Everyone wants to be happy. According to all the research, what makes people most happy is their connections with other people. To have a sense of belonging to a loving family or loving community is what makes us happy and apparently adds as much as 10 years to life expectancy. Before I became a Buddhist I was very self-sufficient and cultivated independence and self-sufficiency. This was not a bad thing, but it did take me many years of practising Buddhism before I realised experientially, that I did need other people – that my spiritual practice was nothing without other people and that the family of Sangha really was a blessing and a boon in my life. I can say now that I am happy most of the time and I believe this is largely due to being part of this alive spiritual community of Triratna. Bhante Sangharakshita says in Wisdom beyond Words that there is only one thing we need in order to be able to give to others. We need “to love ourselves and know that we are loved by others. Appreciate ourselves and know that we are appreciated by others”. This is also what we need in order to be happy.