Life – Is it one unchanging moment of happiness?

Unchanging HappinessIs it possible that any moment in our life would be one that we would wish to have unchanging, remaining the same for eternity?  We do this with life maybe subconsciously but we seem to continually be leaning forward to try to achieve that unchanging and happy moment.  Here are some thoughts about that from my view.  My life does not seem to be one unchanging moment of happiness.  That’s likely true for you too, right?   No matter how we try consciously (or subconsciously) to achieve a continually unending moment of bliss, we know it’s not possible.  Yet we still try for it.

What to do then?  We can pull back from striving to reach for that unending happy moment and instead make peace with this here moment no matter how it appears for us.  How?  By believing that this moment is more than enough.  Its not that difficult really.  We can do it by developing stability and the state of wellbeing with intentionality. ( Fake it until you make it using the tool of meditation. ) This then is the gateway to freedom from the suffering that consumes us due to yearning for some other moment (s).

It is to our great benefit to have the kind of confidence in our overall life that any moment has, contained within it, the seed of freedom from the suffering that yearning creates – said another way, enlightenment comes from making peace with the human condition. 

When we don’t argue with the way things ‘are’ and when we don’t make life wrong by believing like . . . “it shouldn’t be this way” . . .  and when we can make peace with life in such a way that we do not become tired of life or weary of the trials that are natural to this dimensional reality.

Let’s face it.  Life does turn sour on occasion or as I have heard it recently referred, “. . . when life turns rancid.”   But what I am referring to here is that to make peace with life and its many ups, downs, and experiences keeps us out of that kind of yearning that causes our unhappiness.

Psychologists tell us that even if we intellectually admit that difficulties in life happen and we concede that trauma does occur in life,  when we bump up against such energy there’s a part of the mind that is incredulous–its doubtful about it’s happening.  And in that type of unacceptance, we suffer even more.  In Buddhist thought, this is referred to as ‘the second arrow’ if you are familiar.  Double suffering is another way to say that.  There’s a part of the mind that cannot conceive that suffering can occur in our life! And want’s to deny that it shouldn’t be the way it is.

We set ourselves up when we try to reach out to find that which we believe will complete or fulfill our hearts.

The fact that we think our heart is lacking that which something outside ourselves can provide is the first step in the confusion about all this.

Whatever we reach out for in order to bring the heart to its fulfillment it (or to complete it) will eventually disappoint us.  Clinging or grasping for what we think we don’t already have can never work in the end.

Imperfection, disappointment, anger, even hatred energies exist in this realm and are woven into the fact of being human.  It’s just how things are on earth.  Yet, remember, as you just read that last sentence, there was likely that part of your mind that disbelieves it.  Or believes those energies bump into others but not myself. 

Stress occurs by not making peace with that way things are and resisting or arguing with it all.  I often quote this phrase, “Whenever you argue with life, you lose.”  Meaning you suffer.

My final thought:  All difficulties or suffering bring opportunities for growth and insight.  When we understand life in the ways I’ve written about here, we develop wisdom.  Then the mind feels strength, energy, freedom, detachment and becomes devoid of craving and the sources or causes of suffering. 

Writing, Painting, Creativity, Intention and Happiness

Hello, Greetings, Namaste!

Has it been eons since I’ve posted on this blog?  Yes, it is so but here I am today in a mood to write and have set a Pomodoro timer to put out some thoughts and words here for 25 minutes.   I’ve been attending a writing group in the community where I live and we are encouraged with a brief writing prompt to write for a timed period of time and then share what we’ve written.  We are not to correct our grammar or cross any words out but to just keep writing.  In other words, no editing or no editor.  That’s how I’m writing this blog too.  You will probably realize if you haven’t already that there’s been no editing. Writing in a group of others seems to up the anty a bit especially if you know you will be asked, as we round the table if you wish to read what you wrote or to pass.  It’s a jolly good group and we do have fun with our writing prompts.  It’s amazing what comes out of our individual and collective heads.

I’ve had book ideas floating around in my head for years and recently the leader of our group gave us an outline to follow and I’ve just started to use it and found that I’m writing a book that would include survival following a large and fast-moving CME from the Sun which knocks out power and essentially levels the playing field with regard to physical endurance, stamina, and patience.  I’ve not fully worked it all out but its a wee start of something that may completely change or alter dramatically but at least a start.

I think that my artwork helps too in that lately this has been another level of meditation and concentration for me — call it “samadhi” if you know the word’s meaning but you probably get the idea.  I am typing just what flows out of my head and keyboard right at the moment with 15 more minutes of this writing practice.

Another aspect of my life that I’d mention here since I’m sort of free-flowing letting my mind just spew it out happens to involve requisites for happiness and how to take a deeper look at that.  In other words, conditions that we believe we must have first in order to feel happy.  Why must there be conditions for happiness at all?  So this takes me back to the basic core Buddhist teachings that I hold or try to hold near and dear.

Yes, I forget at times just like even highly respected Buddhist teachers and monks admit doing, when getting pulled into the drama of life or the reactionary responses and then not remembering how I intend to live.  I’ve taken to repeating that intention to myself at the start of each day before getting out of bed and believe that this helps.

But back to the conditions for happiness or what conditions that I think I need to remain in this state — I’m looking at that and observing it in others.  Maybe idea this will be something that I work into a book that I want to write woven in with the result of what happens when people do not have any conditions that they are used to do to huge disruptions in their way of life.

Maybe it is going to be a dystopian themed book.  Who knows.  And as I even type here about my writing a book that critical part of my mind is kicking up and laughing at the idea.   Just how many times have you said you were going to write a book anyway?  huh? 

Yeah, I can feel a bit like a fraud if I contemplate that.  When one has a goal or makes the self a promise and then fails to reach the goal or keep the promise it can be . . . let’s just say challenging.

What’s life without a good challenge or two?  Well, there’s only one minute left on the Pomodoro timer and this 25-minute writing in which I’m just letting it flow is about done flowing.

Just a final thought — using creative activities (painting or writing, etc.) and exercise (weight lifting at the gym) can help develop one-pointed concentration (samadhi) like deep meditative states.  Same diff to a great degree.

Time’s up! Have a great day!

Wakeful Contentment: Everything is OK– You, Your Situation, The World

Everything is really OK message

We hear a good deal about “being awake” and “being present” and “being enlightened” and “mindfulness” — or at least I do.  In places where my mind hangs out (books, twitter, facebook and forums) people toss those terms around a lot — they’re prevalent.  I contemplate this a lot since like most everyone else the outer world (samsara) keeps stimulating my own inner drama and all I want is peace and happiness like everyone else.

I have to keep coming back to it.  To what?  I’m talking about that sense of well-being that comes from mindfulness and presence.

I love that sense of well-being!  That wakeful contentment!  I call it “contented happiness” because that state of being seems to be core or the baseline state once layers of  mental ‘this and that’ thin and create an opening for that state to shine through.  Its there, it’s always been there–just like the quote on mind training from Ajahn Chah (quote below) states.

And just like  Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche  says, “We are so familiar with the tumultuous reactivity of our mind that mental chaos feels quite normal.  Opposing that or the opposite polarity to that mental chaos is joy, that profound sense of well-being that comes from being in a completely wakeful state.

You know this state, right?  You must have had moments like I’m going to describe and hopefully days, weeks or months–perhaps years or a lifetime if we’re really on the path.

We drop the anxious chatter in our mind. We release a big sigh and think, “Wow, everything is really OK: me, my situation, the world.”

This becomes my new goal, my new mantra and a feeling that I intend to expand and send out to the world.  I actually read those words that are in quotes above in a book and every level of body and mind did cartwheels and acrobatics across the room!

cartwheels

YES!  I know this feeling!  this truth!  Until now, I’ve called it “contented happiness” but I do like the way it is expressed simply and recognizably:  “Wow, everything is really OK–me, my situation, the world.”

The Quote: Training this mind… actually there’s nothing much to this mind. It’s simply radiant in and of itself. It’s naturally peaceful.

Why the mind doesn’t feel peaceful right now is because it gets lost in its own moods. There’s nothing to mind itself. It simply abides in its natural state, that’s all. That sometimes the mind feels peaceful and other times not peaceful is because it has been tricked by these moods. The untrained mind lacks wisdom. It’s foolish. Moods come and trick it into feeling pleasure one minute and suffering the next. Happiness then sadness. But the natural state of a person’s mind isn’t one of happiness or sadness.

Leaf red 350 x 304
The mind is naturally calm like a leaf that is NOT being blown around


 This experience of happiness and sadness is not the actual mind itself, but just these moods which have tricked it. The mind gets lost, carried away by these moods with no idea what’s happening. And as a result, we experience pleasure and pain accordingly, because the mind has not been trained yet. It still isn’t very clever. And we go on thinking that it’s our mind which is suffering or our mind which is happy, when actually it’s just lost in its various moods.

The point is that really this mind of ours is naturally peaceful. It’s still and calm like a leaf that is not being blown about by the wind. But if the wind blows then it flutters. It does that because of the wind. And so with the mind it’s because of these moods – getting caught up with thoughts. If the mind didn’t get lost in these moods it wouldn’t flutter about. If it understood the nature of thoughts it would just stay still. This is called the natural state of the mind.

— (Ajahn Chah, Training This Mind)

The Law of Attraction and The Secret have there place, BUT…..  there is, I feel, greater accomplishment in enhancing a state of  acceptance of things just as they are. We stop reaching for what we want. We stop trying to control our comfort zone. This letting go leaves us feeling peaceful and optimistic. We have not strategized to attain this state.   It’s more like the absence of trying to manipulate or influence our circumstance.

PS — currently transiting Saturn is conjunct natal Jupiter in my 4th house.  I’m waiting for word about an apartment to open up for me.  It could be any time but waiting is challenging.  I can see how Saturn right on Jupiter is creating a delay (Saturn often is though to carry with it the archetype of ‘delay’).  The 4th house of course is about home –THE home.  This blog post is like … well, physician heal thyself.  LOL  Accepting things as they are while I wrestle with the strong inner desire to move.  I trust astrology and that Saturn delay is beneficial/Jupiter for my future housing situation.  Meanwhile, everything is really OK–me, my situation, the world.  🙂