Tuesday, May 9, 2017
(Easter) Joy - Pillar #4
For one week, the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu conversed on the subject of attaining joy in a sorrowful world. “Joy is a byproduct of a life well lived. It’s much bigger than happiness.”
As the Dali Lama says, “Why be unhappy about something if it can be remedied?”
Acceptance is “the ability to accept our life in all its pain, imperfection, and beauty, according to Abrams.” It is not resignation. It is not defeat. It is accepting that we must necessarily pass through the storm. It is facing suffering and asking the question, “How can we use this as something positive?” Acceptance allows us to engage life on its own terms rather than wishing, in vain, that things were different. It enables us to change and adapt, rather than becoming mired in denial, despair, and anxiety. One of the central practices of Buddhism—one that we can all learn from—is aimed at seeing life accurately, at cutting through our webs of presuppositions, expectations, and distortions. When we accept reality, we are better able to see it accurately, and to respond to it in appropriate ways. And if things don’t go well for us? We can accept that, too, and move on with our lives. This is essential for joy.