It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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How can we balance suffering and joy in our lives?

balancelife How can we balance suffering and joy in our lives?

“The Sage does not talk – the Talented Ones talk, and the stupid ones argue.” – Kung Tingan

Though the numbers are proportionally few, many thousands of us have, through discipline and persistence, arrived at a view of our lives that is open, clear, and detached. In this new space we have lightness, an ease in carrying out our daily lives. An ability to keep a certain sense of humor about our predicaments. We find that because of the quietness of our minds it’s easier to relate to acquaintances, to family, to employers, to friends. It’s also easier to bring together our economic scene and the other aspects of our lives.

We begin to feel a little bit like gods on earth. Where we see sadness and suffering around us, we are able to empathize and still feel lightness and joy.

It’s as if the world is made for our delight, and even our own troubles become a source of amusement. When we look one another in the eye there is clarity and honesty. We have a certain degree of inner peace. Many of us never thought possible this level of equanimity, fullness, and delight in life. We have a sense of self-acceptance, spaciousness, and fullness in the moment that makes each day enough. In many ways it seems like liberation.

As I look around at people I know who have been working intensely on themselves for some time, there is a dramatic change.

I see beings who were initially preoccupied with their melodramas, whose bodies were their enemies and who were attached to spiritual melodrama, now bright, clear, and strong. Their lives have come together, they have relationships that are fulfilling, moments that are enough, a lightness in their faces. To see them this way fills me with happiness.

Yet I see that this stage is but a preparation for the ultimate climb that leads in the end to total liberation.

This stage has a danger: It is too comfortable. It’s like a beautiful mountain pasture: there are tents in the pine grove and streams to sit by and plenty of fuel and food. The air is clear, the view is grand. There are birds and wildflowers. These pleasures are a trap.

Many beings tarry here in this role of God on earth for many lifetimes. But ultimately even this heaven is not enough. For there is another path that leads from this pleasant pasture to still higher slopes. There is the final journey.

You should feel no guilt about where you are on your spiritual path.

Wherever you are, be it at the beginning of the journey, well on your way, or resting comfortably at some height, you must acknowledge where you are. That is the key to further growth. You should keep some perspective about the entire journey, so that you will not sink into complacency – feeling you have finished the journey when you have not even begun to approach liberation.


– Ram Dass

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