Tagged with: happiness

If you are new to meditation practice, you may well think that you have no choice about how you experience suffering. You may have some problem from your past or in your current situation that seems as though it can be understood only as unrelenting pain—an abusive family history, a torturous marriage, economic woes, a hideous wrong done to you, a disabled child whose affliction breaks your heart. But if you give yourself the chance to investigate your suffering more deeply, you will discover that being “with” your pain can lead to wisdom and happiness. The event or circumstances itself does not lose its unpleasantness or unfortunate quality, but by going through it consciously you arrive at a peaceful and luminous state of mind.

If you are new to meditation practice, you may well think that you have no choice about how you experience suffering. You may have some problem from your past or in your current situation that seems as though it can be understood only as unrelenting pain—an abusive family history, a torturous marriage, economic woes, a hideous wrong done to you, a disabled child whose affliction breaks your heart. But if you give yourself the chance to investigate your suffering more deeply, you will discover that being “with” your pain can lead to wisdom and happiness. The event or circumstances itself does not lose its unpleasantness or unfortunate quality, but by going through it consciously you arrive at a peaceful and luminous state of mind.

Everything in life changes. The path to true happiness is one of integrating and fully accepting all aspects of our experience. This integration is represented in the Taoist symbol of yin/yang, a circle which is half dark and half light. In the midst of the dark area is a spot of light, and in the midst of the light area is a spot of darkness. Even in the depths of darkness, the light is implicit. Even in the heart of light, the dark is understood, acknowledged, and absorbed, If things are not going well for us in life and we are suffering, we are not defeated by the pain or closed off to the light. If things are going well and we are happy, we are not defensively trying to deny the possibility of suffering.

Everything in life changes. The path to true happiness is one of integrating and fully accepting all aspects of our experience. This integration is represented in the Taoist symbol of yin/yang, a circle which is half dark and half light. In the midst of the dark area is a spot of light, and in the midst of the light area is a spot of darkness. Even in the depths of darkness, the light is implicit. Even in the heart of light, the dark is understood, acknowledged, and absorbed, If things are not going well for us in life and we are suffering, we are not defeated by the pain or closed off to the light. If things are going well and we are happy, we are not defensively trying to deny the possibility of suffering.

Practicing meditation for long periods makes it possible, at least temporarily, to know what it means to have no relationship to the passing of time and the movement of mind and memory. And not only that, it provides us with access to our own primordial depths, which inevitably gives rise to a profound and abiding sense of happiness. And that is because, slowly but surely, we awaken to that dimension of ourselves that has never been born and has never entered into the stream of time. Repeatedly experiencing such an enormous shift of perspective makes clear the liberating truth that the source of real contentment has nothing to do with satisfying any particular desire. And it reveals to us, over and over again, that who we are always has been perfectly free from who we have been as a personality.

Practicing meditation for long periods makes it possible, at least temporarily, to know what it means to have no relationship to the passing of time and the movement of mind and memory. And not only that, it provides us with access to our own primordial depths, which inevitably gives rise to a profound and abiding sense of happiness. And that is because, slowly but surely, we awaken to that dimension of ourselves that has never been born and has never entered into the stream of time. Repeatedly experiencing such an enormous shift of perspective makes clear the liberating truth that the source of real contentment has nothing to do with satisfying any particular desire. And it reveals to us, over and over again, that who we are always has been perfectly free from who we have been as a personality.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

In this world, all qualities spring from preferring the wellbeing of others to our own, whereas frustrations, confusion, and pain result from selfish attitudes. By adopting an altruistic outlook and by treating others in the way they deserve, our own happiness is assured as a byproduct. We should realize that self-centeredness is the source of all suffering, and that thinking of others is the source of all happiness.

In this world, all qualities spring from preferring the wellbeing of others to our own, whereas frustrations, confusion, and pain result from selfish attitudes. By adopting an altruistic outlook and by treating others in the way they deserve, our own happiness is assured as a byproduct. We should realize that self-centeredness is the source of all suffering, and that thinking of others is the source of all happiness.

We’re all in the same boat. Born as we are in this human body, we can’t escape the blessings and tortures of the human brain. From our first breath, we yearn for love and understanding in the most complicated ways imaginable. We find it most satisfying as we learn to give it. The ability to do this comes from acceptance of our frailties. By understanding the conditions of our own lives, we accept the conditions of others. Compassion is not condescension, but a leveling of the playing field, a recognition of yourself in others and an acceptance that their stress is your stress, that their happiness is your own. The gulf between us all is imaginary, born of insecurity and fear.

We’re all in the same boat. Born as we are in this human body, we can’t escape the blessings and tortures of the human brain. From our first breath, we yearn for love and understanding in the most complicated ways imaginable. We find it most satisfying as we learn to give it. The ability to do this comes from acceptance of our frailties. By understanding the conditions of our own lives, we accept the conditions of others. Compassion is not condescension, but a leveling of the playing field, a recognition of yourself in others and an acceptance that their stress is your stress, that their happiness is your own. The gulf between us all is imaginary, born of insecurity and fear.

What makes for a meaningful life? I consider each day, not just the life as a whole. I look at four ingredients. First, was it a day of virtue? I’m talking about basic Buddhist ethics—avoiding harmful behavior of body, speech, and mind; devoting ourselves to wholesome behavior and to qualities like awareness and compassion. Second, I’d like to feel happy rather than miserable. The realized beings I’ve known exemplify extraordinary states of well-being, and it shows in their demeanor, their way of dealing with adversity, with life, with other people. And third, pursuit of the truth—seeking to understand the nature of life, of reality, of interpersonal relationships, or the nature of mind. But you could do all that sitting quietly in a room. None of us exists in isolation, however, so there is a fourth ingredient: a meaningful life must also answer the question, “What have I brought to the world?” If I can look at a day and see that virtue, happiness, truth, and living an altruistic life are prominent elements, I can say, “You know, I’m a happy camper.” Pursuing happiness does not depend on my checkbook, or the behavior of my spouse, or my job, or my salary. I can live a meaningful life even if I only have ten minutes left.

What makes for a meaningful life? I consider each day, not just the life as a whole. I look at four ingredients. First, was it a day of virtue? I’m talking about basic Buddhist ethics—avoiding harmful behavior of body, speech, and mind; devoting ourselves to wholesome behavior and to qualities like awareness and compassion. Second, I’d like to feel happy rather than miserable. The realized beings I’ve known exemplify extraordinary states of well-being, and it shows in their demeanor, their way of dealing with adversity, with life, with other people. And third, pursuit of the truth—seeking to understand the nature of life, of reality, of interpersonal relationships, or the nature of mind. But you could do all that sitting quietly in a room. None of us exists in isolation, however, so there is a fourth ingredient: a meaningful life must also answer the question, “What have I brought to the world?” If I can look at a day and see that virtue, happiness, truth, and living an altruistic life are prominent elements, I can say, “You know, I’m a happy camper.” Pursuing happiness does not depend on my checkbook, or the behavior of my spouse, or my job, or my salary. I can live a meaningful life even if I only have ten minutes left.

I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.

I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.

earthdrop
What is Mindfulness?

Was there ever a time when you felt suddenly alive? It was like the doors of the world opened for a minute and you could see directly into life. You were able to touch life directly and were not lost in your fears and worries. This experience may not have been during a big event like performing in a play or playing in a championship game; it may have been while walking in the woods or talking to a friend. All of a sudden you felt alive, awake. This quality of waking up, or penetrating into life, we could call…

- Soren Gordhamer

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