Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly

ASK THE TEACHERS

Anushka Fernandopulle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches in the Insight Meditation tradition and works as a leadership coach and consultant

ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE: The Buddha talked about three different levels of happiness. The first is happiness that can come from pleasant sense experiences: delicious food, nice weather, pleasant music, or any kind of positive sensual experience. These are enjoyable but fleeting. Since all sense experiences change quickly and none can be relied upon to stay forever, this kind of happiness is fragile.

There is nothing wrong with pleasant experiences, but orienting one’s life entirely around them comes with a deep restlessness, one that we may not even notice while we are caught up in that game. If we were solely chasing pleasant experiences for happiness, it could indeed seem like a selfish and limited life.

With just

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