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Chasing Happiness. The Buddhist Path of Therapy


 orange, blue leaf reflection

Chasing Happiness

Breathing under water is like chasing happiness. ‘I know a place where happiness lives. It can’t be hunted nor chased nor pursued or caught. Happiness lives here because it’s not from elsewhere. It simply radiates from everywhere. You simply come here and happiness finds you. If your problems feel far away, that’s because they are.’

Many of us chase happiness but end up disappointed and give up because we cannot find a sense of peace and contentment and feeling ‘good enough.’ Often people come for therapy or counselling because they feel unhappy, either because they are depressed or anxious or because of relationship issues, financial problems or bad health. They have a picture in their mind about how their life should be and that others are happy and they are not.


I am writing this as I saw an advert the other day with the  voiceover that said ‘There is a place where happiness lives’ etc. It caught my attention. Usually I don’t take much notice but this one had marketed a concept that is very prevalent right now in our mainstream culture. Wow, I thought. These advertising people were promising the unattainable elixir of happiness (as they do!) by persuading us that happiness can be found by travelling to that country.

It struck me as ironic because we are just as likely to have a bad time as well as a good time on holiday! The plane may get delayed, be turbulent or even crash. The pictures that tempted us may turn out to be far different from the reality. Or we may get sick or sunburnt or in this case end up in torrential floods or in a political coup! Or we may indeed get ‘blissed out’ and be amazingly happy for a short time until we return to our ‘normal lives.’


In the book, The Te of Piglet, which is illuminating through its simple and humorous manner, it say’s “wisdom and happiness in particular are simply not the sorts of things one can Chase after and Grab. They are instead the sorts of things that come to us where we are if we let them – if we just stop trying too hard and just let things happen as they need to.”

Buddhism and other spiritual paths also tell us that happiness is where we are. Wherever we are, happiness is there. It surrounds us and we do not need to seek it. It is right in this moment and if we realise this, we cannot be miserable. If we seek or desire happiness, we will always miss it because we are looking somewhere else.
It sounds so easy and maybe it is. Try living in the now, not in the past or the future. For some of us though, it’s not as easy as it sounds! Maybe we need to be more aware and understand that there is meaning in our unhappiness. If we can’t live in the present moment, maybe we can unfold our unhappy moods and discover that in the deepest core of our feelings are jewels of wisdom and profound dreaming’s. If we follow ourselves this may also lead us to happiness.

So Trust the Process friends and maybe we will all one day just laugh, relax and be present now.

Life, Love Process Psychology


About the Author
Sherry (BSc. Sociology; MAA. Social Work, AMHSW; Masters Science Soc. Ecology; Diplomate, Process Psychology) is a faculty Director of ANZPOP.

She has offered expert psychological counselling in Australia and overseas since 1989. Sherry is currently based in both the Sydney CBD and on the Northern Beaches near Manly. She also offers national and international phone and Skype appointments.

If you would like more information or wish to reference something you have read on this website please contact Sherry.

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