We can’t change the world except insofar as we change the way we look at the world — and, in fact, any one of us can make that change, in any direction, at any moment.
You make your way to happiness not by fretting about it or trafficking in New Age affirmations, but simply by finding the cause of your suffering, and then attending to it, as any doctor (of mind or body) might do.
Think in terms of enemies, he suggests, and the only loser is yourself.
Happiness is not pleasure, they know, and unhappiness, as the Buddhists say, is not the same as suffering. Suffering — in the sense of old age, sickness and death — is the law of life; unhappiness is just the position we choose — or can not choose — to bring to it.
True happiness, in that sense, doesn’t mean trying to acquire things, so much as letting go of things (our illusions and attachments).
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
I am not accustomed to rejoicing in things that are small, hidden, and scarcely noticed by the people around me....
Somehow I have become accustomed to living with sadness, and so have lost the eyes to see the joy and the ears to hear the gladness that belongs to God and which is to be found in the hidden corners of the world....
[Seeing the small and beautiful] is a real discipline. It requires choosing for the light even when there is much darkness to frighten me, choosing for life even when the forces of death are so visible, and choosing for the truth even when I am surrounded by lies....The reward of choosing joy is joy itself....There is so much rejection, pain, and woundedness among us, but once you choose to claim the joy hidden in the midst of all suffering, life becomes celebration. Joy never denies the sadness, but transforms it to a fertile soil for more joy.
from The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri J. M. Nouwen
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
By making un-extraordinary acts and behaviors our ordinary practice, we entrap ourselves from knowing how precious life really is. We don’t use opportunities that come our way as a means of expressing how special we really are. Instead, we walk the walk with the rest of the herd and soon find ourselves in such a deep rut of limitations we lose sight of our own value. We become trapped in mediocrity.
I am guilty (more than I would like to admit) of making mediocrity my ordinary practice.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Each one is worthy of serious reflection, but due to the word limit of Clipmarks (and because David wrote these, not me --- you must visit Raptitude for the whole shebang), I've only been able to post a sample.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
From Julian Vigo, in Counterpunch:
I can only hope that Michael Jackson's death offers us all a moment of sobriety to reflect on how, what and why we believe the things we do as individuals and why our culture so often feeds off the fictions of negativity and violence produced by our media, rather than gravitate towards the dreams, the creativity and love that Jackson's music, dance, words and actions have given us all.
For Michael Jackson, and for the anonymous billions on this planet whose lives are twisted and warped by the satanic values of the global corporate capitalist culture, we must work to build a new culture in the shell of the old. May we turn from judging one another in order to avoid our own flaws and miseries, and instead gravitate toward dreams, creativity, love, forgiveness, and kindness.