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Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:18 am
by Saengnapha
SarathW wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:41 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:20 pm
SarathW wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:17 am
I have this un necessary unhappiness even though I have enough reason to be happy with my family, my job and my health.
I am unhappy as I do not seem to get anywhere with my practice even though it help me greatly.
What do you mean by 'getting anywhere' with your practice?
Not being able to move any further than observing Sila.
Perhaps, even my Sila is not perfect enough.
There is a limit you can push as a layperson.
I will try to put it another way. Sila is not necessarily something you observe, it is something you do. These are actions you take that go against the 'I' maker, the habitual activity of anger, hate, craving, etc. You orient yourself differently in your everyday life. Instead of mulling over your state, you act in accordance with the Dhamma and it dissipates these habits, these emotional reactions to experience. You don't move past Sila. It becomes the way for you. It helps calm the emotions so clarity can be present. Being present, I don't have a better word, there is no where to go. This is a deep relaxation that allows dispassion to function. Without dispassion, there cannot be any equanimity. It is the same whether you are a monk or a lay person. It is not 'your' sila. Ownership is not anatta, impersonal. All this subjectivity is about ownership. Don't fight it. Turn away from it. There is a difference.

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:22 am
by DNS
SarathW wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:30 am
I have achieved impossible material things (as far as I am concern) in my life.
Perhaps I have achieved a higher level of spiritual attainments (compare to many people) too.
But I still feel some thing unsatisfactory of this life.
When I stay at home I want to go to work.
When I go to work I want to stay at home!
Then perhaps you could make that a bucket-list item for you; to be content with the achievements you already have and attainments you already have.

Perhaps you are trying to string together certain pleasant experiences in a way to always face pleasant things. Once you realize how futile that is, you won't keep chasing them.

Maybe the grass is greener on the other side, but once you get there, you realize the grass is artificial (a Vegas joke).

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:31 am
by SarathW
Some times your achievements are your new problem.
:D

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:00 am
by Garrib
DNS wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:04 pm
For example, one of my items which was important for me was Buddhist pilgrimage to India and Nepal, which I did back in 2006.
This is on my list too (though not the reverse bucket list as I haven't done it yet!) - ideally, I'd like to take some family members with me.

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:34 pm
by paul
Happiness in the sense of demeanour can be detrimental to insight, it is linked to the 'equanimity of unknowing' of the ordinary run-of-the-mill person. The response to most situations (which invariably involve defilements), requires a serious attitude. The Buddha regularly spoke of heedfulness as the required demeanour ( SN 3:17, Dhammapada chap. 2, Buddha's final instructions DN 16). In this sense in every event there is the opportunity to take a step towards either ignorance or wisdom. These decisions are what cumulatively contribute to a successful practice. Knowing and experiencing this, one tries to act skilfully in every situation.

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — does not discern what ideas are fit for attention or what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas fit for attention and attends [instead] to ideas unfit for attention."---MN 2

"The mode of thinking based on openness rejects duality as a product of discrimination and deluded concepts. It tacitly presupposes that existence as such is ultimately benign; that beyond our deluded concepts, the rich and vivid diversity of forms has a single taste, a taste that is sweet. In contrast, the attitude of heedfulness is grounded upon the view that existence is textured through and through by dualities that are profound and inescapably real. The world bears testimony to this vision in the contrast between the charming, delightful surfaces of things and their underlying hollowness and inadequacy; our minds bear testimony in the ongoing contest between the wholesome mental factors and the unwholesome ones, between the upward urge for purification and the downward pull of the defilements. That this duality is not trivial is seen by the consequences: the one leads to Nibbana, the state of deliverance, the Deathless, while the other leads back into the round of repeated birth, samsara, which is also the realm of Mara, the Lord of Death."---"A Note on Openness", Bikkhu Bodhi.

Duality in nature:
"When a snake's tongue flicks out, the two tines of the fork spread as wide as they can. ... Like your two ears help you identify which direction a sound comes from, the two tines of a snake's tongue tell the snake whether its prey ran left or right."

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:18 am
by m0rl0ck
I voted 40%. I have some contentment, probably more than i have had in my life previous to this, but happiness seems to me a kind of excitement thats doomed to turn to its opposite. I dont really beleive there is much honest happiness to have in life anyway, that its really a kind of febrile denial of the circumstances one finds oneself in as a sentient being.

While the work of living a life of practice and attention(and it never ends as far as i can tell after a couple of decades of doing it) has yet to be done, and its over when you no longer have a body to do it, i will settle for whatever serenity, contentment and equanimity i have. As far as i understand it, what is conventially meant by the term "happy" is something of which i am highly suspect.

EDIT: I just read over the responses in the thread, i am HAPPY to observe that i am not the only dour old fart on the forum :jumping:

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:40 pm
by Stephen18
I'm just glad there's no one reporting 10 or 20%.

It's a good question. A better question would be: How little suffering do you have? Or, how few problems do you have? As long as you're not suffering or having major problems, then you're doing OK, even if you're not particularly happy.

Also, these fortunes change all the time. Earlier in the year I would have reported a much greater percentage of happiness than now. These days I am simply doing okay simply because I don't have suffering, pain or problems, but not as happy as in January/February or in May/June, and I know that that happiness will return next year. It comes and goes in cycles. Plus, you have to work for your happiness - it doesn't just happen or come out of nowhere - you need to first make the good kamma to experience the resulting pleasant vipāka. I would say I currently have neutral feelings most of the time, no painful feelings and the occasional smile (especially when I think of Ann, a woman I love). :smile:

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:08 pm
by SarathW
:goodpost:
paul wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:34 pm
Happiness in the sense of demeanour can be detrimental to insight, it is linked to the 'equanimity of unknowing' of the ordinary run-of-the-mill person. The response to most situations (which invariably involve defilements), requires a serious attitude. The Buddha regularly spoke of heedfulness as the required demeanour ( SN 3:17, Dhammapada chap. 2, Buddha's final instructions DN 16). In this sense in every event there is the opportunity to take a step towards either ignorance or wisdom. These decisions are what cumulatively contribute to a successful practice. Knowing and experiencing this, one tries to act skilfully in every situation.

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — does not discern what ideas are fit for attention or what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas fit for attention and attends [instead] to ideas unfit for attention."---MN 2

"The mode of thinking based on openness rejects duality as a product of discrimination and deluded concepts. It tacitly presupposes that existence as such is ultimately benign; that beyond our deluded concepts, the rich and vivid diversity of forms has a single taste, a taste that is sweet. In contrast, the attitude of heedfulness is grounded upon the view that existence is textured through and through by dualities that are profound and inescapably real. The world bears testimony to this vision in the contrast between the charming, delightful surfaces of things and their underlying hollowness and inadequacy; our minds bear testimony in the ongoing contest between the wholesome mental factors and the unwholesome ones, between the upward urge for purification and the downward pull of the defilements. That this duality is not trivial is seen by the consequences: the one leads to Nibbana, the state of deliverance, the Deathless, while the other leads back into the round of repeated birth, samsara, which is also the realm of Mara, the Lord of Death."---"A Note on Openness", Bikkhu Bodhi.

Duality in nature:
"When a snake's tongue flicks out, the two tines of the fork spread as wide as they can. ... Like your two ears help you identify which direction a sound comes from, the two tines of a snake's tongue tell the snake whether its prey ran left or right."

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:10 pm
by SarathW
m0rl0ck wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:18 am
I voted 40%. I have some contentment, probably more than i have had in my life previous to this, but happiness seems to me a kind of excitement thats doomed to turn to its opposite. I dont really beleive there is much honest happiness to have in life anyway, that its really a kind of febrile denial of the circumstances one finds oneself in as a sentient being.

While the work of living a life of practice and attention(and it never ends as far as i can tell after a couple of decades of doing it) has yet to be done, and its over when you no longer have a body to do it, i will settle for whatever serenity, contentment and equanimity i have. As far as i understand it, what is conventially meant by the term "happy" is something of which i am highly suspect.

EDIT: I just read over the responses in the thread, i am HAPPY to observe that i am not the only dour old fart on the forum :jumping:
Initially, I voted 50% and increase to 60%.
Now I deciede to reduce it to 50%
It is terrible when you have to go down the ladder but it is better than immersing in ignorance.

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:11 pm
by SarathW
I just wonder what will be the happiness % of a person in fourth Jhana and a person experiencing depression.

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:41 pm
by Stephen18
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:11 pm
I just wonder what will be the happiness % of a person in fourth Jhana and a person experiencing depression.
If you take Arahantship to be 100%, then Non-return would be 95%, Once-return 93%, Stream-entry 90%, Cessation of perception and feeling between 95 and 100%, [the attainments by puthujjanas of:] the Dimension of neither-perception-nor-non-perception 88%, the Dimension of nothingness 87%, the Dimension of the infinity of consciousness 86%, the Dimension of the infinity of space 85%, the fourth jhāna 84%, the third jhāna 83%, the second jhāna 82%, and the first jhāna 80%.

Depression would be anything below 40%. 35-39% would be mild depression, 25-34% moderate depression and anything below 25% would be severe depression. Below 15%, especially below 10% you start thinking about suicide.

Sarath, I just made this up. But I thought your question deserved an answer!

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:56 pm
by SarathW
It makes sense Stephen.
This is how doctors evaluate patients in hospitals.
You have to have some measurement.
Even all those Jhana and Sotapanna are just measurements and there is no intrinsic value in it even though we are trying to objectify them.

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:58 pm
by SarathW
If you take Arahantship to be 100%
I am glad at least we got one Arahant in this forum and nobody want to commit suicide.

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:39 pm
by aflatun
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:58 pm
If you take Arahantship to be 100%
I am glad at least we got one Arahant in this forum and nobody want to commit suicide.
:rofl:

Whoever said 100% please PM me, I am ready to be taught...

Re: How much happy are you?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:41 pm
by SarathW
aflatun wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:39 pm
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:58 pm
If you take Arahantship to be 100%
I am glad at least we got one Arahant in this forum and nobody want to commit suicide.
:rofl:

Whoever said 100% please PM me, I am ready to be taught...
We never know.