petek, 04. december 2009

Zen and the art of happiness, Chris Prentiss

''How do you change what you believe when your experience has convinced you othervise? By creating a new experience. The best way for you to get that new experience is to change your response to what happens. By the natural law of cause and effect, that new response will create new results, which you will then experience as a new reality. To reach the goal of happiness, act as though the following statement is already true: EVERYTHING that happens to me is the best thing that can happen to me.''

“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God (Nature, Universe) speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.” Malcolm Muggeridge

Not only is the Universe aware of us, but it also communicates with us. We, in turn, are constantly in communication with the Universe through our words, thoughts, and actions. The Universe RESPONDS with events. Events are the language of the Universe. The most obvious of those events are what we call coincidence.

''Obey the nature of things and you will walk freely and undisturbed'' Seng-Ts'an

Don't be concerned if you haven't been aware of these natural laws before. Once you begin to incorporate a philosophy into your life that is in accordance with Universal law, your life will bring you such joy, that you'll
laugh in amazement. It will be as if you've spent your life driving a car in reverse and you've sudenly discovered that there are gears to make it go forward - and fast!

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky”.
The Cross of Changes from 1993 album by the musical project Enigma(by Michael Cretu). It is Enigma's second album, following MCMXC a.D (note from Wikipedia)

''Even if it is painful and lonely, associate with worthy companions.'' Dogen
Let me take you By the hand Away from here To another land Oh this land in which we live Where people love and are meant to forgive And you always prove me wrong 'Cos you're always putting me down I can't ...

If you are surrounded by people who not only don't believe in your goals and your positive outlook on life but who also continually try to tear you down, it will be extremely challenging for you to hold firmly in mind that you will succeed and
that you can be happy.
Who you allow into the circle of your life will make the difference in the quality of your life. As the
Buddha taught, ''He who walks in the company of fools suffers a long way. Company with always painful; company with the wise is pleasure.''

This is related to the Universal law of the conservation of energy: ''Nothing can be lost or destroyed, only changed.'' That includes us. Being part of the Universe, we will continue to exist. Perhaps in a different form, perhaps in a different state, but exist we shall.

being rock, being gas, being mist, being mind,
being the mesons travelling among the galaxies
at the speed of light,
you have come here, my beloved,

and your blue eyes shine, so beautiful, so deep
you have taken the path traced for you
from the non -beginning and the never- ending.
you say that on your way here
you have gone through
many millons of births and deaths.
innumerable times you have been transformed
into firestorms in outer space.
you have used your own body
to measure the age of the mountains and the rivers.
you have manifested yourself
as trees, grass, butterflies, single celled beings,
and as chrysanthemums.
but the eyes with which you look at me this morning
tell me that you have never died.
your smile invites me into the game
whose beginning no one knows,
the game of hide- and- seek..

A personal philosophy that's based on what's true in the Universe will sustain you through every occurence that life brings you. It will save you from costly errors of judgement, countless hours of misery and needless suffering. It will help you see that events that you may have lamented for weeks, months, or even years are the best events that could have happened to you.

In Zen, the main aim is to liberate ourselves from such detachment and as we practice our zazen (Zen meditation), we may find ourselves naturally giving others the space to be exactly the way they are and this leads to powerful relationships. Many of us seek the recognition we felt due to us in childhood from society and even though this can lead to some of us being very successful in our careers, whilst we are attached to that need, we never experience real happiness. Real happiness comes from detachment from all needs.

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