This week's Torah portion traces the early stops of the Israelites in the Wilderness. If they had read this before they began their incessant kvetching, it would have saved them much tzuris. But they were slaves still - slaves to their cravings.
The ten things we think will make us happier, but don't:
1-To become rich, powerful and famous
2-To treat the universe as if it was a mail order catalogue for our desires and fancies
3-To yearn for the “freedom” to do everything that comes into your mind. (This is not freedom, but being the slave of your own thoughts).
4-To constantly seek pleasant sensations, one after the other (Pleasurable sensations soon become dull, and often become unpleasant).
5-To maliciously take revenge on someone who has hurt you. (Doing so, you become as mean as them and you poison your own mind.)
6-“It I had all that, I will surely be happy,” or “If I don’t have that, I can’t be happy.” (Such predictions usually don’t turn out to be true.)
7-To always be praised and never face criticism. (This will never help you to progress.)
8-To vanquish all you enemies. (Animosity never brings happiness.)
9-To never face adversity. (This will make you weak and vulnerable.)
10-To put all your efforts into taking care of just yourself. (Altruistic love and compassion are the roots of genuine happiness.)
~Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, an author, translator, and photographer
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