How I Found Happiness at the Town Dump
Years ago, I lived in a small town called Rosslyn Village near the city of Thunder Bay on the north shore of Lake Superior, Ontario.
I was new to the village and often took our large garbage items to the town dump on Saturdays. The employees there had a tent in which they would put household items that were reusable for town residents to take. There were often good useful items in that tent.
Often, on Saturday I would gather some garbage at home and tell my wife “Oh I got to go to the dump” (not to get rid of refuse but to really check out the “good stuff” in the tent)
One Saturday I found a big massage chair in the tent at the dump. I had been meditating for years, was feeling like I had hit some barrier in my practice, and was yearning for something that would deepen my meditation. I thought I had discovered gold!
When saw the massage chair I imagined that Buddha had answered my prayers! I sat on that massage chair. It was so comfortable and relaxing. I pictured myself meditating with all the devices on the chair massaging me while I went deeper and deeper into samadhi.
I had envisioned myself in nirvana surrounded by all the Hindu goddesses and gods in lotus poses all around me. (And of course, they were all meditating in massage chairs too.) It seemed the ultimate state of happiness.
But then a thought entered into my no-mind bliss. “Russell, what would your wife think of bringing this home from the dump?” So, I gave up the idea and drove back home. But on the way home I felt like the massage chair was calling me; “Russell you need to take me with you. There is greater happiness to be found here”
The voice was faint, but I wondered if Buddha was really talking to me this time. So, I went back, but when I got there the massage chair was gone. Someone had taken it. I was quite sad. Not only was I sad but now I had to let go of my attachment to that chair as an additional spiritual practice.
So, in my grief, I turned to some of the residents who were having a barbeque at the dump and asked them if they knew who took the massage chair. One guy said some old codger took it to put in his garage for his dogs to sit on.
Then he asked me to join in on the barbeque. So, I did. We all talked about the massage chair and had a good laugh about how massage chairs are such a gimmick…providing such temporary relief and lots of cash for massage chair manufacturers.
I stayed and had a great time at the barbeque, had some great laughs, and got to know some of my neighbors.
After that Saturday, I still went to the dump but not to take home more “stuff” but to hang out with the villagers.
I found out one important thing at the dump, that brought me happiness…