Saturday, March 17, 2012

Seeking happiness

"Like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free."                       Leonard Cohen

     “'Addiction … (to alcohol, food, work, internet, coffee, drugs, sex, cars, travel) … sets up a pattern of avoiding the low emotional places in life. The best therapy is the practice of acknowledging one’s feelings and making friends with them. Then they can be seen as truly transparent.' When thoughts are perceived as ‘transparent,’ it means that we can see through them to their source: the ceaseless busyness of our minds. Thoughts and feelings follow each other, one after the other, in a constant, ever-changing flow. If we can be quiet enough to watch this flow with curiosity rather than agitation, it seems quite arbitrary to become disturbed or transported by any particular one.
     Yet this doesn’t mean that if we see their transparency, we become indifferent to our thoughts and feelings. We continue to have them, of course, but we have a choice about whether to believe they are the only point of view to which we can subscribe. … ‘Feelings, whether of compassion, or irritation, should be welcomed because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green and teapot are all sacred.’”

     Cohen D. “Turning Suffering Inside Out: A Zen Approach to Living with Physical and Emotional Pain.” Shambhala, Boston, 2002.

Photo: Seanky

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