Finding a Different Happiness

อาจารย์ สุนทรา

Finding a Different Happiness

The whole teaching of the Buddha is about finding a happiness that is different from conventional happiness.

Conventional happiness keeps on breeding misery and unsatisfactory experiences. We tend to be experts in this kind of conditioned happiness: not a stable, fundamental happiness but a very conditioned one, dependent on many things. Some of those things are healthy and helpful; other things are quite destructive and can lead us to being more miserable, sick, addicted and obsessed.

Buddhist teachings are a clear map to health. The path of Buddhism shows very clearly where the mind becomes diseased and points out the path that takes the mind to a state of health.

There are many aspects to the path. In my early years of practice, one of the first important teachings I learned from Ajahn Sumedho was how to approach the path with a skilled mind, and that means Right View. Right View, the way Luang Por Sumedho expressed it, was quite different from what you read in traditional books on Buddhism. He expressed Right View as the ability to see life as it is and to simply learn from life, to not fall into the traps of judging, of criticizing, of wanting things to be different, of feeling constantly discontented – just learning to receive life as it is, to be with life as it is.

This is the first step toward living in reality rather than in dreams, which can easily turn into nightmares. I’m sure you already know about this. But dreams turn into nightmares only because you identify with them. If you are not identified with them, you can actually feel freedom in your heart; you can go through nightmares and through pleasant dreams and not need to depend on any of them to be happy.

This is Right View: seeing life as it is, knowing life as it is, experiencing life as it is and letting go. This is not ‘me’ doing something; it is a clear seeing. Awareness itself is what enables the mind to let go.

This reflection by Ajahn Sundara is from the article, “On the Way to Liberation.”