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Did Meditation Produce The World’s Happiest Man? Daniel Goleman on Mingyur Rinpoche

A great blog post in the New York Times by Buddhist author Daniel Goleman about the young Tibetan master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, who has been dubbed the happiest man in the world (apparently it’s no longer fellow Buddhist Matthieu Ricard). Does sustained meditation practice really produce happiness? What is happiness anyway? If you want to listen to my recent interview with Mr. Goleman on the I.D. Project podcast, please visit the Interdependence Project here.



(Mingyur Rinpoche)

The discussion reminded of my own main Buddhist teacher, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, who I have never seen in a bad mood. The dude is not a big guy, but when he smiles, it’s about seven feet wide. In my experience, the answer to the question “does meditation produce happiness?” is a resounding yes, but you have to do the practice for a long time, for short daily periods, with good mentorship to see results. You also need to go on occasional mediation retreats. You also have to direct your intention beyond yourself, which is a bit of an apparent contradiction.

Has meditation made you happier? If so, how? If not, what are your obstacles?

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posted July 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Boy,this is seriously going to piss off Matthieu Ricard. And if there’s one thing you don’t want to see, it’s the world’s (second) most happiest man throwing a chair through a window.
Well at least there’s a chance that Ricard will be so unhappy that I will move up a notch on the “happiest man” listing.
how has meditation made me happier? It’s nice to be able to rest my legs for a few minutes each morning. That makes me happy. Finding that what I thought was my ‘personality’ is really just a big glop of conditioned and chosen reactions, and that they can be changed to be more in proportion to what is actually happening around me, has made me , well if not happy at least intrigued and more interested in my own mind.
if that sounds like I’m saying it’s made me more self interested, that’s in direct contrast to the fact that buddhist meditation has made me more interested in others. happy!

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posted July 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I’ve experienced many times that meditation can ease psychological suffering, and even, sometimes, physical suffering. Thoughts can be some of the most painful shit there is. Letting them go in a spacious and focused way alleviates that pain. Sure, there’s pain involved in waking up (i.e. leading your life differently) as well. Anais Nin said that, at some point, the flower’s pain of blossoming becomes preferable to the pain of being tightly wound. Sounds scary to me, but attractive too.

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posted July 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm


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Your Name

posted July 19, 2009 at 1:34 am

Hmm….i never knew that seeing someone’s leg lifted just made someone happy…lol…satellite is always fun,i permit that if it makes one very happy or the most happiest,lol.To be happy is what were suppose to always be,children of god are always happy,no matter what is the situation,they shall always see only grace,to them every detail of their lives are little messages that only them can understand,because of the gift of wisdom and understanding.

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posted July 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I just attended two of Mingyur Rinpoche’s lectures, and yeah, he is pretty happy. He is so cute, too! And hilarious.
And from my experience, I’d say practice works for happiness. I feel and function better; I hurt those around me less. There’s an old saw about “Hurt people hurt people”; when I’m not hurting [myself, others, inside], usually I’m not hurting [others, myself, outside] — supply whatever modifiers of subject/object feel right there.
Tho’ that sure comes and goes with my level of awareness and attention and “skill”. But who cares about my details of how? I’d have to quote the buddha on this one — try it and see.

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Mark the get money for school guy

posted March 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I believe that the more that you meditate, the more you feel relaxed. I can see that if you are more relaxed that you would be happier also. It takes a strong will to do anything in your life that you want. Might as well be happy also.

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posted April 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

I’m impressed! You’ve manadge the almost impossible.

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