The following expressions describe happiness as experience:

The awareness of self-fulfillment. Knowing the Truth about the self and living that Truth, meaning living in the best possible way.
In order to achieve that, it is necessary to:
- develop awareness about the self and one’s life by understanding what life is trying to tell us, (which activities and actions are most suited to us and those around us);
- find a way to recognise our own mission in life, and to direct our potential to that end.
Serenity. It stems from:
a tranquil and calm mind – when emotions and thoughts are aligned with the totality of the mind, meaning being in a state of inner stillness;
a consciously engaged mind – when one’s thoughts and feelings are in harmony and manifest themselves spontaneously.
Serenity occurs when the inner, so-called tranquil mind and the outer, so-called consciously engaged mind work harmoniously. At this point, anything besides self-existence loses its meaning. All activity seems pointless except for spontaneity manifested by means of creative empathy.
Detachment. Doesn’t mean indifference nor denial of life, pleasure, socialising, food and sex, but rather the ability to remain calm when experiencing success or failure, pain or pleasure. Detachment implies:
not being attached to one’s own emotions, thoughts, concepts, or actions, and
state of no action, or the state of stillness.

Detachment stems from the absence of ego which is dissolved through the transcendence of the mind. Ego and the mind are closely connected. If the dualistic mind is exceeded or rewired, the mental activity then directly emanates from awareness, and not from the ego-experience of “I exist”, which creates the attachment to pleasure or life itself.
Freedom from destructive emotions and thoughts. . This form of happiness arises through the change in the structure of the mind itself. A man can change his place of residence, business, partners, but if he does not change the way his mind functions, the same problems or life situations, which he thinks he managed to escape from, will find him again. Pain and pleasure, sadness, rage, anger, victories and defeats are all just instruments, whose only goal is to bring everything within us to the surface. All the suffering and unhappiness that we face in life are due to our dependence and attachment to pleasure in life.

Overcoming fears and desires. Fears can be surpassed by detachment from body and mind, meaning by elimination of destructive emotions, concepts and memories. Wishes are surpassed by becoming aware of them with a neutral attitude. What kind of attitude is that? If my wish comes true, okay; if it doesn’t come true, again, it is okay.

Living in the here and now. This means living without regrets since the past cannot be changed, and without plans or expectations for the future, which obstruct the possibility of happiness that is only attainable here and now. Every experience, which only exists in the present moment, can be an instrument of spiritual life and a chance for self-realisation and happiness. The history of mankind is the history of spirituality (self-realisation), but the man of today has more than ever turned his mind outward, and has based his life on analysing the past and planning for the future. In that state of mind there are very few options left for being in the present moment.

The Ultimate Search and self-discovery. Self-searching is always an interesting experience; it reveals something new about us. The greatest act of courage is exploring who we really are. When going through self-exploration, all the concepts that we have about ourselves crumble down, which can be a very painful process. Faith goes hand in hand with self-exploration; one cannot replace the other. These are the two ends of the same process and its final result is self-knowledge that can only be obtained by diving deep within the self. Self-exploration embodies two paths to this same goal:

withdrawal into solitude – radical renunciation (of sex, certain foods, socialising), and
duty towards one’s family and other social activities.

Life experience. Experiences in meditation bring physical, emotional and mental changes, the development of intellectual, emotional and spiritual intelligence, as well as the merging of these in order to develop self-awareness skills, both personal and social, as well as the skills approach .
Meditation contributes to self-awareness. By changing the quality of the mind, everything changes. Man is in better health, more successful in solving current problems, and relates better to his environment. Thus, his life experience is an indicator of internal processes.

The flow state or an experience when we identify ourselves with what we do, forgetting our own personality, with a clear mind and completely focused on a given process. This experience is more important than wealth, fame, power and other indicators of conventional, ingrained notions of happiness.
It can be said that there are three levels of the flow state:
The first level , is the level in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in the process of that activity, and at the same time has a feeling of the job being well done;
The second level , is when there is awareness of the compliance of single and clustered feelings and thoughts for an extended period of time – one can feel the inner harmony, calmness and relaxation; the doing flows spontaneously, there is no tension or need to speed things up or slow them down.
The third level , is when feelings and thoughts are in harmony and when one is aware of that. (“I know that I think what I feel, and feel what I think”). It entails an integrated mind when the state of flow permeates all spheres of life.

Gratitude. The joy we feel in gratitude is based on the fact that we are all one. The gratitude we feel and express towards another overwhelms us with a feeling of happiness. As if we had expanded the limits of our own being to what was already ours. The process is further stimulated by mutual empathy. Expressing gratitude influences the formation of positive aspects of identity – and everyone benefits from it (modern psychology would call this a “win-win” approach.)

Good mood (joy of life). .It is reflected as love towards life, playfulness and interest in eternal questions with humour and wonder. In order to enjoy all that life brings, we have to learn to enjoy it without any particular reason.

Life is a battlefield where illusions collide; they are in conflict with one another, but never with the Truth. Nothing will be achieved if a man denies the existence of illusions – his own manifestation and the entire world he sees around him. By searching out where illusions come from, and by trying to find the source of all life through an interest in eternal questions, we discover that this is the only road to self-knowledge.

1 See “Developing Leader – Awareness”, Zoran and Dusan Gruičić, yuTOP, Novi Sad, 2011, page 53–98