Pleasure’s not a problem—until we think we can’t be happy without it.
All sentient beings share a longing for happiness. Some men think the road to happiness leads through pleasure—or at least a mnemonic accumulation of pleasurable experiences. It doesn’t. Pleasure comes and goes.
There’s more joy in austerity than pleasure in indulgence. Austerity decides wisely, neither anticipates nor regrets, refrains from unnecessary action, keeps the body clean, lean and relaxed, and maintains a bit in the mouth of the mind.
Desire isn’t wrong; it’s the smallness of our desires that exacts a toll.
The code: Do not pursue pleasure. Do not avoid pain. Welcome what comes.