3 Essential Questions for Happiness, According to Buddhism
Buddhism is an eastern religion that explores happiness, suffering, and universal truths. Nothing is fixed and permanent and general change is always possible, according to Buddhist monks.
You’re probably stuck in your 9–9 grind, and on most days can’t even remember why you’re even working. You might fail to see the deeper reason of things. Don’t worry, I’m right there with you. Some days are just confusing.
I’ve lived and traveled through China, Thailand, and Cambodia. Here are 3 essential questions from a personal exploration of the Buddhist tradition.
- What’s most important?
- What time is the most important?
- Who is the most important?
Three questions above are parroted through different stories, teachings, and Buddhist traditions. You might not find them in this exact shape, but if you dive deeper into the matter of things, you can see these questions between the lines of every Universal Truth.
If you’re feeling playful, write down your answers before you continue reading. I’m not a Buddhist monk, not a religious fanatic, but the key to happiness is essential to all of us, and these teaching holds generational truths to help you find your own inner peace.
What is most important in this world? Kindness. Evolutionary biology on a cellular level can tell you a thing or two about giving back. The cell organisms can recognize and return favors.
“Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you. shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”
— Matthew 7:12
If you’re kind to others, others are willing to be kind to you. In the perfect world, this cause and effect take place daily. And kindness is being repaid with kindness. Every good deed goes around to create more good in the world. In the end, Kindness is the most important.
Buddhism is a philosophy of presence. Monks often meditate, and Buddhist scholars talk about staying in the now. Echart Tole is talking about it in his bestseller The Power of Now. He is also inspired by Buddhist teachings.
In short, your past is suffering, your future is anxiety and your present is where it all makes sense. You’re only alive in the present.
“Present is the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn
Individuals refer to it as mindfulness. But being mindful often brings more than focus. We’re staying with the term present here.
When you’re truly present, then you’re divorced from the suffering of the past and the anxiety of the future. When you’re not anxious nor sad, you can truly find happiness.
When you know who is the most important, you can aim your focus and accomplish the best results. Kindness and being present lead to only one person.
“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.” — Buddha
If you’re truly present in the right now, then the most important person on the planet always sits next to you. The most important human is with you right now, whoever that is.
You’re only able to act in the right now. If you’re kind and present with your friends, then you’re in the right lane on the pursuit of happiness.
Buddhism is the philosophy of happiness. I’ve traveled and lived in southeast Asia and China and met Buddhist monks and embraced the culture. From the extensive research, you can come down to 3 essential questions of Happiness.
Focus on the person, time, and the most important act. Stay present, value the person you’re with, and always be kind. Nothing is fixed and permanent and general change is always possible.
Your daily grind might feel awful at times. But you won’t miss the meaning of it all when you employ the three questions of true happiness.
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