Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.
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Recently, I was trying to speak of the condition of Heart some could call contemplative, others mindfulness, others wakefulness, to a person. I was finding it problematic to get the point across to her, as she was interested to understand why I spoke of so much of my work as uneventful, even at times boring, and that somehow this all was still absolutely beautiful. Some would think, as I think she did, that working spiritually with persons would be like a rather constant state of fulfilling enthusiasm emotionally.
Merton points to this contemplative way well, when he speaks of happiness - by which he means what I mean by joy, or bliss -, as a rather non-eventful way of being. We could call this living in the flow, if we mean the flow entails a nonresistance to life, meaning not trying to emotionalize life to make it pleasurable, not trying to escape that much of life is not alluring emotionally at all. Any awakened being knows we are in for big trouble, if we do not accept life as it is and, instead, are trying to make life something that fits our felt-need to be pleased constantly. So, like, "Wow! I'm getting a little bored, so let me get my phone and tune in to some music... or text... or call someone... or check my email...." - Why not learn to feel the beauty of silence? What is so displeasing about having time to not do, not listen, and not talk? - The very pursuit of happiness becomes a miserable exercise. Now, yes, there is a subtle being pleased that I do call bliss, or joy, and co-creating the inner conditions for that, and sometimes outward conditions, is logical and profitable to us.
Really, the awakened Heart is not seeking or denying pleasure. What is, is here. The awakened being brings an embrace to this moment and a nonjudgmental presence. This does not mean we need not let ourselves have some fun times. This does mean, we will experience fun differently than most others. We will experience fun as a fleeting experience that is what it is, even as all other events and feelings are just what they are. When we live this way, we discover a non-intense enjoyment of life. I cannot really tell what this is. I would think many persons who are moving from seeking escape from life, for life is not good enough for them, would think my lovely and beautiful way of living is rather boring. But it is healthier than the ups and downs inevitable when trying to escape life into some emotional paradise. Even boredom has its own face of Grace to share with us.
We cannot taste life, if we are pushing it away to create another life that is not. And we cannot enjoy life as we need to, if we are dooming ourselves to relative or absolute misery here, while just waiting for some "God" to save us and take us to some blissful heaven later.
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*Lotus of the Heart is a Work of Arem Nahariim-Samadhi ~ a Hospice Chaplain, interspiritual author, writer, poet, and bicyclist. He is someone in love with Life and inviting others to that same ecstasy of Love ~ and, by the way, herein is nothing he claims as his own.