How Are You?
“How are you?” is a personal inquiry about someone’s health or mood. It focuses on that person’s state of mind and how life feels to them, and has the potential to be an intimate moment of genuine interest.
All we usually get in return, however, is “Fine” or “Okay” and then we quickly move on to a generalised topic. We don’t like to feel vulnerable, so we project an image of everything being under control, and may think that the question wasn’t genuinely meant because no one takes the time to listen anymore.
Wouldn’t the world change if we really meant, “How are you?” and then took the time to listen. For a practitioner, that is a spiritual moment of open generosity, because ordinary consciousness has taken a back seat. Generosity is the first perfection (paramita) on our way to enlightenment: it starts with empathy, recognising the cloud that obscures pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is merely original, unconditional happiness that is not subject to any conditions. When we loosen, we become free of conditions and realise that we arefineand okay, and we mean it.
It’s good to blow off steam, and to have someone to whom we can blow off steam before we explode. 😀 Meditative space allows the steam to escape and cool down. This is genuine, practical practice.
The Five Regrets of the Dying
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.