Our mind is all we have. It’s all we ever had. And it’s all we can offer others. This might not be so obvious to you, especially when there are parts of your life that seem in need of improvement—when you are struggling to find a fulfilling career, or you have relationships that need repairing, or maybe battling an illness. But it’s the truth.
Every experience you have ever had—as good or as bad—has been shaped by your mind. If you are angry, depressed, stressed, or your attention is elsewhere, it won’t matter how successful you become or who or what is in your life—you won’t be able to appreciate or enjoy it.
Most of us have a bucket list or at least a list of goals we want to achieve or personal problems that need to be solved. But what is the real significance of every item on such a list?
Everything we want to accomplish—to climb a mountain, paint the bathroom, learn a new language, travel to the pyramids in Egypt, find a better job—is something that promises that, if done, it would allow us to finally relax and be happy in the present.
This is a false hope.
I’m not denying the importance of achieving one’s goals, maintaining one’s health, being successful at work, or keeping one’s family secure—but most of us spend our time seeking happiness and security without recognizing the purpose of our search.
Each of us is in actual fact, looking for a path back to the present: We are trying to find good enough reasons to be happy now.
Admitting that this is the real reason behind everything we do, allows us to see through all the self-defeat, lies and emotional traps.
Most cultures have produced men and women who have found happiness. Their efforts generally begin with the realization that even in the best of circumstances, happiness is elusive.
Just as much as we seek pleasant tastes, sights, sounds, sensations, and moods. We surround ourselves with friends and loved ones. We become connoisseurs of art, music, food, or in my case Cuban cigars and good whisky. But our pleasures are, by their very nature, fleeting.
If we enjoy some great professional success, our feelings of success remain intense for an hour, or perhaps a day, but then they weaken. And the search to keep boredom and unhappiness at bay starts over.
Constant change is an unreliable basis for lasting happiness. Realizing this, many people begin to wonder whether a deeper source of happiness does exist.
Is there a form of happiness beyond the mere chasing pleasure and avoiding pain? Is there a happiness that does not depend upon having one’s favourite drinks available, or something to look forward to on the weekend? Is it possible to be happy before anything happens, before one’s desires are fulfilled, in spite of physical pain, disease and old age?
We are all, in some sense, living our answer to this question. But there is also people, however, who come to suspect that human existence might involve more than this. That the deliberate uses of attention—meditation, yoga, walking—can transform their perception of the world. And of what is defined as happiness.
Such people often begin to practice various disciplines of attention as a means of examining their experience closely enough to see whether a deeper source of happiness exists.
And what they find is that happiness is not a distant goal to strive for. It is not a far off and distant land. That it’s therefore ridiculous to say “Wait until I finish this or that, then I will be able to find happiness.
What is “this or that”? A degree, a job, a house or a payment of a debt? No, if you think that way, you’ll never find happiness. Because there will always be another “this or that” that will follow the present one.
Therefore, if you truly want to be happy, you must find happiness right now. This way is what is called Mindfulness. The process of keeping your consciousness alive to your present experience and reality.
This means that the most profound satisfactions, the deepest feelings of joy and completeness lie as close at hand as your next aware breath.
This is possible only if you truly realize that the past is gone, the future is not yet born, and if you do not connect in mindfulness with yourselves in the present moment; you will not be in touch with life.
Why is this so hard to realize? Maybe because in the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the joy that is available in each moment.
Let me explain, so if joy is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Then, every breath we take, every step we take, can be our doorway to this joy and happiness.
We need only to be awake to what is happening while it’s happening. Present, awake; living deliberately. Do you realize what this means?
Whenever our mind becomes scattered—we lose our joy. This then basically means, we need to reconnect with the present moment. How you may ask? Well, it’s rather simple, just use what is already there— your breath.
Yes, your breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. This will help you to connect your live in the moment. And yes, believe it; it is as simple as that.
Happiness is already in you. Confusion and suffering may be most people’s everyday reality, but true happiness are available. Available in this breath.