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Happiness,,,, Matthieu Ricard no less……

Mathieu Ricard who is mentioned and quoted above is a Buddhist monk who also holds a PhD in molecular genetics. I am just beginning to read his work on happiness and it is fascinating. Letting go is so important to our happiness. We cannot simply wish and want to be happy. It comes effortlessly with much work. Happiness is a form of paradox.

C PTSD - A Way Out


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“So the way in which we experience these waves of suffering depends a great deal on our attitude.
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It is therefore always better to familiarize ourselves with and prepare ourselves for the kind of suffering we are likely to encounter, some of which will be unavoidable, such as illness, old age, and death, rather than to be caught off guard and sink into anguish.
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A physical or moral pain can be intense without destroying our positive outlook on life.
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Once we have acquired inner well-being, it is easier to maintain our fortitude or to recover it quickly, even when we are confronted externally by difficult circumstances.
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Does such peace of mind come simply because we wish it to?
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Hardly.
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We don’t earn our living just by wishing to.
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Likewise, peace is a treasure of the mind that…

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

12 responses »

  1. Thanks Ivan, a little on Ricard.

    He seems to be one of the bridges from the scientific west to the Buddhist east. His father was a well known celebrated philosopher and Matthieu a scientist until he went to Nepal and adopted a Buddhist life style.

    He was one of the forces for cognitive science and Buddhism meeting and doing studies using functional MRI’s. Ricard had significant more quiet while meditating than the other 17 or 18 monks.

    His definition of happiness and skill to deliver everyday behavior in the face of distress is miraculous.
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    This book is a must read if you want to heal, want to grow, want to find happiness.

    Reply
    • I have picked up the book and am looking forward to reading it. As far as paradox goes, it seems like we want happiness and try to define it in our pursuit of it. When we let go of that defining and pursuit, happiness comes around on its own. Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of the ordinary that is revealed as extraordinary.

      Reply
      • May I give a Ricard slant here, happiness, real lasting happiness, that which he differentiates from momentary pleasure or achievement. happiness is not something that works as a goal, almost impossible to find, paradox, I believe is the word.

        Happiness is a way of living, an inner peace that the ascends the difficulties of life and teaches to let go.

        The other paradox is that there is no control, our power comes form surrender, relinquishment from judging or labeling things or people.

        Giving always seems to be linked to happiness, relieving not so much another paradox.

      • Thank you for the great summary Marty.

      • Reading further in Ricards book this quote surfaced.

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        “For Buddhism,.
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        paradoxically,
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        genuine
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        self-confidence
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        is the natural
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        quality of
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        egolessness.
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        To dispel
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        the illusion
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        of the ego
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        is to free
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        oneself from
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        a fundamental
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        vulnerability.”
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        .

      • It is a great quote. Thank you Marty.

  2. Oh, one more thing, Can you expand on the happiness is a paradox. Sounds interesting a different take.

    Reply
  3. All excellent quotes, but I like yours, “it comes effortlessly with much work.” Excellent!

    Reply
  4. Paradox—-rather like that butterfly we try so hard to catch and eludes us….until we stop trying to catch it and it settles on our shoulder. If we then trap and try to keep it for our selves…it dies.

    Reply
  5. When I first read similar words in Tagore’s poem, as a teenager I thought that how can a person be happy without attachments- with age i realized that is the only way of gaining lasting happiness 🙂

    That poem is one of my favorite poems, since quite a few years…

    Reply

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