Western scientists have been studying happiness, trying to determine the factors that create it. There is a fair amount of focus on external elements, such as geographic location and demographic status, as if there is a magic formula to be discovered that can be reproduced. Of course, we all know that happiness is something that comes from within. It’s really nothing more than a collection of pleasant feelings.
And happiness is not static. It comes and goes. Any attempt to fix happiness in a permanent state will be complicated by the fear of losing it or the craving for more of it. Everything in life is in motion. All kinds of feelings have their ebb and flow––joy, anger, boredom, lust. Trying to fend off the “bad” feelings and keep only the “good” ones is like standing at the edge of the ocean and trying to control the waves. I can’t just embrace and hold onto the waves that I like. I can’t push away or avoid the waves that I don’t like. Trying to would be useless.
Why aren’t we studying Peace? Peace is acceptance. It’s sitting on the shore and watching the waves, admiring the beauty and the power of the ocean. But even peace is not static. It requires adjustment of my position. I don’t sit there and let the tide cover me over and drown me. I have to keep changing, too. I have to keep moving my perspective into the present.