VIDEO: Mindfulness Meditation and Happiness

In her interview with PsychAlive Senior Editor Lisa Firestone, Dr. Donna Rockwell talks about mindfulness meditation as a shortcut to realizing happiness.

It increases our overall sense of wellbeing and allows us to be here.  You know, we can’t be happy if we’re thinking about what happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow.  There’s no happiness in that.  You actually have to be present to feel joy and happiness, you know.  And there’s just so many amazing teachings and Buddhist psychology that speak to this very thing.

The four limitless ones, for example, talks about love, generosity equanimity and then something they call sympathetic joy.  Now normally we hear about sympathy or we hear about joy but we don’t hear about both of them together.  But what we need to sort of understand or what was so touching for me to sort of come to understand was that when we’re actually feeling joy, it has a tear with it.  It’s not like being at the football game and rah, rah.  We’re feeling a sense of joy which I think is laden with appreciation and gratitude and awe.

So it’s sympathetic joy.  It’s joy with an awareness of impermanence, with an awareness that this isn’t going to go on forever, so let me fully appreciate this.  Let me soak this up, as my mother used to say all the time.  Soak it up.  And I think that’s what meditation trains us to be able to do is to really be able to soak up the preciousness of this very moment, which is never coming again.

About the Author

Donna Rockwell, Psy.D. Dr. Donna Rockwell, Psy.D., L.P. is a licensed clinical psychologist, adjunct faculty member, community outreach worker, columnist, and mindfulness meditation teacher. Dr. Rockwell specializes in both mindfulness and celebrity mental health. She works with clients in her private practice and teaches public meditation classes. You can watch Dr. Rockwell on YouTube or read more of her blogs at The New Existentialists.

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