Dropping our efforts

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Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop illusions. You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy; you’ve got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!

Anthony de Mello sj

When concepts get in the way

Buzzard

Your notions of happiness may be very dangerous. Happiness can only be possible in the here and now. Go back and examine deeply your notions and ideas of happiness. So let go of what you believed yesterday. Let go of what you thought last week you needed to be happy. The conditions of happiness that are in your life now are enough.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Noticing our Wandering Mind

Unlike other animals, human beings spend a lot of time thinking about what is not going on around them, contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or will never happen at all. Indeed, “stimulus-independent thought” or “mind wandering” appears to be the brain’s default mode of operation… Our mental lives are pervaded, to a remarkable degree, by the nonpresent. A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Mind-wandering is an excellent predictor of people’s happiness. In fact, how often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged…. [So] ..The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.

Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert, “A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind”, Science Magazine