“…change is neither where insight begins nor where it ends. Insight begins with a question that evaluates change in light of the desire for true happiness. It ends with a happiness that lies beyond change.” ~Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Full Article)
Many people say life is short and we should live in the moment. While in some situations being in the moment is everything, true happiness does not come without effort.
Don’t merely consume the pleasures of immediate
Achieving true happiness in this life comes when our efforts are rewarded with the pureness of a single moment. This single moment may be purely coincidence or chance, and there are thousands of wonderful moments in our lives and each deserves to be valued and enjoyed. Truly great moments come from the culmination of much effort coming to fruition; rewarding us with far greater pleasure than a single, fleeting moment can. Be a part of the process and see how the fruits of your labor layer together, creating something worthwhile.
“What, when I do it, will lead to my long-term well-being and happiness?”
Cycles of consumption and production
Allowing ourselves to drift from one momentary pleasure to the next does not assuage the hunger of the soul. Work instead to achieve true happiness. Be at peace with yourself and others. Don’t get caught in the cycle of production and consumption, swallowing down pleasures and pains in our haste and eagerness to find happiness. These joys and sorrows are but temporary measures.
Finding long-term happiness
“Whatever is inconstant is stressful; whatever is stressful is not-self”
Your sense of self is something willed and fabricated — you choose to create it. Once you realize this there is no need to pursue self-gratifying experiences or seek temporary, impermanent, inconstant pleasures. Take your experiences which lead you on the path to long term happiness and learn, grow and develop. Acts of generosity, acts of virtue, and the practice of mental absorption, or concentration lead us to long term happiness, and not momentary pleasure.
“…if we care deeply about the results of our actions and want to master the processes of cause and effect that lead to genuine freedom. In other words, we don’t demand childishly that our actions — skillful or not — always result in immediate happiness, that everything we stick into the lock will automatically unlatch the door. If what we have done has been unskillful and led to undesirable results, we want to admit our mistakes and find out why they were mistakes so that we can learn how to correct them the next time around. Only when we have the patience to look objectively at the results of our actions will we be able to learn, by studying the keys that don’t unlock the doors, how finally to make the right keys that do.” ~Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Full Article)