Monday, November 28, 2016

Happiness and Meaning

Claudia Tremblay
“Happiness is “human flourishing,” which is a translation of the Greek word eudaimonia. The usual translation is “genuine happiness,” but “flourishing” is more accurate. Like the Buddhist notion of sukkha, and ananda—bliss, joy in the Hindu tradition—flourishing is a sense of happiness that’s beyond the momentary vicissitudes of our emotional state.  

And what brings this about? A meaningful life.”
~Alan Watts in Tricycle

How do we find meaning? It is not found through strict sensing, logic, or rational intelligence. Meaning is imparted through whole body experience. Whole body experience incorporates intuition, and often empathic, awareness into what is sensed and rationalized, leading to a greater "presence" of being. It is common for those with intuitive or mystical bias to do this automatically and frequently. One of the hallmarks of an intuitively biased person is that they often subliminally query their circumstances with, “What does that mean?” The first bullet under “Intuitive perception” on the Myers-Briggs web page is this: 

I remember events by what I read "between the lines" about their meaning. 

This becomes significant when we ask how to cultivate happiness through finding meaning. The answer is to be more present with our circumstances and to be more aware of how we relate to them experientially with our whole being. We accomplish this through meditation and other contemplative practices. Meditative and reflective practices deepen our intuitive and empathic capabilities. With a deeper appreciation of our circumstances, we also find ourselves more content. And to be content with self and circumstances is to flourish.

"...See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Matthew 6:25-34

Joy is to behold the Divine in everything. ~Julian of Norwich, 14th century Christian Mystic

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