In this mild weather the first snowdrops are beginning to appear in the garden. I love the old legend about this flower. Adam and Eve were banished from the warmth and security of the Garden of Eden. They longed for the original sense of belonging and attunement which they once had. And then, to make matters worse, it became cold and started to snow. Eve began to cry, believing that she would never see warmth and love again. Seeing this, an angel felt sorry for her, caught a snowflake in his hand, breathed on it, and when it hit the ground it turned into these delicate flowers. This beauty gave her comfort and hope in the winter of her difficulties. Like Eve, we all search for that original safety which we know deep down. We all need little signs to keep us going. We can look for them today.
Cheerfulness comes naturally with meditation. It is a quality of space created within the mind. When there’s space in the mind, the mind relaxes, and we feel a simple sense of delight. We experience the possibility of living a life in which we are not continuously aggravated by emotions, discursiveness, and concepts about the nature of things…. Despite all the ups and downs of our life, we are fundamentally awake individuals who have a natural ability to become compassionate and wise. Our nature is to be cheerful. This cheerfulness is deeper than temporary conditions. The day does not have to be sunny for us to be cheerful.
When we practice meditation, we are encouraging this natural state of cheerfulness. We don’t have to regard meditating as a somber activity; we can think of it as sitting there and being cheerful. We are using a technique to build clarity, strength, and flexibility of mind. In training our mind in pliability and power, we’re learning to relax, to loosen up, so that we can change our attitude on a dime. Strength of mind and pliancy are the causes and result of cheerfulness.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche