A master Buddhist reveals the most important factor to a happy life

Ever wondered what happiness actually is?
Most of us correlate it to a bigger bank account, a nicer home, or a better job. Others might say it’s a joyful feeling.
However, Buddhist philosophy says that happiness has nothing to do with any of these things.
For starters, material things can’t satisfy your emotional needs. Buddhist say that relying on material items to make us happy causes us to get lost in a loop of desiring.
Why? Because the joy of these material objects generally don’t last very long and you’ll be back in the process of desiring again.
And to define happiness as an emotion is fraught with danger because emotions are fleeting. They don’t last forever. And constantly searching for that good feeling constantly will eventually make you unhappy.
So, how do we actually become happy? Read on to find out what master Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh says about the secret to happiness…

Our ideas of happiness are hurting us, according to a Master Buddhist

First of all, Thich Nhat Hanh says our current ideas of happiness are actually hurting us:
“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace….Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.”
Having these “ideas of happiness” means we’re always looking to the future for something better, according to Thich Nhat Hanh. He says that this is one of the most significant mental habits that we need to be aware of:
“We have negative mental habits that come up over and over again. One of the most significant negative habits we should be aware of is that of constantly allowing our mind to run off into the future. Perhaps we got this from our parents. Carried away by our worries, we’re unable to live fully and happily in the present. Deep down, we believe we can’t really be happy just yet—that we still have a few more boxes to be checked off before we can really enjoy life. We speculate, dream, strategize, and plan for these “conditions of happiness” we want to have in the future; and we continually chase after that future, even while we sleep. We may have fears about the future because we don’t know how it’s going to turn out, and these worries and anxieties keep us from enjoying being here now.”

So, what is the secret to happiness?

Thich Nhat Hanh says that true happiness comes from letting go of attachments and preconceived ideas to the way things should be. Why? Because if we can aren’t constrained by these expectations, we can embrace life as it is and live in the present moment (which is the only place that happiness can be found):
“It is possible to live happily in the here and now. So many conditions of happiness are available—more than enough for you to be happy right now. You don’t have to run into the future in order to get more….”
Thich Nhat Hanh also says that letting go is crucial to experience freedom, which in turns gives us peace and happiness:
“Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go.”
However, you might think that we should avoid suffering at all costs. But according to Thich Nhat Hanh, without suffering, we can’t have happiness:
“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”
source and courtesy: Hack Spirit. 

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