The secret to happiness is wanting what you got rather than getting what you (think you) want. This may not be as easy as it sounds, but it’s simple enough once you find the balance point between effort and acceptance, what could be and what is. I try to apply the natural great perfection’s Dzogchen pithy instruction “At ease.” In that spirit of welcome and appreciation, openness and interest, everything is possible and nothing seems too difficult.
The happiness movement today has many aspects, and I’m all for it, although sometimes it does seem a bit overly simplistic. I believe it’s time to reflect upon what we really want and need, collectively as well as individually, before setting into motion powerful forces intent upon achieving those aims and goals. We don’t want to reach the top of the ladder after a long climb, to find it’s not leaning on the right wall!
Happiness as we usually understand it is just the tip of the iceberg of satisfaction and fulfillment, well being, and deepening contentment leading to the deepest variety of nirvanic peace and heavenly delight. This is not just a matter of an experience but of an entire life, a sacred journey. Contentment is the ultimate form of wealth, as the Buddhist philosopher of old named Nagarjuna– Charioteer of the Naga* Kings– says.
Last weekend I performed my favorite (and only) nephew Lonnie’s wedding in Pennsylvania, outdoors at the bride Brianna’s generous and welcoming auntie’s home. This is not something I do very much anymore, but Lon prevailed upon me to officiate. It was truly a joyous occasion, as words of blessing and life-direction were spoken and vows taken. I witnessed the deepening bonds of their loving family-community, and I reflected on the need to mentor and empower, guardian and steward these irreplaceable natural resources, lifting them up in the light, while getting out of their way as they carve out new traditions in this, their new world.
*Nagas are semi-divine part-animal dragon-like serpents who dwell in the depths of the waters and guard the pearl of transcendental wisdom (Prajna paramita)