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Being Happy

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited January 27 in Buddhism Today

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Not everything becomes a science in the end, with laws and rules and theories... happiness is often little more than just being in the present, relaxed and free, without ties that pull you to thinking about the past and future.

    FoibleFulllobsteradamcrossleyVastmind
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Being happy is a science

    ... and possible

    Any tips?

    Be Mindful....

    Don't Worry...

    Be happy....

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    We all want to be happy. But the desire and the need to be happy IS the source of our unhappiness. Buddhist steps off the happiness/unhappiness merry-go-round and endeavours to just be vibrantly and fully in the moment, even when the moment is not something particularly enjoyable.

    lobsteradamcrossleyShoshin
  • In my view, Happiness doesn't mean taking something up, and trying to gain something.
    In my view - it's exactly the opposite.

    Sounds like a plan.

    In the Kālāmā Sutta (AN 3.65), townspeople ask the Buddha how they are to ascertain which spiritual teaching is true. The Buddha counsels that one should "enter and dwell" (upasampajja vihareyyātha) in "things" or "qualities" (dhammā) that are:

    skillful (kusalā),
    blameless (anavajjā),
    praised by the wise (viññuppasatthā), and
    when put into practice, are conducive to well-being and happiness (samattā samādinnā hitāya sukhāya[5] saṃvattantī)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukha

    Funnily enough those with extremes of nothing. Naked yogis, mendicant monks, wandering dervishes, mystic troglodytes, Dessert Mothers etc seem to be excessively happy.

    Amma Syncletica said, "There are many who live in the mountains and behave as if they were in the town; they are wasting their time. It is possible to be a solitary in one's mind while living in a crowd; and it is possible for those who are solitaries to live in the crowd of their own thoughts."

    I'll have what she’s having

    person
  • @federica said:
    I can be happy, I can be unhappy. I can be fulfilled, and I can be frustrated. I can be joyous, and I can be maudlin. I can be calm, and I can be irritated.

    Reminds me of the song...

    I could be brown
    I could be blue
    I could be violet sky
    I could be hurtful
    I could be purple
    I could be anything you like
    Gotta be green
    Gotta be mean
    Gotta be everything more
    Why don't you like me?
    Why don't you like me?
    Why don't you walk out the door!

    What’s the message here? Don’t think you have to be as people want you to be? Be yourself?

    Perhaps that includes happiness. Don’t let anyone else define it for you.

    But I am always, but always, contented.

    In my view, Happiness doesn't mean taking something up, and trying to gain something.
    In my view - it's exactly the opposite.

    I don’t think I’m there yet. Frequently discontented. It seems to be a long path. But what you’ve said seems true to me: it’s more about letting things go, a sense of release, than it is about trying to make a gain or holding on to what you have.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited January 27

    I think happiness is the default position of the mind, and as such is not something to be gained. Happiness, like bliss, is a matter of freeing oneself from what happiness is not.

    Sometimes this isn't all that hard- washing dishes when I would rather sit down and rest - just free myself of aversion and desire, and be in the moment. Washing dishes is happiness - who knew!

    Other times it is more challenging -

    A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

    Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 28

    If one takes one's life too seriously then it will be serious...this is a no brainer

    However some ( I guess one could say most) people are so it would seem 'hard wired' to take things seriously... their mind is never in a stable place (the stable door left wide open and the thoughts have bolted) ...always on the look out for things to go wrong... and they will often find what they are looking for...

    Which reminds me of what one of my Dharma teachers once said ...something along the lines of "If one wants to worry, then one will never run out of things to worry about...So it's best not to worry"

    I guess the key to true lasting happiness comes from making others happy (It's a full time job, and where job satisfaction is.....negotiable )

  • Washing dishes is happiness - who knew!

    :)

    Many simple things have this component, making one happy if 'in' the activity.

    My experience is happiness as @Fosdick mentions, our natural, relaxed state/being. Applying the relaxed attentiveness of meditation, eased chanting or other formal awareness to everyday mindfulness is the way ...

    to quote @federica again:
    In my view, Happiness doesn't mean taking something up, and trying to gain something.
    In my view - it's exactly the opposite.

    All our tension, monkey mind wandering is unskilful.

    It is a bit like a koan, what am I when not being chased by being ...

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I am currently re-reading "Ancient Wisdom, Modern World" by His Holiness Dalai Lama. In Chapter 4 (Redefining The Goal) he explores being happy and the takeaway from it that I get is:

    1 - every action has a reaction. Being ethical reminds us to do no harm and therefore we place others' wellbeing above our own happines.

    2 - genuine happiness can be found in spiritual practices of love, compassion, altruism, patience, tolerance, humility and forgiveness.

    So, IMO, happiness can be found and kept by worrying more about others than worrying about ourselves because undertaking actions to help others actually benefits our lives.

    Of course YMMV....
    🙏🙏🙏

    lobsterFosdick
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 28

    Thanks everyone <3

    Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    Tigers are sweet strawberries. And strangely enough luscious fruit are tigers. One taste. How so? Attachment and letting go ...

    Was the Bodhisattva a living strawberry or a tiger ...
    http://monkeytree.org/dunhuang/tiger.html

    Fosdickadamcrossley
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited January 28

    @Kundo said
    Being ethical reminds us to do no harm and therefore we place others' wellbeing above our own happines.

    I see where you’re coming from, and I’ve heard that before. But I personally see being ethical as valuing others’ happiness on a par with one’s own.

    We’re all feeling beings, whose deepest wish is to be happy, and we all find it difficult. (To paraphrase Bodhipaksa.)

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited January 29

    @adamcrossley said:

    @Kundo said
    Being ethical reminds us to do no harm and therefore we place others' wellbeing above our own happines.

    I see where you’re coming from, and I’ve heard that before. But I personally see being ethical as valuing others’ happiness on a par with one’s own.

    We’re all feeling beings, whose deepest wish is to be happy, and we all find it difficult. (To paraphrase Bodhipaksa.)

    In my experience, happiness and wellbeing are two different things though. As a mother, I put my children's wellbeing ahead of my happiness on a daily basis. Making sure the youngest is awake on time showered, fed and ready for school before I leave for work is more important than me leaving for work with time to spare so I can do my own thing before I start work. Would I be happier with more time to commute and have a coffee before work? Sure, but my stepson being at school on time and wearing clean clothes and having a decent breakfast is more important. He may not be happy with the routine, but it's better than him being late, grumpy and hungry.
    🙏🙏🙏

  • 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

    On a lighter note...

    Vastmind
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @federica said:
    I also think it very much depends on how we define those terms for ourselves: happiness, well-being, contentment... they mean different things to different people, due to subjective experiences...
    A clear head isn't as significantly important to someone who hasn't ever suffered crippling headaches, for example.

    I'll warrant it's extremely difficult for someone in the middle of a Migraine attack, to appreciate a state of serenity and well-being...
    So I think definitions vary, and might even vary due to circumstance.
    The saying "This too shall Pass" may be piercingly true, but pretty hard to take while your head is exploding.

    It's transcending such situations, and being able to muster calm, serenity and contentment DURING such episodes, that shows our practice is worth it...

    exactly.i was just thinking,enjoy the comfort;respond to the discomfort...all the while hold on to the view,this shall pass.what helps,is place awareness to the the discomfort such as as a bump on the knee, feel the pain sensation--mental focus--knowing the peak and cessation of the experience this shall pass.so knowing or engraing the dharma view--this shall pass--helps us respond to upleasentness to physical feelings and emotions.in that sense it can deepen our happiness or appreciation of dharma.

    Shoshin
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @Kundo said:As a mother, I put my children's wellbeing ahead of my happiness on a daily basis.

    From the rest of your post, I am leaning toward believing that your children's well being IS your happiness.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 29

    Being Happy

    "It's easy to wear a smile and be pleasant when one life flows along like some sweet song

    One's practice may flow along just nicely when one is in good health and no pressing worries to contend with..

    But a person worthwhile is the one who can still wear a smile when things in their life go all wrong"

    It would seem it is easy to lapse back into old impulsive reactiveness when a crises (one of personal illness or something else) hits...one's practice flies out of the window as old habitual behaviour kicks back in...AKA Conditioning...

    If one only provides lip service when practicing the Dharma,( just talks the talk) then one can expect lip service in return...

    When a crises strikes (health or otherwise).... this is the window of opportunity to let the Dharma practice truly unfold...... Easier said than done (especially when pain strikes)...but not impossible to do "Tonglen"

    I (and no doubt many) can speak from personal experience...

    I'm happy being happy for it's just a state of mind
    True happiness only comes about when one is being kind
    For if one is being kind to other their smiles will brighten up the day
    and any selfishness that tries to arise is quickly blown away

    Being Happy is a science of the mind and it's call Dharma practice....

    lobster
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @yagr said:

    @Kundo said:As a mother, I put my children's wellbeing ahead of my happiness on a daily basis.

    From the rest of your post, I am leaning toward believing that your children's well being IS your happiness.

    Lol, I'll try to remember that when they don't do the washing or stack the dishwasher again 😋😋

    federica
  • Thanks @Shoshin
    Great post/reminder.

    Painful dukkha is a wake up call. That is when the rubber Buddha hits the tarmac path. Do we bounce?

    Maybe I would be happier with real buddhism? [I hear there is such a thing ...]
    https://www.thoughtco.com/common-misunderstandings-of-buddhism-449743

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Any tips?

    being in fullness might be it, this happiness.just like time,it does not happen overnight.like dharma,the effort put in,is the amount recieve.time and experience , just changes us all.maybe some tips those new to buddha-dharma:

    siddhartha breakthrough the middle way of wellbeing.when the body and mind is satisfied in good health , the mind is receptive to life and its "secrets" called dharma.so take care of u, and the mind will follow.be right,feel right. context,avoid extreame hard or soft practice in regards of the body.

    little by little.take on what you can handle.it is a walk,not a race.practice towards ease.some build up virtue.so mind has less stress ,worry.breathe in moments that test the nerves.take some time to sit, the point,to reflect,observe ,concentrate in order to build that mind-heart muscle. through effort,it becomes a way of being in habit.so study self,to heal self if ones life has been hard.

    enjoy and build on your insight .the buddha would approve.growing insight develop appreciation,to ones effort and "right"way.our insights develops wisdom knowledge.and that wisdom knowledge makes our life better , contribution to wellfare and happiness.

    dont be perfect.be right what is right for you.hold the view everyone is different.

    lobsterKeromeShoshin
  • dont be perfect.be right what is right for you.hold the view everyone is different.

    I knew there was a plan <3
    Not very well said :p but the meaning is awesomeness <3

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It’s funny how dreams and memories can refresh you. After a deep night’s sleep, filled with dreaming and non-dreaming, I often wake up feeling quiet in mind and body. It’s a pleasant feeling, as if stillness reigns in the gaps between dream consciousness and waking consciousness.

    I was reading a book on the Tibetan beliefs of the Bardo, called Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth by Tulku Thondup yesterday. It listed Dreaming as one of the Bardo states, although it’s main attraction was the so-called ‘delogs’ which are accounts of experiences people have had of the Bardo after which they returned to life, a lot like near death experiences.

    Maybe it will interest some :)

  • @paulyso said:
    dont be perfect.be right what is right for you.hold the view everyone is different.

    I’ve heard it expressed as being “beneficial instead of right”, which I think is why the 8FP is sometimes translated with “appropriate” instead of “right”.

    Being right for you and for the work you’re doing is the Buddhist way. Being “right” in the absolute sense is dogmatism. (Feel free to disagree...)

    lobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran
    edited January 31

    @adamcrossley, yes,no disagreement.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited January 31

    @paulyso said:
    yes,no disagreement.

    I’m glad, because I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts 🙏

    lobsterpaulyso
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:

    @paulyso said:
    yes,no disagreement.

    I’m glad, because I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts 🙏

    thank you.

    lobster
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