What are you seeking? Happiness, bliss, joy – that’s what you are seeking. You have been seeking for millennia, and you have not yet found it. It is time, the right time to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard – perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search – recapitulate.
You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need – but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it: nobody has ever found by searching, something is wrong in the very search. In the search naturally you forget yourself; you start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and go on searching everywhere. The search becomes more and more desperate, because the more you search and don’t find, great anxiety arises – “Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?”
More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness – you go nuts. And happiness remains as far away as ever, in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search the less is the possibility to get it, because it is inside you.
Happiness is the function of your consciousness when it is awake, unhappiness is the function of your consciousness when it is asleep. Unconsciousness is your mirror burdened with much dust and luggage and the past.
Happiness is when the burden has been dropped and the mirror is found again; your mirror can again reflect the trees and the sun and the sand and the sea and the stars. When you have again become innocent, when you again have the eyes of a child – in that clarity you are happy.
I was reading a few beautiful lines of Michael Adam:
“Perhaps trying even makes for unhappiness. Perhaps all the din of my desiring has kept the strange bird from my shoulder. I have tried so long and so loud after happiness. I have looked so far and wide. I have always imagined that happiness is an island in the river. Perhaps it is the river. I have thought happiness to be the name of an inn at the end of the road. Perhaps it is the road. I have believed that happiness was always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Perhaps it is here. Perhaps it is now. I have looked everywhere else.
“So: here and now.
“But here and now is clearly unhappiness. Perhaps then, no such thing as happiness. Perhaps happiness exists not, it is just a dream created by an unhappy mind. Certainly it cannot be as I unhappily imagine it. Here and now there is not happiness. So happiness is not. I need not therefore waste myself on what is not. I can forget about happiness then; I can cease to care and instead concern myself with something that I do know, can feel and fully experience. Happiness is an idle dream: now it is morning. I can awaken and stay with unhappiness, with what is real under the sun this moment. And now I see how much of my unhappiness came from trying to be happy; even I can see that trying is unhappiness. Happiness does not try….
“At last I am here and now. At last I am what I am. I am unpretending, at ease. I am unhappy – so what? But is this what I ran from? Is this really unhappiness?”
Think over it, meditate over it.
“And when I cease to try to be happy or anything else, when I do not seek anymore, when I do not care to go anywhere, get anything, then it seems I am already arrived in a strange place: I am here and now. When I see that I can do nothing, that all my doing is the same dream, in the moment that I see this, my mind the old dreamer and wanderer is for the moment still and present.”
Naturally. If you are not searching, not seeking, not desiring, not dreaming, for a moment the mind falls into a silence, is still. There is nothing to hanker about, nothing to make a fuss about, nothing to expect and nothing to be frustrated about. For a moment the mind stops its constant chasing. In that moment of stillness you are in a strange place, you are in a strange unknown space, never known before. A new door has opened and for the moment the mind is still and present.
“For the moment, here and now, the real world shows, and see: here and now is already and always all that I had sought and striven after elsewhere and apart. More than that: I have hunted after shadows; the reality is here in this sunlit place, in this birdcall now. It was my seeking after reality that took me from it; desire deafened me. The bird was singing here all the while.
“If I am still and careless to find happiness, then happiness it seems is able to find me. It is, if I am truly still, as still as death – if I am thoroughly dead, here and now.”
Happiness suddenly jumps upon you. When desire disappears, happiness appears. When the striving is no more, for the first time you see who you are. That knowing is what Buddha means: Come and see: Ihi passika. Where is he calling you: Come and see? He is calling you from your desires. You have gone far away from your home, you have lost your home base and are not where you appear to be. Your dream has taken you to faraway worlds: imaginary, illusory, your own creation.
This Very Body the Buddha, Talk #1