By Remez Sasson
Pleasure is a state, in which you feel good and enjoy what you are doing. Usually, it does not last long, as the attention moves to other subjects, and because life is such that you have always other things to do, like work, cleaning the house, driving somewhere, interacting with other people, etc.
When you eat some delicious food you derive pleasure from it, but the pleasure doesn’t last for long, since you cannot go on eating indefinitely, you finish eating the food on your plate and the sensation of pleasure wears off after a while. You may enjoy watching a movie, but the movie lasts for a certain amount of minutes. When you read a book that you enjoy reading, ultimately, you reach the last page.
As you see, all pleasure is time limited.
Pleasure is usually awakened by external stimuli, and is largely physical, involving the five senses, like the smell of good food or its taste, a pleasant breeze, or of the sight and physical contact of a certain person. You can also derive pleasure from reading a book or daydreaming.
Pleasure is emotional in nature, while happiness is a state beyond the emotions and even beyond the mind. In pleasure the emotions and feelings are active. While in a state of happiness there is calmness and peace.
Though happiness is similar to pleasure in some respects, yet it is different.
Happiness does not depend on external stimuli, since it comes from within, though quite often, it seems as if the source is external.
When do you feel happy? When a problem has been solved, when you receive good news, when a goal has been accomplished, when you earn a great sum of money or when you are deeply in love. For a few moments you feel happy, but what do you feel? It is a state of exhilaration and peace. For a few moments, you feel as if a burden has been lifted, and you feel no fears or doubts, and don’t think about the next thing you are going to do. For a moment there are no thoughts and there is no time. A moment of just peace and happiness You just experience a deep feeling of relief, without any thinking, doubts or expectations. For a moment your mind is empty.
In this “empty state” happiness arises. It usually does not stay for long, since you cannot stay in this state for long. Your mind is not trained to be peaceful, and all the thoughts, desires, doubts, fears or expectations rise back again, hiding the calmness you experienced just a moment ago.
As you see, happiness is a state of inner peace and inner calmness. Everyone seeks happiness, when actually the search is also for inner peace and freedom from thoughts.
Happiness and inner peace come from the same source, from within. Through training one can reach a state when happiness and peace are experienced more and more often. The more one is able to free his or her mind from the compulsion to think all the time, the more one is able to enjoy inner peace and happiness.
How can you enjoy more happy moments in your life? Instead of waiting for external events to trigger happiness, you can bring it from inside you. Since inner peace has much to do with a state of happiness, the more peaceful your mind is, the more happiness you can enjoy. When you are able to make your mind peaceful, through various techniques, and through mediation, you enjoy more happiness.
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