K2Love wrote in a comment:
I haven’t found happiness while practicing being conscious either, but I assume it is because I am not really conscious and that I am mostly lost-in-thoughts during my daily routine. And, even when I am conscious to be aware of my consciousness, I am still in the realm of thoughts (ie., I am not in a no thoughts state, but rather I am aware of my thoughts and aware of my actions).
But, when I sit and meditate, I eventually get to the point where my mind finally starts to quiet (the first 20 to 30 minutes is a war with my thoughts). Once my thoughts quiet, then I am able to settle into being aware and focused on my consciousness. Here in this stillness, I have moments (split seconds) where my thoughts occasionally do stop. It is radiant joy and it slips away the second I recognize it. This is where I think true happiness is found (I think so and hope so anyway)….if I keep practicing, I will hopefully let you know in just a few years time…LOL 🙂
She added in her next comment:
I should clarify that the “radiant joy” at the end of my comment above is really a poor description. It is profound stillness that is radiant… like a flash of something profound, yet completely still… I have not a clue really if what I am trying to say here, except that I yearn to be there…
Barbara’s words speak for themselves. I just want to point to one thing she said because it may help others:
But, when I sit and meditate, I eventually get to the point where my mind finally starts to quiet (the first 20 to 30 minutes is a war with my thoughts).
Like she says, many people find with meditation that if they can stick to it for 20 to 30 minutes, it suddenly gets easier and things fall into place.
Barbara’s statement about “war with my thoughts” reminds me of remarks by Sri Ramana Maharshi including this one from Conscious Immortality, Chapter 4:
Contemplation [meditation] means fight. As soon as you begin meditation other thoughts will crowd in, gather force and try to sink the single thought. The latter must gain strength by repeated practice. This battle always takes place in meditation.
And this one from the same chapter:
“Be still and know that I am God.” As soon as you try to obey this counsel, there will start a regular war with your tendencies [vasanas], with the ingrained natural habits.
Photo of Japanese macaques by Takeshi Marumoto