I went to the Spa at San Juan Cosala again today. I always go early. By eleven it starts to get crowded and then there is no swimming in the pool. I went with my friends Stacey and Carolina. What a lovely morning. I am also reading a good book: Beyond the Sky and The Earth, A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa. She was a teacher in Bhutan. Recently I read another book on happiness titled: The Geography of Bliss, One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner
I never knew this but an entire field of research has developed around happiness, studying what makes people happy and which places where more happy people live, etc. I enjoyed the book. The measurement is GNH, or Gross National Happiness. Bhutan is one of the happiest places in the world. It is also one of the poorest.
So, why is one of the poorest countries in the world one of the happiest? One explanation may have to do with their strong community ties. According to the study of happiness, GNH, 70% of happiness is due to strong community and family ties. I find that very interesting.
At the beginning of each chapter in the book Beyond the Sky and the Earth is a quote. Many of them are from Buddhism. I especially like this one from the Buddhist Scriptures: And if you hit upon the idea that this or that country is safe, prosperous, or fortunate, give it up, my friend...for you ought to know that the world is ablaze with the fires of some faults or others. There is certain to be some suffering...and a wholly fortunate country does not exist anywhere. Whether it be excessive cold or heat, sickness or danger, something always afflicts people everywhere; no safe refuge can thus be found in the world.