One goal of most religious belief systems is contentment. The Dalai Lama explains cessation by saying it is “the state of mind or mental quality which, through practice and effort, ceases all the negative emotions.” We generally think of contentment as a state of euphoria or ecstasy. A place of happiness and joy. We might envision someone in a trance, or someone who seems to be in another plane of existence.
Contentment must also mean a cessation—an end of negative emotions if we are to experience only positive emotions. I suppose there are people who have achieved this, but I personally don’t know of any. I’ve been taught that our emotions have opposites, and that happiness can’t be known without sadness, love cannot be known without hate, and so on. But, is that true? Or is that a part of the illusion of our existence. Do the transcended masters still experience the negative emotions we struggle to eliminate?
I don’t know, but I want to believe — or rather, I choose to believe — that we can eliminate the negative emotions by focusing on the positive emotions. We can have heaven on earth, but it happens only in the hearts that have banished hate and accepted only love.
 Dalai Lama (2012-05-31). The Dalai Lama’s Book of Wisdom (p. 55). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.
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