Method # 585 (or so): Unconditional Delight 

Unconditional delight”  is a new “method” that I am proposing here for the New Buddhist Methodist Quaker community. Of course, “unconditional delight” is just one variation of all the other methods. And all the other methods are linked together, because at the root of life, there is only One Method which is love.

We’ve all been delighted at times. Delighted with a surprise visit from a good friend. A rainbow over the tree tops.  A special desert. The old pants which were too small now fit again. Yay, delight!

We all know the experience of delight. It’s a delightful experience!

Of course, what we’re supposed to be doing here is learning unconditional love. Or the Buddha mind— unconditional compassion. Unshakable equanimity in the face of turbulence.

And yes,  it’s good to have such an ideal. These are the ideals suggested to us  by all the major spiritual traditions. No argument.

But on the way to fulfilling such a ideals, let’s admit, sometimes we need to take a few baby steps. Or at least I do. Unconditional love, uncompromising compassion, radical nonviolence, are all major league qualities. I’m still, alas, somewhat of a minor league player.

So the baby step that came to me here recently was to strive for unconditional delight. I’m telling myself, training myself that I don’t need any particular condition in order to be delighted. In order to experience delight. I can be delight. De light. (I de-light in playing with these words!)

So, question: am I delighted if a policeman pulls me over and gives me a $300.00 ticket for going 85 in a 65 mph zone? Not at all. Or not at first. This “unconditional delight discipline” is a discipline that is learned, over time.

I suspect that down the road a bit I’might delight a few beer drinking buddies with my speeding ticket story– thinking I was in a 75 MPH zone and they would give me 7 or 8 miles over the limit. (I still don’t think I was going 85– more like 82 or 83.)

More importantly, I can take delight in knowing I really don’t need to experience fast cars any more in order to experience delight. Fast cars, speeding, getting somewhere fast are no longer conditions for my delight. I’m learning to practice unconditional delight.

If I had been experiencing unconditional delight, I probably would not have been speeding in the first place. But my experiencing of unconditional delight is a work in progress.  (I’m delighted to be such a newbie at this practice!)

Again, unconditional delight is one of the infinite variations– and expressions– of the one method, which is unconditional love. All methods are designed to bring heaven to earth, both personally and communally.

Unconditional delight should be a part of that heaven, yes?

I know, at least theoretically, that  I should be able to experience delight at any time, any place, for any reason—or, even better, for no reason at all. My delight doesn’t need to depend on conditions. What freedom this insight allows.

One of the ways I have found to practice this new method is to simply inquire, whenever I can remember to do so,  with simple inner curiosity, “Delighted?”

I ask myself, quietly, interiorly, “delighted?”  I am finding that the question itself reminds me of my potential, my power.

Here in the early stages of this practice I find myself wanting to hook up my “delight” with something specific—the time or place that I am in, the activity I am doing, the people I am with, the potential of the “condition” that I am  experiencing. And I find such a practice to be, shall we say, “delightful.”

But what I hope to do with this practice is move toward “unconditional delight.” I want to give myself permission to be delighted without reference to a condition, inner or outer. “Free floating delight,” we might call it.

Doesn’t practicing “free floating delight,” and/or unconditional delight, sound like a groovy method for bringing heaven to earth? And isn’t that at least one of the things that we have contracted  to be doing, here on earth?

I’d be delighted if you felt like responding to this suggestion. But my delight is not dependent (too much) on your response.

Yours in de-light—


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