how to be happy

it’s wrong to teach people
how to be happy
they can figure it out
for themselves
(so long as we don’t
gum them up
and clutter their lives
with looming, nagging hells).

if we didn’t teach people
that we know better
they’d have found their way
to heaven by now
by impressing upon them
that their “happy” isn’t happiness
we’ve given them false fears
and furrowed brows

the teachers that talk and talk
don’t know what
they’re talking about
the experts that sell, sell, sell
don’t care who they’re selling to
or what product they’re putting out
but the authority who just lets you “do you”
empowers you to be your own guru

Based on Chuan-Tsu 18.

© Rylan Skelly, November 2018


About the Author: I have a B.A. in Honours Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo; I have a love for all major world religions – Eastern, Western, or in between; I’m genderqueer, and I’m comfortable with male, neutral, and female pronouns; I’m married to my dear wife Lynn, who is the love of my life, my best friend, and my muse; I think far too much, and often have too many ideas to know what to do with; and I am a doing being, just like you!

Dao of the De Daoism Mental Health Mindfulness Verse

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Rylan Skelly View All →

I have a B.A. in Honours Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo; I have a love for all major world religions - Eastern, Western, or in between; I'm genderqueer, and I'm comfortable with male, neutral, and female pronouns; I'm married to my dear wife Lynn, who is the love of my life, my best friend, and my muse; and I am a doing being, just like you!

5 Comments Leave a comment

    • There is no need to feel stupid 🙂 The Chuan-Tsu (or Zhuangzi) is one of the major scriptures of Daoism, along with the Dao De Jing (or Laozi). This poem is based upon chapter 18 of the Chuan-Tsu, and all of the poetry in my “Dao of the De” series is based on scriptures from a variety of world religions.

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