2022-12-08-Gil-Gladness Pentad (4 of 5) Nourished by Happiness
7:47AM Dec 15, 2022
So this is the fourth talk on that gladness pen Ted. And the fourth of these five qualities is the happiness sukha. And because sukha is sometimes translated as pleasure, the, there's two conclusions about the kind of happiness we're talking about. One is that pleasure is something we mostly can feel through our body, there's a physicality to it. And so this is a happiness which has this sublime or pleasant pleasure, somehow in the body is not excited. It's so something gets settling and quieting. And the other is that this sukha this happiness is not to be happy about anything. But rather, it's the happy in doing in the inactivity. So to be immersed in activity, that just the immersion, the absorption, the giving yourself over to it, the like this, like giving ourselves over to to really be there, not to forget ourselves not to disconnect, but to reel in mindfulness to really give ourselves over to this immerse ourselves, in this world of practice. And, and as the practice, the strength of it builds, that immersion in the practice is not something that we will that we can say, Okay, now I'm going to do this, but rather something we enter into, we settle into that opens up for us with the strength of our practice, and our ability to our strength in or in not being caught in thoughts. So there's a momentum that builds through practice that begins with faith with trust with inspiration and the practice itself. So that we want to practice and so we sit down, we're glad to be able to practice we're glad something that they were glad that wow, I'm glad I I've been busy running around like crazy all day, and it's so good to finally sit down and sit quiet and, and not be so busy. Or, Wow, you have been this is so important for me this practice and, and I do it every day. But this is like the center of how I want to live my life is what comes from this practice. So I'm so glad to be back here at home in this practice. So for each of us can be different, but there's a gladness. And that gladness is a little bit of a encouragement, a cheerleader, and a to start really giving ourselves to doing the practice the you know, we sit down to meditate, and we find ourselves interested in the challenge we have with a local neighbor, and how local neighbors not being right or, you know, being unfair or something. And that might be an important topic. But we sit down and do that that's not what this meditation is about. You're finally here at home you have something you love doing. And you're so happy to be able to do it. The concerns with the neighbors can wait for another time. So there's a momentum then called being glad to do it. And that gladness then we start doing it, we start feeling we start feeling hooked in or or plugged in, to being mindful, that being mindful that is, you feel like there's a life of its own the practice, it's doing itself for us now. It's not constantly coming back constantly, constantly applying ourselves. But there's there's a you know, we've kind of like now we're on the conveyor belt, like Okay, now we're kind of coming along and, and that conveyor belt feeling of being in the practice in the engagement. The get engagement itself starts feeling kind of a delightful joy. A kind of a very subtle, pleasant, maybe thrill or a little bit of excitement, oh yes, we're here we're present. And that's a feeling of maybe spelt in the arms and the chest. Sometimes in the face, it feels like maybe something's vibrating or something's energized or something. There's a lightness or a clarity or a tingling or a sense of flowing pleasure to that immersion. And then we're so happy to be doing it, something relaxes, and let's go, Oh, I'm here. I can trust this. I can now relax more fully. And so there isn't a need to apply oneself so much in meditation. Something about the tension of application relaxes, the body relaxes and settles. And without settling of the body, quieting tranquilizing the body, then that the gladness and the joy transforms into a kind of happiness, a kind of contentment, a kind of embodied pleasure, that is not kind of hidden, hedonistic pleasure, it's just feels so satisfying. That doesn't feel right to call it pleasure. Maybe it's feels better as kind of a kind of a happiness that, that feels like that feels quiet, that feels still, it feels more settled and gentle than they are in the joyful immersion that came earlier in the practice. So, so this momentum begins happening. And this is a one of the great things about practice, to find ourselves on the conveyor belt of practice. And some people at this point in practice will talk about, it isn't that they're doing the practice, but they are being practiced. It's almost like a practice is doing us rather than we're doing the practice. And so a big part of practitioners role at this point, is making sure we don't mess it up, we don't get in the way of it, we don't get caught up in thoughts or control or trying to make it better or fixing it or holding on to it, it's mostly just kind of stay out of the way. Like, you know, there's too many, if there's too many cooks in the kitchen, it doesn't work. And so the extra Cook is you. And so you have to kind of stay present for sure. But you mostly have to kind of stay out of the kitchen. So one of the ways of understanding this pleasure to make it more accessible, perhaps, because it might seem a little bit much this idea of being on the conveyor belt and being carried along is to feel it very be content and happy, how subtle it can be, how small it can be. And one of the ways of doing this is, as we kind of cultivate mindfulness practice and get used to it and being aware and being present, being in the moment here and now recognizing what's happening, offering our presence, our attention to what's happening here for drinking tea, eating food, opening a door, being with our breathing, listening to someone, that there's a kind of a kind of a heightened attentiveness, a feeling of kind of deliberateness of being present and receptive to what's happening. And then to begin feeling, recognizing that there is some pleasure, some goodness, something healthy, some happiness, joy, in being aware itself. Some of this might be evaluative, like all these different steps of the pen Ted, it might be that the happiness of being inspired, I'm getting to do this practice, look at me, that's like ma look, riding the bicycle with no hands. Look at this, I was aware of three breaths in a row. Look at this, I was listening to my friend, my friend said something difficult. And I didn't habitually kind of lash out or my usually I just stayed and was present. Wow, this is good. So that's evaluative gladness. And then you keep listening. And it just feels good to have this ability to be attentive and open. And you see that your friend who's complaining about something, that something shifts in them because you're just present in a nonreactive way, and you start appreciating your non reactivity a deeper way, and then allows you to relax into it. And then in that relaxing, the feel that there's a little, there's a subtle in the Awareness itself, not evaluative, that evaluating it, but rather, in the tone of it in the texture of it. There is some happiness, some contentment, some pleasure. And to stay gently, aware of that pleasure, in that goodness, that what's healthy about that kind of awareness is very useful. Because what we pay attention to is what influences the quality and texture and state of our mind and heart. And if we're only aware of and focus on what's painful, difficult with our anger and our grief and our sadness in our conceit and our discouragement and all kinds of things like that, if we can get kind of to it He absorbed in it without being aware. Then that
is cyclic, it influences the mind and heart and we feel worse and then we become more aware of it. And we were still, we have to step out of the loop of these things affecting us negatively, negatively. And one way to do that is have enough awareness that we feel the goodness of being aware, the goodness of being not lost in something or, or influenced or in the grip of something. And to and to feel it just subtle, this kind of keep the bar very low. the subtlest forms of contentment, happiness, joy, satisfaction, that is comes along with being aware. If you're aware, if you're aware of something difficult, if you're being mindful of something difficult. And while you're, you know, the difficulty, you also know the satisfaction of being mindful, then your practice is really getting strong. Because then you're not somehow glued, or being influenced by the difficulty, you're actually starting to become, it's actually the mindfulness is protecting you from being influenced by the difficulty that difficult mind states you might have. And, and not only is it protecting you from being influenced by difficult mind states, it's also feeding you with this goodness, of the practice itself, the happiness and satisfaction of the practice itself of being mindful. And, and even if it's very, very small. It's a fantastic food, it's fantastic for a heart or mind or body, to appreciate a feel that. So as you go about your day, you might experiment a bit, or notice. There might be one or two times during the day, when you get really absorbed in something, some irritation, some anger, some desire, some fear about something. And, and maybe it's not imminent, like, right in front of you that thing, it's more like the mind projecting and thinking about the future or something that sucks or something or some person somewhere else. And you find yourself, you know, caught involved in that in the strong intense way. Turn your awareness to the way that you're caught in something like this. That's kind of you know, that you could theoretically have very negative influence on you, if you imagine you're being fed a diet of this. Turn around and be mindful of it, really know that it's there, and see how clear the mindfulness has to be how much you have to step back or open up in the awareness to really know this is what's happening. I'm really angry here, I'm really afraid here. And how until you come to that place, where there's a satisfaction, maybe the satisfaction of not being caught, there is a joy, the joy of having this wonderful practice to do. That's an alternative to being caught. Or the happiness that can come with a kind of your soul content. Wow, this is so good. That I'm being nourished now, in my mindfulness, even though I'm present with a difficult state. So it's a homework assignment and noticing the difference between you being immersed in something and lost in it and almost like influenced it, or stepping back until you find the happiness of mindfulness. And some of you may be won't know until after it's over that you were really caught up in something. And, and it might be interesting to even when you finally notice it reviewing the day, there might be a way then in the reviewing of the day, that maybe you can do the exercise there. And now I find where that happiness is. So So thank you very much and I look forward to the conclusion of this pen Ted tomorrow.