Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Three wishes

I've been reading a series of great books about djinns with my daughter, and one thing I really like is that the djinn are quite uncomfortable granting three wishes to humans because most of the time they don't work out very well.

So I started thinking, if I had three wishes, what would I wish for? 

But when I started going through possible wishes, I realized that all these wishes seemed off - I found myself feeling kind of "grabby" and small.  Why was this? 

After further thought, what I realized was that the very act of having a wish for something implies that I am dissatisfied and incomplete - it perpetuates a feeling of lack.  So no matter what you wish for, even if you get it, you'll still be dissatisfied and unhappy.  This is one way of understanding Lord Buddha's statement that the root of all suffering is desire.

So, was there anything I could wish for that wouldn't enforce this feeling of lack, that wouldn't create another cycle of dissatisfaction?

There was only one wish, or prayer, that worked for me: the prayer to follow God's will, or if you like to "go with the flow." That wish doesn't carry a feeling of lack. It feels full and complete.

Then I remembered this statement someone told me years ago, by Rabindranath Tagore, a great poet of India:
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

1 comment:

HannerupCottage said...

This made me think of the Mirror of Erised (however you spell it) in Harry Potter - that a truly happy man would only see himself in the mirror.