Seeds of Happiness

Seeds of Happiness

Excerpt from “Watering the Seeds of Happiness”
by Zen Master THICH NHAT HANH

All of us have the capacity to be happy.  We have seeds of compassion, understanding, and love in us. We all have many good seeds of happiness and joy.  Yet we also have the habit of running in us.  This restless energy of dissatisfaction and struggle separates us from the present moment and from ourselves.

In part, we’re running toward something.  We think happiness isn’t possible in the here and now, so we try to run ahead into the future.  We think if we can just get enough power, fame, wealth, or admiration from others, then we’ll finally be happy.  We hope that if we run toward these things faster and harder, we will get to happiness.

At the same time that we’re running toward one thing, we’re running away from something else.  Every one of us has suffering, despair, anger, and loneliness inside of us.  If we don’t know how to be with these strong emotions, we want to get as far away from them as fast as possible.

Because we’re always running, we’re not there for ourselves.  We’re too busy trying to get somewhere else to be with the self we have right now.  And if we’re not able to take care of ourselves, we can’t be there for our loved ones.  So not only are we running away from ourselves, but we’re also running away from our family and friends.

All this running is a lot of work. It is exhausting and creates tension in our body and mind. We do it because it has become a habit, but with mindful attention and deep looking, we can transform the painful habit of running into a habit of happiness.

Another section will be posted tomorrow!

Dr. Deb

 

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