What stops us from being happy? - Part 1

In this blog, we cover things with the help of ancient Zen wisdom to contemplate what stops us from being happy.



It is pretty simple if we see deep inside us, we want to be happy?


But is that happiness merely an emotion?

Is that happiness merely a flickering gain on getting something that we desire?


Nope. The happiness which you and I and all of us truly desire,

is to be happy without any conditions, without it being dependent on what happens outside, in the outer reality we see.


That is what we truly desire. Because that is what our true nature is. A lot of people argue, How can someone be happy all the time? Aren't their other emotions?

Aren't we supposed to be sad, angry, fearful? Isn't that important too?


It is. And that is why the first thing to understand, is that the happiness we are talking about,

is not an emotion,


But is a sum total of everything. All emotions, all changing phenomena.


Enjoying the play of life.


Here's what I'm asking you to try right now. Can you for a moment see Happiness as a state of being, and not a mere changing emotion?

Let's begin with the Zen stories.



You might have heard or read these stories already. But I still propose that you continue reading them once more.


I know everything.


1: A cup of tea


Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.


Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full and then kept on pouring.


The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself. “It is overflowing! No more will go in!”


“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”



Excerpt: To learn anything new, we must be ready to shed the old. We must be ready to accept, I don't know.

We feel so afraid to leave 'Unlearn' what we already know. Because then, how would we prove we are wise and intelligent? Do we feel empty because then we do not have much to show around ourselves? We feel lost, because how do we leave what we have?


But the first step to learning to be happy is to be ready to shed the old beliefs and ways of living. And be ready to find out who we truly are.



I want it right now!


2: Apprentice


A martial arts student went to his teacher and said earnestly: “I am devoted to studying your martial system. How long will it take me to master it?”


The teacher’s reply was casual, “Ten years.” Impatiently, the student answered: “But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice every day, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?”