“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family,to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s mind…..If a man can do this he can find the way to enlightenment and all the wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him…”- Buddha
My young friend Samantha had an assignment in school, to find a quote of Buddha’s and discuss what it meant to her. She then asked me to comment on it.
Our minds are funny things. We can convince ourselves of basically anything. Some people believe we can cure illness by thoughts alone. I’m not quite sure about that one but I do believe we can control, in our mind, our happiness. A great deal of what makes us unhappy is comparing ourselves to others. At the earliest part of our lives we are judged by how we look. Later by the jobs we have. Sometimes by the friends we share. But most of our unhappiness lies in how we perceive ourselves in our OWN mind.
Free the mind of all the clutter in our lives and its easier to see the reasons to be happy. Health. Safety. Freedom. Liberty. Family. The key is to focus on the good things in life, the hard part is doing so. We all have a problem with living in the moment, so much so that most people can not even carry a true conversation anymore. Most people are so in a hurry that what you have to say isn’t important. If people would listen more than speak, they would find a lot of interesting things are said which in turn might bring some form of happiness to their lives.
Controlling your mind, as in the thoughts we have, is a lot harder. I find myself stuck in a rut at times and actually have to force myself to think happy thoughts to get out of it. Its easy to fall prey to feeling sorry for yourself about something and then not being able to shake those feelings. I think the key to it all is to wake up everyday and make a conscious effort to think of something good about yourself or your life. Try to look past the little things that get stuck in your head that drive you nuts. That’s what I think Buddha meant by controlling your mind. If you can blank out the things that get in the way and replace it with a good thought it just might become contagious to your happiness. “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. How many of us fill our day doing just that.
Clearing your mind from all the things you can’t control will make room for all the things that will bring happiness. How many times do we drive to work and not know how we got there? It happens so often that we’re so predisposed that we blank out life around us. This in turn doesn’t allow all the good things to come in. The colors of the sky. The pattern of the raindrops on your windshield. The first bloom of spring. All the things that we should be happy and grateful for in life that we no longer are aware of.
Find a way to live for today, in the moment as they say. Concentrate on the positive in your life. Laugh. Laugh more. Your alive so be happy!