Posted on: March 28, 2022 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

If I could look back on a single day of my life and see it as having all four elements: virtue, happiness, truth, and thinking around, I could say, “I am a happy person.”

What is a genuine happiness?

– I think it is more accurate to use the word “human flourishing”, because it is derived from the Greek word eudaimonia. Translating true happiness is fine, but I think “flourishing” is more accurate.

And what will that happiness bring us?

– A meaningful life.

What makes our lives meaningful?

– In my opinion, it should be for every day, not just for one life. I see four elements to a happy day. Firstly, am I living in the precepts today? But here I am only talking about the basic morals in Buddhism, such as do not harm anyone, do not speak harshly to anyone, and try to practice compassion and mindfulness. The second thing is that I feel happy instead of miserable. I have met people who have practiced, who at all times manifest a sense of peace in their steps, in their behavior in the face of difficulties in life and when dealing with other people. The third thing is to seek the truth, want to see and understand reality, the truth of oneself and life. And we can sit still in our little room and still be able to do all those things. But the thing is, none of us are separate and independent. So if we want to have a happy life, we must answer this fourth question, “What do I bring to this life?”

How should we live so that we can be happy, peaceful and meaningful?

If I could look back on a single day of my life and see it as having all four elements: virtue, happiness, truth, and thinking around, I could say, “I am a happy person.”

Happiness doesn’t depend on our bank account, or our spouse’s attitude, our job or our salary. We can live a full, meaningful life, even if we only have ten minutes left to live in this world.

In those four factors, there is no health factor, so isn’t health an important factor?

– The truth is not! A student of mine has a very rare and incurable disease, every day he has to go to the hospital for treatment and medicine. And he had to live like that for the rest of his life. We can say, “What a pity and misery for you! The situation is so pitiful!” But when I met him the other day, he told me, “Allen, I’m ‘flourishing’ here!” And I feel like he really is. He finds his way between the limits, and under what conditions are present to him. His mind is clear. You read books, you write articles, you grow. He meditates every day, and he even teaches meditation to other terminally ill patients in the hospital.

He lives a very meaningful life, and he can honestly say that he is happy.

What is his secret?

– He does not seek happiness outside of himself. When we depend on position, money, on our spouse to bring us happiness, we will never have happiness. Because we depend on what is not ours. And again, the people around are also competing with us for those money and positions, but they are not enough for everyone. Sadly it is.

What’s more fun?

– The good thing is that true happiness is not sold in the market, but as long as we have money, we can go and buy it for ourselves. One of the secrets that few people discover is this: the happiness we are looking for in high positions, in an exemplary husband or wife, good children, good health, a job. good, have security, have a beautiful appearance… in fact, they are always available inside of us, just need to be touched. Instead of looking outside, why don’t we try to find inside ourselves, try it!

But that doesn’t mean we won’t get married, buy a car, or find a satisfying job. But I just want to say that, if you have happiness, then that happiness does not depend on external factors, because they are not in your control.

Everyone says that money and status do not bring them happiness, but how many people really live like that?

In fact, we don’t really have faith in our hearts. We are still looking outside, chasing after what we think will bring us happiness – fame, position, love, financial and emotional security. We have no hope and no belief in any true happiness. We say to ourselves, “Perhaps a true happiness isn’t there, that’s cool to say the least. I’m content with an iPod or a big screen TV, so that’s fun. Don’t ask or ask for anything far away.” Or someone will say, “Stop talking about happiness, just trying to get through today is enough!” I think they are pitiful too!

If I could look back on a single day of my life and see it as having all four elements: virtue, happiness, truth, and thinking around, I could say, “I am a happy person.”

If I could look back on a single day of my life and see it as having all four elements: virtue, happiness, truth, and thinking around, I could say, “I am a happy person.”

So is it a despair?

– It is a state where our mind no longer has space, we lose a large view. I think of loving-kindness, metta. When we practice loving-kindness, we begin with a love for ourselves. But that doesn’t mean “Which job is best for me? How much salary is worthy of me?” But it’s, “How do I flourish?” “How should I live my life so that I can be happy, peaceful, and meaningful?” And then we widen that perspective, “How do people who are living in pain find true happiness?”

Shantideva said, “Those who run away from suffering keep plunging their heads into the place of suffering. It is because of the desire for happiness that they inadvertently go to destroy the happiness they have, and see them as enemies.” Why is that? Why do few of us choose the path of cultivation, if it can bring us true happiness?

– Actually, the answer is because we don’t know what can bring us true happiness. It will take a long time and painful experiences before we wake up and notice what is happening. We are attached to images and ideas in our heads, “If only my wife or husband were like that, if only I had such a job, such a sum of money, such my appearance, My health is like that… I will have happiness.” But that is only an illusion.

We all know people who have full health, money, status, excess love… but they are still full of suffering. Those people are our teachers, because they teach us a great lesson. They teach us that we can win the big lottery of life but still miss the lottery of happiness.

When you speak of a “true happiness”, perhaps you mean that there are other kinds of happiness in life?

– Right! We often mistake what the Buddha called the Eight Winds, the eight turbulent winds of life, and think of it as happiness. The eight winds are to want prosperity without thinking, to be happy but to avoid suffering, to be praised without being criticized, to be famous without being despised. But we have to remember this, there’s really nothing wrong with being rich, happy, praised, and famous. Let’s talk about wealth, for example: let’s say we have a new sweater. If I let go of that new shirt, would I be a better person? Of course not! There’s really nothing wrong with having it all, but it’s downright wrong if we think it can bring us happiness.

True happiness is about getting in touch with the root of happiness, not just trying to grasp what factors may or may not produce happiness. And that’s the difference between practicing and chasing after the eight turbulent winds of life. There are also people who go to practice for the purpose of satisfying the top of that top rank, wanting to find a joy in meditation practice. They view meditation like a cup of coffee, a run, or a massage. And actually that’s not wrong at all, but it’s very limited. Meditation can do something that massage cannot do, it can heal the wounds in our hearts.

This path to happiness seems to require a great deal of faith and renunciation. That’s a little bit scary. If I let go of all those external things, what would I become?

– Actually, we don’t have to jump into the deep water. It is like one day we suddenly get excited and declare, “This world is like a house of fire. Full of suffering. I will give up everything to find a peace according to the Buddhadharma.” Then for a few days, a few weeks, or at best a few months, we’ll say, “Wow, this practice isn’t as happy or peaceful as they say, without knowing the iPod, the thing. Where’s my TV or my ex-girlfriend, does anyone know where?”

So it’s not a matter of suddenly giving up all the pleasures, the eight worlds, of life, and just practicing the profound teachings of the Buddhadharma. It’s like teaching a toddler to swim, you don’t just throw a baby into deep water and see what happens! We train it to swim in shallow places to slowly get used to it. Likewise, let’s walk slowly but steadily. Start with a little meditation every morning and every night. See how it affects my day….


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