I was reading the book Be Happy written by the 14th Dalai Lama, and came across a few gems I wanted to share with you that complement what we have learned so far. Here are a few quotes:
“Happiness means a peaceful mind, which is devoid of stress, anxiety, or fear. On one level, you can see negative things but at a deeper level, you can still be calm.”
“To be happy, you must know your own mind.”
Here is another one:
“Everybody has the same potential. The only thing is whether they pay attention or not. Whether they have sufficient awareness or not. That is the point. Otherwise, all of us have the same potential.”
And one longer excerpt from his book:
“I would like to share with you an incident that happened in New York City during a meeting of medical scientists and other people. One of the scientists mentioned that according to his findings, people who express themselves frequently using “I,” ”me,” and “mine” have a greater risk of having heart attacks. These people are too self-centered; such an attitude makes even a small problem unbearable. Once you open your heart to others’ well-being, which I call the opening of your inner door, you can communicate with other people easily. This will help you make more friends, reduce feelings of loneliness, and develop feelings of compassion, which reduces anxiety. And that is useful for our health. After all, we are social animals and such an attitude goes well with our reality.
Next, I’ll share what I learned from listening to the Plum Village Monastics. They gave three steps for a healthy brain:
- Coming back to your body, bring your awareness to your body.
- Generate a moment of joy and happiness (be aware of what you have, smile, feel joy, happiness, or gratitude for what you have – could be something small, like a flower in a patch of grass, or our freedom to walk freely and move as we please).
- Handle a painful feeling or emotion – don’t be a victim of your own irritation – come back to breathe, become aware of what the irritation is, and where that irritation has come from. Don’t push it away, be with it. Usually comes from the perception of the situation – does this irritation have anything to do with my reality or is this just a perception?
Practices to implement for interactions with others:
I know you are there, and I am happy! – Look them in the eyes and say this to the people in your life, loved ones, friends, coworkers,
I know you are suffering, and I am here for you.
I am suffering, please help! – When we open up our suffering, we touch the seed of compassion in others.
Love is the answer. One more thing I wanted to squeeze in here is a new study from New Orleans Tulane University scientists and Department of Psychology, Medicine and Communication studies at UCLA, where they analyzed the molecular impact of falling in love on 47 young women. Results show how levels of type 1 interferon and neutrophil (protein carriers that strengthen the immune system) rise exponentially when the subject is experiencing the feeling of love; when she is “turned on” by love. The researchers say, “Falling in love is one of the most psychologically potent experiences in human life. New romantic love is accompanied not only by psychological changes but physiological changes as well”.This process has its roots in the profound relationship between human life and nature. Nature needs love, for it is because of love that life is able to sustain itself.
In the next lesson, we’ll learn about Metaphysical Causations of stress and dis-ease, and how you can start to heal yourself.