Zen and the Art of Happiness is a quick and easy read that highlights the importance of positive thinking, and the influence our mind has over our body. Prentiss believes that we should take every experience and encounter as something that is positive, and good for us. While this can feel impossible at times, it is important to remember that we won’t always know what could have been if a situation were different.
“I promise you that everything that happens to you from this moment forward will be of the greatest benefit to you and will bring you the utmost good fortune.” (7)
Prentiss further discusses the importance of keeping a clear and calm mind in order to achieve enlightenment. The way to achieve this is constant reassurance that what has happened is good, and it is positive. Eventually, the mind will automatically view changes as positive events.
“That is what enlightenment is: knowing that everything in the Universe is created from and is part of the same energy, and knowing in what way we relate to it all. Once that awareness is obtained, all else falls into place, everything makes sense, and everything can be understood. As the Zen master Dogen taught, ‘To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things.’” ( 11)
Finally, and what appears to be the most important lesson, is that our mind/body attracts certain emotions. If we continually feed the mind with sadness or anger, the mind will begin to accept and attract such feelings. The same applies to happiness and tranquility. It is incredibly important, according to Prentiss, to condition the mind for happiness.
“The more you engage in any type of emotion or behavior, the greater your desire for it will become.” (52)
As you are working through your cycles, try to remember that the mind is receptive to change. All of those repetitive and intrusive thoughts can be altered with practice and persistence. A good way to work though the challenging moments may be to write down the mantra: Everything is good, and positive. Keep this mantra handy, and repeat it to yourself in moments of stress and anxiety. Eventually, the mind will gravitate towards this way of thinking, and you will no longer have to remind yourself.
This book is available online at our CNY Fertility Webstore here.