Causes Of Happiness

Dalai Lama

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Awakin FeatureThe purpose of life is to strive for happiness.

Every sentient being has the right to survive; this means having a desire for happiness or comfort: that’s why sentient beings strive to survive. Therefore, our survival is based on hope – hope for something good: happiness. Because of that, I always conclude that the purpose of life is happiness. With hope and a happy feeling, our body feels well. Health depends on a happy state of mind.

What is happiness? Sometimes physical suffering can even bring a deeper sense of satisfaction like with an athlete after a grueling workout. So “happiness” means mainly a sense of deep satisfaction. The object of life or our goal, then, is satisfaction.

Now, what are the causes of happiness? A calm mind is very important. It doesn’t matter, our physical situation; mental calmness is most important. So, how can we bring about a calm mind?
Now, to get rid of all problems, that would be impractical; and to make the mind dull and forget about our problems, that doesn’t work either. We have to look clearly at our problems and deal with them, but at the same time keep a calm mind so that we have a realistic attitude and we are able to treat them well, deal with them well.

The more compassionate our mind is, the better our brain functions. If our mind develops fear and anger, then our brain functions more poorly. Buddhism says the same. When negative emotion develops, we can’t see reality.

Compassion and affection help the brain to function more smoothly. It gives us inner strength and self-confidence and that reduces fear, which, in turn, keeps our mind calm. Therefore, compassion has two functions: it causes our brain to function better and it brings inner strength. These, then, are the causes of happiness.

Excerpted from a talk on DalaiLama.com Photo above was taken by Pancho, who is currently on a walking pilgrimage to spread the message of "One Earth Family".

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the two causes of happiness? Can you share a personal story of a time you experienced clarity due to a compassionate frame of mind? What helps you practice compassion?

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8 Previous Reflections:

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    On Jun 16, 2019 afppolice11 wrote:
    I have bookmarked your website because this site contains valuable information in it. I am really happy with articles quality and presentation. Thanks a lot for keeping great stuff. I am very much thankful for this site. ฉากถ่ายรูป

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    On Jun 13, 2019 jerard lizares wrote:
    Its just simply of satisfaction, be it material thing or an event. When were hoping and achieve a thing, thats the time we become compassionate

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    On Jun 12, 2019 RURUBY(Triza Laxmi Aurora) wrote:
    Wow, so beautifully said by THE DALAI LAMA, I have almost nothing left to say. Could not agree more, and is irrefutable!! I will be a fool! However, I will make an attempt to expand on it. Just like the number system runs infinitely into opposite directions of positives and negatives, so is the possibilities of a persons thoughts, actions, and, thus, choices. It is the individual mind and person. Everybody's Karmic bank account with the Creator is not a joint account, but an individual one, it is up to a person how much one deposits or withdraws from it. Everybody's Karma is independent, personal, and very individual. The more one deposits, the bigger positive balance on the account, the more happy one is. These things work by forces of nature. I think that is what DALAI has put down, that is, love and compassion are just among the extreme positives on the number line, or so to speak.

    1 reply: Ruby(Triza | Post Your Reply
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    On Jun 11, 2019 Pravin Kumar wrote:
    Happinessis state of mind. You have control over howyou think that creates state of mind either happiness or fear.

    Eight weeks ago Iwas diagnosed with majority arteries were blocked. Insteadof getting panic, I told myself this a situation I can do something about. I am surrounded by best medical system, best cardiactreatmenthospital, El Camino Hospital and best team of cardiac surgeons. I felt confident, happyand lucky.

    Quadruple by pass surgery was performed on May 10, 19. In recovery room when I slowly woke up, I thank god for this moment. I meditated in recovery room. My pain was minimum during recovery I am fully recovered now and back to normal life.

    on top of these issues, kidney stone pain popped up. Surgery wss performed today. I am resting at home and there is no pain.

    Thanks to meditation and positive thinking made me happy in hardtimes.




     

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    On Jun 11, 2019 Jim Dreaver wrote:
    I must humbly disagree with the Dalai Lama. We don't have to "strive" for happiness - we have to simply discover it as our true nature. Identification with your “I” or “me” thought is all that’s in the way of your experiencing inner peace, happiness, and unconditional love—essentially 24/7. You must see that you are not this “me” character that you’ve “believed” yourself to be. Indeed, you are not any “story.” Why not? Because your “story,” along with the “I” or “me” thought, the “story-teller,” as well as the feelings and emotions generated in your body, comes and goes. However “you”—as clear, relaxed awareness or presence—are always here. When you have an emotional reaction, you learn to love your triggers because they show you where you’re not yet free. You realize you got caught in an old “story&rdq... [View Full Comment] I must humbly disagree with the Dalai Lama. We don't have to "strive" for happiness - we have
    to simply discover it as our true nature.

    Identification with your “I” or “me” thought is all that’s in the way of your experiencing inner peace, happiness, and unconditional love—essentially 24/7. You must see that you are not this “me” character that you’ve “believed” yourself to be. Indeed, you are not any “story.”

    Why not? Because your “story,” along with the “I” or “me” thought, the “story-teller,” as well as the feelings and emotions generated in your body, comes and goes. However “you”—as clear, relaxed awareness or presence—are always here.

    When you have an emotional reaction, you learn to love your triggers because they show you where you’re not yet free. You realize you got caught in an old “story” and its emotion. The past was real when it happened but is not real now.

    So you come back to this moment now. The more you let the wisdom and creative spontaneity of this moment guide you, the more joy, meaning, and fulfillment you experience.
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    On Jun 8, 2019 David Doane wrote:
    I think the Dalai Lama is saying that the two causes of happiness are the brain functioning well and inner strength, and it's compassion that helps it function well and brings inner strength. So, compassion is very important. Compassion means to me to feel sympathy, that is, to be very much with the other in their suffering of their pain. For example, a man was sharing with me the grief he was suffering regarding the death of his wife. My sympathy or feeling with him helped me to see with clarity that his grief was very painful, heavy and difficult for him to suffer. I think my sympathy helped him in his suffering his grief. What helps me practice compassion is identifying with the other and what he or she is suffering, knowing that we are one, knowing that his or her pain is also my pain, and knowing that we are suffering for one another.

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    On Jun 7, 2019 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    I like the simple and clear way Dalai Lama talks about the profound idea of happiness. Happiness is a deep sense of satisfaction or contentment. And that is the purpose of life.What makes us happy? Calmness of mind and compassion and affection in heart.When my mind is free from fear, anger and feverishness, I feel calmness and peace in my mind. I do not feel the pull of craving and grasping causing dissatisfaction. When my mind is calm and clear, I feel the presence of empathy and compassion residing in my heart. Yesterday I had a call from my friend. Her voice indicated irritability and frustration she was experiencing for quite some time.I listened to her with empathy and compassion. There were moments when her state of mind was creating impatience and irritability in my mind. Since I have been practicing and applying mindfulness for working on myself, it was relatively easy for me to get back to my compassionate frame of mind. Be the change you want to see in the world.This wise say... [View Full Comment] I like the simple and clear way Dalai Lama talks about the profound idea of happiness. Happiness is a deep sense of satisfaction or contentment. And that is the purpose of life.What makes us happy? Calmness of mind and compassion and affection in heart.When my mind is free from fear, anger and feverishness, I feel calmness and peace in my mind. I do not feel the pull of craving and grasping causing dissatisfaction. When my mind is calm and clear, I feel the presence of empathy and compassion residing in my heart.
    Yesterday I had a call from my friend. Her voice indicated irritability and frustration she was experiencing for quite some time.I listened to her with empathy and compassion. There were moments when her state of mind was creating impatience and irritability in my mind. Since I have been practicing and applying mindfulness for working on myself, it was relatively easy for me to get back to my compassionate frame of mind.
    Be the change you want to see in the world.This wise saying of Mahatma Gandhihas has a great impact on me. When I get upset, perturbed and worried, I relate to my own experience as great opportunity for self work. I relate to my disturbed self and suffering empathetically and compassionately. This mindfulness and self -compassionate training has been very helpful to me to work on myself and help others.
    Namaste!
    Jagdish P Dave





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