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What promotes a happy life? Ancient Greek philosophers like Epicurus, Plato, and Aristotle voiced opinions about it, and the recent field of psychology called Positive Psychology, initiated by Martin Seligman, shows its debt to these ancient thinkers and others. Buddha's keys to proper living include elimination of stress and suffering, retaining happiness by attuning well to Nirvanaland. He came up with the Gentle Middle Way to systematise an all-round approach in the life-long art of living.

To aim for a happy life and to aim for a good life may be a bit different, depending on the circumstances. better and the meanings we put into words like "good", for example.

In India of old, the Panchatantra fables were formed to help princes in dealing with difficult problems by knowledge of ways of the world. Animals in it are used to describe and typify common human problems to assist in realistic coping of quite lasting value, and they talk a lot (Rajan 1995:300 ff).


A king who went hunting with a hunting-party They lost their way in the woods, and at nightfall came to a humble place. The king decided to spend the night there. His courtiers were concerned about his prestige, and adviced against sleeping there, until one of them said,

"It is not the king that loses prestige by sleeping here, it is the place that gains it."

"That is a fine way of looking at it," said the king and entered the place for a good night's sleep.


Anecdote Diogenes (?412-323 BC) observed a child drinking from his cupped hands. At once he drew his goblet from his satchel and threw it away, saying,

"In the practice of moderation a child knows better than me."

Go for health

The Katzenjammer Kids, detail

When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. - Walt Disney

Animation offers a medium of story telling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world ... We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. [Walt Disney]

Adults are only kids grown up, anyway. [Walt Disney]

There are books by Haim Ginott on how to respond to vital matters to children and youngsters - and we are all children and youngsters deep within, hopefully. There are many vital matters to adults among vital matters to children. (Ginott 1971; 1975; 2003).



How to Foster Happy All-round Living

Good fortune . . . there are many sides to it. Buddha speaks of great blessings that can be worked for.

  • In the Vyagghapajja Sutta (discourse) Buddha speaks of factors that lead to welfare. [Link]
  • In the Maha-Mangala Sutta he speaks of how to get fit for great wealth and happiness - such great blessings. [Link]
  • In yet another, Sigalovada Sutta he delineates a life fit for progress of laypersons [Link]
  • And in the Parabhava Sutta Buddha pinpoints some common causes of downfall in a life. It should be good to know of them, to be warned in time. [Link]

Other routines, steps and measures than these may favour a happy life, they too.

LoAttain, allied with deep rest in between

To enjoy charming conversations without satiety is a boon in its way.

Ample space in some way or other may ward off brutality.

Be warned: even fools can do damage if they bite from behind.

Let many details work together for beneficial ends - and sincerity can build up too.

You can go for lovely scenery.

Aim at goals that can work for your own good and the good of your near ones. Whether you move or stop should be steered from inside.

The road may give way to not very idealised encounters. Try to stay creative enough in smart, handed-over ways.

With practice we can maintain a state of inner calm also in our everyday lives. Both sterling worth (substance) and grace of style matters.

Let afflicted companions stay away, within safe bounds to be taken care of by proper health personal. Besides and otherwise, on some slippery road it is a good thing to be surefooted like a mountain goat.

Fit success is from the source and outwards onwards.

Merely repetitive practices may yet cause delight in living, like ◦TM.

It can help to aim at the kind of success that conforms to being determined and restrained, and, of course, gaining enough as one gets along. Buddha advocates laying aside a quarter of one's earnings to have reserves for "a rainy day". More: [Householder counsels of Buddha]

Little darlings delight to play and should be given ample room and conditions for it.

Good nourishment and proper position-taking is fit also, and lovely scenery.

LoLet your good heart's discerning findings serve more than rudimentary balances along with Buddha's all-round counsels

Cooperating partners need a proper balance of work and play, rest and work, privacy and social living.

Establish fit habits free from satiety, and proper arrangements.

Get skilled to be productive, and learn how to make wise and wiser choices. Some parts of Management theory is fit for laypersons too.

Never smother your heart for any reason. Seek to remain open inwards, even Awake, Enlightened in that.

Get downright prudent as time goes by.

Fair items tend to bring on many happy encounters.

To get over anger as quickly as it comes is hardly easy, but Buddha-advocated all the same.

It should help to be assisted or joined by interior decorators, perhaps even fashion composers to get bulwarked against nuisances.

Take off from as deep rest as you are able to.

Remain well equipped to work with young people. They carry some parts of the future, remember.

LoLearn to let your rest work for your attainments too - Higher yoga teaches it

Learn how to choose between suitors and remain fond at heart. Don't be over-idealistic. on behalf of that future partnership and its ramifications, possible in-laws and much else.

Not to waste any time getting into a well-founded project can be good for you.

Let life adjust well enough to love and its surprises, as it may be within your power.

Open to new ideas - like yogic attainments a la Patanjalis sanyama - try to master other sides to self-motivated activity too.

Dignity soiled is very bad, and is going to have future repercussions (bad karma ensues).

Stilling one's body and mind one reflects.

Advancing old age can be good too, and rest works well, then. ✪ 

Allowing oneself and others sufficient space or room can work for good.

Getting fitly determined and yet achieving a quiet heart can be a life goal in its way.

Fit and childlike love of fun and games and pranks marks great humans, even though all may not need to wear caps with large animal ears to be surrounded by joyful, laughing children.


In sum
  1. Attain from a good Source, as deeply as you can go without risking your welfare.
  2. Let your decent and good heart's discerning findings serve more than rudimentary balances along with Buddha's all-round counsels.
  3. Learn to let your rest work for your attainments too - the sage Patanjali teaches sides to it.

In nuceAttain a lot from a good source for solid and worthy attainments. Much education is for just that. There are many sides to it, and many problems too.


Living happily, happy living, Literature  

Ginott, Haim G. Between Parent and Child. Rev. and updated by Alice Ginott and H. Wallace Goddard. New York: Three Rivers, 2003.

Ginott, Haim G. Between Parent and Teenager. New York: Avon, 1971.

Ginott, Haim G. Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers. New York: Avon, 1975. Rajan, Chandra, tr. Visnu Sarma: The Panchatantra. London: Penguin Classics, 1995.

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