If there are things that are causing you to suffer, you have to know how to let go of them. Happiness can be attained by letting go, including letting go of your ideas about happiness. You imagine that certain conditions are necessary to your happiness, but deep looking will reveal to you that those notions are the very things standing in the way of happiness and are making you suffer.
One day the Buddha was sitting in the forest with some monks. They had just finished their lunch and were about to begin discussion when a farmer approached them. The farmer said ,” Monks, did you see my cows come by? I have a dozen cows and they all ran away.. I also have five acres of sesame plants and this year the insects ate them all up.l I think I’m going to kill myself.. I Can’t go on living like this.”
The Buddha felt strong compassion toward the farmer.. He said,”My friend, I’m sorry I haven’t seen your cows come this way.” When the farmer had gone the Buddha turned to the monks and said “My friends, do you know why you are happy? Because you have no cows to lose.”
I would like to say the same thing to you. My friends if you have some cows, you have to identify them. You may think they are essential to your happiness, but if you practice looking deeply, you will understand that it is these very cows that have brought about your unhappiness. The secret to happiness is being able to let go of your cows.
There are thousands of paths that lead to happiness but you have only accepted one. We should be free to experience the happiness that just comes to us without our having to seek it.
-you are here Thich Nhat Hanh