"Lack of genuine cheerfulness is a result of claustrophobia in our mind and heart. There is simply too much going on; we feel overwhelmed and speedy. We were somehow under the impression that life was meant to be happy, and now we are getting the short end of the stick. The harder we try to contort reality into our fantasy of happiness, the less happy we are, and the more chaotic our mind seems."
- Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
I don't have that much to say this week, as I have been feeling rather sad, for various reasons. I have been contemplating the above quote by the Sakyong, as a kind of salve for my heart as well as reminder of sanity when my mind threatens to teeter into chaotic thinking that well, just makes me feel sadder.
When I am able to pull myself from the dream of the past and the fantasy of the future, things seem to rather spontaneously cheer up, or the primordial joy inherent to being alive is able to peek through, even in the darkest moments. This joy is inextricably linked to the tender sadness of compassion, which is a much different sadness than that brought on from a claustrophobic heart and mind. The former is full of space, tenderness, love, energy. The latter is often just painful and hard to work with. Here is the rest of this wonderful teaching by the Sakyong on cheerfulness. I hope you find it helpful. I think it would be such a fantastic gift to our children to help them have confidence in this inherent cheerfulness they possess, and help them touch into it on a daily basis, especially if they are feeling sad.