This is the story of a Sufi mystic who had remained happy his whole life — no one had ever seen him unhappy. He was always laughing, he was laughter, his whole being was a perfume of celebration… In his old age, when he was dying, on his deathbed and still enjoying death, laughing hilariously, a disciple asked, “You puzzle us. Now you are dying, why are you laughing? What is there funny about it? We are feeling so sad. We wanted to ask you many times in your life why you are never sad. But now, confronting death at least, one should be sad. You are still laughing — how are you managing it?”
The old man said, “It is simple. I had asked my master — I had gone to my master as a young man; I was only seventeen and already miserable, and my master was old, seventy, and he was sitting under a tree, laughing for no reason at all. There was nobody else there, nothing had happened, nobody had cracked a joke or anything, and he was simply laughing, holding his belly. I asked him, ‘What is the matter with you? Are you mad or something?’
“He said, ‘One day I was also as sad as you are. Then it dawned on me that it is my choice, it is my life.’
“Since that day, every morning when I get up, the first thing I decide is… before I open my eyes I say to myself, ‘Abdullah’” — that was his name — “‘what do you want? Misery? Blissfulness? What you are going to choose today?’ And it happens that I always choose blissfulness.”
It is a choice. Try it. When you become aware the first moment in the morning that sleep has left, ask yourself, “Abdullah, another day! What is your idea? Do you choose misery or blissfulness?”
And who would choose misery? And WHY? It is so unnatural — unless one feels blissful in misery, but then too you are choosing bliss, not misery.
Contributed by: Nilesh Parekh