Comfort is the state in which there are no unfulfilled desires frustrating us, not even the desire to not desire anything that we do not or cannot have. This needs to be explained.

We are comfortable when there is nothing missing from our life that we truly need or want. It might be the case that we feel that things could be better. This admission is evidence of at least a partial lack of appreciation for what is now the case.

It is an inculcated habit today to want more, and this habituation manifests as an attitude of finding fault in what is now the case, rather than manifesting an appreciation for what we have, or are doing, or who we are with, in this present moment.

But this is a habit that can be easily and harmlessly broken simply by the adoption of a stance toward what is now the case, of appreciating, rather than criticizing, what is here in our life, in this very moment. It has to be done mindfully — that is, consciously and with focused intent: Where is the beauty in this scene? What do I, or can I, feel thankful for in this moment? What is charming about this person? What do I have in common with this person? Can this idea, or these words be helpful? What may I learn from this situation, and the participants in it? Is there a lesson for me in this moment, or from this person?

Notice that comfort is not something that is present in your life, rather, this word points to an absence — something that is not present. What is it that is absent? Unfulfilled desires that frustrate us — the absence of unfulfilled desires leaves us comfortable, in ourselves, in this moment, in this place, doing this activity, with this person.

Beyond the adoption of a stance towards each moment in which one’s response is appreciation, rather than criticism, there also must be a valuing of not desiring what one does not have, or which is possible to have — in this moment. This is harder, because of our inculcated self-centeredness.

Even the desire to value not desiring can manifest as criticism of oneself, or one’s condition, when we catch ourselves being frustrated by our unfulfilled desires, or more subtly, when we criticize ourselves for failing to stop desiring what we do not, or cannot have. These times are opportunities that calls for self-compassion for our failure to not get frustrated. This must be watched for, as it is a more subtle way that we can frustrate ourselves.

Please note that not desiring what one does not have, or which is not possible to have in this moment, does not mean that you cannot desire something for the future. This kind of desire does not frustrate us. Instead, it motivates us to accomplish the thing, goal, or achievement we desire for our future. Without desire there will be no effort expended. Instead, the goal or accomplishment we have will be just a passing whim. It is important to note this distinction, because if you fail in your efforts to accomplish something, or to obtain something, rather than being frustrated by it, you can, by mindfully accepting what is now the case in your life, escape from the frustration that brings suffering to your life — because this wastes time and energy, and can, in extreme cases, undermine you completely in your own life.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།
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