Eudaimonia, the Greek ‘εὐδαιμονία’, is the concept of well-being. The ancient Greeks argued about what exactly constituted this eudaimonia, this human flourishing. They mulled over whether virtue, rational action, contemplation or pleasure could be the cause and or aim of a fulfilling human life.
I’m not entirely persuaded by any one school of thought but I’m comfortable with the idea that they are all things that go toward living a meaningful life.
I also think it’s helpful to understand the concept of eudaimonia in conjunction with the eight fold path offered by the philosophy of the Indian sage Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras. These limbs are: ethical standards (things like non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing and faithfulness), self-discipline (things like cleanliness, contentment, spiritual practices and study of philosophy and one’s self), the physical postures of yoga and breathing exercises. These are all very practical things we can do to allow meaning and fulfillment into our lives. The final four paths develop from the practice of meditation and (according to Pantanjali) may, with utmost dedication, allow one to reach a state of enlightenment. While I’m not convinced by such mystical claims, there is a lot of evidence that a regular meditation practice is good for your mental (and possibly physical) health- a state that is pretty undeniably helpful for well-being.
Whether as tools or as ends in themselves, the practices and goals proposed by ancient philosophers of the east and west can help us live a life that is fulfilling – where one feels a sense of flourishing and well-being.
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All of that is a fairly round-about way of saying – welcome to my blog!
It’s a space for sharing some of the things that I think make a good and happy life – with a focus on adventure and tasty (+ kind) food. I hope you can find here something that speaks to you: whether it be a new recipe, some philosophical food for thought, an idea for a trip or maybe just inspiration to pause, breathe and giggle.
Thanks for stopping by xx