Meaning of Happiness - True Kindness



Meaning of Happiness

   Happiness is what every single person wants to pursue, but how many people miss the happiness that is easily obtainable or are in the midst of happiness but don't know it? Comfort, wealth, and health are what everyone wants. But these are not necessarily the same thing as happiness. People spend their lives in the pursuit of happiness. Many find in the end they have only grown gray, and sorrowfully realize their definition of happiness was wrong. True happiness lies in the saying, "Living in peace is bliss, not necessarily in wealth." Whether one can live in peace has to do with the environment, but that is not the main factor. The subjective, personal mindset is the deciding factor. 
    Happiness is not necessarily equivalent to money, nor to status, fame or prestige, power nor influence. But you cannot say that those with fame, influence, wealth, status, or power will not make us happy. We must look at our state of mind. If we can maintain peace of mind, that is happiness. If one is not content, one will never be happy.  He who is content is always joyful. This is true happiness. What does it mean to be content? It means you are content with a lot, you are content with a little, you are even content with nothing. This is called being at peace. That is the basic condition for always being happy. People think, "How strange to be content with little! How can one be content without more?" They can probably understand being content with a lot, but cannot understand being content with little. But to be content with nothing is something really strange. We should know that having a lot doesn't necessarily mean one will be satisfied. There isn't anything on earth that you truly and absolutely could not have more of. It is all relative. It is not possible to have a lot at one time and keep it forever. It is impossible to maintain growth forever, or never change. As for a little, this can increase or it can also decrease. You should be content with it. What about nothing? One can also be content with nothing. Why is that? Now I have nothing, but I might start to gain something. Whether I gain or not, it does not matter. When I work diligently, that is contentment. Contentment means not to compare yourself with others, and not to compare the present with the past, or the future, but to think, " I can still survive. I don't have to feel ashamed facing Heaven, Earth, or my conscience." That is to say, you have not let down yourself, Heaven or Earth. You are mindful of your conduct and actions. If you do something wrong, you think, " I am repentant, I must examine myself." You should continue to be ready to do the things you have not finished. Then you can face Heaven, Earth, or your own conscience unashamed. This is called contentment. We must often recall that our karmic blessings result from our past lives, treasure and continue to cultivate them in this lifetime. This way we are people with karmic blessings. Those who treasure and cultivate their blessings are fortunate; they are happy. If we don't cultivate and treasure our blessings, and only enjoy them, then we are unfortunate. Because our karmic blessings will decrease and our happiness will soon come to an end. This is not truly a happy person. Therefore, one can have happiness only when one is content, only when one treasures and cultivates their blessings, and does not blame others or fate, or think that they were born at the wrong time or saying that heaven is blind. Only those with karmic blessings feel at ease no matter what. When doing well, they are very thankful, thinking, "This is because, in my past lives, I probably did some good things or maybe because other people have helped me and treated me well. It may be due to the help of many people rather than the merit I cultivated in the past. I should appreciate what I have obtained. Whether it is a little or a lot, I should be appreciative." Such people are truly happy. If you obtain something and you are not appreciative, or you are still not content and say other people gave it to you because they did not want it, then this is being blessed without realizing it. There was a saying that, " The mice live in a vat of rice, but do not know it is rice and can be eaten." So, they urinate and defecate all over the rice and then jump out and say, "We need to find something to eat." How ignorant they are of the blessings they already have! They spoil their own blessings on top of that. Happiness is to work diligently, be always content and at peace even when we have little or nothing; it is to treasure whatever karmic rewards we have and keep cultivating blessings.

Credit: Master Sheng Yen