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Investing Your Happiness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (extract)

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  • antony272b2
    One of the reasons we re so careless in the way we approach happiness is that we get serious about it only when there s a lot of pain. We focus on the pain.
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 19, 2014
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      "One of the reasons we're so careless in the way we approach happiness is that we get serious about it only when there's a lot of pain. We focus on the pain. We've got to fix it. And there's a sense of desperation about trying to fix our pain, fix our sufferings.

      Yet when things get easy, we get lazy. Complacent. All we want to do is just wallow in that sense of wellbeing. And of course wallowing in it is not a cause for more happiness. It just eats up what we already have.

      So the trick is to learn how to develop a sense of wellbeing and then not to be heedless — to see what further good we can get out of that wellbeing.

      Ajaan Lee gives an example. He says it's like having a tree that gives coconuts. If you want, you can eat up all the coconuts, but that's all you get — a stomach full of coconuts, and soon you're hungry again. But if you take some of the coconuts and plant them, you get more trees and then more trees because you're willing to take what you've got and invest some of it.

      In the same way, when you meditate, you take what sense of wellbeing you have and invest some of it in creating more wellbeing."
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/meditations3.html#investing
      From: Investing Your Happiness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
      For Free Distribution, as a gift of Dhamma, from Access to Insight and Thanissaro Bhikkhu

      With metta / Antony.
    • t.sastri
      It is good to keep in mind that all feelings are changeable, shifting, uncertain, volatile, unsettled, unpredictable, unstable, irregular, erratic, wavering,
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 19, 2014
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        It is good to keep in mind that all feelings are changeable, shifting, uncertain, volatile, unsettled, unpredictable, unstable, irregular, erratic, wavering, uneven, unreliable, fickle, whimsical, mercurial, capricious, unsteady, protean, vacillating, fitful, mutable, labile, inconstant !

        "Having been touched by that painful feeling, he does not resist (or resent) it. Hence, in him no underlying tendency of resistance against that painful feeling comes to underlie (his mind). Under the impact of that painful feeling he does not proceed to enjoy sensual happiness. And why not? As a well-taught noble disciple he knows of an escape from painful feelings other than by enjoying sensual happiness."

      • Antony Woods
        ôWhen feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, æI am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.Æ When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh,
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 19, 2014
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          “When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.’ When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh.’ When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh.’ When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh.’ When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh.’ When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh.’” ~ the Buddha
          http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.22.0.than.html

          Aside from stating that this way of viewing feelings can carry through all three stages of the practice, DN 22 has nothing more to say on the topic. This is apparently one reason for the common interpretation that you’re not meant to do anything to induce one sort of feeling rather than another. You’re simply to watch feelings as they happen to come and go of their own accord. This further has led to the interpretation of satipatthana as an open receptivity that “avoids the two extremes of suppression and reaction.”

          However, the teaching on dependent co-arising shows that feelings don’t just happen. As MN 101 makes abundantly clear, not all feelings are the results of old kamma. Many are the result of new kamma: what you’re doing right now. And as SN 22:79 shows, even the potential for feeling resulting from old kamma has to be actualized by present fabrication. Every feeling is fabricated for the sake of having a feeling. This means that every feeling contains an intentional element.

          As a meditator you want to understand this intentional aspect of feelings and see this process of fabrication in action, which means that you can’t view feelings simply as arising on their own. Otherwise you blind yourself to the insight needed for release.

          At the same time, just as feelings don’t just happen, they also don’t just disappear. In their role as mental fabrications, they have causal consequences, shaping the mind in ways that can be either skillful or unskillful. So you have to trace not only where the feelings come from, but also where they lead."
          http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/rightmindfulness.pdf
          From: Right Mindfulness: Memory and Ardency on the Buddhist Path
          by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (178 page pdf)
          For Free Distribution, as a gift of Dhamma, from Access to Insight and Thanissaro Bhikkhu

          With metta / Antony.


          To: Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com
          From: tepsastri@...
          Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2014 10:28:05 -0700
          Subject: [Buddhaviharas] Feelings Are Changeable

           


          It is good to keep in mind that all feelings are changeable, shifting, uncertain, volatile, unsettled, unpredictable, unstable, irregular, erratic, wavering, uneven, unreliable, fickle, whimsical, mercurial, capricious, unsteady, protean, vacillating, fitful, mutable, labile, inconstant !

          "Having been touched by that painful feeling, he does not resist (or resent) it. Hence, in him no underlying tendency of resistance against that painful feeling comes to underlie (his mind). Under the impact of that painful feeling he does not proceed to enjoy sensual happiness. And why not? As a well-taught noble disciple he knows of an escape from painful feelings other than by enjoying sensual happiness."


        • t.sastri
          Thanks Antony for the very-good post #5462. -- When a feeling (any of the three kinds) arises, one-who-is-mindful discerns. -- One who discerns a changeable
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 20, 2014
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            Thanks Antony for the very-good post #5462.

            -- When a feeling (any of the three kinds) arises, one-who-is-mindful discerns.
            -- One who discerns a changeable phenomenon, has no attachment to it. 
            --  She/he not only knows where the feelings come from, but also knows where they leadThus she/he can avoid greed and distress (abhijjha & domanassa).

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