Day 125 Question 125

Day 125 Question 125:

Who is someone you admire/someone you don’t know but you have learned a lot from?

A while back somehow I stumbled upon some of the writings from the Dalai Lama.  I was immediately drawn to everything that he represented.  Here is this man that lives strictly believing that peace, love and compassion are the answers to all things.  I have watched various youtube videos in which he was interviewed and others in which he presented a colleges or various seminars.  Every time I see him I am amazed at how calm and peaceful he seems to be.   Have a great respect for the Dalai Lama because he has dedicated his life to reaching a state of total enlightenment.  He does not focus on the selfish way that most of the world does and he does not allow his ego to control him.  Reading pieces written by the Dalai Lama is what taught me about the ego and how we allow it to control us so negatively day in and day out and also reaching a deeper level of consciousness.  As human beings we all have this great potential but we are so limited by our egos and the stresses that control our daily lives.  The Dalai Lama taught me about choice and taught me that everything in life is a choice.  All of my actions and reactions are my choice and if I choose to react negatively then I will be the one that will also suffer the consequences of that negative reaction.  I lived with a self-pitying mindset for a verrrryyyyyy long time and one day I just realized that the only person in the way of being happy was ME!!!  I was the one choosing to hate myself and to feel sorry for myself.  I was the one that was choosing to ignore my strengths and all of the positive aspects of self.  I was the one that was choosing to let my ego control me.  I don’t know the exact day or the exact reason but one day I was just DONE with that.  I turned my life into constantly repeating positive self-talk and reminding myself of all of the wonderful things I have to offer to others but also to myself.  I saw myself as something way deeper than the superficial body of a person…I realized that I am not my body.  I realized that I was feeling like shit because I was choosing to have nothing but negative thoughts.  I was allowing myself to believe that society was this awful place and I stood no chance to be successful or beautiful.  Little did I know that I already was both of those things and I will be all the way through this life and into the next.

I wanted to share with my readers an excerpt from one of my favorite books: The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.  I hope you might decide one day to check it out because the words in it are so powerful and I believe you will be able to love yourself so much more than you have ever been able to.  Here it is:

Excerpt of The Art of Happiness by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness…”

 With these words, spoken before a large audience in Arizona, the Dalai Lama cut to the heart of his message. But his claim that the purpose of life was happiness raised a question in my mind. Later, when we were alone, I asked, “Are you happy?”

 “Yes,” he said. He paused, then added, “Yes…definitely.” There was a quiet sincerity in his voice that left no doubt – a sincerity that was reflected in his expression and in his eyes.

 “But is happiness a reasonable goal for most of us?” I asked. “Is it really possible?”

 “Yes. I believe that happiness can be achieved through training the mind.”

 The concept of achieving true happiness has, in the West, always seemed ill defined, elusive, ungraspable. Even the word “happy” is derived from the Icelandic word happ, meaning luck or chance. Most of us, it seems, share this view of the mysterious nature of happiness. In those moments of joy that life brings, happiness feels like something that comes out of the blue. To my Western mind, it didn’t seem the sort of thing that one could develop, and sustain, simply by “training the mind.”

 When I raised that objection, the Dalai Lama was quick to explain. “When I say ‘training the mind,’ in this context I’m not referring to ‘mind’ merely as one’s cognitive ability or intellect. Rather, I’m using the term in the sense of the Tibetan word Sem, which has a much broader meaning, closer to ‘psyche’ or ‘spirit’; it includes intellect and feeling, heart and mind. By bringing about a certain inner discipline, we can undergo a transformation of our attitude, our entire outlook and approach to living.

 “When we speak of this inner discipline, it can of course involve many things, many methods. But generally speaking, one begins by identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those which lead to suffering. Having done this, one then sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness. That is the way.”

The Art of Happiness Quotes

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

“Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

“Self satisfaction alone cannot determine if a desire or action is positive or negative. The demarcation between a positive and a negative desire or action is not whether it gives you a immediate feeling of satisfaction, but whether it ultimately results in positive or negative consequences.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

“No matter what activity or practice we are pursuing, there isn’t anything that isn’t made easier through constant familiarity and training. Through training, we can change; we can transform ourselves. Within Buddhist practice there are various methods of trying to sustain a calm mind when some disturbing event happens. Through repeated practice of these methods we can get to the point where some disturbance may occur but the negative effects on our mind remain on the surface, like the waves that may ripple on the surface of an ocean but don’t have much effect deep down. And, although my own experience may be very little, I have found this to be true in my own small practice. So, if I receive some tragic news, at that moment I may experience some disturbance within my mind, but it goes very quickly. Or, I may become irritated and develop some anger, but again, it dissipates very quickly. There is no effect on the deeper mind. No hatred. This was achieved through gradual practice; it didn’t happen overnight.’

 Certainly not. The Dalai Lama has been engaged in training his mind since he was four years old.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

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5 Responses to Day 125 Question 125

  1. Hi, I voted for your blog to receive a few awards. I enjoy stopping by your site and thank you for the information that you share. My blog is naturalfemina – the URL is:
    Cheers! Victoria

  2. Jim Maher says:

    I’ve learned a lot from Terry Fox. He passed away a long time ago, but his efforts 30 years ago have inspired people since then to do something better with their lives. He defined courage.

  3. Anastasia says:

    Diana Gabaldon, Denise Linn, Christina Pratt, Jeanne Achterberg… um.. Robert Kennedy (the publisher). 🙂

  4. granbee says:

    I also greatly respect the Dalai Lama. I learn from his tweets daily! I also really loved the late Pope John Paul. And I learned a lot from Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela.

  5. yolandebotha says:

    It was very insightful to read about what you took away from the Dalai Lama’s teachings and the positive impact that it has had on your life. I have been thinking about the connotations of the word happiness in the western consciousness recently and personally I cannot tear myself away from the image of someone who is overly bubbly and excitable To me that does not represent true “happiness”, but rather facade happiness and I have decided to choose to follow a path governed by being content rather than happy. I hope that your own definition of happiness serves you well. Thank you for sharing so generously of yourself. .

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