Issue nº 37


Seeking Happiness

     Amazing as it might seem, many people are afraid of happiness. To such people, being at one with life would mean changing certain habits - and losing their own identity.
     We often decide we are unworthy of the good things which happen to us. We do not accept miracles - for to accept them gives us the sensation that we owe God something. Furthermore, we are afraid we might "grow accustomed" to happiness.
     We think: "it is better not to taste the chalice of joy, because we shall suffer so much when it is gone."
     Afraid to diminish, we cease to grow. Afraid to cry, we cease to laugh. Here are a few stories about this:

In Moses' footsteps
     Rabbi Zuya wanted to discover the mysteries of life. He therefore resolved to imitate the life of Moses.
     For years, he tried to behave like the prophet - without ever achieving the results he hoped for. One night, tired of so much study, he fell into a deep sleep.
     God appeared in his dream:
     - Why are you so upset, my son? - He asked.
     - My days on Earth will end, and I am still so far from being like Moses - answered Zuya.
     - If I needed another Moses, I'd have already created him - said God. - When you come before me for judgment, I will not ask whether you were a good Moses, but who you were. Try and be a good Zuya.

The donkey dies of exhaustion
     Nasrudin decided to go in search of some new meditation techniques. He saddled his donkey, went to India, China and Mongolia, talked to the great masters, but found nothing.
     He heard tell of a wise man in Nepal: he journeyed there, but as he was climbing the mountain to meet him, his donkey died of exhaustion. Nasrudin buried him there and then, and wept sadly. Someone passed by and commented:
     - You came in search of a saint, this must be his tomb and you are lamenting his death.
     - No, this is the place where I buried my donkey, who died of exhaustion.
     - I don't believe it - said the new arrival. - No one weeps over a dead donkey. This must be a place where miracles occur, and you want to keep them for yourself.
     Although Nasrudin explained again and again, it was no use. The man went to the next village and spread the story of a great master who cured people at his tomb, and soon the pilgrims began to arrive.
     Gradually, news of the discovery of the Wise Man of Silent Mourning spread throughout Nepal - and crowds rushed to the place. A wealthy man came, thought his prayers had been answered, and built an imposing monument where Nasrudin had buried his "master".
     In view of everything, Nasrudin decided to leave things as they were. But he learned once and for all, that when someone wants to believe a lie, no one can convince him otherwise.

That which is funny about man
     A disciple asked Hejasi:
     - I want to know what is the most funny thing about human beings.
     Hejasi said:
     - That they always think crooked: they're in a hurry to grow, then lament their lost childhood, and soon loose the money they need to keep their health.
     "They are so anxious about the future, that they neglect the present, and thus live in neither the present nor the future.
     "They live as if they were never going to die, and die as if they had never lived."

Accepting that we deserve our gifts
     During a lecture in Australia, a young woman comes up, "I want to tell you something," she says.
      "I always believed I had a gift for curing people, but I never had the courage to use it on anyone. One day, my husband's left leg was giving him great pain; there was no one about to help, and - mortally ashamed - I decided to place my hands on his leg and ask for the pain to go away.
     "I acted not believing that I'd be able to help him. Suddenly, I heard him pray: "Lord, allow my wife to be the messenger of Your light, your Power," he said. My hand began to heat up, and soon the pain had gone.
     "Then I asked why he had prayed like that. He replied that he didn't remember having said anything. Today I am able to cure, because he believed it was possible."

Who still wants this bill?
     Cassan Said Amer tells a story about a lecturer who began a seminar holding up a 20 dollar bill, and asking:
     - Who wants this 20 dollar bill?
     Several hands went up, but the lecturer said:
     - Before handing it over, there's something I must do.
     He furiously crushed it, and asked again:
     - Who still wants this bill?
     The hands continued raised.
     - And what if I do this?
     He threw it against the wall, letting it fall to the floor, kicked it, stamped in it and again held up the bill - all dirty and crumpled. He repeated the question, and the hands continued to be held high.
     - You mustn't ever forget this scene - said the lecturer. - No matter what I do with this money, it'll still be a 20 dollar bill. Many times in our lives, we are crushed, stamped on, kicked, maltreated, offended; however, in spite of this, we are still worth the same.

Phrases about happiness
     I do not try to understand why I believe in happiness; but I believe I can understand what it is to be happy. (Saint Anselmo)
     A child on the farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse and thinks of home. (Carl Burns)

Issue nº37