All The Conditions I Need To Be Happy

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:

 

4 thoughts on “All The Conditions I Need To Be Happy”

  1. Hey Ben,

    Great entry!! That’s definitely something to think about. I am currently having a problem with dealing with people who are fake and then when they decide to speak, and I don’t feel like responding (for all of those times those same people act as though I don’t exist) then I am seem as the bad one. I have to work on that because here in Mexico, that’s how people here and it doesn’t matter how good you are at something, if you don’t play the “being fake game”, then you do not get very far!

    Any recommendations? Did you have a hard time adjusting to the culture when you moved to Spain?

    Thanks,

    Triola

    1. Hi Triola,

      I moved here so long ago I can’t remember! It was mostly a lot of fun, but it was hard adjusting to Spanish culture and role playing, yes.

      In the book A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle there is a chapter called ‘Giving up role playing’ that deals with the problem you are talking about I think.

      Best wishes,

      Ben

  2. Ben – I love NIS and now this website – how amazing you are. To be so aware of your own vulnerabilities and then to share them with us – you are truly a master teacher. You reminded me of what Pema Chodron called bougheiuse suffering in her talk the other day at Omega Institute. ( I dont have the Ferrari that I want)….it was interesting – in no way was she putting us westerners down but she made the distinction of how our suffering compares with those who dont even have their basic needs met — just something to think about – the human condition.

    1. Quite true Eliz, our material-based suffering is crazy in comparison to what others are lacking in other parts of the world. Somehow though (or because of it!) we have ended up in areas of psychological suffering that can be just as painful. Pema Chodron is wonderful. She’s come from the full western lifestyle, so she has great insights that really apply to our western ways and minds.

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