20 Notes on Lasting Happiness by Swami Sitaramananda (reblog)

Reposted from the Sivananda Yoga Farm blog.

1. When the mind is more focused, you are happier. When the mind is one-pointed, it doesn’t swing so much. If it doesn’t have many waves, then you are happy.

2. Objects appear to give you happiness because of the conditioning of your mind to like this and dislike that, but truly objects cannot bring you lasting happiness. All objects are external things, but happiness comes from within you; it is your true nature.

3. Happiness that is the result of habit is not free and unlimited, therefore it comes and goes.

4. The value of an object depends on your desire for it. The attainment of the desired object gives instant happiness, but this happiness is fleeting.

5. Desire is fantasy projected outward and onto an object. The desire cannot be satisfied, because satisfaction will only fan the desire for something else. Thus desire makes you unhappy.

6. The promise of happiness in fact is unhappiness, because it leads to discontent.

7. The satisfaction of a desire reveals the desireless-ever-fulfilled soul. So why not recognize the source of happiness and enjoy limitless happiness, instead of having glimpses of it from one desire to another – alternating with suffering, fear, and dissatisfaction.

8. There is no true happiness residing in the object. The happiness when the desired object is attained comes from the soul, not because the object is soulful, but because the desire for the object ceases to block the recognition of the pure bliss and happiness which is the soul ‘s nature.

9. Some objects can give you happiness more than others just because you are programmed to think so. Often you are programmed to think so before your birth, carried on from birth to birth. Therefore it is difficult to think that what you like or dislike is just a preprogrammed habit. You identify with it and you lose perspective.

IMG_195110. Likes and dislikes are before birth and are karmic patterns.

11. It is possible to see the true happiness of your own nature using your mind, you just have to make the mind calm and un-wavy (devoid of thoughts). When the mind is wavy, you can only see a distorted picture of what constitutes happiness, what constitutes yourself. Therefore, it is important to keep the mind calm and transparent – like a mirror or a calm lake–so you can see yourself.

12. The goal is not to do something and get somewhere, but to calm the mind so you can contemplate your true nature as happiness.

13. In a transcendental state of mind, you find bliss. In a one-pointedness state of mind, you find happiness. In a gathering state of mind, you find peace.

14. In a distracted state of mind, you feel unhappy and restless. In dull state of mind, you feel unhappy and lethargic.

15. Many temporary feelings of happiness lined up will not become the unlimited happiness that we are after. Adding many fleeting feelings of happiness together will not equal the one big happiness. Adding diamond happiness to furniture happiness to travel happiness to jobs happiness to husband happiness will not make the big happiness.

16. The big happiness is your own Self.

17. Unhappiness means failing to see the truth of happiness, because we are too busy seeing objects.

18. Using the same mind, trying again and again to find happiness in external objects is the trap of the mind which leads us to repeat the same patterns again and again.

19. You do yourself disfavor by satisfying the desires of the mind, because you become more unhappy as a result.

20. Work through your karmic patterns and your mind will find happiness independent from external objects.

What do you think? As a westerner, are Swami Sitaramananda’s points feasible?