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Discovering Happiness

Can Buddhism and Buddhist meditation make the world a happier place? Yes! So we've assembled some of the best pieces on Buddhism and happiness published in the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma.

Featured contributors include Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sakyong Mipham, Gaylon Ferguson, Matthieu Ricard, and more.

Just click any article's title to start reading.

Discovering Happiness with Sharon Salzberg, Gaylon Ferguson, Polly Young-Eisendrath, and Barry Magid

A report on our special August 2009 weekend of teachings and practice at the Omega Institute. By James Kullander.

Surprised by Joy

The road to happiness, says Sharon Salzberg, is actually paved with kindness.

Does Buddhism make you happier?

A Buddhadharma Forum featuring Andrew Olendzki, Gaylon Ferguson, and Blanche Hartman. Introduction by Glenn Wallis.

There’s No “I” in Happy

If “What about me?” is the thought that rules our day, says Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, then we are setting ourselves up for a life of fearfulness and struggle. Real happiness comes from putting others first.

This Silence is Called Great Joy

A new teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh on the truth beyond our usual truths.

The Only Choice is Kindness

“Life is so difficult, how can we be anything but kind”—it was these words that inspired Sylvia Boorstein to follow the Buddhist path. Steve Silberman talks with her about the challenges of life, from a rough childhood to a post-partum depression, that helped her become such a beloved teacher—and example—of Buddhist virtues

Growing Together

In his introduction to Love’s Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships, Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how we can use loving relationships to cultivate the seeds of buddhahood inside us.

We Always Have Joy

The Sun doesn’t stop shining just because there are clouds in the sky. Our buddhanature is always present and available, even when life gets difficult. In his book, Joyful Wisdom, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche shows us how to discover the joy and awareness that are never affected by life’s ups and downs.

The Jewel You Carry with You

Even beyond diamonds and rubies, the most valuable gem is the compassionate, loving nature of your own being. Sakyong Mipham on uncovering this treasure.

Stumbling on Happiness 

Are we just too stupid to be happy? Psychologist Daniel Gilbert reveals some of the common mental mistakes that defeat our search for happiness.

Happiness is...

A monk and a movie star: two very different lifestyles and so, you would think, two different paths to happiness. But actor Richard Gere and French author and monastic Matthieu Ricard share a serious commitment to Buddhism, and they agree that real, lasting happiness is beyond conditions and circumstances. A lively, insightful conversation on the true nature of happiness.

Why Can’t “I” Be Happy?

The four noble truths tell us that to be happy we must first discover the causes of our unhappiness. This is the approach of the renowned French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, who says that genuine happiness is only possible after we understand the fundamental mistake that is the root of our suffering.

The Paradox of Happiness

Real happiness is what we all want, but none of our strategies for finding it seem to work. Maybe it's the search for happiness that makes us unhappy. John Tarrant has some thoughts on why the Buddha smiles.

The Karma of Happiness

In measuring and prescribing human skills for a good life, the new positive psychology overlooks a vital point, says Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Lasting happiness requires that we carefully weigh the consequences of our actions.


Wisdom for Difficult Times: A special section on

Here are some of the finest examples of Buddhist wisdom for difficult times, from the names you've come to trust all from the pages of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma. Includes pieces by Pema Chödrön, Sylvia Boorstein, John Tarrant, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, and more.

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