Beyond Small Pleasures

Release from being bound by what
you wrongly assume to be true happiness
brings even greater happiness.

– Stonepeace

This is a wonderful short film on the joys of mindful appreciation of everyday things in the moment. However, from a Dharma point of view, the ideas portrayed are imperfect due to the below.

The meaning of life or happiness is stated as nothing more than small moments of pleasure. This is worldly happiness that the Buddha taught to be fleeting and unsatisfactory in the long run; in contrast to unconditioned blissful True Happiness to be realised in Nirvana. Such happiness is not genuine enough, as it is unsubstantial. Happiness is also defined only as sensual happiness (other than that from sight), though it does advocate treasuring of whatever blessings we have, even though we might be impaired in some ways. Ironically, it was the loss of sight that the man learnt to cherish what he had more.

The parts on emptying one’s mind of thoughts in lightness and calmness seems almost like meditation – but it is not complete if no insight from watching the mind arises as a result. While it’s good to have no irrational fear, to indulge in a sensation due to being fearless is still a form of sensual craving. The bit on believing a ladybird landing on one being is a good sign is superstitious – unless it is seen as a sign of having enough metta (loving-kindness), such that insects are attracted without fear.

There you have it – a contrast of worldly versus spiritual happiness, that is easily missed. But I’m no killjoy here, for all the pleasures above are alright if not addicted to, pleasurable in their own limited right. But even as we enjoy them, we should realise that they are short-lived, and know that attachment to the illusion that they are ultimate will eventually lead to disappointment… life after life… as we pursue the transitory endlessly. If we are not aware of the availability of timeless bliss beyond small pleasures, we will be stuck chasing them, hoping they will last.

Any sensual bliss in the world,
any heavenly bliss,
isn’t worth one sixteenth-sixteenth
of the bliss of the ending of craving.

– The Buddha (Raja Sutta)

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