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Drunken on happiness

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

So I have come across certain states, where I am genuinely happy for quite extended periods of time. It feels to me as if I lose a certain balance when that happens... all the things that concern me drop away, my horizon widens and becomes bright with good cheer, I become jaunty and crack the occasional joke.

Yet recently it occurs to me that this state is not dissimilar to drunkenness, in that the clear vision one has of things to be done or things to be watched rather suffers under the all-encompassing state of good cheer. One tends to be jovial, to say, ach, that awkward tax bill can be filed tomorrow, why not be happy today?

So when considering the dharma it seems to me that it is necessary to think about sobriety, even when you find a hint of bliss in your meditation, or when feeling happy in general, so as not to get caught up in happiness but instead keep a level headed view of the world which allows you to clearly assess what you encounter. The bliss of nirvana is not the unbridled happiness of life.

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome - may I ask if you have similar periods of unhappiness?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    No, I don't have similar periods of unhappiness. I usually feel either happy or balanced.

    Bunks
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    @Kerome. Many years ago I had a week long period of bliss. Intense. Most happy to get back to earth. The odd thing was that people around me thought it significant though it wasn't at all.

    silver
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    I always say that I am high on life, so I don't need any other intoxicants.
    I feel inebriated with life and there are moments when it does feel as if I were drunk or stoned.
    But it's a constant with me: I am positive and optimistic, and I don't depend on external things or happenstances to feel happy.
    It's the way I am.
    Because I am able to appreciate the good moments and sit out in full acceptance when affliction strikes.
    I don't look back nor forth: I live fully in the present moment.
    It is the closest there is to equanimity, except that I am probably too passionate in the way I view life to be considered an arahant.

    HozanlobsterBunks
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    I've never had the feeling of being drunk on happiness but neither have I been in the depths of despair.

    DhammaDragonsilver
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @Kerome is drunk on happiness :p

    Hey, if you're always either happy or balanced, you're doing something right!

    Does anyone ever experience this little voice in their head when they are trying to be mindful of what they are doing and live in the moment. I appreciate being in the 'now' and completely understand it's relationship to happiness and that it's an important component to end my suffering but when I do it, I have this little voice in my head that tries to resist being in the 'now'. It's almost as if it's afraid that I will forget something important and drop the ball somewhere. Does anyone else experience this?

    DhammaDragonsilver
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Tigger said:
    @Kerome is drunk on happiness :p

    Hey, if you're always either happy or balanced, you're doing something right!

    Does anyone ever experience this little voice in their head when they are trying to be mindful of what they are doing and live in the moment. I appreciate being in the 'now' and completely understand it's relationship to happiness and that it's an important component to end my suffering but when I do it, I have this little voice in my head that tries to resist being in the 'now'. It's almost as if it's afraid that I will forget something important and drop the ball somewhere. Does anyone else experience this?

    Yes I do.

    I have started to keep a diary each day and one of the headings is:

    What do I HAVE to do today?

    The less I write in there the better!

    I have found it a good way to simplify my life so I can spend more time in the present.

    TiggerDhammaDragonlobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    The withering tear of the ego, lol

    Tigger
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    If our search for liberation is motivated from despair, disquiet and agitation. Overcoming negativity will be our primary motivation. If we are motivated by bliss, euphoria, happiness and spiritual intoxication, then is that our likely desire impediment?

    We have a start point and a chance from the Middle Way. If we are running from or to, we are still greedy for cessation of dukkha or greedy for practice with benefits. Spiritual hamsters on wheels of our preference and karmic unfoldment ... Do we need balance and spare, clear capacity?

    Spiritual intoxication? Just another knot?

    Fearless and honest introspection will soon reveal the core defects of the human condition; this is the noble truth of suffering. The mind and body are riddled with stumbling blocks, choke points, nodes of tension, knots of pain, and a veritable fountainhead of selfish, hurtful and deluded psychological stuff. The mind’s capacity for awareness, the “knowing” that arises and passes away, drop by drop in the stream of consciousness, is constantly hindered, fettered, intoxicated and polluted by such internal defilements. The enterprise of organic spirituality is to untangle these tangles, to untie these knots, to unbind the mind—moment by moment, breath by breath—from the imprisoning net of unwholesome and unhealthy manifestations. The reward for a life of careful inner cultivation is the liberation of the mind through wisdom—a remarkable transformation of the mind that awakens it to its full potential of awareness without obstruction or limitation.
    https://www.bcbsdharma.org/article/an-organic-spirituality/

    DhammaDragon
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    I've had moments of bliss that lasted for several days. Enjoy them while you can they pass. Since I've been meditating I also feel either balanced or happy. I know longer take anti-depressants but still take the schizophrenia meds.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    But nowadays, my concept of being happy is synonymous with feeling peaceful.

    <3

    In dharma, Peace = Equanimity
    In Judaism = Shalom
    Hinduism = Namaste
    Islam = As-salamu alaykum
    Christianity and Lobster Lore = Have a Fish o:)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys

    How do we center ourselves in this core Middle Way that @federica mentions? It ain't automatic? We need a manual? Wot vehicle?
    http://www.mondozen.org/_literature_142288/Mondo_Training_Manual_2016

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    No, I don't have similar periods of unhappiness. I usually feel either happy or balanced.

    Do you realize how many people would find themselves green with envy to be in that 'state'?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @silver said:

    @Kerome said:
    No, I don't have similar periods of unhappiness. I usually feel either happy or balanced.

    Do you realize how many people would find themselves green with envy to be in that 'state'?

    Yes I realise that in some ways I'm lucky. The one incidence I've had of real deep sadness has been contemplating the end of my father's life, and that I'd have to say goodbye to him. That triggered something like a great, slow drop of sadness, colouring my entire world with sad for about twenty minutes... I sat in it mindfully, amazed this could happen to me.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    But nowadays, my concept of being happy is synonymous with feeling peaceful.

    Nirvana, to me, equals equanimity and inner peace.
    Many people say they want to be happy.
    I want inner peace.

    Hozan
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    We tend to view happiness as a sort of hyper, smiley, almost excitable state. I prefer to be content to excitable.

    Hozan
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    For the pilgrim whose walking staff is named content the journey is somewhat more reflective. The appreciation of what is over what is wished to be.

    HozanlobsterDhammaDragon
  • techietechie India Veteran

    Do most Buddhists then believe that happiness is not a positive state? That it is the absence of pain, ataraxia, a la Epicurus? Cuz that would be fascinating.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @techie How would you like us to ascertain what "most Buddhists" believe about any topic, since they live all over the world? I don't think anyone suggested happiness was not a positive state. For me, it simply does not encompass what my goal is for how I work through life and feel the majority of the time. I most definitely feel happiness, but it is fleeting and can't last forever. Contentedness, I think, can. One can work to be content no matter what happens in life. It would be, however, difficult to do the same with happiness

  • DhammikaDhammika Veteran

    I was deceived for a long while that euphoria was worth chasing and was the goal. That way lies addiction. Which someone once described as "samsara within samsara." Truth.

    lobsterKerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @techie said:
    Do most Buddhists then believe that happiness is not a positive state? That it is the absence of pain, ataraxia, a la Epicurus? Cuz that would be fascinating.

    Tell you what, do around-the-world Poll and then come back to us. I think then, you may have an answer. ;)

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
    edited April 26

    @techie said:
    Do most Buddhists then believe that happiness is not a positive state? That it is the absence of pain, ataraxia, a la Epicurus? Cuz that would be fascinating.

    It would be pretty interesting though....if it were true

    It's gonna take a while for the poll results to come in :lol:

    karasti
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @techie said:
    Do most Buddhists then believe that happiness is not a positive state?

    Happiness may be dependent on the karmic response we have grown up in or are choosing to prepare for.
    In other words acceptance or karma polishing, will lead to positive states such as:

    • Happy with dukkha
    • Happy with 'just so' happy
    • Happy with or without Snow White and Grumpy

    In other words, in the spiritual sense, the more we Love, the happier/freer we are ...

    Ain't that right Mama Hotty?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @lobster said:...Ain't that right Mama Hotty?

    You talkin' to me....?!

    lobsterHozansilver
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    @techie said:
    Do most Buddhists then believe that happiness is not a positive state? That it is the absence of pain, ataraxia, a la Epicurus? Cuz that would be fascinating.

    Happiness is not negative when the connotation is close to contentment or equanimity.
    Happiness -as understood by many people as goal-related and subject to fleeting moods and outer circumstances- is what is not viewed as positive in Buddhism.

    Hozansilverlobster
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