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Monday, March 3, 2014

What is happiness?

Firstoff, today was splendid, by all accounts.  I went running with an intriguing, motivating group of people, enjoyed a super delicious post-run meal, got some amazing deals (70% off) of new running clothes.  One thing I love, is a great deal.  The morning was fantastic, I'm so thankful for all of the incredible people I get meet, through being active.  I know a couple folks from a spin class at the Y, and they volunteered to help me run with them, in a local running group, Team in Training.  I still have a hard time maintaining conversation while I'm out jogging, but the mire opportunity I have to do it, and work on it, the easier it becomes. They're teeming with positivity, I feel so excited to go out and drag myself through the frigid air, before 8 am.  This is not usually favorite time of day.  Although, I'm realizing, it all depends on what my day looks like.  I'm happy to get up at anytime, if I'm looking forward to the days events.  Imagine that.  Although, seriously, it's been really helpful for me to realize that again. Funny how all this works.  I go around having completely obvious realizations all the time, and my readers find it interesting.  Okay...  Once I returned to my place, I sat down to find a favorite, old carryall bag, I've had since college.  It is, in my opinion, the best design for a bag, out there.  I've been looking everywhere for that bag, for months, and today it's there, in a place I've looked through, at least 4 times.  I was so happy to find it, but, frankly confused, and worried too.

Technically, I believe the definition of crazy, is something like, the act of repeating the same process, but expecting a different outcome.  Well today, I took off my hardcore ice cleats for running, and as I bent down to put them under the futon, I saw the bag, in a corner I've checked a few times, in plain sight.  I used to do this kind of stuff from time to time in college, where I'd misplace things, and find them in a rather obvious spot, the next day, after I'd turned my living space inside out.  But now it takes 4 months, and 3-4 intense cleaning frenzies, before I randomly see it, in plain view?  So ridiculous, but, inside, was a bonus.  My favorite sunglasses.  Completely unexpected.  Although, surprising.  I'm, let's face it, rather anal about keeping glasses, in cases.  I'm wearing glasses to cut the glare, and see better, not wonder why my world looks scratched.  I felt confused, and a bit angry with myself, when I wanted to just appreciate the fact I'd located 2 missing items.  So weird.  I had a grilled cheese sandwich, and wondered about solutions to loosing, or thinking I've lost my stuff.  Immediately, after finding the bag, I went to look for my favorite wine glass, and then this sweet mountain hard wear hoodie, that went missing last fall.  They both had sentimental value, so I went nuts looking for them, because I'd just found 2 other favorite things.  I guess I've settled the question, 'am I crazy?  Yes, folks I am.  I went looking for things I knew were missing, and expected to find them, that's a different outcome.  Therefore, by association, I am crazy.  Glad I've settled that one.  I imagine anyone reading this, has now concluded, that I am a fool, as well, because they already knew this to be true.  But let's face it, it's easy to go around pointing the finger at others, but, stepping back to look at yourself, that's just scary.  Really, I did not need to realize I truly fit the definition of crazy.  Sure it's funny, I suppose, but that information doesn't help me in any way.

And then, it was time for community meditation.  There's a potluck dinner before hand.  We all sit down, and share wholesome delicious foods.  I love pot lucks, as they're a great opportunity to try new foods, or things you're not accustomed to eating, and you haven't wasted money, on buying meal you don't appreciate.  That's a win, in my book.

The monk who generally leads this meditation has a great sense of humor.  I'm by no means an authority on this subject, but I did not become I tested in meditation, because I foresaw amusement potential.  When he's trying to be comedi, it's usually dry/sarcastic, and other times' it's clearly not his intention to be funny, but there's a beautiful opportunity for a light hearted jab, and  I can't help myself. Fortunately, he's very good natured about the harrament.  There's always a personal reflection towards the end of the meeting, and tonight's discussion related to happiness, and a mathematical formula.  Math is not a forte I easily relate to, howevever this equation was relatively simple.  In effect it represented the solution that desire does not equal happiness.  Stated so simply, I don't know how anyone could disagree with that.  We see examples of this everyday.  Say you want your morning coffee.  You get it, and theoretically, in that moment, you should be happy.  But, as you take your first sip, you burn your mouth so badly, and now your day seems ruined, and the list goes on and on.  In the end I took away 3 steps, or main principles.

1.  That we all need to slow down and appreciate things, individualally.  
2. Desires can be in good context, or bad, but happiness is commonly viewed as pure good, thus arises a need to be mindful with regard to your desires.
3.  Finding the key to happiness is relatively easy, unlocking it, is the hard part.

How do you like them apples?  It was a really enlightening group discussion, and very intesting to realize that each of us has independent views on the meaning of happiness.  I needed clarification, on the difference between goals, and desires, in this context.  The answer is to break things down into a smaller picture.  I understand that, it makes sense, but I don't look at all the small stuff, I look at the big picture, that's how I see the world, so I didn't find the response as helpful as I'd hoped the answer would be more concrete, like the original equation.  In conclusion, I'm not any closer to achieving true happiness, than I was 4 hours ago, before I listed to this talk.  Although, on the bright side, I have now concluded ethereal questions are, indeed, a waste of time.

4 comments:

Dad said...

And now the rest of the story.... Just kidding!
I lose stuff too, I know almost everyone does. I like that idea that your karma helped you find the bag and sunglasses, also there is a logic to finding other thing although perhaps a little optimistic. What would you think if you had found those other things you we looking for? Would that mean You connected with the ethereal ?

Perhaps things that seam a waste of time are not...
Perhaps we are all much more connected with our world then we think, and perhaps we are able to move thru our lives and have that happiness because our efforts have unlocked that formula that is unique to each one of us. Being aware of our environment has to be a first step, yes? Of course, that is relative... What Stephe Hawking perceives is different than what I feel and on and on.
Love,
Dad
Ps thanks for posting! And I am coming to meditation!

Julie/Mom said...

Great post, good thoughts expressed on(ethereal)paper...
The mere act of putting thoughts on paper is never a waste of time. You can review what you thought over and over again...and perhaps get different results/expectations....or not. Crazy???
I was crazy once......
Love you the most.
Mom

Courtney Blasius said...

Whoa,a Dad, you took to a much deeper level than I did. Sorus's talk about the meaning of happiness, and it's correlation with desire. The talk was about the ability to sort desire from your true happiness, which seems to be acquired skill. Happiness, only is related to my entry, because I had a profoundly disturbing experience, in finding things I've looked for, and have asked others yo help me look for, and then they ' magically'' appear in open sight. My desire to find 2 of my favorite things, was satisfied, so in that sense I'm happy. Although, the manner in which it randomly appeared, in plain view, was somewhat shocking, and now that there's a worrisome element of the unknown, related yo those things, I'm not as happy, as I used to be, where those objects are concerned, at least presently. I only mentioned this scenario, as my personal desire. Of finding my things, not equalling true happiness. In the story we were told at meditation, Soryu used an example of his self reward system, by allowing himself a cookie, after completing his homework, when he was a student. I was too hung up on the difference between goals, and desires to get much else from the story, although it was a very thought provoking talk, for most people there, it seemed.

Dad said...

I like the goal, treat thing. I do it all the time when training
Not so much cookies though, although I won't exclude them!

I'm heading to the boat! So a little distracted, but home this am! YES

Love,
Dad