Sometimes in meditation and in life, it feels like we’re moving backwards as though we’re not making progress. When this happens the mind seems to be obsessed with the past and our perceived mistakes. An assessment of progress, however, needs to depend on how we define the term. The conventional definition of progress is bound up with the accumulation of material wealth, fame and power. All these may be useful to us as we seek to have a positive influence on the world (assuming we know how to do that), but they are not ends in themselves.

The Buddha explained to us that the end that we are seeking has already arrived. Everything that we need to be happy is in this present moment. Ironically, we cannot see it because we are so preoccupied by all our fears, desires and confusion. That is why it is so important to make the present moment the number one priority in our lives. If you have not done so already, I suggest that you train the mind in insight meditation. When we do that, we will build up the capacity to bring the mind back to the present moment, where we already have everything that we will ever need. In that light, there is no progress to be made: we have already succeeded. Insight meditation trains the mind not to stray from that reality so that an unconditional happiness can persist.

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(2) Be Grateful, B. Happiness