The Shocking Truth About Feeling Good!

 


So much of what we do is driven by craving for pleasure. If we don’t feel an immediate sense of sensual pleasure we feel we must be doing something wrong, that things should be different, that we’re losing, we’re missing out.It’s because we conflate happiness with pleasure.

But so often what we must do, the wise thing, the right thing, is not obviously pleasurable. Tending to children, cleaning a toilet, writing a blog post: quite often the necessary action is boring, or noisome, or frustrating.

Even then, even now, I feel myself stretching for pleasure: to see that the difficult task is somehow pleasurable in a different way, in a wiser way.

What would your life be like if you could leave aside this ceaseless craving? If you could be with what is, instead of aching for what is not?

What would your life be like if your happiness didn’t depend on pleasure?

Would you like that?

2 thoughts on “The Shocking Truth About Feeling Good!

  1. Chris, another thoughtful piece.

    It’s true that we are driven by our desires in the false allusion that these will bring us lasting happiness. It’s also true that we reject, push away, hate, and otherwise dislike other things. In your example – cleaning toilets or writing a blog post.

    So being with “what is” requires developing one of the four “Sublime States” – equanimity. More on that at Access to Insight here: http://tinyurl.com/23e44hf

    I find another way to approach the “tasks” in life is to see them as an opportunity to practice my mindfulness. The Zen saying, “When chopping wood, chop wood. When carrying water, carry water” can be a useful reminder to be mindful.

    Whether changing diapers, cleaning the toilet, or weeding the garden the ability to keep the mind on the task at hand is a wonderful way to strengthen the mindfulness muscle.

    Through consistent skillful application of mindfulness, concentration, and discernment one can achieve equanimity. But it takes commitment and practice.

    The little pleasure we take from life are fine as long as we see them for what they are and avoid craving. So, I’m off to have one of my treats – a good cup of strong tea!

    Keep up the writing!

    Much happiness,

    Dan

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