Question: Is real happiness actually effortless? The inner work I know is needed seems to be a constant struggle.
Answer: Don’t confuse the work to cultivate the soil with the garden that grows in the prepared soil. Real happiness is indeed effortless, once the causes of unhappiness are weeded out. In a way, you already know this truth through the experience of those moments where your joy is independent of the “you” that suddenly realizes it is having a happy time. This physical example can be applied to our spiritual life when we come to the new contentment born out of seeing that our former discontentment was rooted in a lie. Don’t struggle to make yourself happy. Persist instead with your efforts to be free of the illusion that you must somehow struggle with unhappy thoughts or feelings. See these dark states as passing clouds. As you do this, you will know that behind them sits the sun.