Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cheng Man-Ching - Hall of Happiness

May the joy that is everlasting gather in this hall. Not the joy of a sumptuous feast, which slips away even as we leave the table; nor that which music brings—it is only of a limited duration. Beauty and a pretty face are like flowers; they bloom for a while, then die. Even our youth slips swiftly away and is gone.

No, enduring happiness is not in these, nor in the three joys of Jung Kung. We may as well forget them, for the joy I mean is worlds away from these.
It is the joy of continuous growth, of helping to develop in ourselves and others the talents and abilities with which we were born—the gifts of heaven to mortal men. It is to revive the exhausted and to rejuvenate that which is in decline, so that we are enabled to dispel sickness and suffering.
Let true affection and happy concourse abide in this hall. Let us here correct our past mistakes and lose preoccupation with self. With the constancy of the planets in their courses or of the dragon in his cloud wrapped path, let us enter the land of health and ever after walk within its bounds.
Let us fortify ourselves against weakness and learn to be self reliant, without ever a moment’s lapse. Then our resolution will become the very air we breathe, the world we live in; then we will be as happy as a fish in crystal waters. This is the joy which lasts, that we can carry with us to the end of our days. And tell me, if you can; what greater happiness can life bestow?

Cheng Man-Ching
New York City, 1973

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thay Thich Nhat Hanh on true love versus romantic love

The Buddha is a teacher of love, true love. Love for mother earth should be true love. And if it is true love, it can bring a lot of happiness to you and to mother earth. And romantic love, if it is true love, it can also bring a lot of happiness. But if it is not true love, it will make you suffer, and make the other suffer as well.
And in the teaching of the Buddha, true love needs four elements. First of all, maitri, loving kindness, that is the capacity to offer happiness. If you cannot offer happiness, that’s not true love. In romantic love, if you are not able to help the other person [be] happy, that’s not true love. So you should train yourself in order to be able to offer happiness to you and to him or to her. Without that, both will suffer.
The second element of true love is compassion. Compassion is the kind of energy that can help remove suffering. It can help transform the suffering in you and in the other person. If you cannot transform and take care of the suffering in you and in [the] other person, that is not true love. That is why karuna, the second element of true love, should be cultivated by you and by the other person.
Romantic and not romantic, that’s not important. The important [thing] is it is true love or not true love. Right?
And the third element of true love is joy. If by loving you make the other person cry all the time, and you cry all the time, that’s not true love, romantic or not romantic.
True love is inclusiveness; that you do not exclude. His suffering is your suffering, his happiness is your happiness. There’s no individual suffering and happiness any more. In true love, there is the element of inclusiveness, non-discrimination, there’s no separation, there’s no frontier, between you and the other person. In that spirit, you cannot say “That’s your problem.” No. Your problem is my problem. My suffering is your suffering. So this is true love, the forth element of true love.
And if romantic love has these four elements, it can bring a lot of happiness also. And the Buddha never said negative things about true love.
And romantic love, if you are successful, you will cultivate a lot of loving kindness and compassion, and very soon, your love will be all-embracing. The other person is no longer the only object of your love, because your love continue[s] to grow and your love will embrace all of us. And happiness become[s] limitless. And that is the love of the Buddha. That is the meaning of the forth element of true love, inclusiveness. If it is true love, then it will continue to grow, and include more and more and more, not only humans, but also animals, vegetables, and minerals, and that is great love, maha-karuna, maha-maitri. And that is the love of the Buddha.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Carl Jung - Memories, dreams and reflection

“We rush impetuously into novelty, driven by a mounting sense of insufficiency, dissatisfaction, and restlessness.  We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the light of the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise.  We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is canceled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us.

…new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for.  They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole.  Mostly they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before.