I created this video with AI image generation. When one understands the impermanence of all phenomena & becomes disenchanted with suffering that seems pleasant, this is the path to purification and lasting wellness.
Belief in rebirth is NOT necessary to achieve benefits of Buddhism. As you meditate, your view on reality will change to see it is likely, so it's better to prepare for death rather than assuming it will be lights out forever. https://www.loom.com/share/cc6b8891271e4902a2efce4e907b408f
If you are okay with being temporarily unhappy, you will be more happy. For example you won’t over eat, get addicted to drugs, porn, scroll social media, waste time and money on high-maintenance addictive relationships, etc Every experience has two layers: Feeling Craving (reaction) When you see reality with a still and orderly mind, and not craving happy feelings all the time, you see that happy feelings are not really intrinsically superior to other states. When you see the unescapable mundane reality clearly and understand impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, addiction, sense dulling, etc.
Considering that different actions lead to either benefit or destruction, one should be highly selective in endeavors & especially commitments they choose to be involved in. Also being selective about what food enters the body. But not suffering when this can't be controlled as these decisions are not made for the purpose of pleasure.
First arises the feeling, second the reaction. Both liking and disliking reactions lead to forms of suffering in all cases. For example: when there is no disliking reaction to pain, there is no suffering. A mindful reaction will replace any other present reaction.
It's much more important to focus on seeing experiences clearly rather than focusing on if they are good or bad. For instance, you shouldn't have a "no pleasure allowed" rule or "avoid pain at all costs". This can make suffering worse in many ways. When you see experiences clearly, there is no rules and discipline necessary. It's like not wanting to touch a hot stove. Theoretically, pleasure ok if there is no craving and a habit of always trying to maximize it with belief that it is beneficial.