|Dr. Robert Puff|
Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
#1698 - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - Editor: joyce (Know_Mystery)
Photo by Alan Larus ~ TrueVision
Music: Orange2.mid from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Panhala/
your joy is the source of your smile, but
sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
True happiness cannot be
in things that change and pass away.
Pleasure and pain alternate inexorably.
Happiness comes from the self
and can be found in the self only.
Find your real self (swarupa)
and all else will come with it.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj ~
There's just no
accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.
And how can you not FORGIVE ?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.
No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.
It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.
~ Jane Kenyon ~
don't think that one gets a flash of happiness once,
and never again;
it is there within you,
and it will come as certainly as death.
~ Isak Dinesen ~
The Book of Life by Jiddu Krishnamurti
Happiness vs. gratification
What is it that most of us are seeking? What is it that each one of us wants? Especially in this restless world, where everybody is trying to find some kind of peace, some kind of happiness, a refuge, surely it is important to find out, isnt it?, what it is that we are trying to seek, what it is that we are trying to discover? Probably most of us are seeking some kind of happiness, some kind of peace; in a world that is ridden with turmoil, wars, contention, strife, we want a refuge where there can be some peace. I think that is what most of us want. So we pursue, go from one leader to another, from one religious organization to another, from one teacher to another. Now, is it that we are seeking happiness or is it that we are seeking gratification of some kind from which we hope to derive happiness? There is a difference between happiness and gratification. Can you seek happiness? Perhaps you can find gratification but surely you cannot find happiness. Happiness is derivative; it is a by-product of something else. So, before we give our minds and hearts to something which demands a great deal of earnestness, attention, thought, care, we must find out, must we not?, what it is that we are seeking; whether it is happiness, or gratification?
One must go deep to know joy
Very few of us enjoy anything. We have very little joy in seeing the sunset, or the full moon, or a beautiful person, or a lovely tree, or a bird in flight, or a dance. We do not really enjoy anything. We look at it, we are superficially amused or excited by it, we have a sensation which we call joy. But enjoyment is something far deeper, which must be understood and gone into... As we grow older, though we want to enjoy things, the best has gone out of us; we want to enjoy other kinds of sensations - passions, lust, power, position. These are all the normal things of life, though they are superficial; they are not to be condemned, not to be justified, but to be understood and given their right place. If you condemn them as being worthless, as being sensational, stupid or unspiritual, you destroy the whole process of living... To know joy one must go much deeper. Joy is not mere sensation. It requires extraordinary refinement of the mind, but not the refinement of the self that gathers more and more to itself. Such a self, such a man, can never understand this state of joy in which the enjoyer is not. One has to understand this extraordinary thing; otherwise, life becomes very small, petty, superficial - being born, learning a few things, suffering, bearing children having responsibilities, earning money, having a little intellectual amusement and then to die.
Happiness cannot be pursued
What do you mean by happiness? Some will say happiness consists in getting what you want. You want a car, and you get it, and you are happy. I want a sari or clothes; I want to go to Europe and if I can, I am happy. I want to be the...greatest politician, and if I get it, I am happy; if I cannot get it, I am unhappy. So, what you call happiness is getting what you want, achievement or success, becoming noble, getting anything that you want. As long as you want something and you can get it, you feel perfectly happy; you are not frustrated, but if you cannot get what you want, then unhappiness begins. All of us are concerned with this, not only the rich and the poor. The rich and the poor all want to get something for themselves, for their family, for society; and if they are prevented, stopped, they will be unhappy. We are not discussing, we are not saying that the poor should not have what they want. That is not the problem. We are trying to find out what is happiness and whether happiness is something of which you are conscious. The moment you are conscious that you are happy, that you have much, is that happiness? The moment you are conscious that you are happy, it is not happiness, is it? So you cannot go after happiness. The moment you are conscious that you are humble, you are not humble. So happiness is not a thing to be pursued; it comes. But if you seek it, it will evade you.
Happiness is not sensation
Mind can never find happiness. Happiness is not a thing to be pursued and found, as sensation. Sensation can be found again and again, for it is ever being lost; but happiness cannot be found. Remembered happiness is only a sensation, a reaction for or against the present. What is over is not happiness; the experience of happiness which is over is sensation, for remembrance is the past and the past is sensation. Happiness is not sensation. ...What you know is the past, not the present; and the past is sensation, reaction, memory. You remember that you were happy; and can the past tell what happiness is? It can recall but it cannot be. Recognition is not happiness; to know what it is to be happy, is not happiness. Recognition is the response of memory; and can the mind, the complex of memories, experiences, ever be happy? The very recognition prevents the experiencing. When you are aware that you are happy, is there happiness? When there is happiness, are you aware of it? Consciousness comes only with conflict, the conflict of remembrance of the more. Happiness is not the remembrance of the more. Where there is conflict, happiness is not. Conflict is where the mind is. Thought at all levels is the response of memory, and so thought invariably breeds conflict. Thought is sensation, and sensation is not happiness. Sensations are ever seeking gratifications. The end is sensation, but happiness is not an end; it cannot be sought out.
Can happiness be found through anything?
We seek happiness through things, through relationship, through thoughts, ideas. So things, relationship, and ideas become all-important and not happiness. When we seek happiness through something, then the thing becomes of greater value than happiness itself. When stated in this manner, the problem sounds simple and it is simple. We seek happiness in property, in family, in name; then property, family, idea become all-important, for then happiness is sought through a means, and then the means destroys the end. Can happiness be found through any means, through anything made by the hand or by the mind? Things, relationship, and ideas are so transparently impermanent, we are ever made unhappy by them...Things are impermanent, they wear out and are lost; relationship is constant friction and death awaits; ideas and beliefs have no stability, no permanency. We seek happiness in them and yet do not realize their impermanency. So sorrow becomes our constant companion and overcoming it our problem. To find out the true meaning of happiness, we must explore the river of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is not an end in itself. Is there a source to a stream? Every drop of water from the beginning to the end makes the river. To imagine that we will find happiness at the source is to be mistaken. It is to be found where you are on the river of self-knowledge.
Happiness that is not of the mind
We may move from one refinement to another, from one subtlety to another, from one enjoyment to another; but at the center of it all, there is "the me" - "the me" that is enjoying, that wants more happiness, "the me" that searches, looks for, longs for happiness, "the me" that struggles, "the me" that becomes more and more refined, but never likes to come to an end. It is only when "the me" in all subtle forms comes to an end that there is a state of bliss which cannot be sought after, an ecstasy, a real joy without pain, without corruption... ...When the mind goes beyond the thought of "the me," the experiencer, the observer, the thinker, then there is a possibility of a happiness that is incorruptible. That happiness cannot be permanent, in the sense in which we use that word. But, our mind is seeking permanent happiness, something that will last, that will continue. That very desire for continuity is corruption... ...If we can understand the process of life without condemning, without saying it is right or wrong, then, I think, there comes a creative happiness which is not "yours" or "mine." That creative happiness is like sunshine. If you want to keep the sunshine to yourself, it is no longer the clear, warm life-giving sun. Similarly, if you want happiness because you are suffering, or because you have lost somebody, or because you have not been successful, then that is merely a reaction. But when the mind can go beyond, then there is a happiness that is not of the mind.
and the happiness of each
depends upon the happiness of all,
and it is this lesson
that humanity has to learn today
as the first and the last lesson.
~ Hazrat Inayat Kahn ~
Let us not
use bombs and guns to overcome the world.
Let us use love and compassion.
Peace begins with a smile--
smile five times a day
to someone you don't really want to smile at all--
do it for peace.
So let us radiate the peace of God and so light his light.
~ Mother Teresa ~
I cannot believe
that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis
of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must
somewhere rest on
~ Louise Bogan ~
April Pacifica by Benny
everything as God,
But keep it a secret Become like a man who is Awestruck
And Nourished Listening to a Golden Nightingale
Sing in a beautiful foreign language
While God invisibly nests
Upon its tongue. Hafiz,
Who can you tell in this world
That when a dog runs up to you
Wagging its ecstatic tail,
You lean down and whisper in its ear, "Beloved,
I am so glad You are happy to see me. Beloved,
I am so glad,
So very glad You have come."
~ Hafiz ~
Daniel Ladinsky; "I Heard God Laughing - Renderings of Hafiz"
Scientists Meditate on Happiness
By Kim Zetter
BOSTON -- Dressed in crimson robes and matching running shoes, the Dalai Lama stood out amid the tweed-wearing academics last weekend at MIT, yet the Tibetan leader was hardly out of place. The 68-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner has said many times that if he hadn't been fated to be a monk, he surely would have been an engineer. He has had a lifelong fascination with science and a natural curiosity for understanding the way things work.
Therefore it was no surprise to see him conferring over two days last week with neuroscientists, psychologists and behavioral scientists to examine the ways in which scientific and Buddhist understandings might intersect and to see how modern science can learn from Buddhism's 2,500-year tradition of meditation practice.
The Investigating the Mind conference, co-sponsored by the McGovern Institute at MIT and the Mind & Life Institute in Colorado, constituted the eleventh in a series of extraordinary dialogues the Dalai Lama helped launch 17 years ago with the goal of offering the world a practical method for relieving suffering, and curbing the destructive emotions and impulses that are at the root of all human strife.
All of the prior meetings had occurred in private at the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, followed by books about the proceedings. But last weekend, the talks went public as Buddhists and scientists gathered before an audience to plot strategies and methodologies for collaborating on future research.
The timing has never been more appropriate for such collaboration, said Adam Engle, chairman of Mind & Life. Public interest in Buddhist beliefs is at an all-time high, as evidenced by the 13,000 people who bought tickets for a public address by the Dalai Lama after the conference.
In addition, Engle said, "We're living at a propitious period when, for the first time, amazing technology is available to make this type of research possible." Recent advances in technologies, like the functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, mean that researchers can now probe deep into the brain of a meditating monk and even take pictures to send home.
Last year Dr. Richard Davidson, director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin and a conference presenter, used an fMRI machine to map the brain of monk Matthieu Ricard.
While Ricard, a monk with over 30 years' experience in contemplative practice, engaged in what Buddhists call compassion meditation, Davidson measured the activity in his brain. The pictures showed excessive activity in the left prefrontal cortex (just inside the forehead) of Ricard's brain.
Generally people with happy temperaments exhibit a high ratio of activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area associated with happiness, joy and enthusiasm. Those who are prone to anxiety, fear and depression exhibit a higher ratio of activity in the right prefrontal cortex.
But the degree to which the left side of Ricard's brain lit up far surpassed 150 other subjects Davidson had measured. No one knows whether Ricard might have exhibited the same results before he became a monk. But given that his readings were off the chart for happiness, Richardson believes that studying the minds of meditating monks can help us learn how meditation can mold our brains to develop happier and less-afflicted temperaments.
Buddhists have long maintained that meditation offers great benefits to their minds and bodies, but the empirical world has demanded more proof than personal testimonials. As Ajahn Amaro, an abbot at the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in northern California put it on Saturday, "people believe in the great god of data." Therefore, the Dalai Lama hopes researchers can scientifically prove that meditation has medical and emotional benefits, and then divorce it from its spiritual Buddhist roots to offer the world a secular method for relieving suffering and finding happiness.
Read the rest: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,60452,00.html
Joe Riley ~ Panhala archives
So Much Happiness
It is difficult to
know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
A wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
Something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
And disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
And now live over a quarry of noise and dust
Cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
It too could wake up filled with possibilities
Of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
And love even the floor which needs to be swept,
The soiled linens and scratched records...
Since there is no place large enough
To contain so much happiness,
You shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
Into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
For the moon, but continues to hold it, and to share it,
And in that way, be known.
~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~
If in our
daily life we can smile,
if we can be peaceful and happy,
not only we,
but everyone will profit from it.
This is the most basic kind of peace work.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
When I broke open
Buddha broke open.
And neither of us
has been the same since.
In an instant
we fell into each other laughing
and neither one of us has survived. But still the sun shines in the morning
and sets in the evening. I am like a friendly old dog now
wearing my master's slippers.
they fit perfectly.
~ Adyashanti ~
Adyashanti; "My Secret is Silence"
If you want
happiness for an hour - take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day - go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month - get married.
If you want happiness for a year - inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime -
help someone else.
~ Chinese Proverb ~
I caught the happy
virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious -
So kiss me
~ Hafiz ~
Joe Riley ~ Panhala
Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.
People who might judge are mostly asleep; they cant
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.
Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People wont even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.
Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.
~ William Stafford ~
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/Any_Morning.html Web archive of Panhala postings: www.panhala.net/Archive/Index.html To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to [email protected]
(left button to play, right button to save)
If You Don't Stop That
I used to live in
A cramped house with confusion
But then I met the Friend
And started getting drunk
And singing all
Confusion and pain
Started acting nasty,
With talk like this,
"If you don't stop 'that' -
All that fun -
Daniel Ladinsky; "The Gift"
top of page
|Dr. Robert Puff|