Meditation – Thursday 26th August 2021

Many people begin the practice of meditation in their quest for happiness. While this is a worthwhile goal it needs to be unpacked. We need to understand what we mean by happiness. Francis Bacon the 16th century English philosopher said that if we can improve things on earth so that we are not living in a ‘valley of tears’ then we can achieve happiness.
When we meditate with the aim of seeking happiness and we don’t experience much of a change our practice can become intense and create anxiety. We a fighting for happiness and worried that we might die without knowing whether we have been happy or not.
This is the reverse of past generations who didn’t have the same expectations for happiness, at least this side of the grave!
The kind of anxiety about whether we can achieve happiness brings unhappiness.
If we meditate always with the intention of seeking happiness we’ll be disappointed because we’ll never reach it. It’s like the horizon that’s receding as you approach it, as you move forward.
So as we settle down to meditate remember not to seek happiness. Don’t actively seek it.
As we settle down to meditate be open to others. Make this your intention because we open ourselves to life when we open ourselves to others.
We do know that when we persevere with meditation that joy becomes part of our experience. Joy is different from happiness as it can manifest itself in the midst of turmoil.
It’s a handy tool when things go wrong!
Let’s try to increase joy in our life now by meditating for the next 20-minutes or so.
Always remember that when we meditate we open ourselves to life by opening ourselves to others.

A reminder to check out the zoom offerings available through the Carmelite Centre.
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