Monday, July 16, 2012

Happiness as a Way of Perceiving

I have had conflicts in my life lately. I must say, as much as I wish it were false, my disposition is based hugely on my perception of a certain situation. We, as rational thinking beings, are free to perceive circumstances as we see necessary. Many people today are enslaved into thinking that circumstances themselves cause internal turmoil and are the sole instigators of many sorts of negative feelings. For example, person A definitively causes the despair and depression in person B. This way of perceiving the environment, while easy to accredit blame apart from oneself, is extremely detrimental. It places pressure on other individuals to act in a way that pleases ourselves. We cannot allow another person such an influential position.

I think it is necessary to reflect on one of the virtues of Zen. According to the Zen master, everyone has the ability to sit idly by and let the world pass by uninhibited by our own feelings about it. There is great wisdom in this admonition. Our subjective minds, our own personal conscientious attitude, is the sole attitude that we control. We must learn to practice perceiving within the scope of happiness.  Counting on someone else to act in a certain manner will undoubtedly end in disappointment. We should not allow ourselves to succumb to slavery of the attitudes and behaviors of others. 

This is the most difficult thing to avoid.

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