Towards "Balance"

"Balance is good, because one extreme or the other leads to misery, and I've spent a lot of my life at one of those extremes." Trent Reznor

We do tend to push the limits, trying to squeeze the last drop of pleasure out of whatever we can. It seems each of us has to learn, through personal experience, that no single person, thing or activity, no matter how voraciously we indulge, can deliver more than a brief flash of happiness. In fact, it's been repeatedly shown that directly pursuing happiness is guaranteed to make one unhappy. Nevertheless, as we become self-aware, we realize that we're incessantly, automatically trying to secure advantage for the 'self,' like an amoeba in perpetual motion towards favorable, & away from unfavorable environments.

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm & harmony." Thomas Merton

"Life is in perfect balance. It's just that our perception of it isn't." Queen Rania of Jordan

Wisdom traditions throughout the ages repeatedly advise that everything is already perfect. The problem is our distorted vision. In our present scientific era, we understand this distorted vision metaphor in terms of being "too much in our head." Specifically, we live almost exclusively in the "left brain," and are therefore of necessity, essentially disconnected from the "right brain" - the aspect of our intelligence through which we can see things as they are, undistorted by self-centered bias. We're just beginning to see how fundamentally important it is to balance left & right brain functions:

Thinking about this is simply remaining stuck in the left-brain. Actually practicing this balancing act involves repeatedly recognizing & letting go addictive left brain-directed thinking & behavior and returning again & again to "just this" - direct, unmediated, nonconceptual experience. When we do, we find ourselves - if only briefly - open, all of our sense-doors porous to & directly experiencing all that's actually happening "outside" & within our bodies. We can practice this formally, meditating on the felt sense of the body, or doing open-awareness meditation; as well as informally, during normal daily activities - being fully present by repeatedly letting go of obsessive self-referencing.

The more we practice freeing ourself from the left brain's oppressive obsession with self-protection, self-maintenance & self-promotion, the more we actually experience freedom, gradually establishing a healthier, more wholesome state of being.

"Don't Let It Bring You Down" Annie Lennox singing Neil Young's song

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