Do You Believe Happiness is Entirely an Inside Job?

March 11, 2024

“If our mind is peaceful, we will be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions, but if it is disturbed or troubled in any way, we will never be happy, no matter how good our external conditions may be.”
– Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, How to Transform Your Life

Buddha’s most essential message to the world: happiness is an inside job. It arises naturally from a peaceful mind.

By practicing meditation, we can come to understand and experience this profound truth for ourselves – that it is our mind, not other people or circumstances, that determines how happy we are. When we recognize this, we’ll appreciate the power of meditation to heal us at the very deepest levels.

Right now we depend upon external things to make us happy – our relationships, our health, our reputation, and our career, to name just a few. We grasp at these things as the source of our happiness. While they may make us happy temporarily, they can also cause us much unhappiness, especially when we lose them.

By training in meditation we can become so familiar with our own source of inner peace that we never have to be unhappy again. Circumstances will change (as they always do), challenges will arise (as they always do), we’ll be “up” in life, then “down” again…and yet all the while we’ll feel completely happy and content.

We may find the idea that we can be happy all the time unbelievable, since it’s so far outside our current understanding of what’s possible. It’s good to remember that Buddha’s teachings have survived in this world for over 2,500 years now. Maybe there’s some truth to what he’s been saying . . .

Check out this video from one of our recent General Program classes where our resident teacher, Kadam Morten, explores this idea based on Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s teachings:

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