Question of the Month: Is It Possible to be Truly Happy?

There are two quotes from Buddha that come to mind:

“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.”

“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are; it solely relies on what you think.”


So the answer is both yes and no. I’ve always learned that there are moments of happiness. Sometimes they are long moments that are strung together. Sometimes they are tiny, fleeting moments interspersed with suffering. Suffering is ok - it allows you to appreciate the happiness. Consistent, mindful practice allows you to pay attention to the present moment with kindness and curiosity. It allows you to observe without judgment or negative feelings. It helps you to withstand discomfort. So if you can do that, then you can find more moments of happiness. Having said that, who defines happiness? Isn’t it a feeling based on a perception? You perceive the situation and conditions to be positive, so you feel happy. So if you are able to change your perception, then you can control your happiness. It seems so easy to put on rose colored glasses, but this does not involve denial of the truth. It is the ability to see opportunity and embrace it as a gift. Every day presents you with an abundance of gifts. How then can we not be happy?