Kenzo was in the kitchen when I met him at the meditation centre. He took a slice of chocolate cake from a box and offered it to me, “I must confess that I have a soft spot for food, so be prepared for food to enter our conversations regularly.”

I accepted the cake with a smile, “My stomach and heart will always welcome anything to do with chocolate!”

Kenzo took a piece of cake for himself as well, “I made this cake today from a recipe I found on the internet and I hope you like it. I made it last week too, but on that occasion, it was too sweet. So this time, I halved the amount of sugar mentioned in the recipe. Do you think the sweetness is okay?”

“It’s really delicious and the sweetness is perfect”, I said truthfully, with crumbs falling off my mouth. 

Kenzo continued, “The secret of a good recipe is “change”. When cooking, you follow a recipe and then modify it according to the result. Last week I made the cake following the original recipe accurately, but as I told you, the cake was too sweet. I therefore made a note in the recipe to reduce the amount of sugar the next time I decided to make the cake. So when I made the cake today, that’s exactly what I did, and as you agree, reducing the sugar has made the sweetness just right. If I did not change the recipe, then the cake would have come out exactly the same as the last time, being too sweet. A similar concept applies to our minds. If we think in certain ways that cause unhappiness in us, then unless we change that way of thinking, the unhappiness will remain.  If we are to change unhappiness to happiness, just like with recipes, we need to make improvements in the way we think.

There are many who come to me asking me to show them how to be happy. But they come with a rigid mind, without willing to try and change how they think. They stick to their existing unsuccessful recipe and therefore remain unhappy. On the other hand, the ones who succeed to become happy are the ones who accept that they may have to change the way they think.”

Kenzo ate a piece of his cake and continued, “So when you ask me to show you how to be happy, remember to open your mind to change. With that approach, we will surely find the perfect mental recipe that will bring you happiness.”