Some words about alternatives to sensual pleasures as a way to achieve happiness …
One subject that Buddhism addresses a lot is desires. Desires and their disadvantages, especially sensual desires, desires for sensory experiences. One of the disadvantages of being addicted to sensory experiences is that sensory experience comes through a body, and a body is a huge burden to sustain.
A body is something laborious to keep. It takes a lot of work to feed, house, clean, protect from the cold and the heat. There are infinite diseases and there is also death. Death is directly tied to the body. This alone would be the subject of several lectures: how our lives are limited because of our relationship with this body. It affects our way of being, our way of acting and facing life.
Desires also directly influence the mind. When a person is obsessed with a desire, sometimes he can not think of anything else. So the perception of what is right, of what is wrong, of what is worth doing or is not worth doing is completely distorted. When the mind is obsessed with a specific desire, sometimes one finds it even worth striking someone to get the object of desire. Much violence that we see today has to do with desires for sensual pleasures. When someone has a lot of sensual desire and can not see an immediate way to get what they want, they can lie, steal, attack, kill, use sexual violence, corrupt, divert money … All this to buy sensual pleasures, buy Cars, buy clothes, buy music, buy movie, buy sex …
This is a very extreme example to reflect on, but if we look carefully we will see that in our lives this is the way it is. We are not 100% honest, sometimes we use a little bit of aggression when we have some desire, when we want something. That’s what I always say: a trustworthy person is a person who has few desires.
If a person is very obsessed with desires, it will be more difficult for him to sustain correct behavior. He who has many desires has many masters giving him orders. This serves as a lesson for us to be attentive to our own mind, our own heart and to see the danger of having a mind obsessed with desires.
But abandoning desires is not something done only by repression. It is not just to suppress and frustrate your desires. There is a certain amount of wisdom involved. It has the aspect of seeing the disadvantages, seeing the price it takes to have a mind obsessed with desires, a weak mind.
Look at the children, for example. What makes them immature is that they offer no resistance to their desires. All they want, any nonsense, is very important to them. If they can not get what they want, they start crying. Much of what it means to become an adult has to do with knowing whether to let go of desires, to let go of things, to know not to lose balance because of any desire. So knowing how to control your desires has a lot to do with what it means to be an adult. And there is a minimum level of that control that is acceptable to society, but we do not need to limit ourselves to that minimum level. If we want to expand the capacity to be an adult, to go beyond, we can do that. Learning to be happier means also being satisfied with what we have.
We do not learn that nowhere. We only learn to want more. We turn on the television, read newspapers, read magazines, and there is only encouragement to desire even more. There is no encouragement to be content with anything. So in order to lessen the amount of desire we have in the mind, it is also good to filter a little to which we expose our mind. Because the mind absorbs these things. The mind is a permeable phenomenon. If you expose it to a line of reasoning, whether you like it or not, you absorb that line of reasoning. It’s an automatic phenomenon. If you do this repetitively, little by little this line of reasoning will seep into your subconscious and it will begin to be a part of yourself. So it is good to choose well to which you expose yourself in the day to day, to what kind of impulse you listen, what kind of thinking you cultivate. It is good to know how to evaluate these things, to observe, to see. You have a responsibility to cultivate your mind in the right way. No one will do that for you.
So it’s good for us to have attitude and start cultivating mental states that are beneficial to ourselves. Break a bit of cultural flow and sometimes know against a current. One thing that greatly facilitates this work is discreet. If you go against a discreet society. No, very fussy. Do not draw too much attention. I recommend this product: frugal, but I did not like frugal to draw attention to the people around. Have simple clothes, but do not have to be torn clothes. Use a simple but not so old car that catches your eye. If you need a cell phone, you have a cell phone, but that is a simple model. Try to be discreet.
Being satisfied is a mental skill, which needs to be cultivated. It has a see through knowing how to appreciate the mental states plus making them enjoy sensory stimuli. In life, we need pleasure, we can not live without pleasure. But in this world there are sensory pleasures and mental pleasures. If we learn to cultivate mental pleasures, which do not rely on external phenomena, we will be far more able to be satisfied in any place. Because, wherever you go, your mind goes together.
Now it is a unique form of pleasure that knows sensual pleasure, we will be hostages of external stimuli, of external objects, whether a woman, an image, a physical contact, a sound … Effort In addition, the material world is extremely impermanent , Is always falling apart. You buy things like and get to dismount. They get dirty, old, they break, they wear out … It’s a constant burden to be sustained. Constant maintenance.
This body also requires maintenance. It has to be sheltered, nurtured, clean, dressed, transported up and down. He … In the same way, indirectly, is the cost of sensual pleasures. A way to reduce somewhat this way of living so heavy and tiring. Saber carry with him his own happiness. Wherever you go, you take your happiness.
One of the easiest and most useful mental pleasures of possessing a knowing appreciate a peace of mind. Peace is a pleasure, and a person does not know how to enjoy it. We think peace is boring, but it is a very special pleasure, very subtle and healthy, because it qualifies a mind to many things.
A peaceful mind works better, it is much more able to think clearly, to see a reality correctly. He is better able to choose paths, to see a person beside us and to feel compassion for him. As you can clearly see, she’s smart, she can solve problems more easily. And solving problems is something that brings pleasure. When you solve a problem, you are living from suffering.
Another very simple pleasure is something that does not have a name in Portuguese or any other language in the West: it is an ability to be happy with the success of other people, which, in pāli, is called muditā. In Western societies, this word does not exist. You have one word to say, which is just the opposite. Someone gets something good, makes success, and we get angry, spiteful. Mudità is the opposite, someone gets something good and you are happy with that. The fact that we do not have a word to express this emotion is a matter of concern, because it means that it is something we do not usually feel. If it were something a person would often, a person would invent a word for her.
Mudità is a very easy mental pleasure, is not it? Because you do not have any work, someone who does the work is someone else. Another person is an issue, study, pass non-college and you are happy with it. So it’s very simple, so you need a willingness to people, right? The only requirement here is good for people.
You’re welcome to people, this is already a pleasure. And if you choose good friends, who are wise and intelligent people, it is easier to feel happy for them, it is common for people to have a good life. They are always doing good things, they are always living in a happy way. How are you? Happy and also happy.
So it is very good for good friendships, making friends with good people, quality people, wise people, people who know how to live well, who know how to live a healthy life. And it is not a little contact with very complicated people, people who do not know how to live well. It is impossible to avoid altogether, but as far as possible, insofar as to healthy, try to avoid, because our life is already too complicated and is a person who surround other people’s problems will be even more difficult for us.
If you want to help people, the first step is to take care of yourself. If you are not a healthy person, a wise person, a person with a steady, stable mind and clear, you will not be able to help anyone. So it is good to cultivate yourself, cultivating your mind is good for yourself and for other people as well.
Helping people in a deep way has to do with human contact is not only done through material goods, it is not only done by donating food, giving shelter … It helps but on a more superficial level. Helping people to improve as a human being also requires setting an example. Give the real example, not the fictitious example, not just be an actor who pretends to be wise, who pretends to be a good person. It has to be real, really.
And this is a mistake that parents make. Parents want to raise children, but children know that parents are not what they say they are, is it? And, honestly, why can not parents improve? For pleasure and for attachment to sensual pleasures. If they themselves are addicted to sensual pleasures, if they can not do the right thing in a way that gives a real example for the children to observe, then they can only give the speech. They do not want their child to drink, but they can not stop drinking. They do not want their child to smoke, but they can not stop smoking. They do not want the son to lie, but they lie.
Children are not that dumb, they know it’s fake. And then, over time, they just get used to the idea, “My father and mother are not to be taken seriously, because they are not serious.” It is becoming increasingly difficult to educate the child. The more time passes, the more tense and difficult the relationship between father and son. To the point where one does not listen to the other and sees open enmity at the end.
How easy it would be if the father and the mother learned to be good people, to give up sensual pleasures, to take care of one’s own mind and one’s own heart, to lead a righteous, correct life, a firm life. So it would be so easy to raise children. It would not do any work. It would simply be around and touch life on a daily basis. This in itself would already be an education for children. But, since no one does that, then you have to read books, you have to take a course, you have to send them to a special school, you have to scold them, you have to do this and that, and in the end it does not work, does not work.
The truth is that nowadays, we do not know how to live correctly. We live a very exteriorized life, an artificial life. Everything we do is artificial, we educate children artificially, people are beautiful in an artificial way, we are intelligent in an artificial way, we are happy in an artificial way and everything is becoming exteriorized. All our happiness comes from outside objects. All our wisdom comes from the outside, there is nothing that comes from within ourselves. Our peace of mind comes from outside, comes from grills, electric fences and night guards. Our tranquility comes from a bank account. We are losing touch with reality, becoming more and more deformed, weirder. Everyone gets square, it gets more and more strange …
Therefore, it is good for us to nurture our own goodness, to learn to take off a little from the current of society in a wise and balanced way. Know how to take off, find your own way, not depend on others to be a good person. Know how to nurture your own happiness, lose dependence on external products and factors, and, as far as possible, also seek out a group of people who are valuable friends. People who are worth living with. Make an effort to get out of the house and go to a meditation center, for example, or set a date on the beach with good friends. Visiting and living with good people is something that helps a lot, it is something very valuable. Do not neglect this, do not just stay on Facebook, because it’s not the same thing. Making contact with people is very important, very valuable.