Who am I?
What is happiness?
What is existence?
etc, etc ,etc.
Questions of life. We all have our own answers to the questions of life. As I grew older, I made one important observation, that all my questions are encompassed by one fundamental question, the question of sufferings.
There are 2 issues here. Firstly, if one has no sufferings, all those questions might not have arised. Indeed, it has been said that "Sufferings is the mother of Philosophy". Secondly, and more importantly, I decided that what is important is not whether or not I have answers to those quesns, but how much it affects me. I think it's of uptmost importance that whatever my answers are, I'm happy and at peace.
I discovered that the answer lies in the peace of mind. Peace that is despite pain or pleasure. Where there is peace, there is insight into one's mind. Where there is insight, there is clarity. When the mind is clear and at peace, the answer is there.
There is a Zen koan that I think very well illustrates my feelings:
Once upon a time in China, there was an Army doctor. It was during a war & the doctor was kept very busy treating wounded soldiers. After a while, he became very depressed. He observed that "I'm here to save lives. These soldiers come here, I save their lives, and they go back to war and they die. If all these soldiers are fated to die, what am I doing? Why am I here?". As days went on, he kept being disturbed by that question, "WHY AM I HERE?". After a while, he broke down & ran away. He spent the nxt 3 months with a Zen master. At the end of the stay, he finally found the answer to the question, & he happily went back to be an Army doctor again. His answer was: "Because I am a doctor".
"I myself feel, and also tell other Buddhists that the question of Nirvana will come later. There is not much hurry. If in day to day life you lead a good life, honesty, with love, with compassion, with less selfishness, then automatically it will lead to Nirvana." -- Dalai Lama