What makes people happy?

Hello everyone,

I come with a question on what are actually the pleasures in life.

Is it having children, friends, a husband, a house, a car, tasting good food, travels, music, party, alcool, drugs, movies, series, s**, sleeping, having views about things, thinking about the past and the future that make normal people happy ?

Do you have any ideas that don’t fall in those categories ?

Thank you.

P.S: I’m asking about normal things, not superhuman attainments.

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Easy, video games, Youtube. Doing physics homework and getting it right.

Why are you asking?

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Metta. Even a dog has Metta. Is it superhuman? :slightly_smiling_face: :heart: :smiley_cat:

Also, being kind to others!

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When I was a young layman, I didn’t see any pleasure in life except through two things that were binding my mind and I was hoping to get freedom from one of these things by ordaining. The patimokkha would help me to protect myself.

Except these two things, I didn’t see any pleasure in life. Now I’m not a layman, I’m wondering a bit what people are really enjoying and that I’m missing (missing in the physical sense, not in a uttari-manussa-dhamma sense because I don’t have any of these attainments)

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Yes, that’s true, mettā makes the mind feel good even without uttari

Been there, done that. Meh! :smirk:

Having spent 27 years as a physician, I occasionally run into people I cared for years ago. And even though I may have forgotten, they will remind me “Doc, you operated on my ear…”. And reflecting that I have been able to be of service to them makes me happy. :bouquet:


I think happiness very much relies on a sense of being in control. Things go as wished for. I want to walk, and i can (which is not self-evident at all). I want to…and I can. When this all becomes problematic, happiness disappears. Then one starts to complain, become negative, dark.

For us many things are so self-evident, especially things like being able to breath, walk, travel, defecate, have taste while eating etc. While all that is not self-evident at all.
I think that especially this idea of permanence around such things, has a lot of influence. It is not easy to be even one moment joyful when things do not go as wished for, i feel, certainly not when something one always enjoyed very much, such taking a walk in nature. Simple things.

Pleasure has, i feel, different sides. One can also be afraid of pleasure, because having pleasure also relies on letting go , and one can be afraid of letting go control, or be scared what other people would think .

In this contexts I also do not believe that seeing or having no pleasure in life an sich is some sign of wisdom. I believe we must always look into the causes and conditions for that. Probably it is just fear and related to Imago issues.

One cannot be happy, i feel, when one is too restraint. Energy must flow, not be blocked. I do not think that dispassion means that one dries up. But it means the end of clinging and that is very different. Being energetic i feel must not be confused with passion.