Discovering and cultivating happiness

Laughing girl with curly hair with a butterfly on her nose. Happiness can be spontaneous and easy

86. Facts about happiness

Happiness is a condition that we often associate with having health and achieving goals and success in life. Sometimes it can overwhelm us unplanned, spontaneously – when we enjoy nature, when we have fun alone or with friends, when we enjoy the success of others, especially relatives and friends when we remember a certain moment in the past. Of course, some people do not follow other people’s recipes for happiness. But can anyone list all how happiness overwhelms us?

It is important to realize that it is an inner state and is happening in our inner world. Biologically, it is due to the production and presence of certain chemicals in our brains, which scientists say are produced unconsciously depending on the individual’s experiences. We use the word “happiness” to name it, but each person experiences it internally, in an individual and subjective way, and its power may be different.

It is interesting to note that the strength of a person’s happiness cannot be measured or compared to the strength of another’s happiness. Here is another topic for reflection. Over time, we move toward old age, where many things are unlikely to be better than before, such as health. If we do not change the way events affect our inner world, we will probably become more and more unhappy over the years.

The purpose of the content here is to help a person to be happy more often, by understanding more clearly what makes him happy, and to gain a deeper understanding of the state that happiness causes in his inner world. This practice uses mostly “tools” such as memory, rational mind, imagination, and inner sensitivity.

87. Brief description of the practice

Let’s start with a brief description at the conceptual level and then pay attention to detail. The first step is to make a list of memories of moments in our lives when we were happy. If our memory betrays us, we can create and complete this list through imagination, imagining events that will make us happy. We then work with this list, increasing our understanding of how we feel this way, and exploring and deepening our awareness of our inner state.

88. Making a list of happy memories

Now a little more detail. Making this list is not an easy task to quickly dismiss, but rather a process for which everyone can find the pace and the way to achieve the best. The idea is to do it when we have the time and desire. The more we scroll through the memories, the more they emerge and become clearer. It’s like solving crossword puzzles – we go back to the same word over and over again, new letters appear, we try different syllables until the whole searched word comes to mind.

It can help if we keep notes to add each time we “scroll through the bar.” It is good to dig up the maximum number of details for each moment when we were happy, and most of all to find the key factors that most strongly influenced this.

Not necessarily, but it would be good if we could remember all the sensory information about the event – what we saw, heard, and felt in our body then. In addition, we could ask our relatives and friends if they remember moments when we were happy (just as we keep similar memories of them), and with their help to complete the list. Viewing photos and recordings or re-reading an old diary could also be helpful.

89. Complementing the list with imagination – „looking into the future“

The next step is to add events created by our imagination that would make us happy. In addition to enriching the list, we also add an element of creativity, as well as possibly new ways to achieve happiness, which is very important, especially if we have undergone some change recently.

90. Re-experiencing the list

We can start with the inner work when we have at least one state of happiness on the list to explore. If there are more, we can start with the state we have remembered most easily and vividly, or in which happiness has been strongest, or with this state, when we have most easily attained happiness. The order is not so important, because we will go through all of them, and many times.

We choose one and start. Now the goal is to experience internally as truly as possible memory again or for the first time to experience internally the target future situation that we have created in our imagination. We help each other with what we saw then or what we would see when the event happened. In the same way, we complement the inner experience with what we have heard or will hear, and with what we have felt in our body or what we will feel. The goal is to enrich and retain for a while all this inner, sensory information in our minds to allow the feeling of happiness to emerge in our minds.

At first we awkward “reaching” into the inner space, but there comes a time when we touch the feeling, and over time we gradually allow it to overwhelm us. It probably won’t work completely the first time, but with each subsequent attempt we will be closed and it will work better because that’s how memory and imagination work. We can switch to other happy states on the list at any time, especially if it comes spontaneously and we feel it helps.

All the time we pay little attention to this – to notice what is common and what is different between the individual states in the list, because in this way we deepen our understanding and receive information from the inside, first hand.

91. Working with internal tools

We have been scrolling through the list for some time, we have touched the inner state of happiness with varying degrees of success, and we want to move forward. Based on the information we have accumulated during our inner experiences, we begin to work through the mind on new ideas for happiness. Of course, we can only use what we have at the moment, so some old ways may not be possible and we have the option of finding new ones.

Another course of action is to use more of our imagination and less of reason. When we practice the above and are sunken in the experience of any of the states on the list, through our visual imagination we create an image that expresses our obsessive sense of happiness. Here we can play with the parameters of the image – its place in space, shape, and colors. We can have a separate image for each condition, or we can create a common one that includes the common features of all the others. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be, for example, a sphere with warm colors, a mixture of orange and gold, which is located in the center of our interior, with a size of your choice. Here everyone has to build their image, relying on imagination, intuition, and inner sensitivity.

The same is true of the auditory imagination, creating melodies instead of images.

If we want to work mainly with our feelings, through the practice above we should have already accumulated enough information on how to evoke the feeling of happiness in ourselves and at least touch it.

92. Main action

Later, whenever we wake up the feeling or visualize the picture, or “play” the melody, keep them in the inner space and pay full attention to what is happening inside us, through our minds it is much easier to find ways to be happy.

93. Thoughts about happiness

Finally – another topic for reflection. If the achievement of happiness was easy and accessible – whether through internal practices or otherwise – we would live a life of constant happiness, probably in better health and for a longer duration, and the idea of achieving anything would be meaningless, either except physical survival, compassion and assistance to others, procreation, and pursuits of interest.

I think we were dreaming. Let’s get firmly on the ground again and get to work.

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