My first tour with The Buzz Bus has ended and I truly enjoyed my experience, with unexpected changes being a constant on the trip it was definitely interesting. Traveling with a truck and trailer that total 42 FEET really changes how you travel (especially when we haven’t figured out how to disconnect the two!). Certain places become death traps and the places you can realistically visit are definitely narrowed down, which can bring about a higher level of acceptance for that which you just cannot do.
Visit the Buzz Bus Blog to read more about our stops and watch interviews with those we met.
While on our travels, I found a Buddhist book that has provided me some opportunities to reflect on my level of happiness. Eight Steps to Happiness: The Buddhist Way of Loving Kindness, written by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso provides a nice introduction to Buddhist practices and shows how to transform life’s difficulties into valuable spiritual insights. Buddhism has repeatedly shown up in my life and I figured now was a great time to start paying attention!
Gyatso says that, “happiness is a state of mind, so the real source of happiness must lie within the mind, not in external conditions”. With the frequent changes that have occurred during this internship and those that are still to come, my level of happiness cannot be dependent on the material things that I may or may not have. One night I may have to brush my teeth in a Walmart bathroom and may not be able to shower for two days, or I may have an amazing home cooked meal and a hot bath. You just never know!
We live in a society these days, though, that tells us we must have certain material objects to be ultimately happy. But if we were truly honest with ourselves we would have to agree with Gyatso when he says, “we could change our home or our partner countless times, but until we change our restless, discontented mind we will never find true happiness”.
I have come to realize that I am truly happiest when I am in acceptance of what is – no matter what I do or do not have physically at the time. I am not perfect, though, and I can easily become envious of what others have that I do not. By developing my mind through the work in books like this one, though, I can hopefully decrease the frequency in which this happens. I am willing and able to do the work necessary to increase my happiness and I look forward to the challenges ahead.
“Through improving our qualities of love, compassion, and wisdom we can gradually eliminate all our suffering and problems, and eventually attain the everlasting joy of full enlightenment.”