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Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Mindfulness and Happiness: Reading for the Tuesday Oct. 1st NVMG meeting

Mindfulness and Happiness: Reading for the Tuesday Oct. 1st NVMG meeting

Forrest H.
user 33431512
Group Organizer
Napa, CA
Dear Sangha,

This Tuesday (Oct. 1) we will finish reading the first chapter of Sharon Salzberg’s book, “Loving-kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness.” If you need to download a copy of the chapter, you can do so by clicking on the link below:


This week we will explore the connection between mindfulness practice and happiness. As Salzberg puts it, “the present moment is where we connect with our sense of unity beyond suffering.” When we bring awareness to the present moment, we directly experience our inherent completeness and connectedness that is the source of our health, passion and well-being. It is here we find that true happiness is rooted in a deep seated love for ourselves and an energetic compassion for all beings. We don’t have to go looking it in some far off land, it is right here with us all the time. We only have to become present to the unfolding beauty of our own lives – to connect with our true nature.

With mindfulness practice we can find the courage to touch our pain and suffering, those tender wounds that hide in the shadows and harden our hearts when left unattended. We can open to our sorrows and hold them with the great compassion of the heart. We can feel the soft underside of our fear, reconnect with our pain and embrace our intentions for greater happiness. Through our practice we see that our suffering is not the end of the story.

There is an unshakable joy that is possible for us as human beings. Jack Kornfield calls this the “happiness for no cause.” It is a luminous reflection of our undying spirit. As he states, “It is the smile of Nelson Mandella, the optimism of Aung San Suu Kyi and the laughter of the Dalai Lama.” This can be our smile too.

In the next couple of chapters, we will explore various meditation practices that can help us connect with our capacity for love and compassion, the source of our happiness. As the Buddha said, “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”

With metta-

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