Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Joy in Anicca

"The great thing about JOY is not that it lasts, but that it always comes around again." --The Universe

As I have mentioned, I struggled this time at the ten-day silent meditation retreat I went on last month. One of the things I struggled with, ironically, was the lack of JOY I felt in the discipline and austerity of the program this time.

Normally I am very comfortable with this kind of environment. Discipline. Austerity. To-the-minute timekeeping. These are things at which most mid-western-raised adults excel. Not this time. This time I was hungry for joy, for freedom, even a little bit of excess.

I knew this flew in the face of the idea of anicca, or impermanence.

The whole point of this meditation is to learn not to crave positive feelings and sensations, as well as not to have aversion to negative feelings and sensations, because both have the inherent quality of impermanence, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to feel some JOY.

So on my daily post-lunch walk I was contemplating craving for JOY and The Universe sent me this little gem about JOY, which made me feel JOYful.

And this is the thing that the meditation is getting at. The great thing about JOY is not that it lasts, the great thing about HAPPINESS is not that it lasts, the great thing about anything we perceive as positive is not that it lasts, but that it always comes around again.

AND, the great thing about ANGER, the great thing about PAIN, the great thing about anything we perceive as negative is that it eventually goes away and we are left, once again, with JOY.

Merry Christmas!

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