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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

I’ve been reminded of how easy it is to feel that I’m having one conversation with someone, while they are having a completely opposite conversation with me. We each have our framings, our schema into which our words and phrases fit. Therefore, what appears so clearly one way to me will just as clearly appear diametrically apposed to them.

In this case, I was trying to speak to how hopeful and optimistic I am with the way I’ve observed positive change in this world. Not everything has been transformed to paradise, but so may people have awoken to a happier vision of the future on personal levels. I find this wonderful. However, as I was speaking to someone who feels global paradisaical transformation is required for there to have been positive change, I came across as contradictory and irrelevant.

I’m choosing to be okay with this. I’m disappointed they are unhappy with this world we share, and I’m disappointed I didn’t do a better job at communicating why I’m happy, even hopeful. But we’re both doing the best we can with the brains we have, and I can only keep working on mine.

That said, I still wish them all the happiness in the world. After all, I feel our world can use all the happiness and hope we are prepared to accept.

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Hotei happens to be one of my favorite buddha figures, and I know I’m in good company in that regard. He’s the Laughing Buddha, that big-bellied guy with an almost-as-big linen sack, whose belly you rub for luck. (The statues of him, I mean of course.)

Back when he was alive, he wasn’t the sort of zen master who gathered a school of disciples. What Hotei gathered was a playground of children. In his sack was candy and treats that he’d give to children, who loved to play with and around him. Yeah, he was that fantastic.

As I’ve heard it, sometimes someone would come up to him and tell him he belongs in some zen temple or another. He’d respond by telling them to give him a penny. At times he’d come across a devotee of zen, and he’d tell them to give him a penny as well.

Another story is that some zen monk asked him what the whole meaning was to zen. Hotei set down his heavy bag with a contented sigh. The inquiring monk then asked how zen is realized.

Hotei slung his bag back over his shoulder, and merrily went back to handing out treats to children.

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Just now, as I opened this page to collect my thoughts, I received the notice that I started this blog five years ago as of this very minute.

Five years.

Only yesterday, I blogged my 250th post.

How very sporadic, has been my life.

How very sporadic has been my consciously focused attention…

What’s funny is that I was trying to think of a way to describe how non-mundane the past 36 hours have been.  It’s felt like a veritable “cascade of surprises”, even though individually they are very everyday sorts of occurrences that just happen to be popping out of the blue nearly all at once.  So here comes another “happens all the time” surprise, that in my own life, I didn’t realize was coming:

Happy 5th Anniversary

So very ordinary, yeah?  No gilded scrollwork, no fireworks, but a kind encouragement sent to everyone regardless of whether they’re blogging good or not.  A humbly supportive “congratulations, five years have passed and you’re here to receive this message.”  And I think that’s pretty fantastic.

So I’m choosing to take that “W within the Laurels” as a personal symbol for my practice over the next few days.  I am going to kick my zen practice up a notch, and truly recognize the miraculous side of the mundane details, while also recognizing the everyday-ness of the surprising and spectacular.

Somehow, that takes some of the edge off the oddness of the past couple of days.  It also helps me feel prepared for the surprises yet to come.

I did sort of ask for it, didn’t I?

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What is the sound of one tail wagging?

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Halloween is my holiday. I use it to feel the blending of the barriers we hold in our minds the remainder of the year, absolving us of them as we enter the “end of year season”. So much comes up for harvest during this season, I like to use Halloween to celebrate the old idea of suspending the veil between There and Here, so that our harvest may enjoy the best of all worlds.

Here’s some thoughts from trying to find out how to express this practice…

Hallowing the Eve

Open your heart to the day,
with its twisting and its turning,
allow it to show you the way
it fulfills your greater yearning

Open your heart to the fey,
all that's mystical and Hidden,
to heal all your heartache away,
feel the glow in Truths Forbidden

Open your heart to the Way,
those unspoken words of wonder,
observe how realities play,
it may mend your world asunder

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My favorite time of year starts with Halloween, which I consider the first New Year of the season.  I know there’s different cultures’ celebrations of a change-over of their calendar throughout the year, but the time from the end of October through the end of December always feels like a change-over, of sorts, to me.  So I try to remember to recognize every New Year celebration I can.  I adore beginnings and renewals, and New Years holidays feel especially renewing to me.

Now we have December 21, 2012, Winter Solstice and the date widely recognized as the change-over in the Mayan Long Count calendar.  Given that this kind of new year is even rarer than a once in a lifetime celebration, today has felt extra special to me.  It also makes me think about the kinds of resolutions one should make for a calendar-turning event of this magnitude.

It seems to me that this is the sort of event that’s too great for just one day, and the resolutions should be a bit grander than the usual.  So I’m thinking that instead of celebrating just today as a Mayan Long Count New Years’ Day, perhaps I should celebrate the next twelve months as a Mayan Long Count New Years’ Year.  And at the 21st of each month, perhaps take some stock as to what I’m learning in this changing world, and how I should resolve to change even better within it.

Because make no mistake, our world is changing.  I have watched so much of what’s old and worn out in our world fall away just this past year.  And every day, I see more and more green shoots of long-awaited growth and healing coming through.  I never really put any stock in the ideas that today would bring a violent destruction to the world, but that sort of devastation isn’t needed for the old world to pass away.  All it takes is for people to find the better way they’d like to live, and work together to make that new world real.

So I guess that’s my resolution for the Mayan Long Count New Year.  I hereby resolve to seek out that better way I’d like to live.  And over the next twelve months, I’m going to figure how I can help see that New World come to life.

All my love to you and yours,

~ Nyn

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Things I’m thankful for:

  1. Massachusetts has elected their first female senator, Elizabeth Warren
  2. Thanks to Wisconsin, the United States of America has elected our first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin, who is also Wisconsin’s first female senator
  3. Maine and Maryland are the first states to affirm by popular vote the right of two people to marry whom they loved, regardless of gender
  4. Minnesota is the first state to reject by popular vote an attempt to deny that right as an amendment to the state constitution
  5. Colorado and Washington are the first states to legalize marijuana with strict regulations, taking us one step closer toward ending the failed War on Drugs and gutting the support pillars of the deadly Mexican cartels
  6. Maryland also upheld a law allowing in-state college tuition for children whose in-state high school attendance and parents’ in-state tax-paying qualifications, even if they weren’t documented immigrants

There’s so much more, to be sure, but these are my top six right now.  I have a very positive and loving view of human nature, and a faith in one another that’s reaffirmed by trends such as these.  The more we’re getting to know the stories of the diverse people around us, the more we’re coming together.

That’s all I have time for, but wanted to share.  Take care!

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