The Invitation

No matter what the answer you come up with to this question, it will be in some way to make you feel happy. The basis of our desires is to avoid discomfort and have pleasurable experiences; in other words, to be happy. So if it’s happiness we’re all chasing it stands to reason we should at least look for it in the right place.

There is a beautiful story about a wise old Indian woman who was seen searching outside her hut at dusk for something she had lost.

She was looking everywhere so her neighbours asked, ‘What are you looking for?

The wise old woman replied, ‘I’m looking for my darning needle.’

They began searching too, and soon more people from the village came to help the old lady search for her lost needle. It was now getting quite dark and the whole village had turned out to help this wise old lady who had been their good counsel for so many years try and find her needle.

A young man in the crowd said, ‘It is so dark we will never find the needle in this light, let us get some lanterns.’

Upon hearing this the wise old woman said, ‘No need lanterns will not help, nothing will help, it is impossible.’

‘Why are you so sure?’, asked the young man.

The wise old lady paused till she was certain everyone in the village was listening for her answer, and then she said: ‘You will not find the needle out here as it was not lost out here. It is in the hut. But as I watch you search hopelessly for the needle out here in the dirt and the darkness it reminds me of how you are all still looking for happiness where it is not. You are still seeking the thing you want the most in this world in the wrong places. You are all still seeking happiness outside of yourselves. You seek it in success in the world, you seek it in relationship with others, you seek it in fulfilling your desires for ten thousand things. All outside of yourself. Even when you obtain these things the joy is brief, it is only seconds before you want to change something.’

There is little happiness in looking outside of yourself, only the hope of happiness which is a dream. If it is happiness that you want at least look for it in the right place or you will be searching outside in the dark your whole lives in the wrong place. Happiness is your own true nature; it is inside of you!