We hear a good deal about “being awake” and “being present” and “being enlightened” and “mindfulness” — or at least I do. In places where my mind hangs out (books, twitter, facebook and forums) people toss those terms around a lot — they’re prevalent. I contemplate this a lot since like most everyone else the outer world (samsara) keeps stimulating my own inner drama and all I want is peace and happiness like everyone else.
I have to keep coming back to it. To what? I’m talking about that sense of well-being that comes from mindfulness and presence.
I love that sense of well-being! That wakeful contentment! I call it “contented happiness” because that state of being seems to be core or the baseline state once layers of mental ‘this and that’ thin and create an opening for that state to shine through. Its there, it’s always been there–just like the quote on mind training from Ajahn Chah (quote below) states.
And just like Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche says, “We are so familiar with the tumultuous reactivity of our mind that mental chaos feels quite normal. Opposing that or the opposite polarity to that mental chaos is joy, that profound sense of well-being that comes from being in a completely wakeful state.
You know this state, right? You must have had moments like I’m going to describe and hopefully days, weeks or months–perhaps years or a lifetime if we’re really on the path.
We drop the anxious chatter in our mind. We release a big sigh and think, “Wow, everything is really OK: me, my situation, the world.”
This becomes my new goal, my new mantra and a feeling that I intend to expand and send out to the world. I actually read those words that are in quotes above in a book and every level of body and mind did cartwheels and acrobatics across the room!
YES! I know this feeling! this truth! Until now, I’ve called it “contented happiness” but I do like the way it is expressed simply and recognizably: “Wow, everything is really OK–me, my situation, the world.”
The Quote: Training this mind… actually there’s nothing much to this mind. It’s simply radiant in and of itself. It’s naturally peaceful.
Why the mind doesn’t feel peaceful right now is because it gets lost in its own moods. There’s nothing to mind itself. It simply abides in its natural state, that’s all. That sometimes the mind feels peaceful and other times not peaceful is because it has been tricked by these moods. The untrained mind lacks wisdom. It’s foolish. Moods come and trick it into feeling pleasure one minute and suffering the next. Happiness then sadness. But the natural state of a person’s mind isn’t one of happiness or sadness.
This experience of happiness and sadness is not the actual mind itself, but just these moods which have tricked it. The mind gets lost, carried away by these moods with no idea what’s happening. And as a result, we experience pleasure and pain accordingly, because the mind has not been trained yet. It still isn’t very clever. And we go on thinking that it’s our mind which is suffering or our mind which is happy, when actually it’s just lost in its various moods.
The point is that really this mind of ours is naturally peaceful. It’s still and calm like a leaf that is not being blown about by the wind. But if the wind blows then it flutters. It does that because of the wind. And so with the mind it’s because of these moods – getting caught up with thoughts. If the mind didn’t get lost in these moods it wouldn’t flutter about. If it understood the nature of thoughts it would just stay still. This is called the natural state of the mind.
— (Ajahn Chah, Training This Mind)
The Law of Attraction and The Secret have there place, BUT….. there is, I feel, greater accomplishment in enhancing a state of acceptance of things just as they are. We stop reaching for what we want. We stop trying to control our comfort zone. This letting go leaves us feeling peaceful and optimistic. We have not strategized to attain this state. It’s more like the absence of trying to manipulate or influence our circumstance.
PS — currently transiting Saturn is conjunct natal Jupiter in my 4th house. I’m waiting for word about an apartment to open up for me. It could be any time but waiting is challenging. I can see how Saturn right on Jupiter is creating a delay (Saturn often is though to carry with it the archetype of ‘delay’). The 4th house of course is about home –THE home. This blog post is like … well, physician heal thyself. LOL Accepting things as they are while I wrestle with the strong inner desire to move. I trust astrology and that Saturn delay is beneficial/Jupiter for my future housing situation. Meanwhile, everything is really OK–me, my situation, the world. 🙂