I’ve been using a very simple meditation recently:
‘I have all all the conditions I need to be happy right now’.
It’s true that I do have an awful lot of reasons to be happy – some money in the bank, a good job (with a good boss – me), all the material comforts I need, food in the fridge, but that is never enough to stop wanting more…
I might have a good camera, but I can always lust after a better one, a good house, but want a bigger one… even if I had a million euros in the bank (I don’t!), I could want 2 million, or a Ferrari, or a holiday home… so having everything you need is always relative to your desires. Modern western society makes sure there’s always a next level to aspire to.
But the meditation, ‘I have all all the conditions I need to be happy right now’ helps solve this for me. Another way I sometimes put it is, ‘I don’t need anything else to be happy, I have everything I need’.
And best of all is when I say this to myself out in the park, and it means I have the sun (or the clouds), and the trees, and my walk, and that I’m alive, and I realise that I don’t need anything else than a few simple conditions like that to be happy.
No need to buy anything else. No need to be chasing after the next line of work that will make me supposedly feel more realised and successful. I already have everything I need. I already have all the conditions I need to be happy in this wonderful present moment, in the very here and now.
And it works when things look blue. The other day I was on my way to the post office and I felt a little low, a little stressed… and I realised how silly that was. I tried a version of this meditation that I like:
Breathing in I look at the lovely blue sky.
Breathing out I smile…
And it worked, I instantly felt better and realised I had more than enough reasons to be happy, and that the first was something as simple as a beautiful blue sky. I carried on my walk feeling infinitely better.
But I still run a lot… Where this simple life-changing meditation is concerned, I’ve still got a lot of practicing to do!
I learned all this from Thich Nhat Hanh, I can hardly hope to put it better than he does: