The Source of Happiness: The Present Moment


Who is not longing for happiness? For undisturbed peace, tranquility, carefree ecstasy, when everything looks bright, our heart burst out singing, and we love the entire world?  Most of the time –however- it is not granted to us. We yearn for happiness, we crave for it, and we tend to think of it as some state to be achieved some time in the future. "I will be happy when I have realized this or that dream of mine." "When I am rich and have no financial problems, I will be happy." "When everybody loves me the way I like it, I will be happy."–these are the obstacles in my way towards happiness.
You set up an objective, and you say: "When I have achieved that objective, I will be fully happy." You drive and you strive, you do your best to be successful; and when you have finally arrived at your goal at the price of a lot of hard work, toiling and suffering, you are happy for a brief period: "Success! I have finally done it! I have accomplished it". You are pleased, you allow yourself to enjoy the success.
You notice the sparkling sunshine, you hear the call of the birds, enjoy the beauty of the colorful flowers, you fully rejoice about the beauty of life. "Oh, how wonderful things are now!," you tell yourself. This state of undisturbed pleasure, however, does not last long. Doubt arises: "Oh, isn’t it going to go wrong soon? This pleasure will be over one day… What if..?" And the machinery of the mind starts working again. You think, you are afraid, or you set up new objectives. The sweet pleasure is gone, and you are in the state of suffering again.
We keep looking for happiness in the future. We hatch plans, we cherish dreams, and we believe that when the external circumstances are advantageous, we will be completely happy. We dream about happiness and in the meanwhile, deep inside, we suffer terribly.
The source of our happiness is in the future, but we live today, we have not yet reached the future, and there is an unsolvable tension stretching between the present moment and the dream projected into the future.
You do not yet have what you long for, you want to get there now, but only the future can give it to you. Now you cannot fly over to that future moment, and it generates dissatisfaction in you. Your mind is dissatisfied, the voice in your head is brooding, sad, afraid, and makes you unhappy. We shall therefore never be completely and fully happy.
Once we have achieved a goal, or our circumstances in life are advantageous for our ideas, for a brief period of time we may enjoy carefree pleasure and success, but it will soon go away as soon as set up new objectives.
Happiness is within us. It is part of our basic nature, and is independent of external factors. The source of happiness is inside us; otherwise we would not be capable of happiness even when external circumstances are favorable for that. We cannot be looking for the source of happiness outside ourselves and cannot make it subject to conditions. If we do so, the large part of our life will be spent suffering, while we are looking for happiness that is hiding inside us. We are looking for something that is already there inside us.
We hide the happiness, which is present in us Now, behind heavy thoughts. You may notice that you experience happy and joyful when you fully stay in the present moment, in the Now. When you are carefree and submit to a game, to a walk in the forest and you admire the completeness of the moment, the entirety of the world: the trees, flowers, sunshine and the song of the birds.  But a mind suffering from a chronically compelled way of thinking is unable to withstand a state free of thinking, and once it realizes that you are trying to enjoy life, it will fly you back to your past and force you dwell on the fragments of your memories. Or it takes you far ahead in the future, where everything is uncertain, and so frightening.

In fact, only the endless, eternal moment of the Now exists. You are mulling over the memories of the past in the present, and you are making plans for the future in the Present. There is nothing but the eternal moment of the Now, but with our memories and ideas we create a personal time. We must understand: everything is Now. Only the present moment exists, and everything that exists, exists Now. 
The Now is the only existing reality. The past is a dead memory, the future is just an idea. When something happened in the past, at that moment it was Now, and the future will only become a reality when it will be Now.  The only reality is unfolding in the present moment. Still, in our head, we seem to spend a lot more time thinking on the past and planning the future, and we ignore the beauty of the present moment. We are in our body here and now, but it is just an illusion: we mostly live in our memories and ideas, so much so that we do not even feel our own Presence, we do not live in our own body.
We are now, whereas our thoughts long to live in a brighter future. The moment of Now is never good enough for us, we wish to live in an imaginary future, which is better then now. We are at war with the Present, with the Now, we cannot accept it as it is. But this now is the only thing given to us; and our thoughts and ideas created in this Now will shape the future we long for. But what is that future like that we weave out of heavy thoughts, fear, and even our actions are rooted in thoughts permeated with fear? What is that future like (which will, of course, never come, since it is always now), if we do not even live in the only existing reality which contains absolutely everything: the Now. If we hope that our fate will be better in only in the future, we do not embrace the present. We are at war with the present moment, we do not accept it as it is–and that is the reason or our suffering.
Since the only reality is the Now, it is foolish to fight that reality. Since the only existing time is Now, it is worth embracing the Present. You may be dissatisfied in your mind, you may dream about a better, brighter future, and you know there is a lot for you to do for that bright future. 
The reality is Now: that is what you can embrace; not the dead past and the imagined future. You are only able to embrace the Present. If you wish to leave the Present behind and move to an imaginary future, you declare war on reality (which is now), you declare war on the Universe, and you are at war with yourself. It is not the least surprising therefore that your present thoughts and deeds predict an even more unhappy future for you.
All you can do is embrace the Present, the Now. It is possible that you now live in misery, under circumstance you do wish upon your worst enemy. Are you able to leave this unpleasant situation now? If you are unwilling to accept the situation, leave it behind. If you are unable to escape, accept that momentarily that is what you have, and begin to experience the situation consciously.
When you have accepted the Present, you cease fighting yourself and the world: you will feel a deep internal peace and tranquility, in which you have a fresh experience of the world, and you no longer need to carry the burden of memories, labels and prejudice. When you set yourself free from the compelled thinking, fantasizing, and allow yourself into the present moment, you will immediately realize that you cannot be unhappy. If you live now, in the completeness of the moment, you will have no problems. What is left, is a set of challenges that also contain the solutions.
The best thing you can do is embrace the moment in its entirety. You pay attention to everything that is unfolding in front of your eyes–openly, flexibly, receptively. You are conscious. You are watching with an alert attention similar to that of the hunting animal in the forest or the cat trying to catch a mouse. And whatever you do in this receptive, open presence in the present time, will bring great pleasure for you.
If you are struggling in the prison of your depressing emotions and whirling thoughts, and you are unable to break free and submit to the enjoyment of the thought-free Presence, I suggest that you seek the opportunity for some relaxation. Take a walk in a pleasant area if you can, far from the noise and mad rush of the big city. Walk on the river bank in a forest, enter the miracles of nature. You can smooth off your thoughts if you scan your environment gently.

Take note of all the shades of green on the plants. Listen to the melodious call of birds, watch the gentle waves on the surface of the river. Submit fully to the beauty of nature! Watch for the graceful, gentle and wonderful plants and animals are–they are alive, they exist, just like you. The singing birds, the trees whispering in the wind, the wildflowers in the meadow all celebrate the beauty and miracle of life. They do not think, do not speculate, they radiate their beauty with dignity and live in the endless moment of the Now. Once you have submerged into that miracle, your thoughts will subdue and no longer keep you in captivity, so you will be able to open up with admiration to receive the Presence.  Be a smiling spectator, because when you smile, you will open up, the muscles of your head will be relaxed, you will be cheerful, and you accept the completeness of the Present.  Smile, whether you have a reason or not, because when you smile, Life smiles back at you. You will be open, receptive, a part of the stream, and you will feel that you are alive, you live in the Present.

When you do that more and more frequently, it will become a habit of yours to fully embrace the Present. You experience a profound peace, tranquility and a joy of existence: the happiness.  

Deep inside yourself you will understand that you yourself are an embodiment of happiness, the source of happiness is within you! Smile, and enjoy the nectar of happiness!

(Excerpt from the book "Mindfulness Meditation - Journey into Consciousness" by Ervin K. Kery)

                           Like My Page
The Author: Ervin K. Kery - consciousness researcher, spiritual writer and book publisher. More about the author here.. For published books click here..You can subscribe to our free newsletter and updates bellow: