Jim Dalton, Mindfulness Mentor
|Posted by Jim Dalton on February 3, 2010 at 1:39 PM|
A Meaningful Life
“What makes for a meaningful life? I consider each day, not just the life as a whole. I look at four ingredients
First, was it a day of virtue? I’m talking about basic Buddhist ethics—avoiding harmful behavior of body,speech, and mind; devoting ourselves to wholesome behavior and toqualities like awareness and compassion.
Second, I'd like to feel happy rather than miserable. The realized beings I've known exemplify extraordinary states of well-being, and it shows in their demeanor, their way of dealing with adversity, with life, with other people.
And third, pursuit of the truth—seeking to understand the nature of life, of reality, of interpersonal relationships, or the nature of mind.
But you could do all that sitting quietly in a room. None of us exists in isolation, however, so there is a fourth ingredient: a meaningful life must also answer the question, “What have I brought to the world?” If I can look at a day and see that virtue, happiness, truth, and living an altruistic life are prominent elements, I can say, “You know, I’m a happy camper.” Pursuing happiness does not depend on my checkbook, or the behavior of my spouse, or my job, or my salary. I can live a meaningful life even if I only have ten minutes left.”
—B. Alan Wallace
from "What Is True Happiness" (Tricycle Fall 2005)