Art of Happiness
15 Dalai Lama Quotes That Will Make You Think Deeply About Happiness, Suffering, and the Purpose of Life.
The Dalai Lama has been a source of inspiration for millions of people and has had a huge impact across the globe. His message is simple: Live a compassionate life and act with kindness towards ALL living beings – happiness will follow. And happiness, in his opinion, is the purpose of life.
But wouldn’t the pursuit of happiness for one’s self be a selfish way to live?
Not according to the Dalai Lama. Continue reading
Book Overview: Through conversations, stories, and meditations, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity, anger, and discouragement. Together with Dr. Howard Cutler, he explores many facets of everyday life, including relationships, loss, and the pursuit of wealth, to illustrate how to ride through life’s obstacles on a deep and abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2,500 years of Buddhist meditations mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, The Art of Happiness is a book that crosses the boundaries of traditions to help readers with difficulties common to all human beings.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: 15 Dalai Lama Quotes That Will Make You Think Deeply About Happiness, Suffering, and the Purpose of Life.
“The purpose of religion is to benefit people, and I think that if we only had one religion, after a while it would cease to benefit many people. If we had a restaurant, for instance, and it only served one dish – day after day, for every meal – the restaurant wouldn’t have many customers left after a while. People need and appreciate diversity in their food because there are so many different tastes. In the same way, religions are meant to nourish the human spirit. And I think we can learn to celebrate that diversity in religions and develop a deep appreciation of the variety of religions.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“A healthy sense of self-confidence is a critical factor in achieving our goals. This holds true whether our goal is to earn a college degree, build a successful business, enjoy a satisfying relationship, or train the mind to become happier. Low self-confidence inhibits our efforts to move ahead, to meet challenges, and even to take some risks when necessary in the pursuit of our objectives. Inflated self-confidence can be equally hazardous. Those who suffer from an exaggerated sense of their own abilities and accomplishments are continuously subject to frustration, disappointment, and rage when reality intrudes and the world doesn’t validate their idealized view of themselves. And they are always precariously close to sinking into depression when they fail to live up to their own idealized self-image. In addition, these individuals’ grandiosity often leads to a sense of entitlement and a kind of arrogance that distances them from others and prevents emotionally satisfying relationships.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“The closer one gets to being motivated by altruism, the more fearless one becomes in the face of even extremely anxiety-provoking circumstances.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“Motivation is so important. In fact all human action can be seen in terms of movement, and the mover behind all actions is one’s motivation. If you develop a pure and sincere motivation, if you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion, and respect, then you can carry on any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you ultimately will be successful in reaching your goal. Even if you fail to achieve your goal, you can feel good about having made the effort. But with a bad motivation, people can praise you or you can achieve goals, but you still will not be happy.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“If the situation or problem is such that it can be remedied, then there is no need to worry about it. In other words, if there is a solution or a way out of the difficulty, then one needn’t be overwhelmed by it. The appropriate action is to seek its solution. It is more sensible to spend the energy focusing on the solution rather than worrying about the problem. Alternatively, if there is no way out, no solution, no possibility of resolution, then there is also no point in being worried about it, because you can’t do anything about it anyway. In that case, the sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be on you.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
The following meditation is an excerpt from the book, The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama:
Let us imagine a scenario in which someone who you know very well, someone who is close or dear to you, is in a situation in which he or she loses his or her temper. You can imagine this occurring either in a very acrimonious relationship or in a situation in which something personally upsetting is happening. The person is so angry that he or she has lost all his or her mental composure, creating very negative vibrations, even going to the extent of beating himself or herself up or breaking things.
Then, reflect upon the immediate effects of the person’s rage. You’ll see a physical transformation happening to that person. This person who you feel close to, who you like, the very sight of whom gave you pleasure in the past, now turns into this ugly person, even physically speaking. The reason why I think you should visualize this happening to someone else is because it is easier to see the faults of others than to see your own faults. So, using your imagination, do this meditation and visualization for a few minutes.
At the end of that visualization, analyze the situation and relate the circumstances to your own experience. See that you yourself have been in this state many times. Resolve that ‘I shall never let myself fall under the sway of such intense anger and hatred, because if I do that, I will be in the same position. I will also suffer all these consequences, lose my peace of mind, lose my composure, assume this ugly physical appearance,’ and so on. So once you make that decision, then for the last few minutes of the meditation focus your mind on that conclusion; without further analysis, simply let your mind remain on your resolution not to fall under the influence of anger and hatred.
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“If one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned. Rather, one should focus on immediately pulling out the arrow.” ~ Shakyamuni, the Buddha, via The Art of Happiness
“There is one aspect to our experience of suffering that is of vital importance. When you are aware of your pain and suffering, it helps you to develop your capacity for empathy, the capacity that allows you to relate to other people’s feelings and suffering. This enhances your capacity for compassion towards others. So as an aid in helping us connect with others, it can be seen as having value.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“Man is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering as soon and as long as he can see a meaning in it.” ~ Victor Fankl, via The Art of Happiness
“Our ultimate aim in seeking more wealth is a sense of satisfaction, of happiness. But the very basis of seeking more is a feeling of not having enough, a feeling of discontentment. That feeling of discontentment, of wanting more and more and more, doesn’t arise from the inherent desirability of the objects we are seeking but rather from our own mental state.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“The enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience. Without an enemy’s action, there is no possibility for patience or tolerance to arise. Our friends do not ordinarily test us and provide the opportunity to cultivate patience, only our enemies do this. So, from this standpoint we can consider our enemy as a great teacher, and revere them for giving us this precious opportunity to practice patience.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“It seems that often when problems arise, our outlook becomes narrow. All of our attention may be focused on worrying about the problem, and we may have a sense that we’re the only one that is going through such difficulties. This can lead to a kind of self-absorption that can make the problem seem very intense. When this happens, I think that seeing things from a wider perspective can definitely help – realizing, for instance, that there are many other people who have gone through similar experiences, and even worse experiences. If you focus too closely, too intensely, on a problem when it occurs, it appears uncontrollable. But if you compare that event with some other greater event, look at the same problem from a distance, then it appears smaller and less overwhelming.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“As products of an imperfect world, all of us are imperfect. Every one of us has done some wrong. There are things we regret – things we have done or things we should have done. Acknowledging our wrongdoings with a genuine sense of remorse can serve to keep us on the right track in life and encourage us to rectify our mistakes when possible and take action to correct things in the future. But if we allow our regret to degenerate into excessive guilt, holding on to the memory of our past transgressions with continued self-blame and self-hatred, this serves no purpose other than to be a relentless source of self-punishment and self-induced suffering.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness