Friday, 9 November 2012

What Is Happiness and Can It Coexist With Sadness?

Happiness is the ideal state of being, one that is generally accompanied by a peaceful and tranquil state of mind.  It is a bit like a light warmth that resides at our core, one that we may most notice when we have the peace of mind to appreciate it.  It is yet possible to experience sadness, after all, there are many potential causes of sadness that may enter our lives at just about any time.  Should we simply look to our core and feel that warmth of happiness that resides there though, we would realise the truth, that is, that like the experience that was the cause of our sadness, the sadness itself is well only transitory.

That warmth at our core that is happiness, may well provide the strength to endure such moments of sadness, without ever having to leave behind our general state of happiness.  The challenge here for many of us is to create the peace of mind to appreciate the subtle strength that happiness naturally provides.  Without peace of mind, we may not be allowing ourselves the space to even realise that such finer qualities as happiness actually exist.

Peace is what naturally surrounds happiness, well it is like a cocoon within which we reside, and may also set the tone for nearly everything we do.  It begins, and is most recognisable as inner peace, that calm and tranquil state of mind that gives us the space to provide a measured response to pretty much every experience where that state prevails.  Yet the reality for many of us is that it can be very difficult to achieve or maintain.

If our minds are clouded by strong emotion or even many stressful thoughts, which by their very nature have a tendency each to create an emotional response, how are we to recognise the strength of our happiness.  It would be like trying to look at our inner core through multi-coloured glasses, how could we then be certain of what we are seeing there.  Clearly, inner peace is the key here, and may well be about creating a small place of peacefulness, like imagining a small calm lake, within our mind, and allowing that calm space to expand to include us entirely.

Through practicing inner peace, it is easily possible to be sad, and yet realise that we are still happy.  This is achieved because our practice of inner peace works to prevent us from becoming overwhelmed by the emotions that might be inclined to enter our mind with the sadness.  Many different emotions can travel with sadness, pretty much any combination in fact, and perhaps partly because our sadness can be strong, so too can these emotions be strong.  Hence the importance of practicing inner peace, and not allowing ourselves either to drown in our emotions or to wallow in our sadness.

So it is, that it is OK to be sad from time to time, although it is better to be seen as a place that we may visit for a relatively short time, rather than a place we set ourselves to reside.  The challenge here, is that prolonged moments of sadness can actively work to cool the warmth at our core that is happiness, and have some potential over the long term to lead to a generally depressed state.  Therefore, it is better to realise what it is that causes us to feel sad, and then to allow that moment to pass peacefully from our mind and being.

Perhaps interestingly though, it is generally not well to attempt to avoid sadness altogether.  Sadness is a necessary aspect of human existence.  It may actually be that through sadness we first learn to care, and caring is a vital human quality. Caring is at the heart of compassion, and compassion is the fundamental modality of being, such that, through caring we can become beings of happiness.

Sadness can be like a pendulum that sometimes touches us, and highlights the reason to attend to our happiness.  When it touches someone else, we may yet be willing to share of it through our empathy of them.  It is then as though we experience an echo of the pendulum's touch, and because we care, we may be able to participate in easing that other person's pain or suffering.  There are many cycles of life, sadness is but one of them.

Happiness is a subtle warmth at our core, one that may provide the strength to endure in darker moments, as well as in the light.  It can coexist with sadness, as long as we make sure that the sadness does not overstay its welcome.  Better that we allow our happiness gradually to ease any moments of sadness, such that these moments of sadness and the experiences that triggered them, may pass peacefully from our mind and being, so that through practicing inner peace, happiness may well become our prevalent state of being.

No comments:

Post a Comment