How to be happy or have a happy mind?

Before we can go beyond the identification with the mind or the ego, we identify with the mind and all its modifications as “I”, or “me”, or “my thinking and my feelings”… And we want to feel pleasantness, or we want to feel good, or we want happiness, or we want to be happy. And actually what we want is a happy mind. We like ourselves when we are happy, and other people will also like us when we are happy. And we will be more happy when other people like us when we are happy, and so on…

If so, we need to start with understanding the elements or qualities that influence or determine the states of mind. And try to remove, or eliminate, or reduce the qualities that make the mind feels bad and unhappy, and try to cultivate, or develop, or increase the qualities that make the mind feels good and happy.

Most of the time, the mind is swaying between the state of happiness and unhappiness. Occasionally, the mind is in a state of neutralness, neither happiness nor unhappiness, as there is no elements of happiness or unhappiness occupying the mind. There is no reason or cause for the mind to feel happy or unhappy. That is similar to momentary peacefulness, neither elevated nor depressed… But all these states of mind are impermanent. They will change and disappear. That’s why we can never be truly satisfied if we identify with the fluctuating mind as “I” or “me”.

An unhappy mind is when the mind is being occupied by impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, anxiety, irritation, frustration, insecurity, fear, worry, craving, aversion, hurts, resentment, vengefulness, emptiness, meaninglessness, low self-esteem, cowardness, non-accomplishment, non-productiveness, suppression, offensiveness, defensiveness, doubts and etc that make our mind feels unhappy or feels bad… And so, when the mind is being free from these impurities, elements or qualities that give rise to unhappy or unpleasant sensations, the mind will be in a state of being absent of unhappiness… That’s why we try to avoid these elements, as we don’t like or don’t enjoy the state of unhappiness.

A happy mind is when the mind is being in a state of calmness, contentment, satisfaction, high self-esteem, courageous, clarity, joyfulness, love, meaningfulness, creativeness, productiveness, blessedness, gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciativeness, accomplishment, doubtless, fearless, worriless, and etc that make our mind feels happy or feels good… And so, when these elements or qualities that contribute happy or pleasant sensations are absent from the mind, the mind will be in a state of being absent of happiness… That’s why we keep looking for all these elements and try to maintain them, as we like and enjoy the state of happiness.

But know that these two elements that give rise to either happiness or unhappiness are impermanent, it doesn’t give true and lasting satisfaction… It is non-identification with the mind and its modifications that will bring realization of our true nature, which is attributeless, beginningless and endless, which is unconditional and unlimited peace and contentment…

There are many different elements or qualities that are influencing or determining the state of our mind. And all these elements or qualities can be cultivated, as well as can be eliminated… Sometimes when we don’t relate any of these elements with how we feel, we will say it is the hormonal system controlling how we feel. Sometimes we just feel depressed without any particular reasons… But know that the hormonal system is also influenced by the energy fields and the inputs that we feed the mind… And so, by influence or changing the energy fields or restrain what types of inputs that we feed to the mind, by performing physical activities or yoga exercises, controlling the breath, controlling our diet, controlling what we read and listen, controlling who we mix with, and etc, can help us to have control of how we (the mind) feel…

Usually our mind is in a mixture of these elements or qualities. That’s why we feel confused (not sure about whether we are happy or unhappy) and keep swaying between the state of happiness and unhappiness unceasingly, or we are not being purely happy or unhappy… Sometimes we feel happy and some other times we feel unhappy. We can’t really tell or distinguish whether we are happy or unhappy people.

When qualities that give rise to good and happy feelings are predominant in the moment, then we can say that we have a rather happy mind in the present moment…

These qualities that give rise to good and happy feelings usually are (but not limited to) positive thinking, optimism, patience, tolerance, acceptance, adaptation, adjustment, accommodation, forgiveness, cheerfulness, loving kindness, friendliness, thoughtfulness, respect, self-discipline, self-control, empathy, confidence, faith, correct understanding, right views, calmness, non-offensiveness, non-defensiveness, good-wills, unselfishness, humility, forbearance, and etc… As all these qualities make our mind not so easily to be annoyed, disturbed, irritated, frustrated, disappointed, upset, angry, depressed, unhappy and any other unpleasant feelings, whenever the mind comes in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t want and disagrees with, or when our mind doesn’t come in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind likes, wants and agrees with.

When qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings are predominant in the moment, then we can say that we have a rather “unhappy” mind in the present moment…

These qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings usually are (but not limited to) negative thinking, pessimism, impatience, intolerance, non-acceptance, non-adaptation, non-adjustment, non-accommodation, resentment, anger, hatred, animosity, greed, jealousy, pride, arrogance, impulsiveness, apathy, low self-esteem, faithlessness, incorrect understanding, wrong views, aggressiveness, offensiveness, defensiveness, ill-wills, selfishness, and etc… As all these qualities make our mind easily to be annoyed, disturbed, irritated, frustrated, disappointed, upset, angry, depressed, unhappy and any other unpleasant feelings, whenever our mind comes in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t want and disagree with, or when the mind doesn’t come in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind likes, wants and agrees with.

Our personalities, behavior, actions and reactions, feelings and emotions are reflected upon all these elements or qualities in our mind in the present moment…

It also depends on how strong is our attachment towards our mind or the ego, or attachment towards all the believes, educations, religious, cultures, social and family background that make up this “I”, to determine or influence us whether our mind will easily be happy or be unhappy…

A person who was very calm and happy can become very agitated or disturbed. A person who was agitated or disturbed can become very calm and happy. This is all due to the fluctuation of the different qualities in the mind…

Usually when we get the things that we agree with, that we like and want, we (our mind) will feel good and happy… And when we don’t get the things that we agree with, that we like and want, we (our mind) will feel bad and unhappy… When we get the things that we disagree with, that we don’t like and don’t want, we (our mind) will feel bad and unhappy… And when we don’t get the things that we disagree with, that we don’t like and don’t want, we (our mind) will feel good and happy…

It is about what our mind likes and dislikes, wants and doesn’t want, agreements and disagreements… It is not necessarily because of the things that we come in contact with are “good” or “not good”… As everyone has different points of views and categorizations about what is “good” and what is “not good”… And so, if we ever feel unhappy about something, it is because our mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want or disagree with the things and happenings that we come in contact with. It is not the things and happenings that make us unhappy. Like wise, if we ever feel happy about something, it is because our mind likes and wants, or agree with the things and happenings that we come in contact with. It is not the things and happenings that make us happy.

All these things and happenings have no qualities or intentions to make anyone happy or unhappy. For the same thing and same happening, some people will feel happy, but some other people will feel unhappy…

If we truly want to have sustainable happiness that lasts long, we need to work with reducing, minimizing or eliminating the qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings, and increase, maximize or cultivate the qualities that give rise to good and happy feelings… As well as working on letting go of craving and clinging towards what we like and agree with, and letting go of aversion towards what we don’t like and disagree with…

And this practice is similar to letting go of the ego, as likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants, agreements and disagreements, are all coming from the ego…

If we have a mind with lots of elements or qualities that contribute good and happy feelings, then we can say that, we are happy people with happy personality and behavior. But this won’t guarantee us pure happiness if we are still influenced by the qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings that are existing in the mind together with the qualities that contribute good and happy feelings… And so, it is very important to try to eliminate all the qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings.

Ultimately, if we know how to let go of the identification with the mind, then all these qualities are just qualities, they have no value or power to determine or influence us to be happy or not… There’s no need to hold onto, or identify with, or associate with, or attached to all these good and bad feelings that keep arising and passing away, as their essential nature is impermanent… It is just the mind being happy or unhappy being influenced or determined by all these qualities in this moment, it is not “I”, it is not “me”… There is no “I” or “me” being there experiencing all these impermanent feelings, but there’s an awareness that is aware of the mind is experiencing all these feelings and emotions… And this awareness is a silent witness or observer… It is unaffected, undisturbed, undetermined, uninfluenced, uncontaminated by all the modifications of the mind about good or bad, happiness or unhappiness, positive or negative…

But before we are able to be completely unattached to the mind and the ego, as long as we are still identifying with the mind and ego as “I” or “me”, and thinking that “I” am experiencing all these feelings and emotions, then we can work on countering negativities with positivities, or eliminating the “negative”, “bad” and “unhappy” elements or qualities from the mind, and replace with “positive”, “good” and “happy” elements or qualities… And be a happy person with a happy mind. Or else we can still be happy with ourselves for being an unhappy person with an unhappy mind… Or allowing ourselves (the mind) to be happy sometimes and be unhappy some other times…

Most important is that we are aware of all these good and bad feelings, and accept ourselves (the mind or ego) as we are, and have control over our actions and speech, so that we do not generate or inflict harmful, hurtful or disharmonious actions and speech onto other people or beings that we come in contact with, especially when our mind is in a disturbed or unhappy state of mind…

Sometimes when our mind is over-powered by impurities or qualities that are “unpleasant”, we are not happy, we might intentionally do or say something that will irritate or hurt some other people to feel good and excited, as that will make our ego feels strong and powerful by bullying other people or beings, by inflicting painful sorrow onto other beings physically or mentally, to get some sort of satisfaction, excitement, stimulation, or happy sensations… And sometimes we like the sensations that come from being angry and jealous. It gives the mind some sorts of stimulation or excitement… We enjoy being in a state of anger and jealousy. It makes our mind feels stimulated. We constantly looking for contradictions and arguments with other people to excite or stimulate our mind… Especially when we “think” we win over the arguments, it really empowering our ego, to feel “I” am strong, “I” am superior… Most of the time, it isn’t because we are right and intelligent, and other people don’t want to argue with us and let us “win”, but it is actually other people being emotionally matured and are smarter than us, and don’t need this kind of mind games to boost their egos, to feel strong, to feel superior…

If that is the case, we really need to seek consultations from somebody who doesn’t need to depend on hurting or harming other beings to be happy, who is self-controlled and is happy as he is or as she is… Or else when we are totally or completely over-powered by this type of behavior, we can’t control our own behavior anymore, then we might have to end up in mental institution or psychiatric hospital, and be controlled by drugs, and this will be wasting our life time and life existence to have the opportunity to do so many meaningful things for ourselves and other beings… In the beginning, we are behaving like this because we want to be strong, we want to have control over things or other people, we want to be the one in control of everything, but we end up lost control over ourselves (our mind), our sanity, our strength to be “what we want to be”… What a destructive way to try to gain control and power…

Om shanti.

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