In the previous two articles I talked about the circularity of time in a negative way. That if a lesson had not been fully learned, the mistake would be repeated. This seems like a hard truth to embrace because the implication is that there is no short-cut to happiness. Suffering has to be explored and understood completely; else it will rise again. However, time-circularity has a positive aspect to it as well. That which is joyous will naturally grow. Just like how a sliver of suffering will re-infect a wound; a seed of joy will go forth on its own accord. Think about it: if suffering is repeatedly experienced because of unwholesome habits, then people should have repeated positive states of mind because of wholesome habits.
If something is joyous for us, if it is fun– over time we naturally orient ourselves towards this. This re-orientation is a force of nature, just like gravity. Water flows downward and humans deepen their connection with the things that give them joy. The more we deepen our connection with something wonderful the more our habits get strengthened; and the stronger our habits, the more frequently we experience the emotions that are elicited by that wonderful something.
Think of something you have an affinity for. It could be art, it could be helping others, it could be a woman (or man); it might be meditation, or engineering, or dancing, or whatever else brings you joy. Religion, friends, food, you name it. Ever notice how the more you like something the more it becomes a part of your life? That’s because you’re developing habits and those habits make you naturally more inclined to repeat the experience which brings you joy.
For me, I really enjoy meditation. Because I enjoy a meditation for its own sake, I practice meditation daily. As I practice meditation daily and orient myself towards that lifestyle, something within me changes. Awareness becomes part of me - I am creating ‘meditation habits.’ Over time, these habits invariably become expressed in other areas of my life and I am able to deepen my relationship with meditation. This brings me joy! It is the way in which I am able to bring meditation to life and share it with others.
Let me recap: I meditate. I experience joy. Because of joy I continue meditation. As I continue meditation I build ‘meditation habits’. Then I go about my everyday life and those habits become expressed in one way or another. This deepens my connection with meditation and the joy keeps coming. The circularity of time is awesome!
The next post will be about these 3 awesome friends of mine. Because us 4 all experience positive states of mind in each other's company, over time our friendships have deepened and grown. They, like my previous 2 posts, had a big influence on me over winter break as well.
*Actually, the circularity of time is neither good nor bad. Think of the Yin/Yang concept. Because there is an upside to the circle of time there is also a downside. Words are silly.
**I’m not sure how this whole process works exactly. Indeed, the words that I put to this process are much jumbled. In fact, I relate to this process on a more intuitional level and only by writing or by conversing do I become aware of this process on a more conscious level.