This Suffices —
How To Feed The Hungry Heart
by Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.d. • New York City
So many are not ready for summer to end. This is a time of leisure, sunshine and the company of family and friends. Over and over I hear, "Time goes too quickly. I need more."
There is a hunger within us that can't be satisfied no matter how many days in the sun we have. There is a longing for endless pleasure and joy. We want to be free from cold winds, difficulty and constraint. Our hungry hearts refuse to be filled.
Oddly enough though, the more pleasure we have, rather than feeling complete and content, the more this longing increases. Our demand upon life intensifies, along with the feeling of personal outrage when our days of sunshine and pleasure fade. This is called being a hungry ghost.
A hungry ghost is someone who experiences much, but cannot be satisfied with anything. This is simply because they never taste what they eat, or take time to really relish it. Instead they gulp down one thing after another, constantly starving while they are being filled up. Rather than enjoying each taste for what it is, they compare it to another, judging and criticizing whatever they are given mercilessly.
The remedy for this affliction is actually the opposite of what we would expect. Rather than look for more and more pleasure, it is necessary to stop a moment and really taste what we've had. Experience it fully without rejecting it, letting it be. Then we can say, "This suffices."
"This suffices," is also a way of saying thank you. It is also a way of accepting and digesting our lives. Once we do this, we feel full and become open and ready for the next experience. And, as we do this, we have something even deeper than pleasure. We have a sense of fulfillment and contentment that cannot fade or be taken away.
Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.D.psychologist, long term Zen practitioner, author and workshop leader, has offered over five hundred talks and workshops on all aspects of the simple laws of love. She presently offers Zen talks and a workshop entitled: Freeing Ourselves and One Another. This workshop introduces the practice of releasing, based upon Zen practice and principles and the Sedona Releasing method. Brenda is also an original student of Lester Levenson, founder of the Sedona Method. She can be reached at email@example.com. www.brendashoshanna.com