Trying to achieve happiness

Trying to achieve happiness

by Headspace » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:34 pm

Question

To quote Andy, "Happiness is just happiness, no big deal, it comes and it goes. Sadness is just sadness, no big deal, it comes and it goes'

This got me thinking about what i'm trying to achieve and i'm wondering what this implies? Does it mean that there's some kind
of inbetween where you're neither happy nor sad, you're just present in the moment and aware of yourself and the world around you?


Andy's Answer

In answer to your question, with this particular sentence I was referring to the quality of contentment, a quality of mind which is at ease with the mind as it is, no matter what.

It is not a mind devoid os happiness or sadness, or any other kind of emotion for that matter. But it is a mind which is able to experience those things without getting caught up in them and without being overwhelmed by them.

The easiest way to think about it is like this:

There is awareness, which is the quality that allows us to witness thoughts and emotions with clarity. It is awareness that allows us to know we are thinking when we are thinking. Then there are the thoughts and emotions themselves. Usually, we are so caught up in the thoughts and emotions, identifying so strongly with them, that we have very little awareness of them. In this situation we 'become' happiness or sadness, or whatever might be going on at that time.

In contrast, if we have strong awareness, then we witness those emotions, we experience them, but we don't 'become' them. It's the difference between watching a storm through a window from the warm of the house and being outside in the middle of it, caught up in the wind and the driving rain.

The funny thing is , that far from removing us from the experience of the emotion, awareness allows us to get closer to the emotion and to experience it in a way we have never done before. So we actually experience happiness and sadness with even more clarity. But again, it's just that the experience is one of watching the emotion with awareness at ease, rather than 'being' the emotion with the accompanying feeling of dis-ease.

Warm wishes, Andy
 
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