Many people have the false understanding that Buddhism is all about suffering. But in fact, the dhamma (teachings) are actually for the purpose of showing us the path out of suffering. The cessation of suffering.
At the recent precept ceremony at the Blue Lotus Temple, there was such an incredible amount of joy and so many smiling faces. Many people being brought to tears by the powerful emotions that filled the room.
And none of this was because of the individual who was taking their precepts, but instead created by the immense love and compassion that was being generated by all who attended. Even including the sixteen Catholic clergy members who attended!
Now I am not saying that you need to take Buddhist precepts to experience happiness or joy, not at all.
This example only serves to demonstrate that happiness is all around us, all of the time.
We only need to open ourselves to this and experience the compassion we feel towards others, and that so many have for us.
Are you lying in the hospital in physical pain? Allow yourself to see that this is just the body, and it is not who you are. Around you are loving and compassionate Nurses, Doctors, Family and friends. Even so many who are not present have you in their hearts and are sending you healing thoughts of loving kindness right now.
Are you, or a close Family member, having mental or psychiatric difficulties right now? Can you see that this too is not who you are, nor is it all that they are?
Do you love them, and do they love you? Then smile. There is love and happiness to be found right now if we choose to see it. If we allow ourselves Right View.
Happiness is the result of letting go of suffering. And as difficult as it may seem sometimes, we always have the choice of letting go (Nissarana).
And even if we choose to cling to our unskillful and untrained thoughts, we still can smile that we have control of this. We are making the choice of this, so smile to yourself. Be happy.
Be well, be happy, and be peaceful!