Walking Meditation

Opal baby

I read about the “Happiest Man in The World” Matthieu Riccard, a Buddhist monk.

I was intrigued both by his title and the advice he gives to “be happy.” His happiness measurement was taken by a “highly complex MRI scan” conducted by cognitive scientists. Basically, he’s off the charts with his happiness.

How does he attain such bliss?

According to Riccard, happiness is something you must cultivate by practice. You have to look in the right places and you have to be aware of your intention – your intention is to be happy. Happiness is not something that just happens to you.

Secondly, you must work to rid yourself of mental toxins. This is a very challenging task during this election year. Included in the definition of negativity are: greed, envy and pride. Again, this is an enormous obstacle for our “selfie” generation!

Learn to master your inner mental state. Be aware of anger and allow it to dissipate. You are not your anger. And contrary to popular belief, anger is not “natural.”

Meditate. Studies show the efficacy of this practice. Start with focusing on your breath as it goes in and out. When you do this, thoughts cannot enter your mind. This is meditation.

Riccard also recommends that you think only positive thoughts for 15 minutes straight. I tried this during my morning walk with Opal. Although it was nearing 90 degrees F. at 5:30am, I arrived home refreshed, energized and…happy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Day: Smeared Eyeliner

My friend Angie and I were talking about the quote, “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”

Angie: I don’t agree with that! I think I love life so much, that I don’t want to die!  I don’t want it to end!

I know that is a lot of exclamation points. But my friend Angie is very passionate. And funny. She’s a teacher too, and she works in the room next to me. This is a recipe for a lot of giggling and nonsense. We laugh so hard that tears from my laughter make my eyeliner run. Anyway..back to the quote.

Me: (pensive)

I understand the quote. I understand that if we live in the present, moment to moment, and live it well, then we do not fear death. Why would we fear the inevitable? Because we haven’t finished everything we set out to do. We don’t want regrets.  But I also understand what Angie is saying. We love our lives. We love our families, our jobs, the sun, the moon, Arizona monsoons, great movies, fine wine, kids’ laughter and funny sayings and really, really good food! Of course we’d miss that! Yet…

I think another buddhist philosophy can answer this:

“Walk through life unattached.” This sounds cold and boring, but it doesn’t mean to lack joy. It means, don’t be attached. Don’t hope and hope and get disappointed. Work for what you want and then…let go.

 

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We’re too attached. We ought to enjoy the moment and let it go.

I’m not good at this. Yet.