My niece wrote on Facebook, “wondering when I’ll wake up happy.” She’s 21 and unhappy a lot of the time. I wrote a response that I’d like to share. What’s written below is what I wrote to Sky.
I don’t know if I would say that I wake up “happy.” But I wake up amazed and fascinated.
What I mean is that I have noticed that it is a rare and extraordinary thing to be alive at all. The universe is a vast place, mostly cold and empty. Right here, there is a little pocket of warmth on which strange creatures live. There is no other place like this within tens of millions of miles. Maybe there isn’t any place like this even in our own galaxy.
What does it mean to be alive? We don’t know. I sure don’t! But it’s really weird. Like I woke up with a bad headache this morning. I wake up with headaches a lot. Headaches aren’t fun. But, on the other hand, I feel something. The fact that there is something called “I” and this something can feel is amazing. Why should it be like that? How did I manage to get the privilege to feel a headache? It’s amazing.
So I don’t try to wake up happy. Sometimes I’m not happy. But I wake up amazed.
Also, like you, I suffer from random periods of depression. I’ve given up trying to figure out why they happen. They just do. When they happen, I try to look at them the way I look at having a cold. I try to take it easy and not make it worse, then I wait for it to pass.
Trying not to make it worse involves not believing my own thoughts about it. Like, if I think I suck, I just accept that such a thought is occurring, but I do not accept that it is true. I probably don’t suck in any objective sense. My opinion about me isn’t any better than any other hater’s opinion about me.
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IT CAME FROM BEYOND ZEN and SEX SIN AND ZEN are now available as audiobooks from Audible.com! You can also get DON’T BE A JERK, Hardcore Zen, Sit Down and Shut Up and There is No God and He is Always With You in audio form — all read by me, Brad Warner!
May 24-27, 2018 FINLAND RETREAT
May 29-30, 2018 VIENNA, AUSTRIA
June 1, 2018 MUNICH, GERMANY TALK
June 2, 2018 MUNICH, GERMANY DAY-LONG RETREAT
June 3-8, 2018 BENEDIKTUSHOF RETREAT near WURZBURG, GERMANY
June 10-13, 2018 DOMICILIUM RETREAT near MUNICH, GERMANY
June 17-20, 2018 HEBDEN BRIDGE, ENGLAND RETREAT
Every Monday at 7:30pm there’s zazen at Angel City Zen Center (NEW TIME, NEW PLACE!) 1407 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90026 Beginners only!
Every Saturday at 10:00 am there’s zazen at the Angel City Zen Center (NEW PLACE!) 1407 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90026 Beginners only!
These on-going events happen every week even if I am away from Los Angeles. Plenty more info is available on the Dogen Sangha Los Angeles website, dsla.info
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