“The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is contains some of the most direct, inclusive, and useful spiritual teachings that I know of. There is no flowery spiritual lingo here, just straightforward, wise, and loving guidance for those who want to wake up from the confines of confusion and fear to who and what they really are.” ~ Adyashanti
What do you really want—isn’t it happiness? And what keeps you from being happy? Could it be that your need to cling so tightly to what you believe—about yourself and life, about how things should be—is what’s holding you back? In The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is, a contemporary spiritual teacher in the non-duality tradition reveals how confronting and letting go of our negative beliefs about ourselves and the world ultimately sets us on the path toward an awakened life of profound joy, meaning, and purpose.
We all want peace and freedom and love and happiness, we all want to be fulfilled, but so many of us fail to reach the level of contentment we’ve built up in our minds, often believing there’s something wrong with us and blaming ourselves, others, or circumstances for our perceived lack of accomplishment or satisfaction. But the truth is, happiness is not something you have to get or achieve, because it’s something you already have—in fact, it’s what you already are.
With this book, author Jon Bernie—counselor, healer, and teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti—sheds light on the struggle to find happiness, showing how our unexamined beliefs distort our identities and make us suffer by creating unconscious tension in our bodies and minds. You’ll learn how to bring awareness to these patterns and begin to unravel the tightly held, negative beliefs that have overshadowed your existence, finally moving through them and into a brightening of experience and the realization of true happiness, liberation, peace, and fulfillment.
Using this compassionate, heart-centered approach, you’ll work with your feelings rather than resist them, and find guidance and support in surrendering to the relief of not knowing. You’ll also learn to relax into and live as awareness in your day-to-day life. Most importantly, you’ll discover that which you’ve been seeking but has never really been out of reach—something that is, indeed, beyond belief: the unbelievable happiness of accepting what is.
Praise for The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is
This is a marvelous book — simple, clear, direct, full of light. What I love about Jon is that he doesn’t give us philosophy, metaphysics or nondual dogmatism. Instead, he points in plain language to the non-conceptual, embodied experiencing of this moment. He invites us to drop out of our busy minds and beliefs into the openness and immediacy of awareness and presence, not with the idea of attaining some result or crossing a finish-line, but in a spirit of never-ending discovery, and always with complete acceptance of what is, just as it is. I love the spaciousness and the simplicity I feel in his words, and his gentle and loving approach to our human struggles. If I could recommend only one book on the subject of being awake here and now, this might well be it.
~ Joan Tollifson, teacher and author of Nothing to Grasp, Awake in the Heartland, Painting the Sidewalk with Water and Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life.
In this wise collection of short teachings, Jon Bernie delivers the only news that’s fit to print — that happiness is not something you acquire or create, but what you are fundamentally, your birthright, your natural state. Just let go of your attachment to having life be a certain way and open to the ineffable perfection of what is!
~ Stephan Bodian, author of Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening and Beyond Mindfulness: The Direct Approach to Lasting Peace, Happiness, and Love
There is a plethora of spiritual teachers theses days. Very few actually have the gift of transmission and deep freedom. Jon has both. In person, Jon is a force of presence. I was happy to experience that coming through in this book. His words could be spoken by anyone, but they have a power in them because of where they are spoken from.
~ Megan Cowan, Co-founder, Mindful Schools
Another book on how to find happiness? How do you choose among thousands of similar ones jostling for attention? My personal trick: A few paragraphs suffice to get a feel for the author. Can I trust that person as teacher and guide? I suggest you test this method on The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is. I’ve known Jon Bernie for a long time; I love and deeply respect him. But even if I didn’t know who the author was, a page or two would suffice to make me trust someone who manages so skillfully to disappear in the process of helping me find happiness in my own way.
~ Brother David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk, author, and lecturer
Jon’s latest book is a great reminder for the weathered seeker as well as an incredible directive for beginners. His message and wisdom, offered in such a kind and loving way, opens the heart.
~ Cherie McCoy, Spiritual counselor and author of Becoming Alive and Real: Journey into the Body’s Truth
The mark of Jon Bernie’s teaching is intimacy – with his students as human beings in all their complexity, and with the Truth itself. Behind the hundreds of books and Youtube lectures on nonduality, what most of us long for is to make contact with a teacher that can directly point out the Truth as well as the very specific ways our conditioned patterns are keeping us from embodying it. Jon is such a teacher, and in The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is, the flavor of his work comes through crystal clear.
~ Chris McKenna, Guiding Teacher, Mindful Schools
A must read for those on the spiritual path! I’ve been a devoted student of Jon Bernie’s for 30 years now and continue to attend his workshops to gain insight into the depths of the spiritual teachings he represents. I’ve also witnessed Jon’s intense focus on studying various traditions with the greatest spiritual leaders of our time and have seen how he has come to his own essential understandings that are so well represented in this book.
~ Dr. Daniel Kalish, Founder, Kalish Institute of Functional Medicine
I highly recommend this book it to others. It is a stimulating read that simplifies the life process. Bernie argues successfully that one key to Unbelievable Happiness is awakening to the moment by continually dismantling one’s beliefs, routines and any fundamental resistance to what actually is. This seemingly simple key is one of many treasures I found in Jon’s book.
~ Fritz Frederick Smith, MD, author of Inner Bridges and Alchemy of Touch, and founder the body/mind therapy Zero Balancing
Jon Bernie’s The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is reminds me of Ram Das and Be Here Now, the epochal, consciousness-shifting book of 1971. Like that earlier opus, Jon’s work is both a restatement of ancient spiritual wisdom, and a delightfully frank and open guide to modern meditative truth. Part of Jon’s focus is on the core inner-growth issues of identity, identification, interpretation, integration and belief. In Hinduism they note that, “The first teaching is also the last teaching.” These teachings may be simple, complex or contradictory, but they must work. And in order for them to work they must be understandable. Jon has the gift, as teacher and as writer, of getting to the root of things in a lucid, direct way. Yet he is also able to discuss the fluid trickery of monkey-mind in such a way that the monkey becomes lovable, and understandable. And when we thoroughly understand something, fear and inner conflict leave, and the deeper spiritual journey can begin.
~ Hugh Milne, author of The Heart of Listening: A Visionary Approach to Craniosacral Work
In our culture that teaches us to look outside of ourselves to consumption and materialism, in the form of buying, eating and drugging, Jon provides us with practical guidance on ways of looking inside for the real answers that reside within us all. In our culture inundated with interruptions, Jon teaches us how to listen. In our culture that teaches us to follow others, Jon teaches us how to lead ourselves. In our culture that is divided, Jon teaches connection through love. In the 20th century Ram Das brought us Be Here Now. For the 21st century Jon Bernie has brought us The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is. Read it and transform your life.
~ Richard Louis Miller, M.A., Ph.D, Caretaker, Wilbur Hot Springs – 1972-present
This book is about Freedom. It’s not about a special state or condition called “Freedom,” some idea or concept to be believed in; rather, it is about the recognition and realization of our essential nature.
When we arrive in this moment and awaken to the truth of our existence, we discover that Freedom is completely ordinary—ordinary, yet awesome. The recognition and realization of our essential nature is for many a gradual transition. The challenge of our generation is to find out how to support this transformation in the midst of our everyday lives.
Adyashanti writes, “This wonderful collection of Jon’s teachings really captures his ability to point us back to our own innate freedom. What makes Jon’s teachings so powerful and relevant, though, is that no part of the human experience is denied. Indeed, there is an open encouragement for all of our human experience to be included and embraced as a means of discovering the infinite ground of being, within which all of our experience unfolds. This in itself is a great gift to any spiritual seeker looking to find out what freedom is really all about.”
Reading Ordinary Freedom is like having a wise and loving but uncompromising friend on the path to discovering our true nature.