Happiness is fleeting, this is a fact of life. Contentment is more lasting and peace, is a state of mind.
The object of meditation is to calm the agitated mind, to be aware of our thoughts and take control of them. A good way to practice meditation is concentrate on your breath, count each inhalation and exhalation as one count, count up to six breathes in this way, and then repeat one to six. Every time your mind is distracted or wanders, and you realise you have lost concentration, do not worry just start over. In this way you will gain control.
Meditation is very important I will do a future post devoted to meditation in detail.
life is like a rough winding road, with many turns and diversions this makes it easy to lose focus, just as in meditation. When this happens don’t look for excuses, note the problem, and return to follow your quest. My quest is to find peace and contentment by following ethical practices.
To achieve your goal you will need a guide. I have an Indian guide, his name is Gautama Siddhartha. He has been around a long time and knows the road well and its pitfalls. He has given me good advice, He said when you fully understand The Four Noble Truths, you will know the true nature of things. Then you will have to know and practice the steps of The Eightfold Path.
The first noble truth is life is dukha , there is no exact word in English to describe dukha. Dukha leaves room for misunderstanding when described as pain and suffering or unsatisfactory. The second noble truth is the cause of dukha is wanting and desiring. The third noble truth is there is a way to overcome the problem of suffering. This is by knowing, following and practicing The Noble Eightfold Path and realising the ego does not exist. Then a state of peace, contentment and true understanding is reached.
Following my posts may help you understand the profound depth of The Four Noble Truths, also the Eightfold Path. They are basic to all schools of Buddhism and are without any myths, dogma or nonsense. A philosophy that does not clash with any major religion.
This is a life long road of learning, it will take practice and perseverance, It is a way of life I have been exploring this path for more than thirty years and have not conquered dukha. I still suffer but the life has become much easier by practicing the moral self-discipline of the eightfold path.
It is said a state called nirvana, or total enlightenment, can be reached. Nirvana is beyond description, you have to experience it, and when you do you become a buddha.
My understanding, at this stage on the path, is if you are wanting to reach this exalted state you never will. The irony being wanting is the cause of dukha. Irrespective of this working towards improving my faults, one example being impatience, by following The Eight Fold Path has helped me find more tranquility and joy in my life.