“THERE ARE ONLY TWO DAYS IN THE YEAR THAT NOTHING CAN BE DONE. ONE IS CALLED YESTERDAY AND THE OTHER IS CALLED TOMORROW. TODAY IS THE RIGHT DAY TO LOVE, BELIEVE, DO AND MOSTLY LIVE.” –
HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA
On Monday, July 6th, His Holiness celebrates his 80th birthday! May his presence continue to be a driving force for compassion and love throughout the world.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on July 6, 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two, the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time, was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Compassionate Buddha and patron saint of Tibet. The Buddha Chenrezig has promised to work for the welfare of all living beings until they have obtained the highest degree of enlightenment.
In addition to being the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has dedicated his life to offering contemplative dialogues on the subject matters of Science and Buddhism, Education and Secular Ethics, Compassion and Universal Responsibility, as well as Ethics in the fields of Environmental Sustainability, Global Warming and Leadership. He has unbiasedly embraced the essence of all religions, as loving kindness and caring which our 21st century society is in much need of. And he has included in his message the value of all religions, i.e. the recognition of the value of loving kindness and caring, as a benefit to all humanity. In all these areas, he regards humans as possessing common basic values, and for this reason, he sustains that we must work together in peace for a better world. His work in all these areas has made him one of the most influential figures of the 20th and 21st Centuries.
How to Achieve Happiness
HH The Dalai Lama
For a start, it is possible to divide every kind of happiness and suffering into two main categories: mental and physical. Of the two, it is the mind that exerts the greatest influence on most of us. Unless we are either gravely ill or deprived of basic necessities, our physical condition plays a secondary role in life. If the body is content, we virtually ignore it. The mind, however, registers every event, no matter how small. Hence we should devote our most serious efforts to bringing about mental peace.
From my own limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion.
The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.
As long as we live in this world we are bound to encounter problems. If, at such times, we lose hope and become discouraged, we diminish our ability to face difficulties. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is not just ourselves but every one who has to undergo suffering, this more realistic perspective will increase our determination and capacity to overcome troubles. Indeed, with this attitude, each new obstacle can be seen as yet another valuable opportunity to improve our mind!
Thus we can strive gradually to become more compassionate, that is we can develop both genuine sympathy for others’ suffering and the will to help remove their pain. As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase.
Featured Reading – The Art of Happiness
Through meditations, stories and the meeting of Buddhism and psychology, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, or just an ordinary bad mood. He discusses relationships, health, family, work, and spirituality to show us how to ride through life’s obstacles on a deep abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2500 years of Buddhist meditations mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, The Art of Happiness is a book that crosses the boundaries of all traditions to help readers with the difficulties common to all human beings.
Purchase this book using the Amazon link below and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Love Serve Remember Foundation.