Fridge Magnet Spiritual Happiness

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article continues the theme of spiritual happiness. The approach to spiritual happiness is different from that which we employ on other levels of our life, and it is important to understand this difference in approach!

Yours in the spirit of the happiness we cannot lose,


Upcoming Meditation Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia 

Saturday April 5th, 2.30-5,30pm: Mindfulness and Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention

Fridge Magnet Spiritual Happiness

I have a post-it pad message that I wrote to myself years ago that still sits on my fridge, and has survived two moves of house. It reads thus:
“The happiness that you are looking for can never be found. Give up your searching, abandon all hope!”

This is one of my mantras or koans of spiritual happiness. How does it work? Let me explain a little.
Firstly there are three separate but related domains of happiness:

  • Egoic or personality level happiness that finds happiness through success in relationships, work and pastimes.
  • Soul level happiness that is found through finding and expressing deeper meaning and truth in our life
  • Spiritual happiness that comes from being able to rest in a state of perfect “always already” state of timeless formless happiness

(For more on happiness from the POV of ego, soul and spirit see here and here).

So, what does it mean that you can never find the happiness that you are looking for, isn’t abandoning all hope a bit depressing?
Spiritual happiness is all about finding a form of happiness that is permanent, unchangeable, reliable, a happiness that wherever you go, whatever is happening, there is always is.
In the world of our outer senses, relationships and our everyday mind happiness comes and goes according to circumstances and conditions. Sometimes there is pleasure, sometimes there is pain, relationships flower and fade, and resources come and go. Finally it all comes to an end (from the perspective of our ego) at death.
As long as we are searching for final happiness in a world of change, we are bound for disappointment. The only way to find a ‘final’, unchanging and reliable source of ‘true’ happiness is by letting go of any pretence at a search for happiness, give up any hope of ‘finding’ it, and instead learn to relax into and rest in the happiness that is always here and always present in our lives, regardless of our circumstances.

  • Spiritual happiness is always here, therefore it cannot be found, it can only be recognized and experienced
  • Spiritual happiness is ever present, therefore you can’t find it by searching. If you are searching you are going in the wrong direction already!
  • Spiritual happiness is something you already have, so if you are hoping to find happiness, that hope in itself is the obstacle to finding that which is already there and that you already have.

The way to connect to spiritual happiness is to simply let go and rest in the part of your awareness that is ever present, unchanging, formless, timeless, whole, complete, already.

  • If you are looking for it, you have already missed it
  • If you are searching you are on the wrong path
  • If you are hoping to find it, you never will

This week if you like, take a post it, write down the mantra or koan:
“The happiness that you are looking for can never be found. Give up your searching, abandon all hope!”

Then simply take ten minutes to do nothing much, sit comfortably, focus on the words and let go, abandon hope, stop searching. Learn to recognize that finally, you already have that which you seek.

There is no doubt it takes some getting used to, for as Lao Tzu says, the easy is not simple and the simple is not easy.

Final point, in order to have spiritual happiness you do not have to abandon being happy on the changeable level of your ego and soul. With integral meditation it is always both and,  rather than either or. You can have a successful and fulfilling soul and ego life (tho you will also suffer too!) as well as learning to rest in the ultimate spiritual happiness that is always there. They should be mutually supportive rather than mutually contradictory.
There’s a section on my blog devoted to articles on this: Integrating ego, soul and spirit.
© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Support for you Meditation Practice 

If you enjoyed the article above, and are interested in sound technology that can help you more easily get into deeper states of meditation, the following two tracks work well with cultivating formless, timeless meditations:

Harmonic Resonance Meditation

Audio Serenity


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