04/09/2015 12:29 EDT | Updated 06/09/2015 05:59 EDT

You Can Realize True Happiness Through Mindfulness Meditation

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Many of us spend our whole lives searching for happiness. Sadly, some of us never find it. And others don't find it until later in life. The good news is that you can find true happiness right now through the practice of mindfulness meditation.

Why Is Happiness so Elusive?

The reason many people have a hard time finding happiness is that they're not sure exactly what happiness is, so they end up searching for it in all the wrong places. Many of them here in the West are brought up to believe that they'll find happiness through material wealth and accomplishments. They think that happiness consists of sensual pleasure and emotional gratification. That is, they consume things that make them feel good, such as food, television, and music.

There is nothing inherently wrong with pleasing our senses, however, they will fall short at bringing us long-lasting happiness because sensual pleasure is short-lived. Furthermore, pleasure-seeking does not eliminate the sources of our stress, or heal the wounds from our past. It only helps us forget about our troubles for a short time. When the pleasure derived from consumption wears off, we end up right back where we started, stressed out and looking for our next fix.

What Is True Happiness?

In the practice of mindfulness, we take a different approach to finding happiness. Instead of trying to please our senses, we seek to eliminate the sources of our unhappiness. These sources are generally unresolved issues from our past, and difficulty dealing with the present.

Many of us have things from our past that make us uncomfortable when we think about them. These can also be more serious events, such as abuse or loss of loved ones. By developing mindfulness, we begin to see all these events from a broader perspective, and this allows us to transform our views about them so that they no longer cause us pain. Mindfulness also enables us to develop greater inner strength, so that we can deal with any of life's challenges.

What Is Mindfulness?

Now, there is some confusion about what mindfulness is, so let me clarify it some. Mindfulness is really a state of being. It is an awareness of what is happening in the present moment. The purpose is to help us see ourselves and the world with greater clarity, so that unrealistic thinking does not trigger the painful emotions that create our suffering.

So, how do we develop mindfulness? Through the practice of mindfulness meditation. By meditating, we train ourselves to observe the world more objectively, without our views being influenced by our preconceived ideas or emotions. Mindfulness meditation also helps us calm our mind and steady our emotions, so that we can remain calm and focused in stressful situations.

Keep in mind that mindfulness meditation is a practice and not a religion. There is no doctrine to accept, so it's compatible with all the major spiritual traditions. In fact, it will help you understand your current faith better.

How Mindfulness Will Transform Your Life

The many benefits of mindfulness have been well documented over the last few years. This is why the practice has become so popular. Here are samples of how your life will change:

  • Become more resilient to daily stress
  • Overcome the wounds from your past
  • Improve your health and well-being
  • Improve your relationships
  • Achieve long-lasting happiness and peace

But, one of the greatest benefits of mindfulness meditation is that you'll begin to see for yourself that we're all interconnected. And when this happens, loneliness and insecurity will naturally disappear.

The 12 Steps of the Mindfulness Meditation Practice

To make things as easy as possible for you, I developed the "12 Steps of the Mindfulness Meditation Practice." They will guide you step-by-step through the practice, so you know exactly what to do, and how to do it. The first few steps give you a solid foundation of an effective meditation practice, including how to structure your practice to fit your lifestyle. The remaining steps will show you how to enhance your practice with some powerful tools, such as loving-kindness writing meditation and the mindfulness meditation retreat.

So, don't wait years to find true happiness. You can find it right here and now when you learn how to keep yourself grounded in the present moment. The mindfulness meditation practice will help you do just that, and transform your life in ways you never imagined possible.

Best wishes on your spiritual journey!

Adapted from Mindfulness Meditation Made Simple: Your Guide to Finding True Inner Peace.


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