Sensual & Material Pleasures?

"Ernest Hemingway once claimed that there were only three important things in his life: war, wine, and women. He had them all, but in spite of all his indulgences, he was not a happy man, and in the end took his own life. Obviously, he did not find the happiness he was looking for in those things."

Sheng-Yen. “There is No Suffering. A Commentary on the Heart Sutra.” North Atlantic Books, 2001.

Our search for happiness is perfectly healthy & reasonable. But when we "can't get no satisfaction" in a chosen misguided direction, we tend to chase it to extremes eg consuming alcohol till we "hit rock bottom", or gambling until we loose everything & everyone.

Perhaps the most common preoccupation isn't madly chasing a particular goal, but actually giving up on any path that might lead to happiness. People who give up can be cynical, apathetic, or "crazy busy" - constantly distracting themselves. Smartphones are terrific for facilitating 24/7 distraction, which causes progressive deterioration in our attention spans.

Microsoft attention spans, Spring 2015

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