Sunday, November 23, 2008

Got cash? Be happy.

Do you want to be happy? It only will cost you $545.

Beginning Monday, more than 30 educators, psychologists, philosophers and more will gather in San Francisco for the third annual Happiness & Its Causes Conference. The two-day event will offer workshops and discussions about ways to gain more stability and happiness in your own life, care for others more effectively and make the world a better place.

The conference benefits Liberation Prison Project, a nonprofit that offers spiritual teachings, advice, books and materials to imprisoned individuals interested in exploring, studying and practicing Buddhism.

Now, I’m all for being happy. It’s something I, and everyone I know, strives to reach and/or maintain. I just find it a little funny that such an exorbitant amount is being charged to “teach” people how to change their thought process so they can be happy in life.

The conference Web site suggests that to develop the potential for happiness and wellbeing “you need to develop new ways of thinking about yourself, your environment, your problems, and the very meaning of happiness/wellbeing itself.” I agree … but there is enough information out there – that is free – to provide people the guidance and direction needed to move to a more blissful life. And besides, it’s not realistic or healthy to think that one can be happy all the time.

Previous years, in Australia and then London, the conference drew 700 and 3,500 attendees, respectively. This year, more than 2,500 have registered. In a recent news article, Buddhist nun and conference organizer Robina Courtin said she believes this year’s low registration number may be due to the troubling economy.

Could be. It also may be that people are just realizing that it takes more than spending money to be happy.

1 comment:

dancingant said...

It seems to me that people who have $545 to spend on having someone else tell them how to be happy could find happiness in helping someone who wasn’t as fortunate as they are. And for those who are “scraping the bottom of the barrel” to attend such a conference…no wonder they don’t know what causes happiness! They don’t know how to manage their money! Maybe they should check in with their parish priest or pastor…or heaven forbid, read a book or two. I’m sure that at least a couple of the presenters at the conference have written at least one book.