When anyone asks; “How are you?” I am always well. The secret to always being happy is to have nothing you want to do. This is the essence of the Buddhist teaching that all suffering is caused by desires. The more we desire, the more we suffer, either through lack of what we desire or fear of losing what we have which we desire to keep.
It may sound contradictory, but we can have desires and be very active without the pain of having desires. The key is the difference between desires for material things and desire for a state of mind, something non-material.
Do what you do but be hopeless.
I am totally hopeless. I know it sounds strange but let’s look at being hopeless another way. There is no hope for miracles, for winning the lottery, for anything special or great to happen, and mix that total hopelessness with perfect contentment for what you have, and the result is freedom of desires, the Buddhist ideal!
The answer is always in the question. The question is how to have pleasure in life. The answer is that pleasure is found in the opposite of pain, and so joy is found in the opposite of what sounds sad.
Many spiritual teachings tell us that everything is its opposite. Not just that for everything, its opposite exists, but that things are in fact the opposite of what we see. For example, when you move towards something, you are in fact moving away from something else. How often do you go somewhere because you want to get away from where you are.
We are rarely moved towards something for its own sake. If you will objectively consider all your motivations, you will find that you only want something to end the current situation, thus move away from whatever you are in at the moment. We have hope for a better future.
The problem is, this normal way of human function does not fix or change the actual situation, it is a life spent running away in hope, so we never see or deal with the real problems.
When I gave up hope of anything great coming to fix all my problems, I very quickly accepted everything as it is, and that calmed my mind down so much that I was able to see clearly and make significant changes.
The changes were first in my own state of mind, and then with a clearer calmer mind, I was able to make decisions and changes in my external circumstances. It all happened because I gave up hope for what really would be a miracle.
I am not saying that we should not believe in miracles, absolutely not. Miracles do happen, but of course, miracles like magic are simply things that we cannot understand or explain. This is the key to making more miracles happen in your life.
When you give up hope for miracles, you simultaneously accept responsibility for your own life, because since no great spiritual being is going to turn the world upside down just for you, then you better get on to it yourself. With this acceptance, what appear to be miracles start to happen.
Now we can conclude that hoping for miracles is simply a way of avoiding responsibility for your own life which is a way of getting out of doing hard work.
Really quite something if you are open to it, the power of miracles is in your hands, and you have always known it, especially religious people who turn to God and their holy books have always known this fact, yet sit and pray and beg for miracles at the same time.
I will close with two very common sayings to defend my case. “God helps those who help themselves.” and, “Trust in God, but tie your camel.”