Friday, June 25, 2004

To be or not to be.

Happiness ...

Something thought-provoking:

Do we ever lose the ability to be happy, with time or age? Can personal trials cause us to lose that ability, irrevocably, to reach for happiness? How do we find what we have lost?

Another person's view:

I quote -
The Buddha spoke to this question in many ways during the 40 years he wandered around India teaching, but his core message was that of clinging and nonclinging. If something good happens, you have a reflexive tendency to try to hold on to it, and if something bad happens, you have a tendency to push it away. Likewise, if you see something you like, you move towards it; or if something is distasteful, you pull away. This clinging response is inevitable if you believe yourself to be the same as or the "owner of" all the desires and fears that arise in you. You become trapped in an endless web of tension and contraction.

The Buddha taught that for most people life is just this way: The good things either go away, lose their appeal, or never happen, while the bad things come despite your best efforts. So when you try to manage your life by clinging and aversion, you are left dissatisfied, uneasy, or without a sense of meaning or wholeness. Moreover, being identified with the clinging Self and its endless wants and fears means that even when things are going well, there is no room to breathe, to experience the spontaneous joy that is the basis of happiness. Every day becomes a tally sheet of gains and losses; the bountiful mind shrinks, reduced to being an inner bookkeeper huddled over an account ledger of what is to be held and what is to be discarded.

From Yoga Journal here

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