Why meditation won't make you happy

You know it's going to be good when someone looks right into your eyes and shouts, "How is meditation going to make me happy when nothing in my life is going right?"

She had a point.

As a recent immigrant from Russia, she's not yet allowed to get work. Without meaning and purpose, how can she be happy? 

She's stuck in the unknown ... and nobody likes to be there.

She'd been happy (really happy actually) everyday when she was doing the work she loved.

Not currently working her dream job, I asked her if she's happy now.

She said no.

Her happiness was based on an external happening, one which was temporary and changeable.

She went on to say that she's sure that if someone wanted to, for instance, be the president of the United States more than anything in the world — they CAN'T be happy unless that happens.

Her sharp scrutiny of meditation was amazing. I think she's right to directly question into it's promised outcomes for her life.

Because here's the thing: Meditation wont make her happy either.

It wont make me happy, or you either.

We discussed back and forth about how meditation teaches how to change your mind, which really helps.

Unbreakable happiness starts there.

There's an ancient word for this phenomenon, it's vairāgya.

Vairāgya is commonly referred to as "non attachment," you've heard that phrase. 

Non-attachment drove me nuts for years because we can't NOT be attached to family, work, or a lover!

A couple of years ago, I was taught what it really means. 

Here's what I learned. 

"Non-attachment" means you don't give objects of the world (people included) ... you don't give those things a value that is not their actual value.

For instance, a balloon is: a play thing. As an adult, you attach the right value to it.

But the toddler attaches the wrong value to the balloon. The little boy attaches his own happiness to that balloon. And when the balloon is lost, so the happiness is lost.

We've all seen one of those melt-downs.

I want you to hear this: we adults do this all the time in our lives.

No matter how great the value, no object/person/job can give unchangeable happiness.

The vairāgya attitude is the attitude of the adult playing with the balloon, the right value attached to it: a plaything.

With this attitude, you can engage with the world and have fun with it! In the same way that the adult can engage with the balloon game and have fun with it. You can even appreciate when the balloon floats away, there's a beauty in that too.

Think of a prayer. 

One where you're not making a specific request. Instead, your focusing on trusting in the order of things. There's true happiness in that surrender.

It seems ironic, I know. But you still do all the things in the world, everything that you can! 

But with a blissful sense of faith and peace.


Does this conflict with your idea of happiness?

Are you attaching your full happiness to anything in your life?

And please feel free to share some ways you get in touch with a sense of lasting happiness!