The Hypnotic Spell

How alluring, enticing, and bewitching this world is! Its hypnotic spell convinces us that there is something out there that will add to our lives, that we are missing out on a lot, that other people are getting or enjoying something that is passing us by. We tend to believe that whatever we’re longing for – a raise in our salary, a relationship, a clean medical report – can actually make us happy. Of course these things are great and worthwhile, but can they truly make us happy? Perhaps momentarily, but not for long.

When I look back on what was most important to me during various phases of my life, I am mystified. Now it’s difficult to understand what was important about those things or how they ever managed to catch my attention. Many things and events were satisfying for a while, but nothing had any permanence. The drama of this world has been going on for centuries, but everything in it is eventually forgotten, no matter how important or tragic it seemed at the time.

There is a happiness that is effortlessly present at all times, and it comes from relaxing with things exactly as they are. When all efforts to get something we think we must have fall away, what remains is the listening presence, the empty space in which it’s all happening, awareness itself: the simplicity and wonder of what is.

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