Happiness Part 2

Posted: 11/08/2009 in Happiness

In my first post on Happiness, I addressed a few key concepts that relate to being happy that I have learned from reading The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. It is continued here:

5. By practicing warmth and compassion toward others, we can overcome loneliness and separation, which are also sources of unhappiness. We can transform suffering to happiness by realizing that we are not going through something that someone else hasn’t already gone through. Suffering is a natural fact of human existence and by courageously facing our problems head on, we can achieve freedom from this suffering.

6. The process of change: Education (learning that negative emotions are harmful and positive emotions are helpful) ->Conviction/Commitment to change ->Determination ->Action ->Effort, which is most critical in implementing change. You must have the desire and willingness to make the change, and a sense of urgency is a key factor.

7. Develop patience and tolerance. Forgiveness is the product of patience and tolerance, and by practicing these, you can learn to let go of anger and resentment. Realize that the past is the past. Being angry about a situation does not change it, or resolve it, it only causes more suffering and unhappiness. Forgiving and forgetting are two different things. There is nothing wrong with remembering negative events, but learn to let go of the negative feelings associated with the event.

8. Love is the utter, absolute, and unqualified wish for the happiness of another individual. True love is unselfish.

In summary:

The Art of Happiness is understanding the source of our happiness and setting priorities in life based on the cultivation of those sources, using inner discipline to replace negative mental states (anger, greed) with positive mental states (kindness, tolerance, compassion, forgiveness). The Dharma, or virtuous states of mind, cannot coexist with negative states of mind. Training the mind to bring inner discipline is the essence of a spiritual life, cultivating positive mental thoughts into daily actions, which is the fundamental method of achieving happiness.

I would suggest to anyone who is going through challenging experiences in their life to check out this book. The insights contained within it are priceless, and if we can apply the concepts in our daily lives, we can make changes for the better, starting small and the potential for global change. In this day and age, there is a lot of negativity. To see it, all you have to do is jump in your car and drive for five minutes, and it will be proven by the amount of road rage on our highways. If we could all practice a little kindness and compassion towards others, it will be returned to us, because in my opinion, kindness is infectious. Want proof? Try opening a door and letting someone go in before you. It may not happen every time, but more often than not, when I do it, in general I get a smile and a “thank you.” Even if I am having a bad day, that immediately makes me feel better, and it makes me happy that I showed kindness to another human being.

Wishing you all happiness!

 

 

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