I’d like to know where in life’s rule book it says that we’re supposed to be happy. Although many spiritual and religious traditions state that as spiritual beings we’re all afforded happiness, I have a problem with that since statements like that open the door to disappointment through unmet expectations.
Let’s face it, each one of us has a different definition of what happiness means. Ergo, we alone get to determine all that goes along with this much sought after and arbitrarily assigned human emotion. That said, many find that meditation helps them to achieve happiness. I wonder, however, if it has less to do with giving one an emotional high, and more to do with the sense of peace and satisfaction that comes in learning deeply about oneself?
Craig Wilson, in this latest USA Today post, also questions the right to happiness and what one must do to achieve it. Centering the article around Sharon Salzberg’s recent meditation book, Real Happiness, Wilson acknowledges how all of us could benefit from listening to Salzberg’s message of slowing down and letting go as a way to find real happiness.
A book titled Real Happiness came out earlier this year and touts a 28-day program on meditation. I brought it home because it came with a CD that literally promises happiness. Real happiness. Says so right there on the cover.
Sharon Salzberg, who speaks oh-so-softly to me on the CD, keeps advising me to “let go” and reminds me that I am allowed to “begin again” over and over. This makes me happy since I keep getting distracted and continually need to start over.
I won’t say I’ve progressed to the real happiness stage yet, but …
I also like it when she doesn’t talk for long periods of time and then suddenly reappears, reiterating that it’s perfectly fine to start over, begin again. To let go.
Read more from Wilson about finding happiness through meditation here.