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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

HAPPY JUST TO BE ALIVE

I recently attended a day's retreat with Buddhist teacher, Ken Holmes, learning more about Tibetan Buddhism and meditation techniques.  Ken is a simply delightful human being who has committed most of his life to living in the Buddhist tradition.  What struck a chord with me was how he started the day, saying how happy we could all be (and ought to be), simply to be alive.  And that was pretty much what Ken exuded: happiness with his own gift of life.

So, if he is right, the question is: why are so many people not happy, or at least not happy with every aspect of their existence?   We are alive, after all.  What if the very fact of our existence on earth was a cause for celebration?  The fact that we have the incredible gifts we have - amongst others, our ability to love and be loved, our capacity for compassion, our wisdom and our access to joy - should surely give cause for gratitude and celebration?

The reality, however, is that we tend to forget about those gifts (and all the others we have) when we realise we don't have as much money as we want, or our boss is nasty, or we aren't as pretty, tall, handsome, slim or olive-skinned as our neighbour, or we are ill, or feeling resentful, or experience evil in the world, and a myriad of other reasons.  

What if we could simply be happy without our happiness having to be dependent on good fortune, chance, circumstance and others?  What if we could be happy, just because we are alive.  How might we then keep the other stuff in perspective?

It's not a bad thought, is it?  The question I leave you with for now is: YBH? (Yes, but how?)

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