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Happiness is not having to go to a lecture hall to hear a monk tell you what he thinks happiness is. As long as you are seeking the meaning of happiness you cannot be happy. Different experiences make different people feel happy. I would venture to say that one cannot be happy if one is not free on every level of consciousness.
Mr Ricard would completely agree, that happiness is not attending a lecture, nor is it found by seeking. But that is not what he was proposing.
What he was proposing was meditation, as a means of controlling and calming our selves. He was not proposing that you listen to him speak; he was proposing that you listen to yourself while not speaking.
I havn’t listened to the video, but this topic put me in mind of Professor Anthony Clare, an Irish psychiatrist who died only last week, and who was famous for his televised interviews with the famous (one series was called “On the Couch”).
In one of his last interviews with a journalist, he gave his own six rules for happiness. He hazarded a guess (and this was NOT a scientific theory) that happiness was a evolved mechanism to enable humans to cope with life’s manifold miseries.
His rules were:
1. Have something you are passionate about, a thing or activity.
2. Be a “leaf on a tree” i.e. be a member of a wider family or community.
3. Don’t be too introspective.
4. Do not fear change, embrace it.
5. Live for the moment, don’t be burdened by guilt for the past or fear for the future.
6. Do it now! If you have something you always wanted to do but keep putting off, then wait no longer.
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