This is a modern translation of what the Buddha said some 2500 years ago and repeated many times by the Dalai Lama. Easier to say than to understand or to do.
Where do we get our happiness?
If good health is excluded I bet you that 99.9% of our happiness is coming from the outside: love of course, family, friends, pets, job satisfaction and promotion, learning, money, new house, sport, new car, trips around the world, sex, a good book, vacations, food, Netflix, Twitter, ...the list is endless.
This "outside happiness" is wonderful, expected and needed but unfortunately it remains out of our control and by definition transient. Sources of outside happiness come and go and there is nothing we can do about it. This is I think, what the Buddha means.
We enjoy them but if we become too attached to them we are opening the door to potential delusion, deception, dissatisfaction and..unhappiness.
So....what to do ?
Finding & using the Middle Way - a key Buddhist teaching - is probably the solution. One may discover steady happiness by using a proper balance between outside sources of happiness and the inside one.
Like our perfect True Nature inside happiness exists already in all of us but the problems are:
1) to believe that we have it,
2) to find it and
3) to practice it.
As mentioned already many times before our ego-centered mind is the main source of our dissatisfaction and unhappiness caused by desires, anger, resentment, anxiety, etc. Controlling our ego thoughts via meditation is the most effective way to manage and reduce our unhappiness. When the level of our unhappiness drops the level of inside happiness & contentment rises automatically.
Little by little we must train ourselves to discover and experience happiness by controlling our deceptive mind. In fact we can literally create & maintain happiness rather than looking for outside self or by buying stuff endlessly like most of us do.
Creating and practicing happiness is indeed a wonderful tool that all of us have.
Happiness is contagious and by improving yours everyone will benefit from it. This is a wonderful form of compassion.
We have to realize that true lasting happiness is not something we find with our credit card such as
in a shop,in a hotel room, with a new car, with a new kitchen, or by buying an airline ticket. You have to understand that it is here, hidden within ourselves and ready to please at no cost.
Start your training in happiness.
Ven. Ji Gong Sunim.