Our Pristine Mind: A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness (2016)
Pristine Mind: Our Fundamental Nature
5. FINDING HAPPINESS WITHIN
IF OUR MIND is polluted, dominated by negative thinking, then circumstances, no matter how good they are, cannot make us happy. They do not have the power to uplift us. If we become focused on the negative, then no circumstance has the power to bring happiness. If water is contaminated, even if we put it in a nice glass and add a lemon slice, until we purify that water there is no way we can make it delicious or healthy. Just as we need to purify the water before drinking it, the first thing we need to do for a happy, healthy life is to purify our mind.
As we have seen, most of us try to find happiness by changing our circumstances. We may travel to a distant land, fall in love with someone new, or get a better job, but in truth, there is usually nothing wrong with our lives as they are. Most of us have everything we need—except the inner knowledge that yields absolute happiness. If you look in a mirror and see that your face is dirty, you can’t expect a different mirror to show it looking clean. What you see in the world is a reflection of your mind. You can’t change yourself by changing the world. You need to change your mind; then the world reflects the change of your mind. The great teacher Mipham Rinpoche said, “The foolish person chases after happiness. The wise person creates the right conditions for happiness.”
The reason for our unhappiness is that we have negative perceptions, negative thoughts. It is because of the undisciplined way we think and perceive. Of course, the world is not perfect. There are many problems. But if we pour the negative parts of the world into our minds every day, then we will be miserable. The less we have that negative mind-set, the freer we are, the more we enjoy life, and the more we can make positive contributions to the world.
As our state of mind gets clearer, as our negative thoughts, perceptions, and habits diminish, our happiness increases. If we want to experience happiness, we must work to put our mind in the best place by allowing all the toxic information in our mind to fade away. It is most important that our mind be relaxed and calm, fresh and open. Then we appreciate and enjoy everything, and we feel gratitude. Then also the energy of our relationships flows smoothly.
Pristine Mind meditation enables the natural dissipation of our mind’s pollutants. All beings are pursuing happiness in every direction. Instead of looking in every direction, if we take away the barriers to our Pristine Mind, then we are unconditionally happy. All we have to do is take away the toxic states of mind, the mental pollution.
To achieve all this, we first need to attain realization—revealing our Pristine Mind. We then need to practice meditation—journeying deeper into Pristine Mind. While doing so, we must develop a good heart—connecting with the world in the best way. These are the topics that follow. If we do this, we will accomplish ultimate happiness, what we call Enlightenment—the fully awakened Pristine Mind.