Buddhism is about becoming happier. It takes a radical approach to how to achieve this.
- Central to Buddhism is developing a warm receptive heart and within that heart, conceptual ability;
- Its intermediate goal is to take us to a state of a happy well-adjusted human
- It goes beyond this saying practice like this, and you will grow into the sort of person who sees reality more clearly, experiences more deep happiness, can live a more meaningful and fulfilled life culminating in enlightenment.
- The Buddha took this to its conclusion. He was a human albeit with exceptional talents – a prodigy.
- In the Buddhist view, the volition and effort in him was such that he reached a much higher level of awareness and ‘woke up’ to direct experience of the nature of reality beyond all clinging to desires. Buddha means one who is awake. Through his compassion he devised a path to help others to wake up in a similar way.
- In principle Buddhism is “a path” set in spirituals tradition that aims firstly to help human beings become happier, by helping us to become saner, by helping us to see things more clearly, by helping us to become emotionally warmer and more positive, and by helping us to liberate ourselves from our habitual patterns and assumptions about ourselves. Having developed the momentum and faculties of essentially a happy mind, it is then possible to further train the mind towards seeing clearly and being with reality transcend. The process of develop involves opening the mind more and more, whereby new faculties and sensibilities arise and eventually the mind transcends dependent attachment to anything.
While Buddhism has a somewhat logical philosophical aspect to its tradition, it is built on direct experience and that develops in the practicing individual towards a direct experience of a reality beyond words and concepts.
Some ‘Operational Concepts’
Buddhism offers us some concepts we can put into practice and see if they work in calming, integrating and warming the mind. Try these out over the period of the course – they are operational, you will need to try them out to see if they work.
These concepts are:
- We can change. Human beings, like us, are not fixed by their heredity or upbringing . We have great potential, and we can become really happy if we practice and uncover and manifest more and more of this potential.
- Happiness comes from inside, not from what we have around us or what we possess or what we consume. We know this. Go on a cruise, go to an expensive resort – you’ll see plenty of discontent. Comes from inner contentment, from positive emotion and inner warmth, a sense of ones own value and even nobility, from freedom from the sort of silly concerns we often fret about, from real warm relationships, from living a meaningful life.
- We are interrelated. Happiness does not come from focusing on ourselves and getting what we want. . It comes from overcoming our narrow perspective and becoming the larger being we could be. If you like, comes from becoming more like our true selves. This includes being more other-orientated and more altruistic, more focused on goals that go beyond satisfying our own wants.
Final Thought for the Day
- Buddhism is about becoming happier
- But takes a radical approach on how we can achieve this
- Happiness comes from inside, and we can change to become happier
- Buddhism offers us ways to do this, and a context that supports and helps us.