Happiness and Suffering

I have been pondering the notion of Happiness and the Root of Suffering.  I am trying to simplify my understanding here, and I hope it helps someone else too.

What is happiness?

Happiness is when the heart and mind are freed from suffering.

How can one achieve happiness?

Happiness can be achieved as the causes of suffering are recognized and brought to an end.

What is suffering?

Suffering is the opposite of happiness.

Clinging or grasping to things is at the root of all suffering.

How can we become independent and free from clinging and grasping?  How can we end suffering?

The cessation or ceasing of unskillful clinging by mindful practice is the key to happiness.

We have to learn how to control unskillful grasping and clinging, subduing it by the power of insight.

 What can I do to suffer less?

The most effective way of dealing with suffering starts with recognizing it whenever it is present.

Borrowing from Buddhism, we learn: “Things, if clung to, are suffering, or are a source of suffering.”

Things are transient, unsatisfactory and devoid of selfhood.

We must find out what causes clinging to things, getting one to the root cause of suffering.

Knowing the cause, we shall be in a position to eliminate clinging and grasping to things, eliminating our suffering in a mindful way.

Knowledge of the root of suffering can be considered to be the most profound and most penetrating knowledge, putting one in a position to eliminate suffering completely.

A Lumad Prayer in Bendum, Philippines

I am re-editing some documentary projects that I produced years ago in the upland forests of Mindanao, Philippines.  My son says my style as a filmmaker is antiquated and extinct, and he is probably correct, but it’s my best effort and hopefully achieves some level of mindful simplicity in an online context.

Affordable Care Act

Image result for affordable care act

A new “5-year rule” in California allows the government to recover their costs for social services received by you.

Question:

Are the insurance subsidies under the ACA to be considered as a social service received?  Presumably so, but I am not sure.

Under the new rule the government can demand to be paid back from your estate for the time period of 5-years prior to the date of your death.  So you could suffer for a while and die from cancer; all that costs the value of your estate.  In that case do the kids lose their right to inherit the family home?  

What are the implications of this new rule upon individuals and families?

The argument for is that government services need to be at least partially covered by the receiver, and any possible means for recovery is justified.

The counter argument to the rule is that government is colluding with banks and insurance to re-acquire private property, thus possible constitutional questions will arise.

I hope someone can provide more information about this.