“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong

Monday, June 30, 2014

what about happiness?

Oh yeah, then there's the misinterpretation of the word happiness. What is happiness?

Or  - never mind that,, ask instead what is the character brought about by a tamed, trained, guarded and restrained mind? That mind is strong, it is stable, not a boat at anchor - not anchored but seaworthy, powerful, confident and carrying all the best equipment and stores for the journey but not overloaded by any means, spare and lean, poised and in balance. Beyond contentment, magnificent.

Would that have anything to do with your original concept of happiness? Even in the time of the Buddha we humans were confused about what could bring happiness, what is true happiness. Greed, anger, delusion alter the concept of happiness until it has nothing to do with truth, but is warped and perverted, erroneous. Pointing out that the rich are often the most miserable people is an easy way to illuminate this. Since most of us are not rich it is soothing to show that wealth does not alleviate suffering. But does it alleviate greed?

I watched a video last night of a doctor teaching how stress, diuretics (including caffeine and alcohol) and a diet high in refined carbs cause low levels of magnesium in the body. Magnesium is needed for multitudes of body processes and early signs and symptoms of its lack include muscle spasms, hypertension, depression, bone mass loss, and the vicious circle of further depletion when the root cause of these is not recognized and the symptoms are treated instead. This is sooo very similar to the the lack of true happiness.

Happiness is needed for a functional and fulfilling life however long or short that may be. Early signs and symptoms of its lack are boredom, craving, dissatisfaction and a vicious circle is created when the wrong tack is pursued to attain what seems to be the solution. How is it that so many of us experience confusion about what is happiness? We are overwhelmed by messages that lead us to not trust our own good sense.

How do we learn to to discern the truths about happiness? In meditation, both on and off the cushion, discernment is cultivated (I love that word, cultivated, it implies all that is needed for a garden to produce something delicious and nourishing). What do I mean 'meditation both on and off the cushion?' This is a lifestyle. A spiritual path, something we haven't a great word for yet, I will think of something, just wait. Meditation as practiced by Sensei's students, the Great Determination sangha is 24/7. Mindfulness, awareness of mind, continuous and never ending, not perfect but persistent. The ripple effect here is not just affecting others we come into contact with and who they connect to but the many depths within us, gradually transforming body, mind and spirit.

No comments:

Post a Comment