One of the most inspiring aspects of the Buddha’s teaching is its simplicity. His teaching is derived from a transcendent understanding of the most basic laws of the universe. These laws are so fundamental that they work equally well on large concepts as they do on a moment to moment basis.
The first law is the law of karma, i.e., that causes have effects. This sounds like common sense but most of us cannot profess to live by that reality. If we fully understood the effects of all our actions, we would never suffer. Therefore, the corollary of the law of karma is that, if we are suffering now, we need to change our behavior somehow in order to be happy.
While we are not necessarily capable of making drastic changes all at once we can certainly take action on a moment to moment basis. The appeal of the Buddha’s method is that we are only required to learn some very simple exercises. The leverage comes when we train ourselves to repeat the method on a regular moment-to-moment basis as often as possible. We are then able to turn small differences into very large positive outcomes.
To begin this journey towards happiness, we need to make it a priority. That means that we will need to delay certain other pursuits. If these pursuits are wholesome, we can easily come back to them later, except, after having done a meditation retreat, we will enjoy our regular activities so much more because we will have trained ourselves to be in the present moment.