As the complications of life start to build — whether it is health issues, financial concerns, or relationship problems — it’s important to find resources that enable you to skillfully navigate these challenges. And some of the best resources — like mindfulness, compassion and determination — are ones that already lie within you.
“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” — Dalai Lama
From Delhi to Peking
I was 15 years old in January of 1973 when my father was appointed U.S. Ambassador to India. I had been a 10th grade student in the American International School for about 2 weeks when I was invited on a class trip to Manali, near the Tibet border.
As we drove through Himachal Pradesh, we passed thousands of Tibetans breaking rocks along the Kangra Highway. I asked, why are these people here? I was told China invaded their country, they are refugees in India.
When we reached Manali we walked to a mountain pass that once linked India and Tibet, sealed by barbed wire, guarded by Chinese soldiers, wearing green Mao caps with the Red Star, clutching rifles. Our Tibetan guide was frightened and told us we had to leave at once. I had never heard of this story, no one seemed to have heard of it. I wondered why.
Anger and hatred are the real enemies that we must confront and defeat, not the “enemies” who appear from time to time in our lives. ~ The Dalai Lama
Those who have had the chance to be in his presence, know him — in part — by his infectious laugh. “I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious.”
I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher. […]
The life of exile is an unfortunate life, but I have always tried to cultivate a happy state of mind, appreciating the opportunities this existence without a settled home, far from all protocol, has offered me. This way I have been able to preserve my inner peace.
If we are content just to think that compassion, rationality, and patience are good, that is not actually enough to develop these qualities. Difficulties provide the occasion to put them into practice. Who can make such occasions arise? Certainly not our friends, but rather our enemies, for they are the ones who pose the most problems. So that we truly want to progress on the path, we must regard our enemies as our best teachers.
For whoever holds love and compassion in high esteem, the practice of tolerance is essential, and it requires an enemy. We must be grateful to our enemies, then, because they help us best engender a serene mind! Anger and hatred are the real enemies that we must confront and defeat, not the “enemies” who appear from time to time in our lives.
Of course it is natural and right that we all want to have friends. I often say jokingly that a truly selfish person must be altruistic! You have to take care of others, of their well-being, by helping them and serving them, to have even more friends and make more smiles blossom. The result? When you yourself need help, you will find all you need! On the other hand, if you neglect others’ happiness, you will be the loser in the long run. Is friendship born of arguments, anger, jealousy, and unbridled competition? I don’t think so. Only affection produces authentic friends. […]
As for me, I always want more friends. I love smiles, and my wish is to see more smiles, real smiles, for there are many kinds—sarcastic, artificial, or diplomatic. Some smiles don’t arouse any satisfaction, and some even engender suspicion or fear. An authentic smile, though, arouses an authentic feeling of freshness, and I think the smile belongs only to human beings. If we want those smiles, we must create the reasons that make them appear.
— The Dalai Lama, in an excerpt from his book “My Spiritual Journey”.
We keep watching this Wheeler Center conference video featuring Phillip Wollen and we cry for our brother and sister animals with every viewing … please take the time to watch this short video that can only be viewed on FaceBook. Phillip Wollen is an Aussie who was formerly a CitiBank Vice President and Citicorp General Manager. Today, he is retired and now a most adamant animal rights activist.
And so, dear friends, it comes down to this: the battle ground for the Light is being waged right now on our palettes. Vegetarians are outnumbered 12 to 1 … better odds than the Spartans faced. Those of you who eat meat and have animals for pets … don’t you see and hear what they hear and see? Are you prepared to feed your dogs a vegetarian diet? Are you prepared to release your cats to allow them to hunt for their own food? The original Aramaic version of the Commandment is “Thou shall not kill any living being” … it doesn’t end with simply “thou shall not kill”. How can anyone spout about world peace, compassion and kindness over a roasted chicken, a holiday ham or a prime rib dinner?? What does that say about how we judge one another? The Dalai Lama says that to love is to be absent from judgment. Let’s end this hypocrisy here and now, in our lifetime, once and for all and be At-one-ment with each other and this planet, our Home.