Sunday 7 September 2014

#82 Some thoughts and a book review

It was a phrase that my soulmate had echo'd time and time again
I wondered when I would ever listen
A grape would kill itself trying to be a nut
It's squishy and not hard enough
The other nuts would never understand
A grape may of course harden over time but it will never be a nut
A nut will equally never be a grape
It is hard and strong but it lacks sweetness and will never gain it

The last slice of pizza sat on the plate, mocking me
This wasn't the day to be a hero
I'd probably end up refrigerating it
That's my pizza

o O o

The Art of Happiness is a book based on interviews between Dr Howard Cutler and the Dalai Lama. Tibet's exiled spiritual leader spends much of his time philosophising and dispensing general advice. He may not be technically qualified to do so. His speeches and advice may not be rooted in established educational theory. This is because his teachings are not scientific in nature.

If a person wished to solve a practical problem, learn about a historical event, obtain a medical diagnoses or treatment, they should approach experts in these areas.The role and advice of a Buddhist monk is more akin to that of a mother or father. Comforting. His recommendations will be based on his own perspective and life experience.

The monk may be a worthy person to talk to about happiness and well-being. He routinely spends hours contemplating warmth and compassion. Studies, using MRI scans and electrodes, have shown increased activity in the parts of the monks' brains that are associated with feelings of contentment.

Happiness might be recognised as an art rather than a science, as what makes one person happy may not work for another. It may not even make sense to the other person. Perhaps the monk can be compared to an artist, who, through practise, has become particularly good at envisioning an image that is beautiful to him.

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