Monday, February 28, 2011

Inner Joy

The planet we live in, and the universe beyond has both beautiful and ugly things. Deep within us one may find the connection to the beautiful and joyous side of the universe. One may find this connection in a quiet moment beside a clear lake, in a beautiful green forest, in the company of a loved one, in meditation, sitting or lying in bed. Once we have found this connection it is possible to return to it frequently at will even when one is not in a green valley or in the company of a loved one. This inner bliss does not need a thing or place to connect to, although at first beautiful things may help us to make the connection. It needs a mind that is relatively free of thoughts, sense inputs and a consciousness that just experiences. The joy that comes from sense inputs is a temporary and different one. This joy is difficult to describe in words but wonderful to experience. It is free of fear, even fear of death because it knows that this consciousness and this universe of which it is a part will always be there, constantly changing yet unchanged at its essential core. Dear friends, I hope that you too have experienced this joy, or will do so soon, and can make a connection to it often.

6 comments:

raymond said...

Excellent post Ashok. Reminds me of something in the Huainanzi:

是故有以自得之也,喬木之下,空穴之中,足以適情;無以自得也,雖以天下為家,萬民為臣妾,不足以養生也。能至於無樂者,則無不樂;無不樂,則至極樂矣!

It’s the one who has the ability to get it from within herself, whether she is under a big tree or in an empty cave, who gets satisfaction from whatever happens. If she can’t get it out of herself, even if she possesses an empire and everyone is her subject, it won’t be enough for consummate growth. If a person can get to a point where there is nothing (in particular) that she enjoys, then there will be nothing that she does not enjoy. This is to arrive at optimum enjoyment.

keiko amano said...

Ashok,

I like your simple art work. It's a happy color, too.



Raymond,

It's interesting. Thank you for Chinese characters. I love Chinese Classics. It lures me to decipher the meaning which is quite free to interpret.

I think English speakers understand better by reading your interpretation because you are a native speaker and use she and objects and articles. But when I see Japanese or Chinese sentences especially ancient writings, the points of view are more neutral.

I tried to interpret it as follows.

We all have something old in us, so we own it. Whether we are under a tall tree, or inside a hole, we can be satisfied with our good feeling. Being natural is our advantage. The world exists, so homes exist. Citizens exist, so statemen and concubines exist. We don't satisfy with our health, so we take care of our health. If the people are able persons, they won't have it easy(不樂). Therefore, nothing means not easy(不樂). Nothing equals difficult(不樂). So, we reach the paradise(極樂 extreme happiness).

Toward the end of above paragraph is not easy to translate because it is playing with the word 樂.

Re: "If a person can get to a point where there is nothing (in particular) that she enjoys, then there will be nothing that she does not enjoy."

This makes sense to me, but I think it's easier for readers if you add something qualified or conditional sentence. Because she enjoys everthing immensely, then if we ask her what does she particularly enjoy, then she reply nothing in particular. Right?

ashok said...

Thanks for a beautiful passage Raymond that adds so much to the message of the post and how true

"If a person can get to a point where there is nothing (in particular) that she enjoys, then there will be nothing that she does not enjoy. "

ashok said...

Thanks for appreciating the art Keiko. Surely you are a linguist. Have you translated any works from West to East or Vice Versa?

keiko amano said...

Ashok,

I'd like to read the translation of this by a Japanese expert, but I couldn't find any on the Web. But, now I'm older and have been learning English for a long time, I can come up with my own interpretation. As I said before, Chinese is close to English in grammar.

But, my translation didn't come to my mind just like that. I read Raymond's comment more than ten times slowly and used my digital dictionary and also the Japanese site that listed each character with possible meanings. I knew most of them, but a few, the list helped me.

Also I felt the content was similar to what I used to hear from my mother. For instance, she would say to the person complaining about her ill health, "The people with some health problem live longer because we tend to take care of ourselves when we are ill, but the people with perfect health don't know how it is like to be ill, so they don't take care of their health much, so those people tend to die young." Something like that. Whether the listeners thought it was true or not, or whether anyone had done the survey or not, they didn't care. They received the words of comfort because it made sense.

ashok said...

Just wonderful Keiko, Thanks for all the very valuable effort. You are indeed a true scholar who has found the inner joy within themselves to be able to focus like this.