- Positive Mental State leads to Happiness: –
The systematic training of mind – the cultivation of happiness, the genuine inner transformation by deliberately selecting and focusing on positive mental states and challenging negative mental states – is possible because of the very structure and function of the brain. We are born with brains that are geneti- cally hard wired with certain instinctual behavior patterns; we are predisposed mentally, emotionally, and physically to respond to our environment in ways that enable us to survive. These basic sets of instructions are encoded in countless innate nerve cell activation patterns, specific combination of brain cells that fire in response to any given event, experience, or thought. But the wiring in our brains is not static, not irrevocably fixed. Our brains are also adaptable. Neuro- scientists have documented the fact that the brain can design new patterns, new combination of nerve cells and neurotransmitters (chemicals that transmit messages between nerve cells) in response to new input. In fact our brains are malleable, ever changing, reconfiguring their wiring according to new thoughts and experiences. And as a result of learning, the function of individual neurons themselves changes, allowing electrical signals to travel along them more readily. Scientists call the brain’s inherent capacity to change “Plasticity”.
By mobilizing our thoughts and practicing new ways of thinking, we can reshape our nerve cells and change the way our brains work. It is also the basis of the idea that inner transformation begins with learning (new input) and involves the discipline of gradually replacing our “negative conditioning” with “positive conditioning”. Thus the idea of training the mind for happiness becomes a very real possibility.
2. Self Disciplined mind leads to Happiness : –
It is felt that self disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering. The definition of negative or unwholesome behaviors is those behaviors, which lead to suffering, and a wholesome behavior as one that leads to happiness. Traditionally, it has been considered the responsibility of religion to prescribe what behaviors are wholesome and what are not. However in today’s society religion has lost its prestige and influence to some degree. And at the same time, no alternative, such as secular ethics has come up to replace it. So there seems to be less attention paid to the need to lead a wholesome way of life. It is because of this that we need to make some special effort and consciously work towards gaining that kind of knowledge. We must also develop an appreciation and awareness of that fact. And changing how we perceive ourselves, through learning and understanding, can have very real impact on how we interact with others and how we conduct our daily lives. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.
“Buddha Nature” leads to Happiness: –
“Buddha Nature” refers to an underlying, basic, and most subtle nature of mind. This state of mind present in all human beings is completely untainted by negative emotions or thoughts. Over the past two or three decades, there have been literally hundreds of scientific studies indicating that aggression is not essentially innate and that violent behavior is influenced by a variety of biological, social, situational and environmental factors. It is scientifically incorrect to say that we have an inherited tendency to make war or act violently. That behavior is not genetically programmed in human nature.
Reaching out to help others may be a fundamental to our nature as communication. One could draw an analogy with the development of language, which, like the capacity for compassion and altruism, is one of the magnificent features of the human race. Particular areas of the brain are specially devoted to the potential for language. If we are exposed to the correct environmental conditions, that is, a society that speaks, then those discreet areas of the brain begin to develop and mature and our capacity for language grows. In the same way all humans may be endowed with the ‘seed of compassion’. When exposed to the right conditions at home, in society at large, and later perhaps through our own pointed efforts that “seed” will flourish. With this idea in mind researchers are now seeking to discover the optimal environmental conditions that will allow the seed of caring and compassion to ripen in children. They have identified several factors: having parents who are able to regulate their own emotions, who model caring behavior, who set appropriate limits on the children’s behavior, who communicate that a child is responsible for her or his own behavior, or who use reasoning to help direct the child’s attention to effective or emotional states and the consequences of her or his behavior on others.
We were not born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, we must develop basic good human qualities – Warmth, Kindness, and Compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful and Happier.