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Keys to Happiness

June 21, 2019 by  
Filed under blog

I have one more bit from the Dalai Lama’s books for you.  This post will be a simple and short listing of thoughts and comments from him, thoughts that can be uplifting and supportive of your happiness and that you can easily and quickly review and share with your spouse, children, grandchildren and friends.

  1. Empathy and altruism raises you up.
  2. Science backs up claims about the physical and emotional benefits of a compassionate state of mind.
  3. Reaching out and helping others lifts your happiness level.
  4. Freedom from suffering starts with accepting suffering as a natural fact of human existence.
  5. Studies show that reaching out to help others induces feeling of a calmer mind and less depression.
  6. For a better life, confront your problems, fears, and bad habits. Don’t avoid them…then put your brain to work to change them.
  7. Ingredients that cement relationships: Affection, compassion, and mutual respect.
  8. The cause of suffering which one should seek to remove: ignorance, craving, and hatred.
  9. Unhappiness comes to each of us when we think ourselves at the center of the world.
  10. Remember, it takes time to train your mind.
  11. Necessary ingredients to happiness:
    1. Affection
    2. Warmth
    3. Friendship
    4. Compassion
    5. State of mind
    6. Calmness of mind
    7. Peace of mind
  1. Remember this … if you have real peace of mind you can be happy even with poor health.
  2. If you believe the purpose of life is happiness, then work on discarding the things that lead to unhappiness.
  3. If you want to have a deeper connection to others then reach out and help others.
  4. Empathy is critical to build compassion.
  5. Understand people by knowing and appreciating their background.

And I will add one of my own … if you want to raise you happiness level quickly, just walk outside. There is something magical about the great outdoors and what it does to the human mind

Our Common Thread: Being Human

September 21, 2012 by  
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Well, I’ve been traveling again–Paris and Serbia and Montenegro. As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, I love to travel because of the stimulation it gives my mind and my spirit. The newness of the experiences and the variety of the places and cultures all combine to inspire and energize me. But there is one thing I don’t find much different from place to place … people.

As much as we might want to imagine it, people around the world are, at their center, pretty much the same. I know that in my experience most people are good and kind and want to help regardless of race, religion or country. We all have this binding similarity that is all too easily forgotten—we are all human and we all want the same basic thing … to be happy.

That’s why it’s so upsetting when I read in the news about people segregating themselves from each other. Whether it’s Muslims feeling hurt by what they are told about the US or the 99% trying to make it look like the 1% are another species, what would really help is for us all to stop and think that each person has the capacity for love and caring as well as hate, each individual is someone’s child, each of us are struggling with pain and misunderstanding and desire. That is who these ‘other’ people are.

Knowing this I am not at all surprised as I travel to meet smiling faces and kind gestures in every country and every culture I get to experience. I think if we expect animosity we will find animosity but if we expect compassion and generosity, it will be there for us to find.

The Measure of a Person–Action

May 6, 2011 by  
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Emotions ran high all over the country after the news of Bin Laden’s death. Words and sentiments were streaming across the net, reflecting the mixed emotions of joy, sadness, relief, and, most profoundly, the struggle we face, coming to terms with the violence of the act so many of us wanted to cheer and be thankful for. So many decisions we make come with consequences we find difficult to accept as our doing but we do need to take action so as to not miss out on opportunities or, in this case, help protect ourselves.

Our leaders faced an enormously difficult decision–securing our country but also actively seeking to end a life and potentially lose other lives in the process. You can see just how torturous this decision was for our president, a man who visited another victim of violence, Representative Gifford, before making the decision to order another form of violence. The decision was not made lightly or rashly. But it was made.

A great number of quotes are being repeated across the net as people look for ways to express their feelings about this event. Unfortunately, a number of them are incorrect, a quote attributable to Martin Luther King, Jr. being one of the most persistent. But here is one I haven’t seen that is attributable to that great and courageous man, and is one idea that I think we all would benefit from contemplating for a moment today:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy–Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963