Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy

Causless Happiness

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Greetings Friends.

I am writing you from my little home in Jackson Heights, New York. I have been home for about a month and in case you didn’t know – it is always quite a whirldwind of “settling down” after touring for 6 weeks. It’s so exciting to travel, meet new people and play so much music that well….coming home – at least at first – kinda sucks.

However, there is hope. 🙂

It’s funny, the barometer the world and language puts on things. Since I got to play with Tommy Emmanuel on the tour, I got many compliments, many supportive happy emails from friends and fans happy for my successes and ever evolving career and adventures in music. And, I can beat my chest and tell em all that I sold a bunch of CD’s too 🙂

Here’s the part that is funny: no single event makes me happy, really. I found the video below and realized when I heard it, that yes – happiness inside me springs up without a cause.

I know, it is counter intuitive. But – the gigs, the success, is not where real happiness comes from. In fact, it can lead to suffering if I don’t deal with it properly.

In retrospect, quite often I have found myself walking down the street. Or on a set break on a gig, I am just simply, happy. Clinging to “events” like articles, tours, performances, money – can actually lead to unhappiness if one develops a “clingyness” to them.

It’s easy and typically human to think that “when I have this great stuff happen, I am happy – which must mean that when I don’t have it I’m not”. I.e. – we tend to think the causes of happiness are outside ourselves, rather than inside.

The subtlety of this ego trip can be much like a child after opening the last present on Christmas morning; the gifts didn’t really make the kid (you) happy if he feels disappointed that there are no more gifts! It can actually be very disappointing on Christmas morning to hear “that’s all there is” when you want more.

On tours as people shower me with praise after a gig I must ask myself in that moment, and often do – “what about this is making me so happy? Is this an addiction?” – not to blow it off, but just to watch myself, my reactions and my compulsions.

It might looks like my “gig” is guitar playing but the real “gig” in life is to see reality clearly without an ego distortion.

Adyashanti on Causless Happiness:

I find that my true joy, the true pleasure , happiness, and upliftment comes from simply listening, watching, breathing – whether I am on a gig or not. It sneaks up on me when I least expect it. It is not really based on outer things. Bliss can happen in the checkout aisle at the grocery store for cryin’ out loud!

Confused? Don’t be. Go for a walk in nature and just let happiness sneak up on you!


Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

One thought on “Causless Happiness

  1. I came across your site and really enjoy listening to your music. Also have read your posts on the Law of Attraction, etc. and saw this video on happiness. Quite the food for thought. For so long I thought it was fruitless to just surrender and not pursue happiness, joy, etc. thinking I had to search for it to come. However, in my learning (and from this video as well) I have learned that while it may be counter-intuitive, pursuing just inevitably leads to dissapointment (as everything is ephemeral as it is.) It’s key to be content and happy in the moment and appreciate the now. “Causeless happiness” should be the goal.

    Keep up the great music and interesting postings.


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