Discovering the Truth of our Existence

Happiness Inc.

Happiness is a universal pursuit. The search for happiness motivates all our actions. It will be hard to find any living being who actively strives to be unhappy. And yet when we look around we do not find too many happy people! Could it be that we do not know how to pursue happiness? Or perhaps the very pursuit of it is counter-productive?

The door of true happiness is neither open nor closed. It “appears” open or closed when looked through the lens of likes and dislikes. What is the secret to happiness? Is there way to abiding happiness? Is happiness a skill that can be mastered? Or some are just born that way, with a sort of genetic set-point of happiness?

Once a man approached the Buddha and said, “I want happiness.”

Buddha replied, “First remove ‘I,’ that’s ego; then remove ‘want,’ that’s desire. See now you are left with only ‘Happiness!’”

Buddha paused, and then added, “But if you really want to be happy, make someone else happy.”

Moral of the story: You are the happiness that you are seeking: You are already home. Act for the good of others.


WHO AM I, REALLY? The simplest way to know who you are is to find out who you are not. Almost everyone takes oneself to be the body-mind complex. It is quite natural (naisargika) and necessary for functioning in the world (loka-vyavahāra). When someone asks you who... read more


TEACHER/GURU: THE EMBODIMENT OF SUPREME COMPASSION: *परम करुणानुना गुरुणा* This is how Ādi Śaṅkara defines a teacher, a Guru: परम करुणानुना गुरुणा That s/he is the very embodiment of supreme compassion. That is the only raison d’être that a teacher teaches.... read more


VEDĀNTA 101 Vedānta says, सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म sarvaṁ khalvidaṁ brahma – All of this is Brahman – Chāndogya Upaniṣad 3.14.1. All this multiplicity, diversity is but Brahman only. Brahman is one, without a second. एकमेवाद्वितीयम् ब्रह्म ekamevādvitīyam... read more

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Conversations with a Tree

~ Satinder Dhiman, Ph.D. Ed.D.
January 11, 2013

Today during morning walk, I paused near a wise old tree; It greeted me, as always, gently; Unassumingly with an inviting look!

I have heard it whisper, as I pass by it, everyday: “I produce oxygen; What do you?”

Today, there was urgency in its voice, As if it had lots of questions for me That needed to be addressed; As a matter of life and death!

Still kind in its manner, Gentle in its demeanor; Solemn in its voice, The tree continued….

Rain or sunshine, Extreme cold or hot; I bear my lot, patiently; Without complaining or comparing! Do you?

By way of my own care and concern, I need very little on a daily basis. Always making sure to contribute, More than I consume. Do you?

I offer my gifts of shade and shelter, Anonymously and generously; And my fruits and flowers, To all and sundry, selflessly! Do you?

I am content in being the way I am, Without needing to compare or compete; To outshine or be better than the next tree; In the mindless race called success! How about you?

I abide placidly in the Present; Without brooding over the past, Or pining for the future; Living fully in the Now, authentically! Do you?

On yearly basis at least, I renew myself: Letting go of the old leaves; To make room for the new ones! Do you?

I do not hate my fellow trees, Nor do I destroy my own kind. Merely because they are different, Or hold a different viewpoint! How about you?

My virtues are: Patience, Generosity, Acceptance, Forbearance, Caring, Compassion, Contribution, Usefulness, Selflessness, Sustainability, Self-renewal! What are yours?

With my drab, rough exterior, I stay nimble and pliant inside. Always ready to adapt and to cater: Whatever circumstances transpire! Do you?

I genuinely hold my head high, Upright in my humility and gratitude; Always glorifying my Creator, By serving selflessly Its Creation! Do you?

In life and in death, I stay valuable, making sure that Every part of me is somehow useful, For the sake of others! How about you?

My leaves, my stem, My roots, my bark; All parts of the Divine Exchange, You humans call Eco-System. How about yours?

Even when I die, I am of service to you; As firewood to keep your house warm, And to cook your supreme meal! Do you?

Above all, I have the Virtue of Eternal Silence, And never get bored with my own existence! How about you?

As I listened to this wise old tree, I kept wondering: What have I done to the Garden Entrusted to my care?!

~ Satinder Dhiman, Ph.D.; Ed.D. January 11, 2013.