Happiness is a universal desire….but almost nobody has found it. It is quite sad.
If I take a step back and think about why I eat healthy and engage in all the practices I do, it’s not merely to be jacked and tan and have thousands of women and animals follow me around at all times. It’s not even for the sexual prowess of a pornstar.
It’s to be happy and at peace…the two are highly intertwined. Here’s why….
When asked what the key to happiness is most people will list a bunch of external things: family, friends, good home, good job, etc.
But I think it’s 100% in your mind.
The same world can be heaven or hell based on your own mind…which is why someone who’s extremely wealthy can be, and often is, unhappier than a poor monk who sits under a tree all day.
This also explains why so many people have failed at finding happiness
Most people are pretty much running around frantically like they have a bomb that’s going to explode that they can’t diffuse or throw away. They’re terrified, restless and searching for a solution they can’t find…
They’re searching their entire lives for a way to get rid of this bomb…
New romantic parnter
I think happiness is realizing that you’re not going to diffuse the bomb…because it’s already diffused…and it’s not even a bomb…it’s actually a piece of chocolate…
Happiness is the peace of knowing that everything is perfect right here and now and there’s absolutely nothing external that can change that.
But because you’re running around so fast you never realize it and never even examine the bomb.
You’ve probably heard before that happiness is internal…but here’s what that actually means.
Most people think it means that you just need to change your thoughts to be happy. But the truth is that I think of thoughts as external too and definitely not the route to happiness.
The reason why they’re external and not internal is because they can’t be who you truly are. Thoughts appear to something…that’s why you can recognize when they come and go. If they were actually, fundamentally you, you’d disappear when they disappeared. So there has to be something that’s more you than the thoughts, that stays consistent throughout your life….
But most people spend their entire lives believing and following all their thoughts.
Hungry, eat whatever. Horny, watch porn. Angry, scream at someone.
When you indulge in your thoughts, your mind will give you some pleasure at first, but it always backfires. Seeing this is the first step to freedom. Pleasures are temporary and according to the buddha, chasing after anything temporary is why we suffer.
By definition, something temporary will go away. The world is full of dualities. Pleasure turns into pain. Profit into loss. Happiness into sorrow. This is why you can’t truly rest in anything external. It dissolves like a sandcastle in the ocean. This is why there’s no true peace in anything external.
What’s most representative of this is how people define themselves. Take “beautiful” for example. A movie star who’s been told they’re “beautiful” their entire life, cannot put up with their face changing at all. They spend thousands on surgeries, fillers, botox, only to end up looking even worse in the end because they were attached to a face that was by definition changing.
You see this a lot with people overly obsessed with their health too…they can’t put up with one day where they’re not at peak health or energy. But by definition, your body is changing. It cannot always be perfect. Expecting it to be guarantees your own suffering.
The external world is ultimately like an itch you cannot scratch.
Fulfilling a desire either doesn’t live up to expectations or breeds even more desires. Your mind is insatiable. Another example that may hit home for some others: someone who is trying to have sex with a lot of people. These people will have a lot of fun having sex. But then 3 hours later are back on tinder. This is a life of pleasure. Not peace and happiness.
And at some point you need to realize you have to forgo the former to get the latter.
So the real question is, is there anything that you can truly rest in? Is there anything inherently peaceful.
This goes back to the whole happiness is within thing.
The realization of many religious, mystical and eastern teachers is that in every experience there’s an unchanging witness. No matter what changes in the external world, there is an ever enduring permanent awareness that does not change.
This witness, it turns out, is inherently peaceful, loving and blissful. You get glimpses of this deep in a meditation or in a flow state where your mind falls away and everything is perfect.
Resting in that witness, or higher self as some call it, is nirvana / enlightenment / god-union.
To summarize the first half: your mind is inherently a restless, desiring machine. Your thoughts are not peaceful. That is normal. That is okay. Expecting them to be is a fools errand.
Your thoughts may be anxious or depressed. But YOU are not anxious and depressed. You are the consciousness behind it. The only way to be happy, truly, eternally, is to realize yourself as beyond the mind.
Realizing this however takes a massive transformation in your entire being. Your often told to control your mind, but in reality the mind is controlling you.
The key to this transformation is first quieting the mind (unlike other teachings that say just to change your thoughts) and second transcending it.
Your habit is to go after all your thoughts. Like learning anything new, this is a lifelong practice.
And I believe the core of all religious teachings is about this self transformation, not just worshipping something external.
The happiness you can find from internal peace is not like the pleasure of eating candy, having great sex or sunning your genitals for the first time. It’s a boundless peace and joy…a feeling like you’re finally home inside yourself.
I think that this is what everyone is really after.
Until then, everything external will be dhukka (the sanskrit word for suffering)…it will feel like something is off, even when you get everything you want.
This doesn’t mean I’m telling you to go sit alone in a cave or that you have to to be happy. It’s the exact opposite, actually. You should have orgies all day long…
Okay not the exact opposite. But you can only truly enjoy the world when you transcend your mind and act from pure love. It just takes a lot of work.
Here are some ways how.
#1. Sun your balls and eat beef liver
These are ancient practices. Nobody has ever been happy without doing these things. No exceptions. Every great sage in history talks about both.
This is going to be long because this is the most important.
If you care about the quality of your life, you need to have an earnest meditation practice. This is even more important than diet for the quality of your life. It is cliche, but still the most underrated practice in the world.
Most westerns think it’s just for productivity or focus. But that is not even close to the truth. It’s like saying that college is for sex. Sure, that’s one byproduct, but not why you should go.
Meditation is important for 2 main reasons:
- It helps you externalize your thoughts and see them from a different perspective, realizing empirically that you are not them. I can drone on and on about how you are not your thoughts, but unless you actually experience this for yourself it won’t impact you.
- It allows you to rest in your own being
There are 2 main types of meditation. The first is really just preparation for the second.
The first is concetration meditation: In this type of meditation you will concentrate on an object to help still your mind. Often this is the breath but it can be something external like a candle. This will be hard because your mind’s tendency is to run wild.
You’ll look at the candle and think “ooooh that reminds me of my stove. I should cook steak. Wow I love steak. Carnivore aurelius is amazing. Holy sh*t, why am I thinking about him I should be meditating”. Then you come back to the candle.
THIS is the practice. Meditating at first is like training a dog. There will be lots of piss everywhere. You need to keep reminding the dog not to piss. You need to keep reminding yourself too, not to piss…i mean not to let your mind wander.
But your mind will wander, that is OKAY. That is good. Noticing it is the practice.
Most people quit at this phase. They think it’s too hard or not for them. But it’s like learning any new skill. You wouldn’t quit surfing if you werent kelly slater your first time. You’re meant to get pummeled.
Do not quit. You suffer because your mind wanders. It’s only after taming it that you will be free. Mastering this will take time but will make your life 10x better.
The second type of meditation is real meditation. It is meditating on emptiness. The fact that you are not who you think you are and resting beyond the mind. This isn’t possible until you still your mind.
Ultimately, the goal is resting in your blissful awareness. But this will take a lot of time. The hindus call this sat chit ananda — a peace and joy unlike anything else. I’ve never come close to experiencing it, but the quieter my mind gets the happier I am.
Everything else to follow is more tips to quiet the mind to transcend it.
#3 Eating healthy: the healthier your diet and gut, the quieter your mind.
#4 Go to bed early: your night thoughts are usually more negative and not to be trusted.
#5. Detach from selfish desires: slowly try to let go of your most selfish needs. Over time I’ve learned that selfish thoughts always rebound negatively on you and will cause you more harm than good. Anger, for example, is like “a hot coal that burns whoever holds it more than who you throw it at”. This is also why meditating is so important. Because the way you detach is by resting in your own being.
#6. Drop self identification: you’ve defined yourself a number of ways and these cause suffering. Intelligent, beautiful, cool, funny, interesting, tan balls, etc etc. Slowly try to unhook these. Don’t give into the thoughts telling you to limit yourself to these things. Just turn away.
#7. Try acting completely pure for a day: be totally honest. Don’t cause others harm. Moderate your desires. Stop engaging in vices. The less you do these, the clearer your mind will be.
#8. This is from the yoga sutras, which I love. Be friendly towards happy people, compassionate towards unhappy people, delight in the virtuous people and disregard the wicked ones. These 4 types summarize all people you’ll meet and will help your mind to remain peaceful and unperturbed.
#9. Act selflessly. One of the secrets / joys of life is that the most selfish thing you can do is give. The greatest joy is in giving.
#10. Study sacred texts / higher texts daily. Read things every single day that help you realize your true nature. Spend at least as much time doing this as watching sh*tty entertainment.
#11. Embrace all pain. Pain purifies you. If someone hurts your feelings, thank them. They are showing you where you’re stuck. Whenever you have mental anguish, trace it to the source. What are you attached to that’s being threatened? Now try dropping it, slowly but lovingly. Loving and seeking mental pain will change your life.
Send me any questions. I’m on this journey with you all.