Attachments: Matthew Ricard: “Happiness”

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Aversion is the negative side of attachment; we may have aversion to failure, loss, instability, or discomfort; and we usually believe that if the things toward which we feel aversion happen, we’ll surely be unhappy.

 

It can’t be emphasized enough that to experience genuine happiness we first have to recognize what blocks it.

 

This includes seeing our attachments, the things we believe will bring us happiness, but which actually do just the opposite.

 

We will continue to pursue the conditioned strategies of behavior that we hope will bring us happiness as long as we believe they are working.

 

And because they sometimes do bring us some degree of personal happiness, these behaviors can get reinforced for a long time.

 

That’s how people get caught on the treadmill of their attachments and routines for a lifetime without making any effort to change.

 

Paradoxically, we’re actually fortunate if life occasionally serves us a big dose of disappointment, because it forces us to question whether our attachments and strategies really serve us.

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