Happiness is…the mind’s default

Happiness is…the mind’s default

by Chade-Meng Tan for the Huffington Post

Life is funny. The biggest joke in life is that, after all that has been done in the pursuit of happiness, it turns out that sustainable happiness is achievable simply by bringing attention to one’s breath.

If you practice bringing a firm and gentle attention to your breath, after a while you may find yourself in a state where you are alert and relaxed at the same time. If you practice often enough, you may even become able to bring your mind to that state on demand.

Imagine you have a pot of water full of sediments, and imagine that pot is constantly shaken and agitated. The water appears cloudy. Imagine that you stop agitating the pot and just let it rest on the floor. The water will become calm and, after a while, all the sediments will settle and the water appears clear. This is the classical analogy of that mind in the alert and relaxed state. When we bring the mind to that state, we temporarily stop agitating the mind the same way we stop agitating the pot. Eventually, the mind becomes calm and clear, the same way the water appears calm and clear.

There is an extremely important quality of mind in that state that is not captured by this analogy. That quality is happiness. When the mind is calm and clear at the same time, happiness spontaneously arises. This mind becomes spontaneously and naturally joyful!

Read the original article in full…HERE