Keep Your Balance

With One of My Weekly Dharma Talks

Keep Your Balance

With One of My Weekly Dharma Talks

Using the teaching of Dependent Origination we look at how we get trapped into believing happiness is outside of us. “If only I got that promotion, then I’d be happy.” “If only I didn’t have this awful boss, then I’d be happy.”  “If only I had a bigger house, then I’d be happy.”   But where exactly does this line of thinking take us? Does it really make us happy?

Change is an inevitable part of life. Sometimes we want it, sometimes we don’t. But it doesn’t matter if we want it or not, it’s going to change at some point. Knowing everything is impermanent, why would we grasp at something thinking it will bring us happiness. It’s like trying to find satisfaction in a rainbow. Enjoy the rainbow while it’s there, but don’t try to hold onto it, that will only cause you pain.

I came up with this topic because so many people were coming to me this week with problems that were centered around blame. Sometimes they were blaming someone else for their difficulties but mostly they were blaming themselves. Blame has a particularly sharp hook because we think we’ve identified the problem. You did this – or I did this! So now that we know who the perpetrator is let’s start beating the prisoner. That’s the seduction of blame – we have somewhere to direct our disappointment even if its us! BUT by doing this all we do is imprison ourselves. We become bitter, angry and unhappy. That is not what we want!

Peace of mind, happiness, contentment are not really qualities we’d write down on a job application. “Hey hire me? I’m content!” Our society just doesn’t value these qualities and you shouldn’t underestimate how much we’ve all bought into the collective beliefs of what is the norm. The path to peace, wisdom and contentment is there for all of us, but do you really want it? Is your peace of mind really worth it?

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