My Recipe For Happiness
by Gavin Hoole
(Cape Town, South Africa)
For me, there are just two key ingredients in the recipe for happiness.
First, spend time every day (preferably twice a day - i.e. morning and evening) to allow the mind-body system to quieten down and move towards stillness. Some people use one or other meditation technique. I use a method called Conscious Mental Rest.
It doesn't matter what method or technique one uses, as long as it is effective in taking the mind deeper into stillness, and is not merely a contemplative method that keeps the mind at the surface level of thoughts and thinking.
Some describe this as a process of transcending thought, where one taps into the reservoir of inner intelligence and creativity which in turn releases stresses stored in the physiology. It is also a process of unlocking one's inner field of joy and happiness.
I find that after a session of about 20 minutes I emerge feeling clear, orderly, smooth and revitalized for living. In short, I feel good, and happy.
Second, I listen to the feelings in my body and give my attention to that which feels good. In other words, I endeavour to choose thoughts, speech and action that will enhance and support the happiness that flows from my sessions of daily quietening of my mind.
There are three main areas I focus on, because they are crucial in experiencing a happier life. They are: (1) Choosing for honesty, truthfulness and personal integrity in all matters. (2) Being kind to others. This may be in terms of politeness, gentleness, respect, helpfulness, and such aspects of living. (3) Giving my attention to that which enlivens my joy, and not to things unpleasant. So, I don't watch TV news, for example, and I don't give my attention to crime or illness. Why enliven what I don't want in my life?
In summary, my own two keys to happiness are:
1. Twice daily mental quietness
2. Following my inner prompts towards feeling good
And for me, that works. :-)