Happiness Without Craving for Happiness
The Upaya Zen Center recently released a series of podcasts on Real Happiness. I started listening - some nice stuff here.
Sharon Salzberg, who wrote a book on Real Happiness, has words on what role, if any, pleasure seeking activities play in modest, real happiness for us and for others.
Pleasure, she notes, comes and goes so easily, but durable happiness in good times and bad, not so much.
How can we create the conditions for a culture of happiness to flourish, without relying on cravings for happiness to flourish?
Cravings for happiness? These are those endogenous chemicals that reward us for pleasure seeking every day activities, and make us want more — googling the next idea, waiting for the next tweet, staring at a woman’s chest, and so on.
Salzberg admits the importance of dopamine, serotonin, etc. for survival, but she also questions the role of cravings in finding a sense of happiness that isn’t giddy, but more like inner resourcefulness and inner strength.
Salzberg’s podcast audience brought up the following suggestions:
Experience of Connectedness
Relationships without Reward
Capacity to Notice
Altering Response to Events
Anyway, food for thought. I’m going to check out some more of these happiness podcasts, although I think wanting more of them indicates one of those temporary pleasure seeking activities…