Saturday, December 14, 2019

Happiness and other such matters of mind

This morning the button which that anchored my pants up snapped. Fortunately it happened at home and no embarrassment ensued. I needed to sew the button back on the appropriate slot.Though this was no emergency, I felt I should try my hand at it.

My wife keeps a kit with sewing thread rolls and assorted needles. It's some years since I have done this and wasn't sure if my 75 plus years old eyes are up to this job. It was with some tremulous hands I took hold of the needle and thread and it took me just three attempts and I succeeded in threading the needle. Sewing the button on was pretty easy That I was able to thread the needle made me very happy at that moment.

 Happiness is difficult to describe. In a way we can say it's the opposite of sorrow. Sadness is easy to define but happiness is not that easy. One can say that It's a state of mind where at that moment there's a sense of euphoric contentment. I have experienced this often. There is a pair of bulbuls who are resident around my home and they regularly patrol and part of it is the shrubs that line my driveway. Bulbuls have a very fruity call and when I hear the call I go out and watch them.For almost a week I didn't hear or see them and I was becoming a bit anxious about their safety and two days back I heard their call. This was happiness. The other morning while playing golf I witnessed a glorious sunrise and that was happiness.

 But all these sensations/feelings are ephemeral. Can we make this feeling permanent even when we are faced with problems, pain and suffering? I heard a Buddhist Monk speak on this subject. According to him it's possible by meditation which will rid the mind of negativity and will elevate and educate the mind to experience happiness all the time. Such a mind will be rid of desire,jealousy, anger,anxiety,which are the basic causes of most suffering. I honestly don't know if meditation helps or not but I know this much. Material possessions don't bring happiness. On the contrary they can be the cause of unhappiness

 What about pain? Does meditation help to overcome or lessen the pain sensation? Sage Ramana Maharshi was seriously ill with disseminated cancer and he was in severe pain during his last days. When asked, he told his disciple, yes body is suffering and the mind is not or some such.Those who are interested can get more details on his last days by googling. I have written in the past about Robert Trent Jones,the all time great golfer and the stoic way he suffered the disability caused by Syringomyelia. There appears to be a lot more to learn about how mind controls matter. It may make good reading to access Norman Cousins’s books, Anatomy of an illness and the healing heart.

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