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Daily Connect: Freedom from Happiness? (yes, double entendre time)

I'm a Facebook fan of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Admittedly, when I first "liked" him, I did it because 1) my feed was constantly being updated with Buddhist friends I admire "liking" him 2) I love his face. No. Seriously. I love his face.

But now, I've had the delight of getting profound quote status updates from him. And I loooooove me some pithy Buddhist aphorisms. His are diamond cutting brilliant and so when I learned of his amazing life's work spreading Buddhism as an authentic science of the mind, I was thrilled to learn that he would soon be coming to NYC to discuss the meaning and significance of freedom at the Rebel Buddha NYC Tour Kickoff (and, just to note: many luminaries of the Buddhist NYC world will be there incl. Ethan Nichtern of IDP, Roshi O'Hara of the The Village Zendo and Gina Sharpe of New York Insight Meditation Center; Rebel Buddha is also sponsoring their event through IDP's website).

Freedom is a tricky and slippery concept in the West. Often popularly identified with a type of autonomous and independent existence detached from the fetters of biology, history and habit to become and have whatever it is we imagine and want, the association of freedom with the personal pursuit of happiness is all too familiar. Indeed, the relationship of freedom to happiness is so deeply engrained in American culture and thought that it is enshrined in our Declaration: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I have, admittedly, not read Rebel Buddha (Dzogchen Ponlop's new book out Nov. 9th) as of yet, but I imagine this association between freedom and happiness is explored deeply and, hopefully, a bit rebelliously. Happy Tuesday.

Daily Quote

"We are constantly being trapped by our attachment to happiness." - dpr

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