The most common way everyone believes to achieve happiness is through meditation. When I hear the word meditation, I see someone sitting criss- cross applesauce, hands on their knees, eyes closed, and not moving a muscle. In other words, they look like they are sleeping. This is what we generally know about meditating. I believe it can be difficult for one to achieve that ability to concentrate and focus without falling asleep. I remember when I was in high school, we read a book about a man who takes a journey to learn about life and he came across a Buddhist who teaches him how to meditate. Our teacher thought it would be a good idea for the whole class to try and experience meditation. I had never tried it before and I remember all I wanted to do was fall asleep. Point is, over time and through training, “…we can transform the content of our mind.” (Ricard 2010) It may take months, even years, for one to gain more patience, and gradually change their ways of thinking to be a happier person.
Our mind plays a huge part in achieving true happiness. I can agree with Gerard van Warmerdam, author of How the Mind Affect Your Happiness, “As humans we live in two worlds… ther is the external world…Then there is the world of our mind and imagination.” When it comes to the virtual reality of our mind, it can seem more real than our emotions. In general, our mind wants us to think that happiness comes from our accomplishments and success in the external world. It doesn’t want us to know that our life fulfillment and happiness depends on what goes on in our virtual reality, or our mind.
In his article about happiness, Matheiu Ricard uses anger as an example of an emotion we usually identify with. “Anger can fill our mental landscape and project its distorted reality on people and events.” (Ricard 2010) If you were to end a relationship on bad terms, say he/she cheated on you, every time you saw that other person you would get angry. You would “rekindle” the reason why the relationship ended. Imagine that years pass by and you found someone new, got married and started a family. You think you found your soul mate and life couldn’t get any better. Your mind will interpret your break-up as a good thing that helped you become happier in life. Over time the way your mind thought about the break-up changed not the actual event. Therefore, so did your emotions. “Your emotions are created by the beliefs of the virtual reality of the mind.” (Warmerdam 2010) If we let our mind take us back to the trigger of our anger we have not yet separated from the anger itself. Our emotions are “…nothing more than the product of our mind.” (Ricard 2010) We must learn to let them go the same way we let them arise. I have