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The Kingdom of Heaven is within you

Luke 17:21

Heaven is the place of happiness and peace, isn't it? It is a place that is so full that there is no room for boredom, anxiety or depression; so full that by joy all other desires seem at the most to be in a distant second place. Here is the place where you really want to be, where you can really RIP (rest in Peace).

But if you are not one to take this statement on faith, and I hope you are not, how can happiness be within? I can hear your doubt now: "I don't necessarily feel happy when I look inside. All I feel is a mind racing with all sorts of problems and worries, and a body that seems to age more every day. This doesn't seem like heaven to me."

If misery was your essential nature then you could relax, be at peace, and say, "Yes, now I am miserable - now I feel right at home". But, even if you feel that there is no way out of your sorrows, could you really say, "I'm so happy being miserable, I just love suffering"? The good news is that there is a way out.

How can you verify that this "Kingdom of Heaven" is indeed your very self
This is a tall order you might say. To find:

a place of joy and peace so full that you need nothing else

a place that makes the whole world sparkle in a way that you never imagined

a place where self esteem comes from deep inside

a place where you can finally be at ease whether alone or with people

How can you experience this place of Happiness anyway?

Our joyous answer is this. If you want this heaven within you, just look right to where you are. That's right. Did you know that there is a gold mine right at your feet. Without moving one inch you can find this place of Wisdom and Bliss. Don't try to manufacture this state. Just find out what is right here now and you will have more than enough light and wisdom to support your life.
But, how can I experience this Happiness anyway
We are so busy looking to things in the world to provide our happiness that few people ever look to the source of happiness, the place where they actually experience it.

For example, when you finally build the house of your dreams, and everything is cleaned up, at that point you look at your new house with a sense of great satisfaction. Where do you feel this happiness? Surely you don't feel it at the upstairs bathroom, in the master bedroom, or in the shiny new windows.

Similarly, when you get married, you don't feel the happiness in your spouse's face or in his or her hair. That place where you actually feel happiness, the sense of peace and fulfillment - that is the Source of happiness - The Kingdom of Heaven within you.

But what should I do with my thoughts

Let your thoughts be like a river - Just let the good ones and the bad ones flow on through. This state of bliss that comes from the inside is powerful and real enough so that you don't have to do anything with your thoughts.

You don't have to get rid of the bad thoughts or try to think the good ones. People who are constantly trying to manipulate or control their thoughts have never taken a direct unbiased look to see what the source of happiness is anyway. When you look right into your own heart, the source, you will know that your thoughts or lack of thoughts could never produce the happiness you wanted anyway. So stop struggling with your mind and drink directly from the well, the actual place where you experience happiness.

Another little secret, your thoughts can't take away your sense of happiness and peace either.

Before these thoughts ever came to your attention, this peace was there; when they arose, your peace was there; when they seemed to snatch away your happiness, your peace was there, and when they dissolved back into the place where they came from, this peace remained. If you gave your thoughts the power to take away your happiness, you should know that you can let your happiness return to its rightful place.

When things go wrong, can I still be happy

Once you get a sense of where happiness comes from, then explore this: when the house burns down or the spouse goes away, is there a place of peace inside that's so deep and so steady that it doesn't go away?

Now I know when your house gets destroyed you won't be jumping for joy. However, there is a place underneath the emotions like the depth of the ocean, which is still and at peace - no matter how big the storm above.

Living from this place of happiness is finding an alive center that cannot be shaken no matter what the ups and downs of life may bring.

Living from this place, the mind naturally tends to release back into its natural state - a state of peace and happiness.

Swami Dyananda used to tell this story:

One day two acquaintances got on a train to take a long trip across the country. As a matter of fact, the trip was so long that it would take three days and three nights. So they decided to share a room. One of these men was a very rich man and the other was a thief. When the thief entered the room, the rich man was counting his money. The thief then went to wash up and when he got back the rich man was fast asleep.

The thief tore the room apart, but could not find the money. The next morning when the thief woke up, he saw the rich man again counting his money. On the second night the same thing happened. The thief was getting more exhausted as he searched harder and harder. By the time the third morning rolled around, the thief was so exhausted and so frustrated that he blurted out: "Where did you keep your money!" — The rich man answered,"Under your pillow".

In the same manner, we are so busy in our attempt to find lasting happiness in the world that we never look under our own pillows - to the very Source of our experience of happiness.

So look for happiness right where you experience it and you will find that it is uncaused. Being uncaused, nothing can snatch it away from you. When you find this happiness you will know for sure that the Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Are you getting a sense of what we are talking about?

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