Journey with God in Bhutan – Day 2 Why the Bhutanese are happy?

The day started with me struggling to wake up whether according to Bhutan time or Singapore time. Eventually I followed Bhutan time cos it’s 2 hours behind us. Anyway, I woke up feeling fresh and I was praying that today will be a better day than yesterday. After I finished my breakfast I decided to do my morning devotion. I had a short 20 mins before I need to set off for today’s journey. I was reading James 1:2 and I started laughing out loud. It reads “Count it all joy, brothers, when you meet with trials of various kinds.” I really laughed … There were even tears in my laughter. Actually the night before Pastor J sent me an SMS to read this portion of the Bible. I only seriously read it this morning and I stopped at verse 2. What it really means is that BE HAPPY WHEN YOU ARE FACED WITH TROUBLES IN LIFE! Rejoice that you have problems and troubles. Be glad when you have troubles that so entangle you. What a strange advice! But it’s in the Bible! So what if people give you trouble? Be happy! Laugh over it! So what if people are making things difficult for you? Be happy…that you have a chance to strengthen your faith through this. Nothing will stop us from having the joy of the Lord in our lives! I am happy because I have the joy of the Lord in me! The joy of the Lord in my strength!

Today is truly quite a spiritual journey for me. In the morning I had a deep discussion with my guide on the topic go happiness. We both think that the reason why people are so not happy because they continue to think that the ‘I’ is in us. Desire is the key to our unhappiness! Because the ‘I’ always want to satisfy or gratify itself, we will never be happy. The worst thing is we believe that the ‘I’ is actual there is no ‘I’. So people entangle themselves with things that are so unnecessary. For instant, they entangle themselves with loneliness, with love relationship, with career advancement and etc. We desire them because we think that we are satisfying the ‘I’. If only each one of us can realise that the ‘I’ does not exist and pay a little more attention to the people around us, we will be very happy. We are unhappy because we choose to trap ourselves in our desires! The more we desire the more we are entangled and the more we will go round to harm other people. This is no good! We need to free ourselves from the ‘I’ and allow our heart to be bigger. In Buddhism, we need to have the compassion of the Buddha. For a Christian, we need to allow God to give us the capacity to accept one another. Only in this way will there be true happiness. Happiness is not found in the guy or the girl that you love….neither is it found in your career advancement or whatever….it is found when we see ourselves living in this world but not of the world.

The Bhutanese have little desire in them. I asked my guide what do they want in life? He said they just want to have peace and to have good family and friends around. It is that simple! They want to see their friends and love one good. They want to see everybody in good shape. So when you have little desire, you are more happy. Very few Bhutanese would want to leave their country. They have one very interesting philosophy and it goes like this: If things aren’t important leave it till tomorrow. I think this is beautiful! And there there are very few things that the Bhutanese deem as important. I also discover something about them. In Singapore we often to rush to work and we will chase over buses and trains. In Bhutan, the only time you will see a big crowd and people rushing for it is when there is a celebration. Interesting! They love to celebrate cos they love to see other people happy!

We have much to learn from them and sometimes I don’t even know if Singaporeans can ever be like them we have so much that we desire. We will do it slowly and steadily!

The gatekeeper


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