Do you think people know what it is that makes them happy in the first place?
David Cain: That is a great question, and I think the answer is generally no. What amazes me most about human beings is that we all want exactly the same thing — happiness — and there is so little frank discussion on how to achieve it. Part of the problem is that we’re given bad answers by both nature and society. Nature tells us we’ll be happy if we just eat something or have sex, and society tells us we’ll be happy if we just bump up our salary or buy certain things. Mother Nature just wants us to pass our genes along and couldn’t care less about our happiness, not unlike marketers who just want us to pass our money along to them. So there is widespread confusion between gratification and happiness in human societies.
Source : https://lifedonewrite.com/2013/11/20/an-interview-with-raptitude-creator-david-cain/
Why have you followed this path of Zen and tea?
Bruce Ginsberg: I have been on a path to deepen my experience of everything, to understand the moment before you think when the brain has already made the decision for nine tenths of all the things we do. We have an existence which doesn’t need thinking when we hand ourselves over to the moment.
Source : http://www.alainelkanninterviews.com/bruce-ginsberg/
Bruce Ginsberg is a South African farmer’s son and a Zen practitioner for 50 years who has immersed himself in Asian cultures and made a life journey through tea. He was Chairman of the Buddhist Society Trust from 1991-2012 and served on the United Nations Association Religious Advisory Committee alongside imams, rabbis, Hindu priests, and Christian bishops and academics in the interfaith field. He runs Dragonfly Tea, a family-owned, British tea company with a hundred year heritage of making artisanal teas.
Q : Do you think [financial problems are] essential for people to finally realize the consequences of [materialism]?
Leo Babauta : I think financial problems highlight the underlying problems of excessive consumerism, so yes, that does tend to help. But it’s not necessary — even in good times, people spend too much and then spend too much time working, to end up with a bunch of worthless possessions (and often too much fat as a result of consumerism). If they can see, by the shining example of minimalists, that by letting go of all of that you can work less, be happier, have time for what’s important, be healthier, reduce your impact on the environment … maybe they’ll join us. I definitely think that leading by example, and starting a community-wide discussion on these important issues, is the way to start this movement.
Leo babauta is the author of many books, which can be buy from the links given below.
Q: It is very painful when someone we love has serious difficulties, such as mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or addiction. Sometimes it feels like their problems are so big that we can’t really help them and so we may want to retreat from them and their problems. At other times, we try to help, and then get consumed by the other person’s struggles. What can we do to help in these difficult situations without getting overwhelmed?
image source :internet
Thich Nhat Hanh : When you feel overwhelmed, you’re trying too hard. That kind of energy does not help the other person and it does not help you. You should not be too eager to help right away. There are two things: to be and to do. Don’t think too much about to do—to be is first. To be peace. To be joy. To be happiness. And then to do joy, to do happiness—on the basis of being. So first you have to focus on the practice of being. Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being attentive. Being generous. Being compassionate. This is the basic practice. It’s like if the other person is sitting at the foot of a tree. The tree does not do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive. When you are like that tree, sending out waves of freshness, you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.
Your presence should be pleasant, it should be calm, and you should be there for him or her. That is a lot already. When children like to come and sit close to you, it’s not because you have a lot of cookies to give, but because sitting close to you is nice, it’s refreshing. So sit next to the person who is suffering and try your best to be your best—pleasant, attentive, fresh.
source : http://www.lionsroar.com/be-beautiful-be-yourself-january-2012/