This morning as I drove Kat to MIL house, she was pretty talkative this morning and at the same time, I wanted some quiet time to myself to think. I entertained her queries - nodding and saying a few words in response. In that moment, though, an important thought struck me. I love Kat a lot but the feeling of love doesn't overwhelm me everyday, definitely not during that drive as I wanted to think. At certain moments, I feel a surge of love for her. At other moments I have no particular feelings - just neutral and doing my duty as a father. Love is not a continuous flow of feelings. It is not like electricity or water flowing on a river. When you turn an electric lamp on, it shines forever until you switch it off. The electric current continues to flow through the lamp and doesn't stop until you flip the switch. Love doesn't work that way. Similarly, happiness doesn't work that way.
In Nichiren Daishonin writing: "Though worldly troubles may arise, never let them disturb you. No one can avoid problems, not even sages or worthies.
Drink sake only at home with your wife, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. no matter what happens."
He said that no one can avoid problems - even the wisest of men. And that life is full of ups and downs and regardless of it, we need to chant to uphold the positive life state. When your life is full of ups, you chant with gratefulness and enjoy the up time. When you are down, you chant to lift your life state and continue to over come these challenges. That is the secret formula to achieve happiness in this lifetime!