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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
64 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Now all of these are, in reality, sources of happiness, but in order for one to be able to fully utilize them with the goal of enjoying a happy and fulfilled life, one’s state of mind is crucial. If one harbors hateful thoughts within, or strong or intense anger somewhere deep down, then it ruins one’s health, so it destroys one of the factors. Even if one has wonderful possessions, when one is in an intense moment of anger or hatred, one feels like throwing them—breaking them or throwing them away. So there is no guarantee that wealth alone can give one the joy or fulfillment that one seeks. Similarly, when one is in an intense state of anger or hatred, even a very close friend appears somehow “frosty,” cold and distant, or quite annoying. What this indicates is that our state of mind is crucial in deter- mining whether or not we gain joy and happiness. So leaving aside the perspective of dharma practice, even in worldly terms of our enjoying a happy day-to-day existence, the greater the level of calm- ness of our mind, the greater our peace of mind, and the greater our ability to enjoy a happy and joyful life. However, when we speak of a calm state of mind or peace of mind, we should not confuse that with a completely insensitive, apa- thetic state in which there is no feeling, like being “spaced out” or completely empty. That is not what we mean by having a calm state of mind or peace of mind. Genuine peace of mind is rooted in affection and compassion. There is a very high level of sensitivity and feeling involved. So long as we lack inner discipline, an inner calmness of mind, then no matter what external facilities or conditions we may have, they will never give us the feeling of joy and happiness that we seek. On the other hand, if we possess this inner quality—that is, calmness