‘Wanting to be happy is what makes you unhappy’ Tim Lott said in the Body and Soul section of The Times recently. Responding to David Cameron’s ‘Happiness initiative’, Lott argued that the pursuit of happiness would only lead to unhappiness. Similarly meditation practitioners who strive to attain samadhi – a state of bliss – will not succeed. Samadhi doesn’t arise when you’re wanting it to.
I guess it depends what we mean by happiness. If we keep striving for a life that’s ‘perfect’ then we’re going to be disappointed – we cannot expect to have a life without some difficulties, failures, losses, bereavement, or health issues. It’s hard to feel happy when burdened with money or work worries, health or relationship problems, but these dark shadows can give meaning to happiness.
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