The Huffington Post recently published a post by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche on meditation and the key to happiness. In “What Does Meditation Have To Do With Happiness?” Rinpoche explains that while everyone seeks happiness, rarely do we succeed in achieving that goal. From an early age, we are taught different methods to become successful, which implies we will be happy. Why then, Rinpoche asks, do we feel bad so often — like something is missing? Why doesn’t our success satisfy us? After we’ve achieved our goals — the loving spouse, the peaceful home, the resources to travel or make art, our dream job — we keep looking for the next thing that will make us happy.
Why nothing is ever good enough
What it comes down to, he says, is that we’re not happy with who we are, and so we’re not happy with where we are or the things we have. But once we notice and acknowledge that, then we can work on relaxing our mind and stop focusing on outside circumstances. “If we don’t have some kind of influence over our mind, some control or mastery over our thoughts,” he said, “then it’s the same story everywhere we go, whether it’s New York City or the Himalaya mountains.”
Making friends with your mind: meditation
Happiness relies on changing things inside ourselves, Rinpoche says, not relying on external circumstances for our contentment. “It turns out that a shift in perspective can transform a moment of suffering into one of happiness no matter what is going on around you, no matter what your situation,” he said. “And the best way to change your perspective is to first make friends with your mind by getting to know it really well. That is basically the practice of meditation—and it’s also a result of meditation.”
Read the entire blog post, which includes a link for a brief instruction on how to meditate, HERE.
Watch Rinpoche’s teaching on happiness below.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is a widely celebrated Buddhist teacher known for his warmth and wit. A lover of music, art and urban culture, Rinpoche is a poet, photographer, accomplished calligrapher and visual artist, as well as a prolific author. His recent books include “Emotional Rescue” and “Rebel Buddha.” Rinpoche is founder and president of Nalandabodhi, an international network of Buddhist centers.