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In Search of Happiness – Finding Happiness Through Meditation

by Elaine Clara Mah

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If we asked ourselves what is it that we’re searching for day after day, the answer is quite simple. Happiness. Everyone’s goal in life is to be happy and this manifests in many different ways. For some, buying material goods makes them happy. Others find happiness in food.

Yet, meditation teaches us that happiness is to be sought within. We can all be happy, so long as we look inward. As easy as it sounds, so many of us finds this idea to be overwhelming. Here lies the question: How do we find happiness in meditation?


Connect to Yourself and then to Others

Often times, we are unhappy because we feel alone. We don’t identify with others and are unable to make proper connections to them. We also don’t know our own self. Perhaps we may know what we are in a material sense. We may know what we like and what we don’t like. But do we really know ourselves once we dig deeper?

In meditation, we find ourselves sitting in silence, and though we are silent, our inner voices become so much louder, becoming difficult to ignore. It is there that you will begin to realize who you really are and all the things about yourself that you’ve been ignoring all this while.

Reconnecting with your authentic self will make it easier for you to achieve happiness, as you now really truly understand what makes you tick. Meditation helps you see you for who you are and honor that stage that you are at. Only with this solid connection to yourself, then will you be able to connect to others.


Finding Happiness Not in Material Things

In the movie Shopaholic, Rebecca Bloomwood explained her shopping obsession as being connected to her happiness. “When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again,” she said. Bloomwood’s observation of her shopping habits is something that many of us can relate to. We buy things to fill a gap within ourselves. At the point of purchase, we feel happiness. But material goods, like much of the world, are fleeting. The feeling of happiness associated to it dissipates over time and then there is a need to find that feeling again.

When we meditate, we learn to sit and watch the world go by. We are often asked to not block our emotions or thoughts, rather, allow them to pass through our mind and take note of them. But at the end of the day, we let them go. Vipassana, a form of silent meditation, asks that its practitioner sit still in quiet contemplation for most of the day even through the pain of not moving and the challenge of not speaking. This practice allows practitioners to watch the world go by and to not react. It reminds us that everything is fluid and moving. They come and they go. Even our bodies age and decay over time. The only constant is within where the soul lies. So why seek happiness in things that don’t last rather than in the one thing that does?


Learning to Let Go

Blame, guilt, anger, sadness. These emotions are something that we feel in our day-to-day lives. However, many times we fall prey to these emotions and let them take control of us. We attach ourselves to them and identify with them. Long-term attachment to our emotions is an unhealthy practice and can block the idea of happiness from our line of sight.

The most important thing that meditation teaches is the very idea of letting go. Letting go in this sense does not only mean of material goods or worldly pleasures, but also of our emotions. Meditation teaches us to detach and build a clear and fresh perspective. Through meditation, we stop dwelling on the past, and by default, the emotions attached to past events. 

Are you in search of happiness? Find it through meditation! Go on a meditation retreat and change your life for the better!

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