The other night I met an Indian man who wanted to know what I had achieved thus far through spiritual practice. I told him that I am happy. He didn’t seem to think happiness was evidence of progress. Maybe he would have been more impressed with stories about physical healing or divine visions. Oh, I’ve had those experiences too. I guess I could have told him the apple story. ~ha ha~ But when he asked what I have achieved thus far through spiritual practice, the answer that came to me as evidence of genuine progress was the answer I gave, happiness.
Along the way to Self-realization some people may have some tremendous experiences that seem to be proof of something divine, but to me the simplicity of genuine happiness is the greater boon. To be happy no matter what appears to occur or not occur is a sure sign of detachment from the world and detachment from thought. It is a sure sign of awakening to realization of one’s real nature.
Happiness, openness, and confidence are the true miracles of awakening. When one isn’t feeling happiness, openness and confidence, something has gone wrong. An untrue thought has gained attention.
Root cause inquiry begins at unhappiness. Whenever we are not perfectly happy, it’s a good idea to look to see what untrue idea is driving us.
Sometimes it is easy to see what you’ve believed that’s causing unhappiness, and it’s easy to let it go. However, especially in the beginning, it often takes effort to uncover the ideas that block our happiness and even more effort to let them go. That’s because we’ve taught ourselves to believe some really crazy stuff, and some of these ideas have been very heavily learned.
Today, regardless of what you experience, contemplate the fact that happiness is natural, and unhappiness is the sign that you are believing something that isn’t true. This is always the case. When we accept this as true, we begin to respond to unhappiness appropriately. The appropriate way to respond to unhappiness is to look, uncover and release an untrue idea.