Perhaps the quest for true happiness is being done backwards. This seems counter-intuitive, yes? Happiness is not something far off in the future, that we can arrive at one day once we’ve fulfilled our goals in life. It is now. As taught in the Zen Buddhist tradition, once one seeks to obtain Enlightenment, it is out of her grasp. Happiness, truth, and enlightenment are not objects to be coveted and obtained. These things are subtle, intangible, indescribable. Happiness may mean something different to each individual, but when we look past the physical reality and instead look toward Universal Happiness and Truth, it is the same. It is Infinite Love. However, once one tries to think about these things or label them with words or categories, a separation has occurred. It is here that language falls short.
As I writer, I do my best to vividly capture the essence of my experience, to make it come alive and to communicate the truths I hold to be real. And yet, no matter how thoughtful or descriptive I am with the written word, it will not come near the experience itself. This is the nature of reality and the nature of language. Truth, happiness, and love cannot be captured by words, but must be directly experienced. My writing, however, serves the purpose to be a guide for others, to lead others to directly experience truth, love, and bliss. The only key here, is to stop looking. Let bliss wash over you in your daily experience. Be fully immersed in the experience, whatever it is, whatever is going on now. This is the essence of Zen, to realize that bliss, truth, happiness, and awareness are here now. In meditation or in nature, as one bends down to touch the earth, and feels the moist droplets of water on a blade of grass. Walking along and noticing, in awe, as a delicate butterfly crosses one’s path, lays for a moment on a flower, and flutters away. Bliss is taking a breath, washing the dishes, walking, and performing mundane daily tasks. In gratitude and in love, it can be discovered, uncovered like a treasure that was there all along, if we only stop long enough to immerse ourselves in the present moment and fully realize it. If you seek happiness and truth, it will elude you, because it is not an object to be desired and obtained. It is not ours to grasp or to hold, but to experience in the present moment, for there is no other time.