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  • hardie karges 1:03 pm on August 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , happiness, , Three Marks of Existence   

    Buddhism 202: Happiness Sandwiches, with Something in the Middle… 

    If you’re looking for bliss, then you may be disappointed. Happiness for me is the reduction, and hopefully cessation, of suffering. Anything else is icing on the cake. Count your blessings. In other words, bliss is optional and perhaps not even desirable. After all, when your psychological pendulum swings too far in one direction, isn’t it bound to swing back to the other with equal force? It’s very likely. And isn’t bliss an extreme emotion to begin with, tongue flagging and tail wagging, like a dog with a fresh bone, until it’s suddenly all gone?

    And that’s the problem, isn’t it, that extremes usually never cease rebounding in search of their opposites, in ever-widening arcs, never satisfied and never at rest?  It certainly seems that way, the curse of consciousness, chasing its own tail in a race to the finish. When we’re hot, we want cold. When we’re cold we want warmth. At what point do we get to enjoy our happiness? There’s no time like the present of course, and anything else is probably BS.

    And this goes right to the heart of Buddhism, the middle path, but not necessarily The Middle Path, between luxury and lack, or Existence and Non-existence, but any middle path, between any two sets of opposites, for which the middle is almost always the best option, that notion of balance and equilibrium always desirable, even if the word ‘compromise’ doesn’t suit you, with the notion that maybe it’s a cop-out. It’s not.

    It suits me just fine, and I think it should probably be enshrined as an important addendum to the main body of Buddhism, which includes the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold path, and the Three Marks of Existence, especially non-self anatta. Then there’s ahimsa, non-violence, though not necessarily non-action. That sounds like the perfect balance between violence and passivity. So, this notion of balance, little brother to the Middle Path, works almost every time, and should get the attention and credit that it deserves. Try it. You’ll probably like it.

     
  • hardie karges 5:03 pm on May 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , happiness,   

    Happiness, Ego and Buddhism… 

    Happiness and sadness are not so different, really, just blips on a screen often better off blip-less. And this is one of the more difficult lessons of Buddhism, especially for a Westerner, who often define their lives by their passions, and their willingness to ‘go for it’ without ceasing, regardless of the odds of ever achieving the goal in question–or not. But these emotions are mere ‘mental formations’, coming and going, and morphing into their opposites, not to mention the multifarious increments that lie between in search of a sweet spot. But to me this seems more like an ego formation than a mental formation, a vestige of an eternal soul and pernicious self that constantly and consistently leap off the pages of linguistic convenience and into the safe-deposit vaults of human connivance, looking for godliness and settling for larger-than-life Big Manliness, with which to slay the dragons and dominatrices of human existence. This seldom ends well, of course. Life is too short to waste time with all the fussing and fighting involved in ego-promotion…

     
  • hardie karges 7:22 am on August 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , happiness, KCRW,   

    The Messy-onic Tradition, part 1: Deepak and his BS (Best-sellers)… 

    Author’s note: I was seriously thinking about pulling this post which is somewhat satirical about Deepak Chopra, and depositing it without ceremony into the circular ‘delete’ file, UNTIL… until I saw that Mr. Chopra himself would be guest DJ on my favorite radio station KCRW out in LA, so I figured I’d wait and pass judgment after that, and…

    Deepak Chopra just played ‘Rising Sun’ by George Harrison as Guest DJ on KCRW; seems not only was this song a gift from George to Deepak, which Chopra donated to the estate posthumously, but the lyrics are taken from chapter titles of one of Chopra’s books! Cool. Nice story, regardless of what you think of Chopra…

    It seems that Mr. Chopra is most inspired my musicians who are his fans, and their music, including, besides George Harrison, such luminaries as Michael Jackson—okay. Then there’s ‘The Way We Were’ by Barbara Streisand—hmmm, but “Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini?” So, I changed my mind about dumping the post. Roll the presses… (More …)

     
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