The key

Kenzo took a key out of his pocket, “Let me tell you a small story about this key. This key opens an important cupboard at the meditation centre and one day, I could not find it. I looked everywhere, in drawers, under sofas, in the bathroom, on the kitchen counters, and even looked in the garden! It was nowhere to be found and the key was urgently needed to take something out of the cupboard in time for a class. I was about to give up when I felt the key in my pocket. I had looked everywhere except on the very clothes I was wearing! I felt so silly that I had looked far and wide, and yet had forgotten to look near myself.”

Feeling my pockets, I said, “I have had similar experiences as well! Especially when I have looked for my pen all over the place, only to find it in my pocket!”

“My experience with the lost key is similar to the experience many people have with happiness. People look for the secret of happiness in things outside of themselves, while not realising that often the answer lies within their own minds. Today, with a swipe of a finger on a screen, thanks to the internet, we can discover things happening on the other side of the world. We receive huge amounts of information from the outside world, to the point that we actually have ‘information overload’”. And yet, we know almost nothing about ourselves. This is because we have forgotten to look inwards, at ourselves. If we do not look at ourselves, then we will fail to recognise the role we play in our own unhappiness.”

With a bit of guilt, I said, “Yes, I am almost always peering into my phone. I literally hop from one bit of information to the next. Often it’s not even important things.”

“Yes, with modern technology, we are looking more and more outwards, rather than looking at our inner selves. Now, you might be able to persuade a doctor to do an X-ray scan of your head to reveal what is inside it! Of course, that is not what I mean by looking inwards. Rather, it’s about learning to look at the ‘thinking’ happening in your mind. The way you think can have a massive impact on your happiness. As we go forward in our journey of finding happiness, you will learn to observe your thinking. I must warn you that this is not as easy as swiping your phone for information on the internet. But eventually, after a bit of practice, looking inwards will become effortless for you.”

I looked at the key in Kenzo’s hand, ”So the key to happiness is in one’s mind.”

Kenzo held up the key, ”Yes indeed. I will help you to unlock the secret of happiness with it.”