Unhappiness, discontent or suffering results from the tension between desire and the lack of the thing desired. Now there are two possible approaches to overcoming this unhappiness. One is to obtain the object desired, to secure possession of it; the other is to eliminate the desire.
If we carefully examine the happiness that comes from satisfying desire, we would find that such happiness is unreliable and insecure. This happiness depends on external things. These objects of desire are inevitably impermanent, and when we are separated from them we become unhappy. Thus even in the midst of happiness we become vulnerable to suffering.
Therefore the Buddha points out that true happiness is to
be achieved by taking the opposite approach, the approach of eliminating our desires. If we eliminate the desire our mind remains satisfied, content and happy no matter what our external situation may be. The Buddha says that this principle can be carried through
all the way to the total uprooting of craving. This is the cessation of craving, the end of suffering (dukkha) here and now.
Bhikkhu Bodhi, Nibbana
The small boat of the day sails into morning,
past the postman with his modest haul, the full trees
which sound like the sea, leaving my hands free
to remember. Moments of grace. Like this.
Carol Ann Duffy, Moments of Grace
In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1906 – 1945, German pastor and theologian
Man is the only animal that can be bored,
who can feel discontented,
that can feel evicted from paradise
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think… and think… while you are alive.
What you call ‘salvation’ belongs to the time
If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten –
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment
in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life
you will have the face of satisfied desire.
Certain things are known not by reasoning, but by the heart.
There are things that cannot be expressed.
And yet they show themselves