As we greet each other with ‘Happy New Year’, how do we rate our chances of being happy? Do we have a clear picture of what happiness is or how to achieve it? I saw an interesting article on the bbc news this morning. One of their reporters, David Sillito, is investigating the scientific evidence about mindfulness meditation (which is what we practise in our meditation classes here in Edinburgh). Along with some other volunteers, he is doing 30 minutes meditation every day to see whether, after just a short time, there is any measurable improvement in the brain activity in the area corresponding to positive emotions. They are then going to measure this in a medical scanner and the results will be on the bbc news programme tomorrow morning. The piece includes some short comments by Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who has been referred to as ‘the happiest man in the world’. He says he remembers being angry about 25 years ago – and not since then. That’s something to aspire to, is it not? The item on the news is just over 3 minutes long – watch it and see what you think – it might change your life to join a meditation class next Monday.
And if you find him inspiring, you might like to hear him talk for 10 minutes about happiness on this link, accompanied by some of his stunning photographs.