Jon Schreiber practices Breema bodywork with a recipient laying on the floor.

Happiness – What Is It, Actually?

Apr 30, 2022

by Jon Schreiber

What do you need to be happy? To come out of the mind. How do you do that? Breathe, and experience that the body is breathing.

Breema could be looked at as the way of happiness. The Nine Principles are part of that. Understanding is part of that, because you can’t really be happy if your happiness is dependent on outer conditions. You have to truly understand why things are as they are in order to see that what is happening is exactly what needs to happen.

Seeing brings happiness. Thinking doesn’t. Misery is there where Consciousness hasn’t penetrated. What appears to you as a cause for misery simply means you are not seeing things as they are in reality.

So to be happy, we need a new way of thinking. In order to help us, our thinking has to have its root in Consciousness. If it comes from our crystallized way of looking at life, it cannot help us. Our mind can’t lift us out of itself. We need the clarity that comes from a higher dimension of Consciousness in order to come to a new way of thinking.

—from Real Health Means Harmony with Existence

We generally (and mistakenly!) think that happiness is something that comes to us from outside, and so, is not very much under our control. But actually, the opposite is much more true. Happiness is something we can achieve, over and over again.

Most of the time, we are focused on getting something from outside of ourselves, or trying to have outer conditions and events go a certain way that we think we want. When things happen the way we want, we expect to become happy. But even when things work out the way we were hoping they would, we often find that our anticipated happiness is elusive. Or we may feel somewhat happy, but with new worries and fears—what if things change, and we lose what we have gained?

Although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying things when they go our way, might not it be wiser to pursue happiness through things that can’t be taken away from us? When we base our happiness on how we ourselves act, happiness becomes a more realistic possibility.

When we expand our field to include the well-being and benefit of others, happiness becomes much more accessible, because there is almost always something we can do that can help someone else. When we look and see and appreciate what we have, instead of only being fixated on what we lack, happiness is closer.

When we increase our understanding of ourselves and of the actual nature of life and the universe, we increase our possibilities for happiness. We may, for instance, recognize that we actually are related and connected to every single person on this planet. Then, when we do something to increase the welfare of another, we are affected by their gain in happiness. In other words, happiness is based on mutual support. What happens when we increase our tolerance of the behavior and habits of other people? We become happier, and less miserable.

How to go about it.

The ideas I’ve just outlined are painted with very broad brushstrokes. There is so much to be filled in. Hopefully there’s enough there to strike a responsive chord in you. But to begin applying some of these and putting them into practice, we need the support of more than our mind. When we connect our mind and body, we begin to tap into a hidden reservoir of knowledge or intelligence that has been imprinted into every cell, organ, and system of the body—it comes from our underlying, real nature.

These ideas support us to feel happy when we apply them. They are natural for us (though perhaps have been hidden, lying dormant under the layers of man-made ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that we have acquired from society). And to make the simple, though so very important connection between body and mind, Breema is the greatest support I have ever encountered. If you are in a position to receive a Breema bodywork session from a Certified Practitioner, you owe it to yourself to do so! If you are able to participate in even a single live Breema class, you really should! And if you are able to at least participate in an online Self-Breema exercise class, you also have a very good chance of experiencing a taste of what body-mind connection is, rather than settling for a mental picture of what it might be. My experience (and that of so many other people I know) is that wherever you want to go in life, Breema will help you go there.


Jon Schreiber, DC, director of the Breema Center and Breema Clinic in Oakland, California, has been teaching Breema in the U.S. and internationally since 1980. He has presented Breema at medical, psychology, bodywork, exercise, holistic health, and personal growth conferences. His numerous articles and books focus on the universal and practical philosophy of Breema. In his clinical practice, Dr. Schreiber uses Breema, Self-Breema, and the Nine Principles of Harmony to help patients discover the real meaning of health.

He has authored many books about Breema and its underlying philosophy. Several  have also been published as audio books, read by the author, and all are available in our online bookstore.


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