Helping people flourish
This might sound like a lofty goal. It is. But that's what we're all about.
You might notice that the word 'happy' isn't in our mission. The idea of being happy all the time is nuts. Human beings are complex, sensitive creatures. We think and feel a vast array of things, many of which are not even under our control. To aim at being happy all the time is like like aiming to use only the first five letters of the alphabet when you speak. It's only a small portion of the natural range of human emotion. In fact the very act of chasing happiness causes unhappiness.
Flourishing is a much deeper, more resilient, and enduring goal. It's more aligned with reality. Flourishing is about relishing the experience of being alive. It embraces everything that life throws at us - the good, the bad and the ugly. Or more specifically, the pleasant, the unpleasant, and everything in between. It is about living well, living fully, embracing the whole of life in all of its colours. It's not about banishing, burying or rejecting the unpleasant parts of our real human experience.
To decide if it's for you, click here. To find out more about the idea of flourishing, read on.
The idea of a flourishing life comes originally from the ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. It's rooted in the word 'eudaimonia' which means 'good spirit' or 'the highest human good' and is related to 'excellence' and 'wellbeing'. The pleasant emotional states we call 'happiness' are definitely a part of the flourishing life, maybe even a frequent part. But they are only a part.
The contemporary field of Positive Psychology also gives a perspective on flourishing. One of the founders of its resurgence, Martin Seligman, defines flourishing as doing well in four areas: pleasure; engagement; achievement; and meaning.
The character who's had the single greatest influence on Flourish however, is Siddhattha Gotama, commonly known as 'The Buddha'. Gotama lived and taught around the same time as Socrates and Plato (5th century BCE). His insights into the experience of being human are deep, profound and very practical. Flourish is rooted firmly in a secular understanding of Gotama's key insights as gleaned from the most original recorded version of his teachings: the Pali canon. We also lend from modern psychology where it's helpful.
If you'd like to know more about the Buddha's teachings in a non-religious, practical way, check out Lenorë's book - The Buddha for Modern Minds: a non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings here.