortunate, however, to find that the truth about human beings is that there are many people in our society whose sources of happiness depend only on the long desired material things which satisfy them. According to psychologists, people with these tendencies are often children who have not experienced the joy of their own childhood, playing with the toys and experiencing a general well being while they were sill young. For these people, a special challenge may have been placed in front of them to overcome which is part of their developing karma. It is up to them to accept this fate as part of a larger plan which provides them the optimum opportunity to overcome their karma and enter into a greater level of being. In other words, the level of their maturity may have stopped in those childhood days but innocence, carefree minds, perseverance, open-mindedness and respectful are all qualities of being childlike which can always be recovered. These people may have benefited from the fact that they also don't act childish in other less useful ways such as the way that a child may act out their negative qualities such as being stubborn, self-centeredness and immaturity. Understanding spiritual qualities means not confusing these two sides of the child.

Happiness is everywhere. We can find it in our homes, our workplace, the people we meet and the words other people say. If we choose to see the good in things, others will someday look at us in a way where they could say, "That person makes me happy!" Giving happiness to oneself and to others may be the one way of creating our own happiness on all levels and in all forms of our being.
About the Author
Gary Miller was the World's Leading expert on Negative Thinking until he lost approximately $3 Million Dollars because of a lifetime of negative thinking. To learn more about his Journey to a Positive Thinking Recovery and weekly FREE Positive Thinking techniques, you can visit his web site at: http://www.positivethinkingnow.com
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