Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Third Way

The last couple of days I have talked about happiness, and a couple of paths to getting there.

The first path I called the Path of Having, which is based on acquiring things and accomplishments and status. Happiness on this path can certainly be real (I am in no way saying that having things is bad), but it also seems temporary.

The second path I called the Path of Doing, which is about getting absorbed in what we do, and literally losing ourselves in it. It is based on the concept of flow. While also temporary, the satisfaction from the path of doing can seem deeper, and more rewarding.

As human beings, we quite naturally look to having things and doing things. Activities arise, sometimes with great focus and passion. There is nothing wrong with doing or having. But it can be disappointing to base our happiness on what we have or what we do, because each of these things is always changing,

If there is a way to be happy all of the time (or at least a lot more of the time), it seems like it would have to be based on something that does not change. Something that does not come and go. And that something is what a lot of the entries in this blog are pointing to--our very sense of being. Awareness itself. The witness. That which is looking through our eyes.

This awareness is beyond categorization--it is unrelated to our gender, our history, our age. It does not seem to care about our worries or problems. To cultivate this space, to be able to rest in it for even a few moments, is tremendously healing.

And as we increase our capacity to be here--to just be--we find that we can experience a deeper happiness that is not linked to any of our outer conditions. In that sense, we can be happy in the midst of confusion or pain or suffering. We can be happy at any time--even outside of a sense of time.

This is the Path of Being. And it is not a path at all. It is what we are right now, and it never stops.


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