Thread: The Goal

  1. #1

    The Goal

    This is an except from a section with the title "Happiness, Unhappiness and Nibbana" from Ajahn Sumedho's little book "Now is the Knowing" published in 1989.

    Happiness is unsatisfactory, it’s dukkha. It’s not something to depend on or make the goal of life. Happiness will always be disappointing because it lasts so briefly and then is succeeded by unhappiness. It is always dependent on so many other things. We feel happy when we’re healthy but our human bodies are subject to rapid changes and we can lose that health very quickly. Then we feel terribly unhappy at being sick, at losing the pleasure of feeling energetic and vigorous.

    Thus the goal for the Buddhist is not happiness, because we realize that happiness is unsatisfactory. The goal lies away from the sensual world. It is not rejection of the sensual world, but understanding it so well that we no longer seek it as an end in itself. We no longer expect the sensory world to satisfy us. We no longer demand that sensory consciousness be anything other than an existing condition that we can skilfully use according to time and place. We no longer attach to it, or demand that the sense impingement be always pleasant, or feel despair and sorrow when it’s unpleasant.

    Nibbana isn’t a state of blankness, a trance where you’re totally wiped out. It’s not nothingness or an
    annihilation: it’s like a space. It’s going into the space of your mind where you no longer attach, where you’re no longer deluded by the appearance of things. You are no longer demanding anything from the sensory world. You are just recognizing it as it arises and passes away.


    Any comments/reflections?

  2. #2
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    I've often tried to describe the goal in terms of quality of experience of existence. The more I align myself with the path, the more the quality of my experience improves. It's not happiness, it's better than happiness.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Hi Aloka,

    I just read this article and I think I will have to read it again and again. I am still reflecting on the message but sense its deep truth and wisdom.

    This may sound like a trite way of saying this but my thought is that what comes up, must go down. It is important not to latch on to anything in life that provides short term gratification.

    Thanks for sharing this Aloka.

    Kind regards


Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Mon, 8:21 AM Mon, 10:21 AM Mon, 4:21 PM Mon, 9:51 PM Tue, 12:21 AM Tue, 3:21 AM