FULL MOON – Happiness

While in the midst 
of those who are greedy, 
to dwell free from greed 
is happiness indeed.

Dhammapada v. 199

It is one thing to have feelings of greed arise, but it is another thing altogether to follow them. This principle holds true for all our emotional activity. Sometimes we simply can’t stop moods from arising, but we can always exercise skillful restraint and wise reflection; and this, the Buddha says, leads to happiness. So the emphasis in our spiritual practice needs to be on the wise reflection of the nature of experience, not just on attempting to control everything. The original story associated with this verse talks about two neighbouring communities arguing over water rights. The situation had deteriorated to the point where they were about to go to war. The Buddha’s intervention taught them the futility of fighting and, fortunately, not only was war averted, but many grew wise in the process. Sometimes the conflicting members of our emotional household argue and possibly even go to war. It is important to remember at such time that wisdom and real happiness can be born out of conflict – not just to assume that because things don’t look so good that it’s all falling apart.

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