At certain times our natural joy is missing, enveloped as it is in sadness, bitterness, recrimination, and despair, it takes a long time to trust that our innate sense of well-being can be found underneath like a shining volcano of light just waiting to be unearthed. It can be seen when we find joy in the smallest thing, but like a small sea creature it scuttles back inside waiting for an opportunity to emerge again. What if I told you that this shining beacon of light is our natural home, coming from our ever present connection to what is. We often find that it is unearthed when we can remove the layers of filth, like a dirty blanket that covers up the shine on an old toy, so too we can become entrenched in habitual thinking patterns and mindstates which obscure this pure awareness. Ploughing down and through the layers of this muck can be time consuming but we have at our fingertips an old magic that has been used for countless centuries. We have to understand that deep in our beings we hold habitual patterns and contractions from past hurts, lost loves, deep losses, trauma, and unresolved sadness and anger, each of which leave a trace of scaring on our bodies, hearts and minds. The end goal of Buddhism, is a total ‘unbinding’ leading to nibbana. Here, the fires are dampened and finally extinguish any of the residual longings and desires which bind to the almost constant states of becoming and lust for life’s sensory pleasures. We each have power to exercise restraint, to calm the habitual tendencies of the mind to reach out and grasp and cling to the things that will inevitably cause us suffering. We have to learn often the hard way, that our constant clinging to that which will inevitably harm us, is the basis for the root of our craving and the cause of our unending search for something new to delight in each time we are caught by some kind of sense object. We are often not aware of our own longings, or aversions and travel endlessly in the direction of that which we think will make us happy only to have it turn around and bite us when it doesn’t live up to our expectations. We almost never take the time to reflect on what will make us truly satisfied, and if we do, we often become embroiled or entangled in some other distraction for long enough that we are pulled off of the path and onto the place of our desire. It is within this that we can learn to find the place that is without longing, where as the buddha put it, that is without fire. When we are patient with the unbinding process we can find a quietness and stillness underneath the waves of emotions and passions, and the stillness can be a useful tool to loosen up the knots of contracted emotional states so that it permeates our whole being until we are infused with a lightness and calmness that does not shift when we are seduced again by more sensory pleasures and mindstates. Taken more seriously it can be used as a ground for strong equanimity and mindfulness and as a source of wholeness for more unbinding to occur.