How to Be Happy from Jeff Foster


Don’t try to be happy.
You’ll make yourself unhappy.

You’ll compare your present experience
with the mind’s second-hand version of ‘happiness’.

True happiness is the absence of comparison.
It’s the absence of trying to be happy.
It’s an invitation to be whole, grounded, present,
right where you are.

Happiness is not a goal, then, a destination, a final resting place.
It is a not a state, not even a feeling.
It cannot be given, nor can it be taken away.

It is a field. A great field, in which joy and sorrow,
excitement and boredom, loneliness, doubt,
and a profound sense of connection,
anger, fear, uncertainty, even despair,
are allowed to play, dance, grow, express, live,
stay, rest, and die, in their own precious time.

All thoughts are welcome. Sounds can come and go, too.

Happiness is vast; it is not small.
It is meditation, a great space.
It is loving attention, slowness, rest.
It is the breath, moving in, moving out.
It is the sense of being alive.

It has no opposite, for it embraces all.
It is your nature, not some far-off utopia.

It is you, before you were named,
before you learned to doubt yourself.

Don’t try to be happy, friend.
Embrace your unhappiness, let it live.
And you will know a deeper happiness,
known as Love.

– Jeff Foster


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