As I’ve mentioned before, it’s good to favour the positive, to give more of our attention to what brings enjoyment than pain.
I don’t mean in the sense of faking it or resisting what is here. If we’re feeling anger or grief, we should feel them fully. This ensures they complete and resolve.
But at a certain point in all experience, we reach a place of choice where we can continue to dwell on the past or the feeling or we can let it go and move on. That’s when it’s good to choose joy.
By enjoyment here, I don’t mean pleasure. While pleasurable things can bring enjoyment, pleasure is also part of the pleasure-pain dynamics of suffering. Grasping at pleasure can lead to avoidance and addictive behaviors rather than simple enjoyment.
For example, we may get pleasure from sex or certain foods. But either can lead to attachment. If instead we go deeper into what brings us joy, we can avoid that hazard.
Pleasure is something we need to moderate. Joy can be infinite. Pleasure will be less binding if joy is arising naturally. We won’t be grasping at happiness.
A practice I’ve talked about many times is culturing gratitude. If we’ve fallen into some worry and not noticed, a little routine can break us out of that. For myself, I picked up Lee Brower’s Gratitude rock idea. I carried a small round rock around in my pocket. Whenever I noticed it, I thought of something different I was grateful for.
Over time, this shifted the tone of my life up and created an OKness. That created the scenario for waves of deep forgiveness to arise spontaneously.
This deepening self-acceptance set the stage for waking up. Everyone has different things to work through but either way, the practice can improve quality of life.
After awakening, our attention becomes even more important as its power progressively increases. We really don’t want to be amplifying our pain out of habit. As Lucia Hoff put it, it becomes our Duty to enjoy.
There can be lots of unpacking and untangling of attachments that comes up after awakening. Again, an OKness with whatever arises helps it be seen and resolved. We unload our burdens, making it even easier to be peace.
As we clear the deck and upgrade the energy physiology, we become capable of progressively greater values of joy. Life itself becomes bliss.