What is it that we all have in common—that motivates us? What is it that we are all striving for? We all want to be happy and experience a sense of well-being in our lives. But, most of us look for happiness in the wrong places.
Relying on External Situations Results in Dissatisfaction
We continuously seek pleasurable situations outside ourselves that we think will bring lasting happiness such as wealth, power, success, possessions, relationships and security. We are easily attracted by these things.
But, once the fascination and newness wears off or situations change as they always do, our minds default to varying degrees of dissatisfaction—a form of agitation. Again, we try to get relief from this agitation by looking outward for happiness. We are troubled inwardly and don’t see how we get caught—it is like a fish being attracted to bait. This cycle is what we call the dissatisfaction default mode.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we should be pessimistic about our lives and the world. There are many very nice things, pleasurable things like good relationships, meaningful work, good health and prosperous situations that provide comfort for some amount of time. But, the problem is they are not totally reliable. Situations change. Friendships come and go, our children grow up and leave home, our finances change and our health becomes less robust. Even what we’ve diligently strived to achieve often doesn’t bring the lasting satisfaction we expected.
So, we must become more realistic. No one wants to experience unpleasant situations such as physical pain, emotional pain or death, but nonetheless they happen. There are many things we can’t change in the external world, but we can change how we relate to them. Much of the dissatisfaction we experience is due to our inner state of being, not just external conditions.
Meditation Accesses Our Own Happiness & Well-Being
The mind has innate qualities of well-being and clarity that lie hidden beneath this superficial level of dissatisfaction. The main purpose of meditation is to access and enhance these positive qualities of mind. The more we can do this the less we will rely on external situations for our happiness.
Accessing our own happiness and inner well-being is the greatest achievement that we can attain. It is something that no one can take from us. It is always with us because it doesn’t depend on anything external. It depends only on us and affects everything in our lives in a positive way. It is like discovering a hidden treasure within us. But, to access this treasure we need to initially focus inwardly and we need training. As we meditate more we will gain more confidence in our basic nature of well-being and this gives tremendous meaning and satisfaction to our lives.