Saturday, July 15, 2017

When I was a child I loved and craved bacon and I could never get enough. There was always a father, mother, brother and two sisters to share it with, and I thought, “When I’m old like my parents, I’ll have all the bacon I want, and then I’ll be happy.” Then I could have as much bacon as I wanted and I did. I remember going out shopping for food and buying a package of bacon and cooking the whole package of bacon during my first week of living in an apartment in Long Beach, California. Initially, this was very satisfying, but my happiness didn’t last very long and I quit doing it.  So then I decide that since this doesn’t make me happy I’ll get a car, a house, a television, a wife and then I’ll be happy. So now I have everything, but there are more problems: The car is a problem, the house is a problem, the wife is a problem, the children are a problem. I realized, Oh, this is not satisfaction. This is not happiness.
Then I started reading more about the subject of happiness and attended some lectures by Buddhist teachers on happiness. What I learned was that I only had to know what I am, how I exist; that’s all. Kind of like developing self awareness in the 12 step program where I learned about self examination. With the simple goal of just looking at my own mind: how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how ignorance arises, where my emotions were coming from, what my part in things was. It became sufficient to know just these things. My life changed completely. Everything got turned upside down. What I’d interpreted as bad became good. So now I just try and watch my mind; see how it perceives or interprets things right now: how I feel and what that feeling is—comfortable or uncomfortable. When I find a level of dissatisfaction I try and immediately identify the source of it. This points me in the direction of next right actions. I couple this with right views, right speech and right intentions along with an ever developing level of right awareness. Most simply put what I’m doing is checking my mind, which is my greatest asset and can be my biggest adversary. 
I still like bacon, but the craving has diminished. 
                                        LPC 7-12-17

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