Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment by Ezra Bayda

By Ezra Bayda

Many books were released lately on happiness. Ezra Bayda, a remarkably down-to-earth Zen instructor, believes that the happiness "boom" has been mostly a bust for readers. Why? simply because it is exactly the pursuit of happiness that retains us trapped in cycles of dissatisfaction and agony.

In past Happiness, Bayda attracts on Zen teachings to query our traditional notions approximately what happiness is and the place we will be able to locate it. such a lot folks search happiness in issues which are exterior to us. We think that obtaining more cash, a greater courting, or happening a pleasant holiday will eventually make us chuffed. yet Bayda exhibits us that the private and longest enduring kind of happiness doesn't depend upon exterior condition in any respect. Bayda deals Zen insights and practices that time readers towards the real assets of lasting happiness: mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, and generosity.

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Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment

Many books were released in recent times on happiness. Ezra Bayda, a remarkably down-to-earth Zen instructor, believes that the happiness "boom" has been mostly a bust for readers. Why? simply because it is exactly the pursuit of happiness that retains us trapped in cycles of dissatisfaction and agony.

Extra resources for Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment

Example text

However, just because the state of unawareness is our default setting doesn’t mean it’s our permanent setting. It’s possible, with intention and perseverance, to counter the power of waking sleep, and, as a start, the two practices of observing the mind and feeling into the physicality of the thought-body can help us to cultivate a life that is more awake and more aware, and ultimately more satisfying and happy. It’s possible to observe the mind and feel the body at any time during the day. You don’t need to be meditating or off by yourself or even in a quiet place.

In fact, we rarely want to stay with any feeling that’s unpleasant; but in the end, the harder we resist, the stronger our unwanted feelings become. This is a very worthwhile process to experiment with—first labeling the thought and second staying with the feeling in the body. In my example, doing this two-part process allowed the anxiety to dissolve in a fairly short period of time. However, it’s important to note that it dissolved not because I tried to make it go away but rather because I stopped resisting and instead opened to the purely physical experience of what was happening, minus all my beliefs about it.

Part of the path toward genuine happiness is recognizing where we live out of illusions, especially about ourselves. Being honest with ourselves means acknowledging where we hold onto false pictures of who we are. Just like our sense of entitlement, which demands that life be other than it is, our false self-images also deny reality. But facing what is, as it is, is a direct step toward the deeper reality that we aspire to. The man in this story had the opportunity to look right in the mirror of reality, and in clearly seeing his unwillingness to pay the price of a life of service, he would no longer be stuck in having to maintain a false ideal of who he was supposed to be.

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