-By Bhiksu Heng K'ung

The happiness experienced by every individual throughout the world can be experienced by a single individual, and that of a single individual can be dispersed to fill the hearts of all the people in the world. We must strive to become like the enlightened sage who disperses happiness to all living beings. By dispersing ourselves into the lives of others, we become greater, whereas the seeing of self-benefit will cause us to lose what is already ours. The best way to aid others is to tend to one's own affairs with a non-distracted mind, for the aiding of others will then become a natural process--spontaneous and without calculation. So too is genuine happiness unexpected and without calculation.

Most of us when dissatisfied here go there and continually seek happiness in diversity and change. But what exists here, also exists there, and if you fail to recognize it here, it is unlikely that you will recognize it there. So to begin we must stop looking here and there. An oyster takes a single grain of sand and turns it over and over again and again until a precious pearl is created. We can save ourselves a lot of energy by making what's ordinary extraordinary, and abandoning any hope of getting something valuable from pursuits of what is not simple and ordinary.

We must begin by applying certain principles of discipline to our lives and activities. This will create a certain thread of sameness that will run through all we do and provide a sense of continuity to our lives. This will develop the qualities of patience and even-mindedness and other virtues an individual must have in order to be able to understand the nature of joy and will provide the necessary guidelines that simplify a well-directed quest.

Discipline levels the lumps that make what is really quite obvious appear clouded and full of obstacles. Obstacles are only obstacles when we arrive at them unprepared. If we are well disciplined, the obstacles are leveled long before they grow to maturity. Gradually we will awaken to the grain of sand, which is the ordinary affairs of daily life, and realize that the turning of this grain into joy is just the keeping of discipline and the pursuit of highly principled activity.