Is happiness a spiritual practice? Well there’s a Japanese missionary, who is a leader in a new spiritual movement, the movement of happiness, who believes it is.
Dr. Jiro Imai, who joined the “Happy Science Movement” in 1986, is a leader in the movement and a former research scientist at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
The Happy Science Movements goal is increase the number of happy people in the world because this will increase happiness throughout the world.
According to Dr. Imai, “It is not just about material happiness but the joy obtained through enlightenment and a deeper understanding of humanity.”
How does one achieve this state of joy? Meditation, self-reflection and spiritual guidance.
Dr. Imai left his research post because in his words…
“I quit upon realizing that in spite of the advancement of modern medicine, patients were getting less. It dawned on me that medicine was only good at conquering physical symptoms and no sooner than one is overcome, another crops up. It only focused on how people got sick but did not look at the relationship between mindset and illness. It did not take care of the spiritual aspect.”
A dilemma that faces many doctors in the world of modern medicine today.
The article, published in “The Star Online,” goes on to say:
“The former man of science says he discovered that unhappiness was largely caused by negative human tendencies. One unlikely source of negative behaviour is found in love whose nature, Imai reckons, has been widely misunderstood.
“In love, if you just give and don’t expect anything, you will be happy. But humans tend to expect much more than they give, and that’s where the trouble lies,” says Imai.
The other negative source lies in the act self-protection, the need to defend one’s stand.
“As long as you do that, you cannot find your true self. You must accept the opinion of others and also your situation in life. Do not say, ‘I should not have done this’ or ‘I should have done that’.
“Do not blame other people for what has happened. That’s wallowing in self-pity and denial, and this also forms negative tendencies. Instead, look forward. Find the solution. You cannot undo the past but you can determine what is going to happen in the future,” advises Imai.
But the most harmful tendencies in Imai’s list are greed and anger.
“The greedy will ultimately end up torturing themselves as they grow increasingly irritated when they cannot get what they want. The angry inevitably allows in evil energy which will destroy them. It is especially dangerous when anger cannot be expressed like in the case of an employee who hates his boss but is unable to show it. Medically, it has been proven that angry patients are most likely to suffer from hypertension, heart and liver ailments,” he points out.” Continue to article
Dr. Imai solution to this problem is meditation because it allows us a chance to stop and open our hearts as well as our minds. This also answers the question, “is happiness a spiritual practice,” because as I mentioned earlier and to quote the good Doctor, the missionary of happiness, “meditation allows one to look at a situation objectively. The act is believed to open up the mind, heart and sacral chakra that govern mental, emotional and spiritual aspects such as love, logic and pleasure.”
In other words when we meditate open we connect to our ture nature and our true nature is Joy!