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The root of happiness

Teachings of Thay, 18:43 PM, November, 09 2023
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“The root of happiness doesn't lie anywhere outside ourselves, but actually right in our minds. That is the truth! It is thanks to our minds that we feel this life and sense the world around us. Our minds can undergo many states of emotions such as sadness, happiness, worry, and fear; therefore, happiness also stems from our minds, not from external factors. Those factors only act as conditions, yet not the foundation. In fact, our minds are truly the root of happiness.

The root of happiness

The root of happiness

When the Buddha realized that the mind is the root of everything, He turned inwards to “solve” the mind's problems and figure out how to make the mind happy in any situation. Accordingly, Buddhism is also called “the path of mind cultivation”. It is to cultivate and train our minds to a certain level where they can stay contented and happy under any circumstance.

Hence, we need to realize that happiness lies in our minds, yet not in other external criteria such as material wealth, fame, etc. as those can all change. Money can come and then go; fame can be gained and then lost; relationships can be formed and end. Nothing stays unchanged forever. For example, when people fall in love, they think that love is happiness. When stepping into a romantic relationship, any lover feels indescribably happy. However, after marriage, probably when the honeymoon ends, people may start to get bored soon. They feel like happiness has been out of control and no one can hold onto it. The reason is that we can never keep anything unchanged. Our material and mental properties are highly erratic. The Buddha called this “the law of impermanence”. The Buddha said that everything is impermanent and changeable.

Therefore, living among those changes, how should we stabilize and cultivate our minds? That is, only when we can stay peaceful and contented in any situation can we obtain genuine happiness. That is also the pathway taken by the Buddha.”

According to Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh in the video extract “Where does happiness stem from?”

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