Freedom = Happiness

The sanctuary was big, round, and almost completely dark. It smelled baby-powdery, like a grandmother’s bosom. (I’ve noticed my most popular blogs have the theme of breasts as in breastfeeding or bra shopping, and I’m not above pandering so, yes, I’m mentioning bosom! And yes, this is a church blog.)

I do love that musty, incense-y, bosom-y church smell.

I debated at lunch time whether I needed to visit a church today since I was at devotions this morning at work. In the third floor conference room, we’d created multi-media worship stations, signifying Brokenness, Hope, and Beauty. We’d included fresh mint and time for conversation about the care of our shared space.

The theme was care of the earth. I think that was the theme. I just did what the rest of the team told me to do. And, of course, before devotions started, I cracked jokes with Jim and Morais (because, we’d agreed, every worship team needs a few hecklers as they’re laying out their cloths and getting into the serious business of prayer.) Seriously, I’m lucky to be part of such a creative, inspiring worship team (thanks to Sushil, Christie, Jorge, Lisa, Felipe, Noemi, Kathleen).

Back to West End, I waited for my Aha! moment, sitting in the bosom-y church by myself tonite. Nothing.

No wait. I remembered something Shane, my teacher, said at the end of Yoga when we were sprawled in Sivasinha. She’d read a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh, it was something like, “The freer you are, the happier you are.”

I quizzed Shane about the quote when I bumped into her in the women’s bathroom.

“Do you really think freedom is happiness?” Because I am looking for happiness. And freedom sounds like a good way to go.

“As in freedom from attachment,” she said.

“Ah,” I said. “Like detachment.” And this really helped me, because I easily get overattached — to ideas, to people, to this blog.

I loved that. I loved that in looking for answers in a church, I remembered what my Yoga teacher told me.

One thought on “Freedom = Happiness

  1. “The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

    It’s not external freedom (which most people think is the answer: “If only I could escape from this person or this situation”), but the freedom we cultivate within that gives rise to happiness, whatever the context.

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