Finding Happiness

Remember that thin, watery barley or the oatmeal porridge without a single drop of fat? Can you say that you eat it? No. you commune with it, you take it like a sacrament. Like the prana of the yogis. you eat it slowly; you eat it from the tip of the wooden spoon; you eat it absorbed entirely in the process of eating, in thinking about eating - and it spreads through your body like nectar. You tremble at the sweetness released from those overcooked little grains and the murky liquid they float in. And then - with hardly any nourishment - you go on living six months, twelve months. Can you really compare the crude devouring of a steak with this?

Satiety depends not at all on how much we eat, but on how we eat. It's the same way with happiness, the very same. Happiness doesn't depend on how many external blessings we have snatched from life. It depends only on our attitude toward them.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle