A non-toothache is very pleasant

Photo Credit: gorkola

Aimlessness
In the West, we are very goal oriented. We know where we want to go, and we are very directed in getting there. This may be useful, but often we forget to enjoy ourselves along the route.
There is a word in Buddhism that means “wishlessness” or “aimlessness.” The idea is that you do not put something in front of you and run after it, because everything is already here, in yourself. While we practice walking meditation, we do not try to arrive anywhere. We only make peaceful, happy steps. If we keep thinking of the future, of what we want to realize, we will lose our steps. The same is true with sitting meditation. We sit just to enjoy our sitting; we do not sit in order to attain any goal. This is quite important. Each moment of sitting meditation brings us back to life, and we should sit in a way that we enjoy our sitting for the entire time we do it. Whether we are eating a tangerine, drinking a cup of tea, or walking in meditation, we should do it in a way that is “aimless.”
Often we tell ourselves, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” But when we practice awareness, we discover something unusual. We discover that the opposite may be more helpful: “Don’t just do something, sit there! ” We must learn to stop from time to time in order to see clearly. At first, “stopping” may look like a kind of resistance to modern life, but it is not. It is not just a reaction; it is a way of life. Humankind’s survival depends on our ability to stop rushing. We have more than 50,000 nuclear bombs, and yet we cannot stop making more. “Stopping” is not only to stop the negative, but to allow positive healing to take place. That is the purpose of our practice-not to avoid life, but to experience and demonstrate that happiness in life is possible now and also in the future.
The foundation of happiness is mindfulness. The basic condition for being happy is our consciousness of being happy. If we are not aware that we are happy, we are not really happy. When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy. A non-toothache is very pleasant. There are so many things that are enjoyable, but when we don’t practice mindfulness, we don’t appreciate them. When we practice mindfulness, we come to cherish these things and we learn how to protect them. By taking good care of the present moment, we take good care of the future. Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.
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Comments
12 Responses to “A non-toothache is very pleasant”
  1. What an awesome perspective! I havent thought about it that way before!

  2. Diane Tran says:

    Agreed! It's a whole new way to look at life – what is present as well as what is absent. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I totally agree. You must find time to stop and think about what you are currently doing so you can find a solution to what problems you may have.

  4. "When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy." This. as Arthur Schopenhauer implies, is a proof that the human desires are futile, illogical, misguided, and directionless. A sad outlook, but that's a part of reality.

  5. Thank you for the awesome advice. I think “Don’t just sit there, do something!” inspired me to do better.

  6. This is just mind boggling and very inspirational. Thank you for writing this.

  7. The toothache analogy was spot on. It's by those moments that we feel pain that we appreciate comfort.

  8. Thank you for the heart warming experience. I think we all need to relax a bit and think about things.

  9. andy says:

    Thanks for listing all the possible outcomes of not treating a toothache. I have been putting off taking care of my toothache because I hate going to the dentist. I didn't realize it could lead to such serious consequences. Anyone know of any good

  10. nurofen says:

    I agree with the content of your article. We need to renew our lives. We have to be sensitive of the environment and other people. This will allow us to live happily and peacefully.

  11. The pursuit of happiness is never an easy task. Sometimes, stumbling blocks as simple as a bad hair day or a pain in your tooth can burst you down.

  12. This is a very interesting post, I like this phrase a lot "A non-toothache is very pleasant. There are so many things that are enjoyable, but when we don’t practice mindfulness, we don’t appreciate them." This is spot on.bloomington il dentist

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