Monday, November 16, 2009
the dosage for happiness
Lately I've been notice just how darn happy I am. I don't mean that I'm blissed out all the time, or even cheerful. There's just a very deep sense of contentment that seems to be patiently waiting for any temporary emotional, cognitive or physical storms to subside. I have a few theories about why this may be happening. For one thing, I'm thrilled with my work at the Center at the University, and my new life at the Temple. Everything right now seems to be revolving mostly about around what t I love. Next to my husband and daughter, and along with some dear friends and my brother, what I love the most in this lucky lifetime is practicing and teaching meditation. And I'm getting to do a lot of that. Another theory is that meditating so much (daily sittings at the Temple plus a few evenings and other times throughout the day) contributes to happiness, as so many researchers into meditation have been speculating and wondering about. (One of my favorite words related to mindfulness research is "dosage" -- how much time on the cushion creates a measurable effect in what-have-you: mood, health, behavior...) And I must say that I know well, based on what I know about human life, that the reality of all this is that at any moment, this lovely contentment could be altered by some significant personal or global event. But I'm beginning to suspect that even this potential tragedy wouldn't destroy the underlying awareness of something sweetly pleasant that lies just beneath the surface of our lives, waiting for us all.