27: Two Timer

happiness 4I’m not sure how you spend your internal life but I spend mine two timing myself.Like a drunken monkey I swing randomly between the branches of desire and rejection. My whole day is made up in this way trying to get what I want and get rid of what I don’t want in the hopes I will be happy. This dichotomy of paired addictions is labelled by Buddha ‘the eight worldly dharmas’.

What we want;

Pleasure, praise, recognition, gain

What we don’t want;

Pain, blame, disgrace, loss

This duplicitous attempt of mine to covet the first list and avoid the second list keeps me in a state of tension between what I crave and what I dread. Using this formula the only way I can be happy is to get what I want and reject what I don’t. However this constant wrestling with adverse circumstances while trying to hold onto the good ones is a way we will never be contented.

So what to do?

If we are to live in a peaceful monogamous relationship with ourselves we must learn to accept that what we don’t want is as much a part of living as what we want. When we see that something is a part of us and not something to be denied or rejected we can examine our relationship to that state. If we contemplate that all these features are part of everyone’s life and they are not proof someone is out to get us or proof we are inadequate or inferior then we can move into accepting them. If we learn to open our hearts and minds to all the dharmas we could find the root of happiness. At this root we learn to experience all that life presents us without trying to edit the parts of life we don’t want. At this root we learn to end our struggle with pain, blame, disgrace and loss.

Practice for today: When you learn to be more sensitive to the things you struggle with in life and learn to accept them as part of life, part of who you are, then your internal battle, the constant war within you will dim. Instead of being unfaithful to the parts of you that you want to deny, accept them all and watch your relationships flourish.

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