“The only Zen you find on tops of mountains is the Zen you bring there.” -Robert Pirsig
Kapolei, HI (9/23/13)
Perhaps the most common journey people embark on is the quest for happiness. We will go to the corners of the earth for happiness. We will take trips to India, move to Hawai’i, and go on retreats in search for happiness. We also make sudden lifestyle changes believing we will be happier once we reach a certain goal. We genuinely believe that going to one of the aforementioned destinations or making an external change will bring us the happiness we desire.
Admittedly, I fell for the happiness trap as well. I believed that moving to Hawai’i would bring me more happiness. Even though I read many books that reminded me that happiness is not something that is acquired from external circumstances, I still believed Hawai’i would enhance my levels of happiness. I mean Hawai’i is paradise, so of course, right? 😉
Well, not quite. While being in Hawai’i has been the best experience I’ve ever had in my life, Hawai’i in and of itself is not what brings me happiness. Moving to Hawai’i gave me an intense rush of excitement that slowly trailed off over time. However, the genuine happiness and Zen that I feel in this moment is what I bring to Hawai’i from within myself. I shared with a friend that I am the most joyful I have ever been in my life but it is not because I live in Hawai’i. It’s because I am at peace with myself and at peace with life.
Happiness can be found wherever you are, right now, because it is a feeling that emanates from within us when we are peaceful with all that is. A dear friend once said “if a person is not happy here, they will not be happy there either.” I find her comment to be the truth. The quest for happiness is not an external one, it is entirely internal. Search no more my friends, happiness, peace, and Zen, are all brought by us not brought to us.
Mahalo for reading! Wishing you all infinite peace!