Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Revisiting "You Have Permission to be Happy"

From an older post to this blog...

Friday, November 16, 2007

You have permission to be happy

I don't mean you can never experience sadness, anger, fear, etc, or that you are defective or inferior if you do. Nor am I referring to being pleased with yourself or not caring about anyone else. I mean that its OK to be OK. It's OK to experience a fluttery/calm abiding joy deep within. You don't need to earn it or deserve it (nor should you be proud or boastful about it) and it's always there even if you don't immediately recognize or accept it. It is beyond any "good" or "bad" actions, speech, or thoughts you create and any professed or rejected religious formalism (though these may help some of us to awaken to/accept this truth of our lives). Even when you are experiencing or considering other things, just remember that these thoughts and experiences are transitory, and they cannot "take away" this profound sublime affirmation of your existence (and indeed all of existence as experienced by all beings). No "if..." No "what about..." No "but when..." You have permission to be happy - now and always
I don't know why I didn't write more at the time, but I remember the inspiration for this entry. It was during the year I was living in Burlington, North Carolina on a one-year visiting assistant professor contract. The wife and I didn't bother getting home internet or cable TV, so we spent a lot of time hanging out at the Barnes and Noble reading, listening to music, having hot chocolates, etc. A fairly inexpensive but very relaxing and enjoyable way to spend some time. I had at least two books on Buddhism I was perusing, and something they were saying and other things I had heard or read before from mystic Christians, Buddhist masters, and others momentarily coalesced into an insight that I tried to capture in the above text. Just this sense that it really WAS possible to accept and tap into this causeless/limitless/invincible joy or happiness, one that didn't rely on circumstances or conditions and which was available anytime you wanted it. It gave me this very faint and feeble feeling of serenity, even when my dog later jumped on me chest out of nowhere. Didn't flinch, or have a sudden shock, or anything. Totally unperturbed. Didn't last very long, and nothing like it has ever surfaced again. But it was nice. Just happened to run across this post while looking around the archives here for another post in order to remind myself of where I had read something for a conversation on another part of the internet. I thought it might still be worth sharing. Blessings to you.

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