2012.02.06 01:00 - Fleeting happiness, steady joy

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Wester Kiranov. The comments are by Wester Kiranov.

    I sat quietly on my own for a bit over half an hour, and then Eliza Madrigal showed up and we had a lovely conversation on the happiness theme.

    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Wester (if here, realize I'm late) :)
    Wester Kiranov: hi eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: another quiet time with the birds?
    Wester Kiranov: yep
    Eliza Madrigal: I signed on thinking to begin with my "happiness" project
    Eliza Madrigal: but I seem to have a million ideas, or none... and also a million conflicting feelings about the word happiness :)
    Wester Kiranov: ah
    Wester Kiranov: tell me about some of them, please
    Eliza Madrigal: it is hard to describe without sounding a little cynical, but the first thing that comes to mind is that happiness is sort of a packaged item
    Eliza Madrigal: the happiness measurement
    Eliza Madrigal: by which one decides whether what they are doing is worthy...
    Eliza Madrigal: yes I want for my kids to be happy, for instance, but also know that if they chase that they won't be
    Wester Kiranov: ah, the paradox. happiness is found most often if you are not looking for it.
    Eliza Madrigal: nods
    Wester Kiranov: and what is the relationship of happiness and joy?
    Eliza Madrigal: and doing something that one isn't happy about necessariy does sometimes lead to a larger satisfaction in the bigger picture
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, wonderful question
    Wester Kiranov: to me, happiness feels more static
    Eliza Madrigal: and joy?
    Wester Kiranov: joy is the feeling that goes with doing something well
    Wester Kiranov: and that includes the first steps of learning something - i did not mean doing something proficiently
    Eliza Madrigal: I think of fountains when hearing the word... like something bubbling up from a deep source or place of love
    Wester Kiranov: that's a nice picture
    Wester Kiranov: do you have any pictues with happiness?
    Eliza Madrigal: someone trying to pin down clouds... hm...
    Wester Kiranov: i get a nice green meadow to lie in - although on second thought, maybe that is contentment more than happiness
    Eliza Madrigal: mmmm
    Eliza Madrigal: wallowing in contentment could be happiness :)
    Eliza Madrigal: maybe happiness has a fleeting quality ..
    Eliza Madrigal: whereas joy, contentment, satisfaction...
    Eliza Madrigal: more steady
    Wester Kiranov: life has a fleeting quality
    Wester Kiranov: maybe happiness is more dependent on circumstances
    Wester Kiranov: so by trying to make it last by tying it to the world, you actually make it more fleeting...
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, that's what I couldn't quite put my finger on before...
    Eliza Madrigal: that making life a project whose aim is somehow 'happiness' can feel like chasing a train
    Eliza Madrigal: and then there is that quote which said one just needs to stop and let it catch up (but I don't remember the quote) hah
    Eliza Madrigal: guess I didn't realize I had so much complexity behind such a simple word until trying to imagine a project
    Wester Kiranov: that's the nice thing about those projects. you find depth where you hadn't thought to look for it
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, happiness may be the surface effect of joy
    Wester Kiranov: it might be, yes
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: how is work? (just to ask before I know you'll need to get going)
    Wester Kiranov: work is very cold this week (I'm a postwoman)
    Wester Kiranov: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I remember...
    Eliza Madrigal: brrr
    Wester Kiranov: i'm in no hurry to leave though
    Eliza Madrigal: oh, good
    Eliza Madrigal: I enjoy when I wake early on your hosting days but also don't want to keep you if on a schedule
    Wester Kiranov: on monday the post always arrives late. that's why i switched to mondays ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Wester Kiranov: so i can stay here a bit if the conversation gets interesting
    Eliza Madrigal looks for something interesting to say
    Eliza Madrigal grins
    Wester Kiranov: :D
    Eliza Madrigal: am still tasting joy and happiness
    Eliza Madrigal: asking whether joy is an 'emotion'
    Eliza Madrigal: whereas I think happiness is
    Eliza Madrigal: there can be lots of sad moments and emotions in things that bring overall joy
    Wester Kiranov: true
    Eliza Madrigal: are you 'happy' when you begin your practice each day?
    Wester Kiranov: not always
    Wester Kiranov: i feel happiness is only the peaks, whereas joy can be in the valleys as well
    Wester Kiranov: joyously sad ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)) Yes, I think you pointed to the heart
    Wester Kiranov: *smiles*
    Eliza Madrigal: the other night Eden, Tess, and Pema were remembering loved ones no longer present, and it was like that....
    Eliza Madrigal: of course the sadness of missing them but also joy of celebration of their life, the close relationships, etc
    Wester Kiranov: http://www.amazon.com/Badgers-Parting-Gifts-Susan-Varley/dp/0688115187/
    Eliza Madrigal clicks
    Wester Kiranov: a children's book that makes the same point...
    Wester Kiranov: http://mediathek.daserste.de/sendungen_a-z/1458_sendung-mit-der-maus/8825316_leb-wohl-lieber-dachs (short film of the book, in German)
    Eliza Madrigal: thank you for this... can you tell me a bit about it (love children's books even though mine are older now)
    Eliza Madrigal: oh!.... hm, maybe there is a way of translation
    Eliza Madrigal: ty
    Wester Kiranov: it's about the old badger, who knows he will die soon. He tells his friends not to be sad, but of course they are. Until they start talking to each other about all the things he has helped them with
    Wester Kiranov: and in the end they feel he is still within them
    Eliza Madrigal tears up...
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: nice that someone felt okay to show that in a book for children
    Wester Kiranov: i think so
    Wester Kiranov: and of course children can use some help in learning to deal with loss
    Eliza Madrigal: of course, yes
    Eliza Madrigal: too easy to have a fairy come in and save the day though :)
    Wester Kiranov: if only all days could be saved... ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: I still look for faries :)
    Eliza Madrigal: fairies* , hah
    Wester Kiranov: don't we all ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: my grandfather was here for his 82nd birthday and realizing that what you describe about joy in the valleys is what it is like sometimes with him... little in common to make a happy conversation on the surface sometimes...
    Eliza Madrigal: but a deep care that makes the visit meaningful
    Eliza Madrigal: hopefully he with me as well
    Eliza Madrigal: nostalgia for the present, as Eos says
    Eliza Madrigal: (the film actually conveys a lot, even not speaking german)
    Wester Kiranov: the power of pictures and music...
    Wester Kiranov: I think i want to wake up hubby pretty soon - i was going to wake him up right after SL
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, nice :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you for lingering a while Wester
    Eliza Madrigal: a treat
    Wester Kiranov: so i thank you for a lovely conversation
    Eliza Madrigal: thank you too
    Wester Kiranov: namaste
    Eliza Madrigal: wish you a happy day
    Eliza Madrigal: Namaste'
    Wester Kiranov: bye - a joyfull day to you too :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :))

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    Struck by Wester's impulse to wake up her partner toward the end of this meaningful conversation. Conversation with willingness to scrutiny. What questions (questioner) form the most genuine challenge? Badger.. a root word.. allowing other points of view? Risking.. skirting boundaries of blind spots? What's to lose. Who in control? Something to appreciate.. reflecting back on those inner outer badgers. How many the views.. within without the joyous peaks and valleys?
    Posted 11:25, 8 Feb 2012
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