Thursday, June 12, 2008

Joy At Last

"Joy at last, to know there is no happiness in the world."

This statement is by Thai Meditation Master, Ajahn Chah. I had never heard it before today and instantly fell in love with it.

The pursuit of happiness - and our hoping to find it through material things, entertainment, personal fulfillment, intellectual and scientific pursuits, religious experiences and achievements - never ends. Happiness eludes us no matter what we try and how successful we are at achieving all of our dreams. Even when we achieve our fondest dreams we feel we should be happier than we actually feel. Somewhere there is an idea or a memory what it should feel like. It is like water running through our fingers. It always seems so close, just around the corner. We can't hold on to it for long when we do feel it. Things, events, insights all give it to us for a moment or a while, only to be lost again. This is how we spend our lives and it is what makes the world go around. There is nothing wrong with it. Without this mechanism life would not go on - and still - we need to wake up from it to find the joy we were born with that this Thai Meditation Master is talking about. When we do, we laugh with relief. It was never lost in the first place. We were just so busy preventing it, by looking for it endlessly - like someone digging for treasure with a golden, diamond studded shovel.

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