“The plain fact is that if you don't have a problem, you create one. If you don't have a problem you don't feel that you are living.”
"It just goes to show you, it's always something - if it ain't one thing, it's another.
You either got a toenail in your hamburger or toilet paper clinging to your shoe."
--Gilda Radner as Rosanne Rozannadanna
Here in the US we just finished a holiday where, in between the yams and apple pie, we spend a bit of time being grateful.
Apparently a holiday is needed for this. Because the mind skews towards problems.
So it takes a fair amount of intentional effort- gratitude lists, prayers, affirmations- to focus on what’s good for more than half a second.
Today though, let’s satisfy the mind for a moment. Let’s give attention to what is not right in your life.
Wallow on-purpose in all the troubles, issues, and needs-to-changes. The traumatic past, the scary future, those pesky disliked feelings. The stupid boss or lack of friends or worrisome finances. Not to mention flaws- yours and other people’s.
All that wanting but still not getting, yet with absolute certainty that you're needing- money, love, sleep, health, safety.
Enlightenment starts to look pretty dang good right about now, doesn’t it?
I mean, equanimity in the face of all those issues and don’t-likes? Bliss? Calm at all times?
Although… “at all times” means “always,” As in, 100%.
Anything less is unsatisfying. Anything less is inadequate. Anything less is, “More work to do,” and, “I’m not there yet.”
And of course you’re right; if perfect calm is the “I’ve arrived!” indicator, then you’re not there and your life is something less.
Because as you may have noticed, perfect 100% calm is a tad elusive.
So its lack leaves you with, “There has got to be more than this agitated, aggravating, and sometime miserable daily life.”
As in, this can’t be it. This better not be it.
The thing is, Chop wood, carry water doesn’t mean Live peacefully forever.
Enlightenment does not mean no pain.
It means living with what is, now, as it is. That includes all the messed up, imperfect, make-it-betters in daily life.
And of course, what else can it be? Consciousness’s infinite mix leaves nothing out. Regardless of humans' little preferences.
100% calm is not even slightly interesting to existence.
Though if equanimity at all times has to be your goal, sure, have at it.
Existence includes that too.
The thing is…if you were somehow to successfully get perfect calm at all times, would you be happy at last?
Boorrring. Predictable. Monotonous.
Turns out even perfect bliss is not good enough. Turns out humans can make, “I have more work to do because this is not enough,” out of anything.
Besides, what are you going to do with more peace, anyway? You can’t handle the abundant peace you’ve already got.
I mean, take a moment to notice all the okness, all the good, all the peace and calm that’s truly already here in your daily life.
Without discounting or muddying it with what isn’t right and what isn’t here.
Gravity and air and skin to hold insides in and pets and colors and sounds and language and places to sit. The money and love you do have, the sleep you do get regardless of how much you think you should have, the health you do have whether it's enough for you or not, along with the abundance of calm or neutral feelings.
It’s a lot.
Waaaaay more than the usual problems the mind obsessively keeps its attention on.
Turns out This is it includes everything you want.
And it's already here.
No effort needed.
Isn't that a perfection worth noticing?
It might even be
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“One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.”
"You wander from room to room hunting for the diamond that is already around your neck."
“Small delights -
a clear winter sunset through the natural iron grillwork of black trees,
a street lamp shining through ice-encased branches,
blue sky glittering,
and sun on ice-crusted snow.