Happiness is what all human beings seek. A philosopher can consider history up to the present and define happiness according to many concepts and theories. But this philosopher cannot answer the question: Who has achieved or discovered true happiness for human beings?
I believe that if we look at each individual person, we will see that we are all made of the same components: our physical body and our mind. We can favour our body by giving it beverages, food, and the finest things. But if our mind is in turmoil, or even if it is amused or pleased by some form of entertainment, can this be called true happiness? If our body is in pain, constrained by illness, do we want to call this true happiness? But when we learn how and act to attain equilibrium between the body and the mind, people can find happiness within themselves. And they can tell themselves that this is true happiness. The entirety of humanity can discover true happiness and the purpose of our existence. We can conduct our lives in a correct and beautiful manner until all people obtain a lasting inner peace. This is the foundation for peace, the objective to which Luang Phaw Dhammajayo has dedicated himself to building.
If someone comes to ask about the fundamentals of business strategy, you can tell people the details of every step for obtaining efficiency and profit. Or someone might ask you about the principals a newly-elected official should use to lead a country. You might be able to explain this as an expert in political science. Or someone might ask for recommendations about where to travel for a vacation. You would be able to elucidate clearly about every inexpensive and interesting location for travel. But how will you answer if someone asks the location of your mind? You will be even more astounded if someone asks “How is your mind?” Will you have an answer for a matter like this so close to your own being?
The responsibilities of daily life are constantly pulling your mind to attach with external forces to you because you are fixated on your expectations for great successes in your investments. Or you are tense and anxious about changes in political events which might have an impact on the good business in which you are engaged. And in the end, you still cannot provide a good answer for the questions “Where is your mind?” or “How is your mind?” This is because your emotions are caught up in things external to you. You have not yet looked inside yourself and have not had your feelings turn to show interest in yourself, even though the physical body and the mind are present in people of every nationality and ethnicity, including you. The truth is that if the body does not have the mind, your body is merely a walking corpse.
Comfortably lean up against the back of a chair and gently close your eyes. Yes, right. You are feeling all your thoughts passing through your mind one after another, matters about which you are proud and matters which are problems you still have not solved. This is a normal occurrence which almost everyone in the world experiences. We are not alone in this world and we are not the only ones who have responsibilities. So you must admit that you are in the midst of a wave of various thoughts. You must try to calm your mind, to cool your mind, even if this requires great resolve. And even if this calmness lasts only momentarily, try to arrange your mental priorities until you are focusing on only one thought at a time. If you can do this, you are nearing the source of great inner energy. It is a source of pure energy which will make you know your mind.
Knowing the mind by trying to focus on only one thought at a time seems like an easy task. But when you attempt to do this, you find that you cannot accomplish this goal immediately. And it is difficult to maintain this mental focus continuously. This is because we are accustomed to what we want to get, what we want to have, what we want to be, until we struggle to pursue all these desires. These desires leave your mind constantly lacking fulfilment.
Sometimes feelings of annoyance and irritation arise. Or a person explodes such that others see the feelings he has kept hidden inside. Or in the opposite manner, sometimes you may feel enjoyment, amusement, and satisfaction with your boundless enchantment or sweet dreams. And in the end, these various things disappear and you return back to the true conditions of your existence. This makes you give up. Sometimes you seem to be happy. Sometimes you seem to be suffering, in pain. And you will probably remain in this cycle. You should try to reduce these feelings to be even with one another, regulating them to be in an appropriate balance. You definitely can do this when you know your mind and the training method for controlling your mind.
At the moment you close your eyes, temporarily forget the various matters that occupy your mind. Make yourself feel as though your mind is empty of thoughts, clear. Then breathe in and out deeply, gently. You will observe that the physical point at which your breath ends in the centre of your body is the point of greatest comfort and clarity. This point is the starting point for you to discover your mind. In truth, this is the centre of the body which all people possess. Then imagine you have a round, clear, and bright crystal, like a midday sun, a full moon or a nighttime star shining its twinkling light, at the centre of your body or around your stomach. While you are doing this, various thoughts may enter your mind. Remain calm and softly repeat a short mantra, the sound of which will seem to emerge from the bright crystal at the centre of your body. For example, use the short mantra “Samma Arahang” or “Clear and Bright”. Repeat the mantra many times until you feel free of these various thoughts, except for the feeling that you are starting to touch the brightness and inner tranquillity.
This training method appears to be a beginner’s lesson. But we can train this way constantly, at all times and in all positions by imagining a clear, bright crystal ball and quietly repeating the mantra continuously until it becomes second-nature. And you will find that you are discovering something amazing, that you are seeing changes in your body and your mind, that you are witnessing the gradual start of good physical and mental developments. Even if you do not feel these results in one or two days, continue your efforts. You must maintain your effort, like a tree you are planting. The seed will sprout and grow from a little sapling into a fully-mature tree. This process is gradual, it requires time. We cannot determine its progress by measuring how many centimetres the tree grows each day.
The many thoughts swirling around dissipate until there is only one thought remaining. And in the end, your feelings become one with the light of the bright crystal ball in the centre of your body. When this occurs, you will find pure happiness and tranquillity. It will be a happiness that you can find on your own. And it is a happiness which anyone can achieve, regardless of a person’s ethnicity, language, or religion. This is a universal human happiness. It is happiness that a person does not need to seek or pursue from external factors. And it is important that all human beings have a body and a mind. Only one starts to practise, one will start to know one’s mind and how to control the mind so that it exhibits beauty and appropriate qualities. Moreover, you will understand others’ feelings and how to control your desires. And you will be able to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil. And if people in your family, in society, or anywhere in the world practise as explained, all of them will be able to tell themselves that this is true happiness. What is called “inner serenity” will cause “external peace”, a pure peace which does not come from using weapons or victory in war.
The first training lesson described already is meditation practise. This is the path for building peace in human society. This is the diligence of Phrarajbhavanavisudh (Venerable Dhammajayo Bhikkhu) who wishes to spread this method of meditation practise so the people of the world can find the marvel in each of them. This knowledge is not a nonsense theory but something which a person can perform. A person can truly see the results and attain true peace.
The human mind has great power but if a person’s mind is still constrained by greed, anger, and delusion, human beings will fight with, compete with, and exploit one another. In the long history of humankind, there are conflicts and wars in every era. What is the real reason for wars and world destruction? It is because the human mind has not achieved serenity, the prerequisite for true world peace. As Luang Phaw says:
“The human mind can be the starting point of both war and peace. If the human mind is in turmoil originating from greed, anger, or delusion, feelings that are the cause of conflict will arise. Wars and fighting which have exploded from the barrels of guns around the world and caused suffering for human beings, all these originate with the fire found in people’s minds.
It is like the small flame from a lit match that spreads to burn down an entire city. At the same time, when the human mind is calm and cool, full of consciousness and wisdom, endless happiness will arise. The result is peace for individuals, for families, for communities, for societies, for nations, and for the world. It is world peace that arises from inner serenity. Therefore, the mind is the important cause of world war or world peace”.