🌕 Angela’s Reflections:
I recall Buddhist monk, Venerable Mathieu Ricard, saying that if you want money and fame, you are addicted to the causes of suffering. This is because it is actually not easy to point definitively to what suffering is and what happiness is. What we think is happiness to us, may become the cause of suffering later on! Another metaphor used to describe chasing pleasant sensations or illusory happiness is the licking of honey from the edge of a sharp blade. We could be cut anytime, but we continue doing it anyway, enamored of the sweetness, and oblivious to the eventual pain and demise.
🌱 Journal Reflection Prompts for You:
- 📝 Reflect on a time when you pursued a fleeting pleasure without considering long-term consequences. What was the outcome?
- 📝 Recall a situation where innate wisdom guided you to see through an illusion or misleading appearances. Looking back, what have you learnt and realized?
- 📝 Reflect on Sāriputta’s parable of the murderer and the rich man. Are there areas in your life where you might be chasing pleasure and overlooking potential suffering? How can you not become that rich man in the parable?
- 📝 What is happiness to you? What is suffering to you? Can you draw a clear line between what is happiness and what is suffering? What does that tell you about their nature?
Featured image, an AI-generated artwork, by Angela Ho.