"...for happiness is above all a love of life. To have lost all reason for living is to open up an abyss of suffering. As influential as external conditions may be, suffering, like well-being, is essentially an interior state. Understanding that is the key prerequisite to a life worth living. What mental conditions will sap our joie de vivre, and which will nourish it?
"Changing the way we see the world does not imply a naive optimism or some artificial euphoria designed to counterbalance adversity. So long as we are slaves to the dissatisfaction and frustration that arise from the confusion that rules our minds, it will be just as futile to tell ourselves “I’m happy!” over and over again as it would be to repaint a wall in ruins. The search for happiness is not about looking at life through rose-colored glasses or blinding oneself to the pain and imperfections of the world. Nor is happiness a state of exaltation to be perpetuated at all costs; it is the purging of mental toxins such as hatred and obsession that literally poison the mind. It is also about learning how to put things in perspective and reduce the gap between appearances and reality. To that end we must acquire a better knowledge of how the mind works and a more accurate insight into the nature of things, for in its deepest sense, suffering is intimately linked to a misapprehension of the nature of reality."
From Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skills, By Matthieu Ricard, 2003 NiL editions, Paris. Translation, 2006 by Jesse Browner
It bears repeating:
"Happiness is above all a love of life."
"Happiness is both the purging of mental toxins such as hatred and obsession that literally poison the mind and it is also learning how to put things in perspective and reduce the gap between appearances and reality."
Now you cannot say you do not know what happiness is. Happiness is the practice of loving life through the careful purging of toxins, through the careful gaining of perspective, and carefully moving from the appearances of all things into the reality behind them.
I have said so three times.
Orchids And Butterflies
I sit here in gray
aftermath to the heat wave,
faded heat and sky.
I listen to new
music while thinking of you
in your own summer
made of northern lights
and the urgent rhymed display,
July 6, 2009 2:08 PM