Monday, June 2, 2008

Are You Happy?

When I was studying at the Kushi Institute twenty years ago, making my way every day from classroom to classroom, wondering about all kinds of things - be it our cancer and AIDS patients, my children's or my husband's health, our life, the state of the world - my mind endlessly fascinated with problems and finding solutions for them - several times during those years, Mishio Kushi would pop up out of nowhere. Turning a corner, or up a flight of stairs, looking straight at me, he'd ask: "Are you happy?"

I always burst out laughing, like I had just been caught. Caught in this fabricated unhappiness thinking creates, that wasn't true. He kept looking at me just long enough until he was sure I understood this. Then he'd hurry on to his next lecture or consultation.

Be very careful if an unhappy or needy person asks you whether you are happy, though. They will show you how unhappy you are, and if you don't know better, you will believe them. They will then offer you something to fix your unhappiness in exchange for sex, money or some other form of power. Every commercial on TV works that way, and much of religion and psychology. There is a given assumption of our unhappiness, fixable only with certain products or actions we are going to be encouraged into taking. It is not necessarily malicious - it is just the blind leading the blind.

In truth, happiness just requires a reminder. Content to the core of our souls, if we only take a moment to notice, we already know the truth. The problem is that it is so simple, as simple as taking a grateful breath regardless of any circumstances. Our minds think it is too easy, and not interesting enough. It is available equally to everyone - beggar or king, the educated or the fools. That also doesn't make it "special" enough for our egos to be easily persuaded. Therefore there is a need for humility in our approach. There is nobody more humble than a wise man who knows how stupid he is, or a stupid man who finally understands how wise he is.

1 comment:

azulparsnip said...

sweet story . Our minds do get bogged down in mire. A friend helps