I started reading Buddha’s teaching in 2005/2006. Since then, I have subscribed the daily Dharma from Tricycle a Buddhist magazine www.tricycle.com) through email for almost four years. To be honest, I sometimes opened the email, scanned the words, marked as archive, and then, forgot about it. I am glad Buddha always forgives my mindless actions. Buddhist teaching have been inspiring me and bringing my life in a better place each time when I hit the rock of despair, fear and sadness.
In the past few months, I kept asking for clarity to take the right action for an expiring relationship. My mind was confused; and my heart was ‘blinded’. My inside world was turning upside down; I was like trapping in a labyrinth. I just CANNOT find my way out. While I was urging for an answer, I read this Dharma –
Meditation Should Be Joyful:”When explaining meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince. Collectively, these analogies make an important point: Meditation is a skill, and mastering it should be enjoyable in the same way mastering any other rewarding skill can be. The Buddha said as much to his son, Rahula: “When you see that you’ve acted, spoken, or thought in a skillful way—conducive to happiness while causing no harm to yourself or others—take joy in that fact and keep on training.”- Thanissaro Bhikkhu, "The Joy of Effort"
Don’t get me wrong… I was still inside the labyrinth for a while before I found joy again. This teaching reminded me to use my skills – breathe attentively, accept being ‘silly’ and find joy. My mind started to be quiet; my heart started to see the light again. I found my way out of the labyrinth. Sometimes, life is like a labyrinth - lots of turnings and changing. In order to find the right path, we have to feel right (then, we can think right.) I realized when I was feeling negative emotions - it means I was just banging to the wall of “Dead End” and kept yelling “Open the door!” The longer I stayed being negative, the harder I banged to the wall. ‘Ouch! Hurt…real hurt!’ Isn’t it silly to do that? But, I acknowledge that – “ Ok, I’m silly. Let’s move on.” Once I accepted it, I saw the ‘door of hope’ just right in front of me. Also, JOY – thank you for reminding me. I almost forget to bring joy with me on the way to find right direction to see light. Joy lightens up my heart. And yet, it is just everywhere for FREE – a bright blue sky, a sunny smile of a child, a joyful little puppy, a word of appreciation. When I breathe, I smile. When I smile, I see the right action in my heart. ‘Life labyrinth’ is just a joyful and exciting game when we know how to play skillfully. Enjoy the journey.
Love and peace,