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Genuine Happiness: An Alternative Perspective

With Dave Smith recorded on March 10, 2024.

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So much of what we hear and learn about within Dharma practice places an arguably unnecessary emphasis on suffering (dukkha). While the acceptance of suffering (dukkha) is an important and essential aspect of the path, it is by no means the end of the story. In one of the Buddha’s oldest descriptions of what it means to awaken to the Dharma (noble quest: MN 26) he states that awakening is a subtle yet radical shift in perspective. A shift in priority that moves us from being pre-occupied with our “place” in the world, to a perspective of living from a “ground”. This shift is accomplished by developing the four foundations of mindfulness.

As we progress in our practice this shift becomes more natural and available in the waking moments of our lives. As we learn to find balance and equanimity between the hedonic pleasures of the world and inner cultivation, we experience a more genuine happiness, (eudemonia in Greek) that is not rooted in what we get from the world, but rather how we are in the world. We become less focused on getting what we want, to an appreciation for what we have.

During the practice session Dave will offer reflections from both the early Buddhist tradition and contemporary evidence found with happiness research. How can use our practice of the Dharma to create a genuine happiness for ourselves, for others and for this world?

Listen to the audio version below, or click here to download the mp3.

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