“What is the Nature of Happiness” with Jane R this Sunday

December 1, 2023

“What is the Nature of Happiness” with Jane R this Sunday

Dear Community,

Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion:  “What is the Nature of Happiness” will be facilitated by Jane R.

From Jane:  Last Sunday Alex M. offered us an opportunity to connect to gratitude for what is easeful and joyful in our own lives, and also gratitude for the good fortune of others.  This experience opened me to new considerations of gratitude and led me to experience gratitude in ways I had not in the past.  

In much the same way, the events of this past week, along with encountering Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem "So Much Happiness," have led me to consider the nature of happiness in new ways, especially the experience of happiness in the midst of difficulty.  I see connections between the gifts of the Dharma and the beauty of this poem and would love to explore together the nature of happiness, as offered in this poem and in our practice.

Here is the poem:

So Much Happiness

Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records . . .

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

I hope that you will join us on Sunday to consider the nature of happiness in your life. Everyone is welcomed. Registration and Zoom information available here.

With metta,
Minneapolis Insight

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