I have discovered that it is actually impossible to find happiness. As long as you are seeking to find happiness somewhere, you are overlooking where happiness is. Since I have stopped searching for fulfillment in the mind or in external circumstances, my life is now lived on a ground of joy. There are moments of unhappiness, anger, and distress - moods that pass through- yet all is occurring on a ground of joy. No mood needs to be feared, no moment needs to be avoided. Finally, I see that all moods, all states of mind, all feelings, anything that is truly investigated, points back to the same source - that pristine sky of fulfilled consciousness that is the truth of who I am, and the truth of who you are.
As long as you are seeking to find God someplace else, you are overlooking the essential truth of God, which is omnipresence. And, when you seek to find happiness someplace else, you are overlooking your true nature, which is happiness. You are overlooking yourself.
I would like to offer you the invitation and the challenge to stop overlooking yourself, to simply, radically, and absolutely be still-to put aside, at least for a moment, all of your ideas of where God is, or where truth is, or where you are. I am asking you to be still in pure presence. Not to create that, not even to invite it, but simply to recognize what is always here, who you always are, where God always is.
Ignorance is the root of suffering. When I use the word "ignorance," I am speaking about ignoring the truth of who you are in favor of some problem or identification with suffering. Ignoring the limitless truth of yourself, ignoring the eternal presence of divinity, of being-ness itself, is the very source of continued suffering. Continued suffering occurs when your concepts of happiness, truth and freedom are seen as separate from who you already are.
I am not speaking of the compassionate suffering experienced when one witnesses the anguish in the world. In the acknowledgment of that anguish, suffering can be experienced.
This is part of the texture of life, and it is appropriate. By continued suffering, I am referring to what could be called "unnecessary" suffering, when you are wrapped up in replaying your own or the world's dramatic stories over and over in your mind. Unnecessary suffering can be dropped in an instant, yet it is usually perpetuated through cycles of mental and emotional activity as an attempt to escape the direct experience of emotional pain.
To be finished with suffering does not mean to ignore suffering. To be true to the eternal truth of who you are is not to ignore anything. It means recognizing that you have the capacity to realize yourself as not separate from the totality of life. The degree to which you are willing to stop ignoring is the degree to which you are willing to truly know yourself.
Whether you are searching for peace and happiness in a relationship, in a better job, or even in world peace, just for one moment, stop absolutely. There is nothing wrong with these pursuits, but if you are engaging in them to get peace or to get happiness, you are overlooking what is already here. If you will simply be utterly still, even for one instant, you will recognize the inherent spaciousness of your being that is already happy and at peace with itself.
Once you discover this ground of peace, whatever pursuits you then engage in will be informed by your discovery. You will naturally bring what you have discovered to the world, to politics, to all your relationships. Because of our conditioning, we normally dismiss this ground of peace with an immediate, "Yes, but what about my life? I have responsibilities. I need to keep busy. The absolute doesn't relate to my world, my existence." These conditioned thoughts just reinforce further conditioning. But, if you will take a moment to recognize the peace that is already alive within you, you then actually have the choice to trust it in all your endeavors.
This doesn't mean that your life will be swept clean of conflicts, challenges, or pain. It means that you will have recognized a sanctuary where the truth of yourself is present, where the truth of God is present, regardless of the physical, mental, or emotional circumstances of your life. We cannot possess truth; that would be the mind's idea. But truth can claim its possession, which is us - each soul, each being.
This is an invitation into the core of your being. It is not about religion or lack of religion. It is not even about enlightenment or ignorance. It is about the truth of who you are, which is closer and deeper than anything that can be named or imagined. What we imagine as fulfillment has to do with less pain, less conflict, more pleasure, more peace, more acknowledgment, more love.
But, true fulfillment cannot be imagined; it can only be realized.