9/01/2010

Happiness Is Unimaginable















I can't imagine being happy.

I think about where I want to go, whom I want to be with, what I want to acquire, to make me happier. Do these images of happiness in the mind make me happier?

Imagining happiness is the seed of unhappiness because happiness is never in the future. The image of Summer in thought only deepens the Winter of our discontent.

Bliss is imageless. I only taste it in the present moment.

Hence the greatest mystics rejected visualization practices, preferring the 'via negativa' or way of un-knowing in Christian mysticism; 'sunya' or emptiness in Buddhism; 'nirbija samadhi' or awareness without seed in the Yoga tradition. Bliss has nothing to do with what can be imaged or visualized as a thought. Bliss is the vast space of awareness, where the coming and going of thoughts is incidental.

When I hanker for something better, an image of future happiness, am I not creating a conflict with what is? That always promises to be greater than this. The imagination of my future negates the value of the present moment. Hence Jesus said, 'Take no thought for tomorrow.' He wants me to be happy now.

My most creative work springs not from an image of future happiness, but from the overflow of Presence.

Imagining happiness is the subterfuge my mind uses to perpetuate it's restlessness in a more palatable form. But if I want to taste bliss, I must taste it right where I am, and quit planning to be happy.

PRACTICE
In this moment, stop clinging to images of happiness. Don't push them out or deny them. Just release your hold on them. Become aware of the space around you: not the objects contained in space, but space itself. Feel the effortless expansion and softening of pure space. Now close your eyes, feel this soft space in the cells of your body, in the atoms. Allow what is to flower silently from the heart of the Unimaginable.

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