Not only do we spend much effort searching, but inevitably we are frustrated in our search. Either we do not find what we are looking for, or if we chance to find it, within a short time we find ourselves dissatisfied and go on the search again. It is an endless cycle causing us much frustration; we are distraught and suffer.
Why is this? This dynamic is a result of how we relate to ourselves and the world around us, not the situations we experience, and so regardless what we accomplish, what we acquire, we are still the same person and so continue to be dissatisfied and suffer.
There is a well-known Buddhist maxim: happiness comes from within. Understanding that truth and having the courage to change how you relate to yourself and the world around you is the only thing that will bring you what you want, which, bottom line, is peace, happiness, and security.
Why do I use the word "courage?" Because it takes courage to defy your conditioning – how your life experiences have impacted you, your ego-mind – and choose a different path to achieving peace, happiness, and security. All you know and have know throughout your life about yourself and the world is a function of that conditioning which is housed in your ego-mind. To go against everything you know and feel – your emotions – and trust in something outside your experience, the unknown, takes much courage.
And that courage comes only from belief. Deep, abiding belief and faith. Many practice Buddhism in some form, but they do not have that abiding belief and faith. In most respects, they continue their lives as they had before and so continue to suffer. They sense that the Buddha dharma holds the answer to their suffering, but they can't bring themselves to surrender their ego-mind, their will and their life, over to their true self, which is their true Buddha nature, their heart. Because they are a function of their ego-mind and it won't let them do that; it has that power and control.
And even when you are able to form the necessary intent to put yourself in the hands of your Buddha nature, your heart, the challenge of implementing that is huge, again because of the power of the ego-mind. Even after years of dedicated practice.
To finally disassociate yourself from your ego-mind, to invite your Buddha nature into your subconscious, to be your subconscious, to fill you with with light and abundance and so radiate that light, becoming a light unto yourself and others, which builds a forcefield around you which the ego-mind finally cannot penetrate – that again takes abiding belief and faith. Faith in your Buddha nature, your heart, and its guidance, although it goes against everything you have known and felt, everything our culture teaches.
Do not be discouraged by the difficulty of the task, the set-backs. Stay the course, continue a disciplined practice, and be aware of your spiritual growth, how you are living your life on a higher plain, experiencing ever more things with dispassion, free of emotion and fear; you know at such times that things are the way they are because it's just the way it is at this moment – you are not a victim. And so in those moments, your mind rests undisturbed, nothing offends, you have true faith, knowing that you have everything inside you to experience peace and happiness, things are self-revealing and clear without exerting power of mind.
And at some point you will find that your connection with your heart, with the true self as you were born, is so complete that your faith and belief is abiding and you are filled with light and abundance, not just now and again, but consistently. You will be in a state that your ego-mind cannot penetrate. You will find that your treasure lies within yourself, in your true self – the person as you were born before you were corrupted by your life experiences. You will find happiness within yourself.
May you experience peace and happiness.