We all exist in one of the Ten Worlds at any given moment in time. What is a world? It is quite literally the lens through which we experience all of life. It encompasses our thoughts, feelings, moods, mindset, energy level, and behaviors. In other words, the world in which we spend most of our time will determine how happy we're able to be. What determines which world we inhabit at any given time? Our beliefs. But not just any beliefs—specifically, our beliefs about what we need to be happy.

The Ten Worlds


The world of suffering.

When fully immersed in it, all we know is misery, our energy level falling so low we become incapable of taking action to help ourselves feel better.


The world of desire.

Our obsession with getting what we want drives all other concerns into the background, leaving us uninterested in, or even dissatisfied with, what we already have. On the other hand, our tendency to become obsessed can also lead to our accomplishing our goals.


The world of instinct.

Concerned exclusively with food, sex, sleep, and the like, our lives center almost entirely on the present moment and the satisfaction of our physical needs. While it can keep us safe, it also often leads to self-destructive behavior.


The world of ego.

Our insecurities instill in us a need to be viewed always in a positive light and often cause us to feel contemptuous and jealous of others. Those same insecurities, however, can also drive us to compete and succeed.


The world of serenity.

We embrace and find comfort in the status quo, and shun variety and trying new things. We also tend to remain calm in a crisis and avoid risks.


The world of joy.

Life feels exhilarating and full, and we view almost everything in a positive light. Yet we remain highly susceptible to “crashing to earth” if one of our coveted attachments is lost.


The world of mastery.

We feel a relentless drive to learn and accomplish something that creates value and meaning. This can also lead us to neglect other important aspects of our lives, including our relationships.


The world of self-improvement.

Our obsession with self-examination often leads to great personal growth but sometimes also leads to self-absorption.


The world of love.

The actions we take for the sake of others provide us a powerful sense of self-fulfillment but at times results in self-neglect that can foster resentment.


The world of awe.

We remain in a continual state of wonder at the sublime order and beauty of the universe.