I'm bit confused about middle pathway.
1. Does middle pathway mean been happy, but not too happy, or does it mean been neutral (I mean like a robot, not feeling pleasures and not feeling sad either). If you are living a middle pathway life, does that mean you are a cheerful happy person.
2. The reason I ask this is as I understand, buddhism says life is suffering by default. What we feel as happiness is just a temporary cessation of this suffering. I'm basically bit confused about what happiness means in buddhism. If it simply means temporary cessation of suffering. I don't understand why we should try to be happy at all times, because we are going to be dissapointed because suffering is inevitable. Does this mean we have to live sad, but not too sad lives?
3. How important is it to try to be happy at all times in buddhism. I think it is very important, because you can not mediate if you are depressed,it doesn't work. But how can you be happy all times, if suffering is inevitable?
4. Are there 2 forms of happiness in buddhism. One is what I just described , temporary cessation of suffering. Is other form of happiness is simply understanding life is suffering hence not be disappointed or sad about it. Do we call this state peace of mind or happiness.
Sorry I'm finding it difficult to exactly cluster my thoughts into questions. Hope you understand what I mean.
1) It seems everyone else has commented on this so I'll make my answer for this quick. The middle way isn't about being not too sad or too happy, but about avoiding the extremes of indulging in sense pleasures and the extreme of self mortification (e.g. things like torturing yourself by starvation, burning yourself, etc...)
2) I think I should clarify something here. When the First Noble Truth states "Life is suffering", we need to remember that the word for suffering in the original language (the word Dukkha) actually has a much wider range of meaning than the English word suffering. The word Dukkha can describe suffering and pain, but it can also mean that something is defective or imperfect, or that something is unsatisfying and unable to give true happiness. When we say life is suffering, what we mean is several different things. It means that life is imperfect because of the painful things in it, and it also means that we are unsatisfied with things. It doesn't necessarily mean that the default mode of life is pain and misery.
3) Happiness isn't something people have total control over to the point where they can flip a switch and be happy just like that, so Buddhism doesn't tell us that we have to be happy all the time because most people can't do that. What we can do however, is create the causes for happiness. The cause for happiness is good karma, for example the three bases of merit which are giving, morality, and meditation. Instead of worrying about whether or not we are happy enough according to Buddhism, we should ask ourselves if we are are kind and generous to others, keep the precepts well, and meditate enough. This is much more concrete and within our control than asking ourselves if we are happy enough.
4) There are many different ways of classifying happiness. One that comes to mind is a three fold classification that the Buddha gave, although I can't remember which Sutta it is in. Under it happiness can be classified as sensual happiness, the happiness that comes from concentration, and the happiness of Nibbana itself.
There are other classification systems as well, and in the Abhidhamma you could classify many different kinds of happy mindstates, but that's the only one I can remember now.