MARCH 17, 2012 11:56PM

ZEN MEND (from 2 bargain books @ B&N)

Rate: 6 Flag

The Happiness Makeover by M.J. Ryan

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

We are put on earth for a little space that we may learn to bear the beams of love.
William Blake

Every day give yourself a good mental shampoo.
Sara Jordan

You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.
Sheila Graham

Excellence doesn’t require perfection.
Henry James

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The decision to be happy is really the decision to stop being unhappy.
Barry Neil Kaufman

God is the breath inside the breath.

Do you have the patience to wait
‘til your mind settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
‘til the right action arises by itself?
Lao Tzu

The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.
Lao Tzu

“... in the end it’s the mountain that will decide who will climb it.”
Everest climb leader

The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and sense in which he [or she] has attained liberation from the self.
Albert Einstein

The attainment of wholeness requires one to stake one’s whole being. Nothing less will do. There can be no easier conditions, no substitutes, no compromises.
C.G. Jung

My religion is kindness.
The Dalai Lama

The birds have vanished into the sky
and now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together the mountain and me
until only the mountain remains.
Li Po

The Master sees things as they are
without trying to control them.
She [or he] lets them go their own way
and resides at the center of the circle.
Lao Tzu

A student once said “When I was a Buddhist it drove my parents and friends crazy, but when I am a buddha nobody is upset at all.”
Jon Kabit-Zinn

Suggested exercise: Sit with dignity for 30 seconds. Note how you feel. Try standing with dignity. Where are your shoulders? How is your spine? Your head? What would it mean to walk with dignity?
Jon Kabit-Zinn

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Happiness is the maraschino cherry atop the manure pile.
ah August ... ! so agree!

Jan, I thought it was the hope of a pony somewhere in said manure pile? all the more confusing when there does seem a pony, but it turns out to be a Trojan one. :)
I'd add from my own experience: Perfection is impossible, we have no means to measure what is perfect, and if we came upon such a standard, we'd have no way of knowing its perfection.
Happiness is not a hope, it is a firm resolve to absorb all the thunder and the lightning of the storm and feel joy at the fresh clean scent of the rain.
Thank you so much, there are so many great ones that they're all my favorite. I'm going to practice the last one all week for fun!
Happiness is fleeting and much overrated.

Contentment on the other hand........
Language is such a rubbery thing it is difficult to reach consensus on our terminology. Is happiness a momentary glow or can it be sustained? Is there some sort of emotional spectrum where placidity precedes contentment which then rises to happiness and reaches the heights of delight and then to exaltation or do these states exist independent of each other? Must one be dissatisfied before one can be satisfied? It’s hard to be clear.
jmac, interesting. i know if our parents project their own self-frustration and even self-hatred onto us, we grow up questing for their approvals by trying to achieve that impossible perfect "otherness" that dooms us to self-estrangement, loss of faith in our own unique sacred being, and to taking on a "false personality" with others out of our resignation that our real selves will be ultimately rejected and abandoned. perfectionism is a real curse. who was it who said anything worth doing is worth doing badly? so many of us have trouble making our way through the learning curve of being a vulnerable beginner that we don't ever seriously attempt things we have wistfully dreamed of. we don't have the self-acceptance and self-nurturance and even patience to take those necessary baby steps to mastery. i see people mock people struggling with English as a second or third language with little empathy and respect, and yet how many of us know or actively try to use more than one language? A self-help book I once read asks how many of us treat ourselves like a roommate we don't like? I think that is why zen is so appealing. detachment from the ego, letting go of the struggle and going with simple mindfulness of the present moment is grounding and centering. something not so simple for some, like me. Focusing on the breathing helps and calling on the serenity prayer at times. Re-parenting one's inner child with acceptance and patience is not always easy but is key to serenity. :)
sky and jan, Robert Frost once wrote a poem with the interesting title iirc: "Happiness Makes Up in Height For What It Lacks in Length".

Happiness is not hope, Jan? Maybe not but can happiness exist without hope? I like your yin/yang overview. If we didn't have to wear "tight shoes" ever, metaphorically speaking or otherwise, would we know the bliss of finally getting to remove them and wiggling our toes in relief?
thanks, bleue! my favorites are: the one about bearing the beams of love, excellence, letting the mud settle before the right action arises, the mountain decides who is to climb it, the buddha, and the dignity exercise. i'm gonna try that one this week, too, and see how it goes! :)
Happiness comes from within not without.
The pot of gold is not found at the end of the rainbow but along the way.
I loved everyone of these, but I was touched most by Sheila Graham's.
rated with love
Mission, well said. Your pot of gold quote reminds me of the one about how life is a journey and not a destination! Very zen of you.

RP, your awesome poetic creations certainly coincide with the strength and spirit of that Graham quote! Reminds me of you, indeed!

best, libby