Throughout our lives, we all develop our own sense of emotional security. We create relationships and acquire material positions in order to feel safe. Ultimately, these external possessions and relationships do not provide safety. Instead, whenever we get something that we thought we wanted, the feeling of satisfaction is very quickly replaced by a desire to acquire more.

No matter what our initial position in life, the Buddha said that we all have to experience the following 8 states of existence:

1. Gain and Loss
2. Fame and Obscurity
3. Pleasure and Pain
4. Praise and Blame

The reason the Buddha pointed this out to us is to demonstrate that external sources of safety are inherently uncertain. Gain cannot last forever and in any business we will eventually have to suffer a loss. If we attach too much to the good feeling we get when someone praises us, then blame will have an unusually vicious sting when it inevitably occurs.

Furthermore, the satisfaction one can gain from external stimulus pales in comparison to the quality and duration of satisfaction we can gain from insight meditation.

We therefore encourage you not to put too much pressure on your relationships and your money to make you happy. Instead, put your effort into developing your ability to be mindful in the present moment so that you can create your own emotional security whenever you need it.

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(4) Make Friends with Yourself, B. Happiness