Oakville Zen Meditation

#263 HOW TO HACK SERENITY March 10h 19

How to hack “happiness”? or better said,  how to hack serenity?

How often do you say silently:“I am grateful of...” NEVER. We take everything for granted & we deserve whatever, In this talk I will use the word happiness by convention rather than serenity, which is the real meaning. We all claim we want happiness and yet, many of us are too often, somewhat unhappy.

We complain all the time. We fight with family members. We play dirty office politics with co-workers. We shout and scream at other drivers in traffic. But, the recipe for happiness is not some kind of secret.

How do we hack happiness?

There’s a high probability that you’re currently chasing something.to make you happier all the time.

You want a bigger house, new car ?  A better paid job? A promotion? A new partner?, great friend?, health. Get more followers on social media? Get kids? Travel to a different country?

We also want to erase anxiety, anger, sorrow, meet your dreams, etc... etc...

The list of our desires is endless because the choices are illumined and specific to each of us.

Looking for our external dreams to make us happy or even serene will never do the trick since the list to get whatever is endless and the happiness effects from getting them are all transients like mirages.

 So what is missing? 

As the Dalai Lama used to repeat: “One of our problem is that we are unable to be grateful! It is time to change that.”  There are many ways to achieve inner serenity. We talked about them few times, but here we should look more specifically  at ........

.........Gratitude because it is one the most effective hack if you’re looking for better happiness & serenity.

By trying to be grateful to what we are, what we have, what we do,  you will see that not only we will feel better, but we will also get a better life and better relationships.

No one said it better than Oprah Winfrey:

“Be thankful for what you have. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, and what you want you will never, ever have enough.and you will be unhappy.”

Conversely, when you don’t appreciate what you have or what people do for you, you become bitter and resentful. You then push the positive people away and you will only be surrounded with a bunch of other ungrateful people “What to do if people in my life are ungrateful with me and my loved ones?” you may ask.

Try to share with them why gratitude is important. But don’t convince them because people never listen. We only change when we have a desire to change.

There’s a price you pay for living life & thinking in a certain way. Most people don’t have a philosophy for life because it is dominated by material stuff. That also comes with a price.

Don’t let ungrateful people into your life. Step away from them including, even, family members and friends because of that. You might see them once or twice a year, but have no ties with them. They will only drag you down. Instead, go up.

Life is beautiful but will always contain bad if not dramatic events. Just accept things as they are and not as you want them to be. Treat every meal you eat like the best meal that you’ve ever had. Appreciate the people in your life. Say thank you. No matter how little others do for you, pay them back with big appreciation such as your cashier, neighbours, co-workers, flight attendant, baby sitter, plumber, etc. 

And most importantly, appreciate where you are in life. You’re alive. Thank your parents for being, thank them for turning you into an independent adult.

In all my years of reading and talking about the good life, I’ve never seen anything with a bigger impact on the quality of our lives than gratitude.

Gratitude toward life and its contents, including acceptance of its bad moments is the best hacker to penetrate the realm of long lasting inner serenity and contentment. 

Serenity is contentment, a constant state of mind rather than intermittent and superficial happiness which belongs to our transient emotions. Relentless quest for external material stuff will never achieve what gratitude will offer because this quest is endless and the results always transient.

“ I don’t have what I want & I have what I don’t want” is a recipe from chronic unhappiness and suffering.

This quote to finish:

Do not regret and be grateful of getting older everyday. It is a privilege denied to many .