Meditation and happiness: What invisible thread connects the two?

This International Day of Happiness, find out what this yoga center in Goa has to say about the link between the two
Goa is home to many yoga centers.
Goa is home to many yoga centers.Gomantak Times

The search for happiness is one that started centuries ago. Somewhere even before the term ‘happiness’ was coined, existed a feeling.

To some, this feeling was like a warm ray of sunshine peeping through the hole in a curtain on a frosty morning, a warm little kiss from the sun, especially to keep them warm.

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To others, it was the feeling that they experienced as they watched their baby take his first steps, or a feeling as simple as taking that first sip of a chilled soda after slogging in the scorching sun.  

Although every person felt the ‘symptoms’ of this feeling on an entirely different scale, the final diagnosis pointed towards one beautiful ‘disease’ that Aristotle later coined as ‘happiness’.

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If India were a beautiful cake, Goa would be a slice of that cake that nobody dares to say no to – not even those on a strict diet! Even if it is by a tiny margin, Goa is the place that brings a sense of happiness to its own and the hundreds of guests that it hosts, everyday.

While some find happiness sitting on the shore and watching the waves roll in, others believe that visiting a yoga retreat centre (which are common here in Goa) will bring them the solace that they seek, because that is what the ultimate goal of these yoga centres is - finding happiness.

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March 20 is observed as the International Day of Happiness all over the globe. This year, let us take the initiative of opening our minds to consider the fact that in the simplest terms – happiness is an inside job, a state of mind and a perspective.

“Happiness and peace are states of mind. We can keep ourselves happily content in each situation. There are quite a few people who have restricted earnings and a simple way of life, and yet, they are happy and content. And some people have large and luxurious accommodations, expensive cars, adoring families, secure jobs and good health, but still, they don’t feel content at all,” says Nitesh Naik, Co-founder of Preksha Yoga Retreat and Wellness Center, Goa.

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As time has passed us by, people have come to realise that most days, happiness is not hiding miles away under an ‘x’ marked on a treasure map, but is rather in the everyday things that often go unnoticed.

While many have gone on a quest to find true happiness, collectively, others still struggle with finding even one ounce of it – just for themselves.

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“Happiness is one of the most misinterpreted words in our terminology. We look for this elusive state our entire life. If I had only married the right person; if I could only have a huge bungalow, a new car and the profession I've always wanted, then I would be content. By and large, we want others for love, care, and support. We still feel that something is missing within ourselves and that the outer world can make us feel complete” he adds.

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Regardless of any of this, the one question that remains is – meditation and happiness, what invisible thread connects the two?

“Every time we meditate, it is not that we are going to bring peace and happiness from anywhere outside and put them within us. When we understand that we already have them inside us, we stop looking for them, desiring them and searching for them. The starting point of our practice transforms from wishing to already having or being. The process of hunting for happiness stops and experiencing it starts,” explained Naik.

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While the pursuit of happiness is one that never stops, it is essential to realise that life is about taking the good with the bad, as John Denver sings, ‘Some days are diamonds, some days are stones’, there is no escaping that reality.

But being able to accept the bad/stones with some serenity and look at the brighter side of things, is a goal every person must strive towards.

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