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Thread: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Hey guys!

    Someone on my Twitter found this article in a blog that list some concepts in Buddhism that had been studied by science. While some of them I think are common place now, it's a good post nonetheless.

    I love it when science and Buddhism agree! What do you think?

    http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practi ... -you-happy

    Here is a shortened list:

    1. Be generous
    2. Savor everyday moments
    3. Avoid comparisons
    4. Put money low on the list
    5. Have meaningful goals
    6. Take initiative at work
    7. Make friends, treasure family
    8. Look on the bright side
    9. Say thank you like you mean it
    10. Get out and exercise

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Thanks for sharing this Choco!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Thanks Kyonin this was a nice article

    I really dig this bit from #3(Avoid comparisons)
    Buddhists are advised to avoid “conceit.” Now in the west we think of conceit as a sense of superiority, but in Buddhism conceit includes thinking you’re inferior to others, AND it includes thinking that you’re equal to others! What’s left? Just not thinking in terms of self and other at all.
    Gassho,
    Hoyu

  4. #4

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    What's this "happiness"? I'm trying to find it...but I can't... :wink:

    My problem with articles like this is that it sets up "happiness" (whatever the heck that is) as a goal of practice. But I don't think that's quite it. There is always flux, you can't put your finger on it. Maybe equanimity is a better choice of words here. "Happy" is seen as a positive state. But we know where that trap gets us...

    Hmm.

  5. #5

    10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
    If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
    -Dalai Lama

  6. #6
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin
    What's this "happiness"? I'm trying to find it...but I can't... :wink:

    My problem with articles like this is that it sets up "happiness" (whatever the heck that is) as a goal of practice. But I don't think that's quite it. There is always flux, you can't put your finger on it. Maybe equanimity is a better choice of words here. "Happy" is seen as a positive state. But we know where that trap gets us...

    Hmm.
    Yes, my feeling exactly. Owen Flannagan, in his recent book The Boddhisatva's Brain looks at that and points out that Buddhism doesn't claim to offer happiness, but a release from suffering, or, as he says, eudamonia, or flourishing, or "a stable sense of serenity and contentment."

  7. #7

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin
    What's this "happiness"? I'm trying to find it...but I can't... :wink:

    My problem with articles like this is that it sets up "happiness" (whatever the heck that is) as a goal of practice. But I don't think that's quite it. There is always flux, you can't put your finger on it. Maybe equanimity is a better choice of words here. "Happy" is seen as a positive state. But we know where that trap gets us...

    Hmm.
    Yes, my feeling exactly. Owen Flannagan, in his recent book The Boddhisatva's Brain looks at that and points out that Buddhism doesn't claim to offer happiness, but a release from suffering, or, as he says, eudamonia, or flourishing, or "a stable sense of serenity and contentment."
    Do you recommend that book? I read the preface in the online preview...looks pretty interesting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    It's very interesting, a bit dense, and covers several areas, not just the "eudamion" bit. He's a very good writer, and can make complex things seem a lot less complex. But it is a demanding book that requires a lot of attention and reflection.

    So, in short, if that's the kind of reading you do, yes, I recommend it. I bought several of his other books after reading it.

  9. #9

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Hi - there's a lot of literature out there and members often mention books/articles they've found interesting/useful.

    Is there a central thread on the site where we can leave book reviews/recommendations?

    thanks,

    Willow

  10. #10
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    It might be a good idea to create a sub-forum for reviews of books and other objects...

  11. #11

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    Hi - there's a lot of literature out there and members often mention books/articles they've found interesting/useful.

    Is there a central thread on the site where we can leave book reviews/recommendations?

    thanks,

    Willow
    Not that I'm aware of. Usually people just post a new thread. Jundo sometimes posts reviews, maybe in the Recommended Reading thread. But I like your idea, would make these easier to find.

  12. #12

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin
    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    Hi - there's a lot of literature out there and members often mention books/articles they've found interesting/useful.

    Is there a central thread on the site where we can leave book reviews/recommendations?

    thanks,

    Willow
    Not that I'm aware of. Usually people just post a new thread. Jundo sometimes posts reviews, maybe in the Recommended Reading thread. But I like your idea, would make these easier to find.
    Hi,

    I am happy to have people post reviews of books and such, but if related to Zen/Zazen/Buddhism, I will ask to keep the content and teachings pretty strictly to what we practice here. Maybe check with me or Taigu before recommending a book.

    We are not a forum for "general meditation/Buddhism discussion", but a practice place emphasizing a particular flavor and approach to Practice. So, in our "Karate Dojo" we don't really teach the ways of Judo or tennis because not consistent with the Karate Practice here.

    Gassho, Jundo

  13. #13

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Seems to me the trick is to drop the thought, "I will be happy if X condition is met".

  14. #14

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev R
    Seems to me the trick is to drop the thought, "I will be happy if X condition is met".
    Yes, hard to do though. Damn hard.

  15. #15

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    So is a triple lutz (?) but it can be done.

  16. #16

    10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    I will be happy if I can only drop all thought of needing to drop the thought "I will be happy if X condition is met"!

  17. #17

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    "what about dropping the thought of dropping the thought of dropping the thought?" He said while preparing to bypass Absurd and head straight for Surreal.

  18. #18

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    How about "Put it all down"

  19. #19

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Yes, put it all down.
    Easier said than done however, as Kaishin says.
    When clinging to something, you can't put it down can you?
    Trying, making an effort, doesn't help at all.
    And when we are not clinging, craving, attaching, there is no need to put anything down, is there?
    It's already put down, there's no carrying things around.
    Shikantaza for me is putting it all down. No need for an agenda, a goal. When we sit without agenda or goal, it's already put down.

    Gassho,
    /Pontus

  20. #20

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed.

    As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!"

    "Brother," the second monk replied, "I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her."

  21. #21

    10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    I just wrote this at ZFI and thought perhaps it could have some relevance to this discussion too!

    Dropping is effortless when holding nothing.
    Dropping is effortless when you don't grasp.
    In my view, you can't drop anything by great effort.

    It's like making a great effort to fall asleep when not tired!
    When tired, when conditions/circumstances are right, sleep comes naturally, effortlessly, if only you stop resisting it by thinking too much, trying to fall asleep.

    When I was a kid I thought a lot about what I needed to do to fall asleep. Eventually I found it! There was no way, no method. All I needed to do was to stop worrying so much about it, just relax and let go. Let thoughts come and go without actively thinking about anything, without trying to solve the problem of no sleep.

    In my view, sometimes Zen students, including me, are very much like insomniacs trying to fall asleep! They read books about sleep, listen to music that is supposed to make you sleepy, take drugs to fall asleep more easily, go to seminars to listen to people who claim to know the secret of sleeping, buy expensive beds and pillows. Maybe they should just take a look at their lives to see if there is something hindering sleep from coming naturally?

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  22. #22
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Pontus wrote:
    In my view, sometimes Zen students, including me, are very much like insomniacs trying to fall asleep! They read books about sleep, listen to music that is supposed to make you sleepy, take drugs to fall asleep more easily, go to seminars to listen to people who claim to know the secret of sleeping, buy expensive beds and pillows. Maybe they should just take a look at their lives to see if there is something hindering sleep from coming naturally?
    +1
    Nice analogy Pontus _/_

  23. #23

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Well said Pontus :lol:

    Gassho

    Willow

  24. #24

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Zzzzzzz

  25. #25
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    I like that, Pontus.

  26. #26

    10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin
    Zzzzzzz
    :lol:

    /Pontus

  27. #27

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin
    Zzzzzzz
    :lol:

    /Pontus
    Heh, just jokin', wasn't trying to be dismissive of your very well stated comments. But you got it

  28. #28

    10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Don't worry Kaishin!
    I think we share the same humor!

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  29. #29
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Here's an excellent program from CBC:
    "Say No to Happiness"
    Great discussion about whether Happiness should be a life goal. I thought the ideas put forward went towards "no, that would lead us to miss out on life".

    http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/201...o-happiness-2/

  30. #30

    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Hi Nindo - that was an interesting programme.

    I think what it underlined is that we
    needn't be afraid of having a whole range of emotions, and perhaps there's too
    big a push towards expecting life to be free of difficulties.

    There's a lot of energy 'out there' influencing us into feeling that we should be happy
    most of the time. It's not realistic and leads to a kind of denial. So many programmes of
    self-help that possibly leave people in a situation of feeling a failure if they can't turn
    negative emotions around - or push them into some kind of state of denial.

    On the ethics front, we only really learn to understand the hurt in others by accepting
    the hurt within ourselves. I'm not saying we shouldn't work on negativity - but
    where there's deep hurt/trauma I feel it's more authentic to allow people to work through
    anger/grief and then hopefully towards forgiveness and reparation.

    I don't see much space for that in our quick fix/let's all get happy culture.

    Does buddhism offer a measured, middle way through all of this ?

    Gassho

    Willow

  31. #31
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: 10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

    Hi Willow,

    thanks for listening. I couldn't have summarized it better.

    So many programmes of self-help that possibly leave people in a situation of feeling a failure if they can't turn
    negative emotions around
    Yes, I've seen this happening, and it just added to the suffering.

    our quick fix/let's all get happy culture...
    ... means that so many people are left out ... and also that we are missing the things in life where it's worth taking some hardship for.

    Does buddhism offer a measured, middle way through all of this ?
    That's what I believe!

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