The Art of Being Happy. The 1st lecture of the Dalai Lama.
I’ve heard about Dalai Lama XIV coming to Riga and giving lectures at sport complex Olimpiyskiy from newspaper reports. Once I got acquainted with a speech of Dalai Lama (small booklet) which he made during presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
“The moral fabric of peace on earth is love and compassion,” she wrote in her notebook and remembered these words well.
The ticket price was affordable, so I decided to go to Riga. I called my friend from the institute. At first she said that she couldn’t host, but I objected: I wasn’t that important, I could sleep on the cot or on the floor, my goal was to listen to the Dalai Lama’s lectures.
As I walked past the flower stores in the center of Riga with bunches of flowers displayed at their doors, inhaling the fragrant aromas, I slowed my steps. Delicate freesias, a woman had chosen them, and I bought a rose, a small burgundy rose, to present to the Dalai Lama. Done and done.
The huge hall of the sports complex. Professionally decorated with floral arrangements, the podium for the speech, probably specially outfitted for the occasion, the table covered with a burgundy tablecloth.
In a semicircle, with several aisles, chairs are arranged, and the audience takes their seats. In the first row – the president of the Republic of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga, next to her – a famous Latvian poet; the invited guests. In the yellow and burgundy – monks from the Republic of Tuva.
At the door of the gymnasium, decorated with white brick, accompanied by burly bodyguards passes smiling Dalai Lama XIV. The smiling Dalai Lama enters, accompanied by his bodyguards and interpreters.
The Dalai Lama sits at a table covered with a burgundy tablecloth on a dais specially set up for the occasion. Next to him is an interpreter translating into Latvian. The Russian text, a simultaneous translation, is displayed on a white canvas screen, on the right side. Kristina writes word for word, glancing occasionally at the speaker.
He sits down next to the interpreter at the table, and begins his speech, a conversation, for he does not read from paper, in English.
-I would like to thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to speak and thank the president for the opportunity to be here. I would like to thank her for the speech she gave the day before at the University of Latvia. I appreciate the speaker’s kind words. Thank you. The topic of my talk today is compassion and how we can achieve happiness. I would like to start by making it clear, because there are so many of us here: if you have come with some kind of expectation of better health, of healing, that is a mistake, I have nothing to offer you and I think you will be disappointed. I’m actually quite skeptical of people who claim to have healing powers, being healers. If they could cure me of my skin disease, I would appreciate it, but I have to take mixtures and rubs that really help.
If there are people here who have come out of curiosity, that’s fine, that’s normal. I address you with the feeling that I am one of you, as human as you are, we are one and the same mentally, spiritually. You have the potential for good and bad. It’s the little things that separate us: the color of our skin, the difference in our noses.
Physically we are equal, we are the same, we can marry, we can produce children, that means we are physically the same. And you have to say the most important thing: I want to be happy, I want to live in happiness, and so do you. Absolutely the same. And each of us has the right to this. The right to happiness, the right to a full life. I think that’s the goal in our coexistence is happiness. And in our daily lives, happiness depends on hope. Hope is something good, and I think our existence is based on hope, on something good, and on happiness and joy. In human history, the desire for happiness and success is legitimate. We have a right to success, too.
In the early period of human history, life was very simple, almost like other babies. Under the power of intelligence, all human tools (intitutes) became more complex. Thanks to intelligence, various techniques can be found to achieve the happiness of life. Therefore, I think that we, humanity, must take care of the physical conditions of our being and must aim the educational system in the direction of material needs. In many areas, I think, we could solve many problems and eliminate suffering and achieve comfort and comfortable physical existence. It will be 10 years, I think you will make every effort to make the transition to achieve a good result. Now the question is: In what? In those societies where knowledge and advanced economics have been applied, have people achieved great and stable happiness and joy? We see that people in these societies have all the material comforts, the high advancement of science and technology, but many of them suffer spiritually.
I think that HAPPY IS THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE. Because of jealousy, because of comparison, different degrees of competition, otherwise because of great self-centeredness, people’s minds lose happiness, and those people who are unhappy inside always complain.
Including the new young generation growing up with such attitudes, when little love, human compassion is received, just because of the lack of human warmth they become unhappy and make others unhappy. I think that because of a lack of care, of responsibility, high self-centeredness happens. The same thing happens. Look at America, other countries.
Look at China: they still claim to be a socialist country, but how many poor people there are. And globally, there are rich and poor countries. What is the problem? I think: and here is the lack of human compassion, selfishness, lack of understanding that we are all brothers and sisters, have equal rights to a successful life. In international relations, strong countries show force to weak countries. This is really sad. Even if they preach democracy, in many cases they show force. And this whole situation persists in spite of high material wealth, that is, it persists in spite of this.
Another important thing is the environment. Natural resources are actively exploited, including deforestation, which has a huge impact on the environment, on the appearance of floods. All this is caused by greed, short-sightedness, narrow-mindedness. If we examine these problems carefully, I think we will find that they are caused by the human mind.
Because of the imbalance, our mind creates new desires, new fantasies, we use new destructive methods, pursuing invented goals that are not necessary. Lots of money, and internally the rich man is miserable, we can see that. We meet families who have everything but are completely miserable, they ask for a blessing. Who am I to bless you?
BLESSING MUST come from within, an understanding to develop the right attitude toward life, then you can reduce the inner restlessness.
Material satisfaction is good, but the properties of the mind can make one completely miserable in the presence of material comforts. Physical troubles can be removed by material objects and means and then you can feel well physically, but if you feel unhappy in the soul, this cannot be removed by physical means.
We have to look for the causes of our problems within our minds.
You can buy diamonds in the market, you can ask and sell anything, but you can’t buy peace of mind with any money. If you ask a doctor to give you an injection to make you happy, the doctor won’t help. Peace of mind must be achieved by the method of the mind itself, not by physical means.
– My personal experience is that I lost my freedom at the age of 16 and at 24 I lost my own country, for 42 years I lived in exile as a refugee, and for 42 years I have been listening to the news about what is happening in Tibet. I care about the people of Tibet settling in India. So it is possible to live a difficult life, I go through a lot of pain, or hardship, but I think I have been able to keep my peace of mind and peace of mind. Not because I am any special person, but because I have practiced a lot, trained my mind, trained my emotions.
Unhappiness is a very emotional word. And at the same time it’s an unpleasant state in the awareness of how damaging and destructive that emotion is. Then already of your own free will you try to weaken the destructive emotion and try to nurture the constructive emotion: such as compassion, contentment, clarity. You will see how useful this is, what a good job it is for the mind and for a happy life.
Love is a positive emotion; increasing it promotes understanding. It is clear that by transforming our emotions in this way, we cause change in our lives. Not just praying – trying to transform consciousness. Each result we compare which one will be lasting and support by choosing tactics to relate to our emotions. Mindfulness training based on understanding can expand your mind. It is extremely helpful when you encounter someone who has transformed themselves.
Physical problems can be corrected by physical means, but the problems associated with our soul, its suffering and pain can be reduced if we look at the matter from a broader perspective. We have the same abilities and emotions and intelligence, but I think we can think about this in more detail. We neglect our inner potential. And yet you can experiment, and you’ll see how : alleviate your condition is possible. So, without any religious beliefs, just analyzing, trying to understand this system in terms of these factors as deeply as possible and then trying to develop the positive. I call it secular ethics: a sense of compassion, a sense of understanding, honesty, contentment. I think these are basic moral values for every person. When your mind is at rest, you can use your human intellect properly. If the mind is seized, for example, by jealousy or hatred, you become almost insane and you make mistakes. This is really a tragedy, related to narrow-mindedness. In a tranquil state we judge more correctly and thus make our lives better and preserve human values.
Nevertheless, religious traditions are gaining more and more strength, and they have their right great commandments. The influence of religion today is very strong. All great religions carry the message of love, contentment, self-discipline. These are all basic human values. They will really help reinforce these common human values. The influence of religion varies because people’s mental predispositions are very different. Because of these differences, a variety of religious traditions arise. To be a believer or a nonbeliever is a personal choice.
But if we choose religion, we must be serious and sincere. You must put into practice all the teachings of your religion, its values included. Religious teachings are supposed to convert your negative feelings into positive ones. Sometimes that does not happen, but a person keeps proclaiming: I am a Christian, I am a Muslim. This is when conflicts arise, reaching the point of bloodshed. That has happened in the past, instead of containing these impulses, religion has become another source of strife. So if you practice your religion sincerely, blessed in your own spiritual experience, you can see the value of other religions and their traditions.
So we can learn from each other. This is the spirit of true harmony. These qualities of human nature that I mentioned–the capacity for forgiveness, compassion, contentment–can reduce the danger of wars. These are the foundations that help to bring peace to families. They make life better. When we develop these mental attitudes in ourselves, we automatically achieve more peace in the family, in our fellowship, in the country, and there are fewer wars in the world. The whole society becomes more peaceful. Otherwise, if some conflictual event happens in society, it stirs up the whole society. If we eliminate this distress, we have not yet brought peace. Peace must be produced from within, in the family, then in society. Conflicts always arise, so the method of non-violent resolution of this conflict is important in our work.
WE ALL NEED MENTAL DISARMAMENT.
With what difficulty? reach, and then the world becomes so small, then we can’t help but feel dependent on each other. It used to be that you could defeat the enemy’s troops, and you felt victory. Today, if you are compassionate enough in your soul, you cannot feel the grief of another (person). So today there is no such thing as a military victory. Victory and defeat are things that reflect on both sides. Today we must understand this, and understand that what we do will reflect on everything around us, on the state of the environment. That was the end of the first lecture. The audience was allowed, invited to ask questions. A question from the audience: -You were talking about happiness, but what makes one happy does not make another happy. To this question the Dalai Lama replied as follows:
– If we talk about peace, about peace, about friendliness, those are the things that make all people happy. If anyone who is foolish is going to be unhappy about it, it is his own fault. We see this even in animals, they are happy with kindness.
-What is important in dealing with others? – I think it’s important to recognize your neighbor as fully as you are. And you have to remember that your interest is closely related to his personal interest. The more you like him, the better you will understand him, and the greater the benefit you will gain. If your neighbor is mean, you must accept the challenge. Not in the sense that you must retaliate, but in the sense that you must make additional adjustments with regard to ideas so that he cannot harm you. If you do this in a calm state of mind, it will be more effective. So peace of mind is important here as well.
-Are you happy? – Yes, I think so.
-What do you think about the future of Tibet?
-What is the purpose of all religions? – All religions are necessary. When we talk about the main goal of religion, the perspectives are very different. It can be salvation, personal happiness or attainment of nirvana, – but on another level the main thing is to put forward universal values, to strive to make people better and happier. But if there is a religious practice for other purposes, then analyze your life, change it and you will come to the same eternal values.
-What do you think about the future of Tibet?
– Locally, the situation is very bad, critical: an ancient nation with a unique cultural heritage is in danger of extinction. But if you look more broadly – in what process of change is the Republic of China, a large part of the world, and cannot help but experience the processes that the whole world is experiencing: the whole world is moving toward democratization, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly – there is hope in this perspective. There are groups in almost all parliaments that support the people of Tibet, and we have the sympathy of ordinary people around the world who are determined to see the truth prevail. Some Chinese are beginning to understand that the struggle of the people of Tibet is just. Putting all these factors together, there is hope.
The meeting was coming to a close. Along with the others, I walked closer to a makeshift stage with some sort of barricade. Some of the people at the lecture wanted to give the Dalai Lama a picture or a book or something. I was holding a rose in my hand. The Dalai Lama looked in my direction, put his hands together, and bowed in a bow. ” He thanked me. You don’t give roses to the Dalai Lama,” I thought to myself, “he has learned to bow, he has the destiny of his people under his belt.
It became clear that the Dalai Lama did not accept gifts. One woman, probably from Buryatia, said in anger that it was because of me. I didn’t respond, but I wondered if this woman had learned the lessons of the lecture. I walked slowly through the streets of Riga, deep in thought.
Array The Dalai Lama XIV – The Art of Being Happy
Here you can read online Array the Dalai Lama XIV – The Art of Being Happy – free full version of the book (in full). Genre: Budda, published by Exmo, year 2017. Here you can read full version (full text) online without registration and SMS on LibKing.Ru (LibKing) or read a brief content, introduction (annotation), description and read reviews (comments) about the work.
Array The Dalai Lama XIV – The Art of Being Happy
The Art of Being Happy – description and short content, by Array the Dalai Lama XIV, read for free online at eLibrary LibKing.Ru
Can a book by a spiritual leader become a bestseller, a textbook of life for all people, regardless of religion? Yes, it can, and the best proof of that is The Art of Being Happy by the Dalai Lama XIV. In this book, he answers psychotherapist Howard Cutler’s questions from the perspective of Buddhist philosophy. The book has survived 10 reprints since it was first published, and the principles outlined by the Dalai Lama have received numerous scientific endorsements.
The Art of Being Happy – read online free full version (entire text)
The claim that our attitude toward pain affects the intensity of the suffering associated with it seems to be not only a philosophical concept, but also a scientific fact. And if, as a result of our study of pain, we change our attitude toward it, our efforts have not been wasted. In reflecting on the underlying meaning of pain, Dr. Brand made another surprising observation. He cites many descriptions of the complaints of lepers who state: “Of course I can see my hands and feet, but I don’t feel them as part of me . It feels like they are just my tools.” It turns out that pain not only warns and protects us, but also brings our body together as a whole. If our hands and feet didn’t feel pain, they would no longer be a part of our body.
Physical pain gives us a holistic perception of our body, and suffering similarly acts as a factor that unites us with others. Perhaps this is the main significance of suffering. Suffering is something we can share with others and something that unites us with all living beings. We will conclude our consideration of human suffering with a detailed description of the Tonglen practice mentioned earlier by the Dalai Lama. As His Holiness explained, this visualization is necessary to develop self-compassion. But it can also be seen as an effective means to overcome personal suffering. When experiencing any suffering or difficulty, you can use this practice to expand your compassion. This should happen by visualizing the deliverance of other beings from similar suffering, which should, as if by substitution, dissolve into your suffering.
The Dalai Lama was giving instructions on this technique on one particularly hot September day in Tucson. There were many listeners in attendance. The air conditioning units there could not cope with the heat from the scorching desert, amplified by the heat of a thousand and a half bodies. The temperature in the hall began to rise, creating some discomfort, which was quite suitable for meditation on suffering.
Let us meditate today on the practice of Tonglen, the meditation of exchange. It is designed to nurture the mind, to strengthen the natural strength and power of compassion. This can be achieved as Tonglen aims to fight one’s own selfishness. This practice increases the power and strength of the mind, developing in us a determination to open ourselves to the suffering of others.
Begin this exercise this way: visualize on one side of yourself a group of people desperately in need, suffering and miserable, living in poverty, deprivation and pain. Visualize this group as clearly as possible. Then, on the other side, visualize yourself as the embodiment of selfishness and narcissism, indifference to the problems and needs of others. And in the middle, between these two visualizations, imagine yourself as a neutral observer between this group of suffering people and your own selfish incarnation.
Now think about which of these sides you directly lean toward. Are you attracted to the individual person, the embodiment of selfishness? Or is your natural sense of compassion directed toward a group of weaker people in need of help?
If you are able to think objectively, you will realize that the well-being of a group of people is more important than the well-being of a single person.
Then focus your attention on the poor and suffering people. Direct all of your positive energy toward them. Give them all your accomplishments, abilities, and virtues. As you do this, visualize taking on their suffering, problems, and deprivation.
For example, you might visualize an innocent Somali child suffering from starvation and think about how you would react to a similar sight in real life. So, if you experience deep empathy for that child, it won’t be based on thoughts like “he’s my relative” or “he’s my friend. You don’t even know this child. But the fact that he is a person like you awakens your natural capacity for empathy. So you can visualize something like this and think, “This child is incapable of putting himself out of his misery and the difficulties that beset him. Then mentally take upon yourself all the suffering caused by poverty, hunger, and feelings of rejection, and give to this child all your possessions, all your wealth, and all your accomplishments. With this kind of “exchange,” you can educate your mind.
When performing this technique, it is sometimes helpful to first imagine your future suffering and, awakening compassion in yourself, accept that suffering right now with a sincere desire to free yourself from all impending suffering. Once you have gained some experience in awakening compassion for yourself, you can expand this practice to include taking on the suffering of others.
In visualizing your acceptance of others’ suffering, it is useful to visualize suffering, problems, and difficulties in the form of poisons, menacing weapons, or dangerous beasts-objects whose mere sight usually makes you shudder. Visualize suffering in these forms, then accept it and place it in your heart.
The purpose of visualizing these negative and dangerous objects dissolving into your hearts is to destroy our habitual selfish attitude found there. However, those who have problems with self-perception, self-loathing, or low self-esteem should first decide if this practice is right for them. It may not be right for them.
The Tonglen practice can be very effective if you combine it with a certain breathing technique: the “acceptance” should be on the inhale and the “giving” should be on the exhale. A sign of the effectiveness of the visualization will be a feeling of slight discomfort. This feeling indicates that your actions are achieving the goal – a self-centered, selfish attitude that is characteristic of most of us. Now let’s get to meditation.
At the end of his teaching on the practice of Tonglen, the Dalai Lama made an important point. There is no exercise that is effective for everyone without exception.
When you reflect on your own pain and suffering, it helps to cultivate an empathy with which you can perceive the feelings and suffering of others.
Each of us in our spiritual movement must choose our own effective practices. Sometimes we don’t like a certain practice at all at first, and it only becomes effective when we gain a better understanding. Such was the case with me when I tried to follow the Dalai Lama’s instructions in the practice of Tonglen. I immediately encountered difficulties, feeling some inner resistance. Later that evening, I thought about the Dalai Lama’s words again and realized that this inner resistance came from the moment he said that a group of people is more important than one person. This was a thought I had heard before. I remembered one of the Vulcan aphorisms from Star Trek that Spock utters: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. There was some contradiction in this idea. But before I asked the Dalai Lama about it, and perhaps not wanting to appear selfish to him, I decided to consult with a friend of mine who had studied Buddhism for a long time.