Sacred West

Buddhism and Modern Life

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Notice How We Allow Ourselves Happiness

October 3rd, 2009 · No Comments · Filed under: Practice

During the summer while I had steady work and income I felt a level of security that I haven’t felt for some years. I was able to observe elation as it arises, and bring it into my practice. I jotted down the following notes.

When something makes us happy we forget, or don’t notice, that all that’s happened is we’ve allowed ourselves to lift the pressure off our happiness button a little bit. The happiness that arises is a function inside ourselves, or we could better say, a quality of ourselves that exists always.

We can flash on memories, dreams, little instances of joy and exuberance and happiness – call it freedom perhaps? – and we can actually see that this feeling, this function of feeling, has been a faculty that we’ve possessed all along. It just needed a reason to come awake.

So the goal of practice in general is to pull back from the things we call events and circumstances, and draw closer to the faculty of ourselves that’s doing the experiencing. Drawing back from the reasons and the circumstances, drawing closer into ourselves purely as experiencers, we find the happiness faculty, and witness our own foot pressing down on it, keeping it choked back, while we wait for perfection to occur, to give us a reason – an excuse – for joy.

It’s basic mindfulness to all you seasoned meditators, but it’s always worth the reminder that we have to keep practicing when appearances arise and seem good, just as much as we do when coping with fear and the lowlier emotions.

Let’s always remember how well Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche explains this in that post I made a while back, called When the Pain Gets Small Enough We Call It Happiness

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