Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My epitaph

When I die, could someone make sure that
this is preserved as my epitaph?

"The seeds of our suffering (or happiness!) lie in
the character of our relationship to our experience"

If anything should be "carved into stone"
with regards to my life
that should be it.

It could be further condensed into:
"Choose Happiness!"

It is simply a condensation  of Yoga and Buddha Dharma into a single sentence.

Vera asked:

Bill, are you saying that we should or could choose Happiness as our condition all the time---?
I have to say if that is the case, then is sounds a bit constrictive for me--
 it seems to limit my experience of Life--
  I would rather choose Life in its endless forms
  and be grateful for it--
  Life is vastly diverse and creative--
  Happiness is a facet of this diversity--
  and I would only choose for myself at this point--
  and allow all to choose for themselves what they most desire in the moment--

Yes, could.

Stillness and union: already there.
Just for us to notice :)

Lots of games, dramas, masks, roles, and amusements...
Pleasures to indulge in.
Drama of suffering: of course, also a choice.

Could Choose Happiness:
Not should.

But if it is a choice,
why ever choose to suffer?

For drama experience?
OK. Fine. Nothing wrong!
"Enjoy" the suffering drama.
Many people seem to choose this,
perhaps enjoy this...

But is it really a choice?
Or when we choose suffering,
are we acting out of habit,
or without skill,
or not mindfully,
or not present for it?
Craving for "things to be different"?

Even in craving, or physical pain,
noticing brings contentment.
Contentment brings release.
Release brings allowing.
Allowing brings happiness!

Yes! Choose whatever you desire!
And expand completely into the stillness of now.

Christopher said:
The endless, empty pursuit of happiness.

All conditioned things are empty.
Happiness is unconditioned!
Nothing is without end.
Even in the bondage of deepest suffering,
there is cessation, release, liberation....

And as long as someone chooses to live in the realm
of pursuits, happiness seems to be the best choice :)

Christopher said:
We may be using a differing definition of the word. I use happiness to convey the temporary high usually from getting a want met. I use contentment to describe the practice of meeting all that comes my way with equanimity. Others reverse the two definitions. In either case seeking to hold on to the temporary high leads to suffering. Seeking the peace of equanimity does not.

Well said! Learning to transcend the gross and temporary high "happiness" of sensual pleasures to the more enduring and expansive experience of happiness of living in the here-now without resistance seems the sum total of why we practice.

Bill Huston          
Binghamton NY
Phone: 607-321-7846


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