On July 6th His Holiness the Dalai Lama will celebrate his 80th birthday. He is a man admired for his kindness, compassion and joy of living. He is also respected for the wisdom of his teachings.
It wasn’t an easy task, but here are my top 10 favourite Dalai Lama quotes:
An open heart is an open mind.
We all know that our thoughts direct our actions. But what we forget is that our feelings of love and compassion have a direct impact on those thoughts. When we open our hearts, we soften our thoughts with less judgment and then we act in a different way.
Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.
That pretty much eliminates all our excuses for why we can’t be kind on any given day or with any particular person. Kindness is all about choice and intention.
We need to learn how to want what we have, not to have what we want, in order to get steady and stable happiness.
The sooner we recognize that happiness is not dependent on a set of circumstances, the sooner we experience happiness. We don’t have to wait. Happiness is right in front of us.
It is not enough to be compassionate. We must act.
This is a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is challenge. The alignment of beliefs, thoughts and actions demonstrate what is truly important to us. It’s not enough to believe in compassion, or to think compassionate thoughts, we must also show up compassionately in the world through our daily actions.
If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.
How much time and energy do we waste worrying? It seems especially unproductive given that most of the time what we are worrying about is not in our control anyways. It makes far more sense to put those valuable resources into doing something about the situation. Or letting it go when we can’t change it.
As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all beings.
You can’t give to other people what you won’t give to yourself. We need to practice self-love and care in order to be able to love and care for others. Giving and receiving are part of the same rhythm, just like inhaling and exhaling are part of the same breath.
Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.
The combination of gratitude and intention is powerful stuff. Every morning we have the opportunity to first give thanks for another day. Then we can put that day to good use by setting our intention to spread love and kindness. Sure on any given day our actions might fall short, or we lose sight of the precious nature of each day, but each morning we can begin again.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.
Human beings like to be right. Especially when we think we have everything figured out. Lots of paths led to the same destination. It’s a lot less tiring and stressful to simply follow our path, rather than judging others and trying to convince them to follow us.
Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.
Sometimes what shows up, or doesn’t show up, is not really what you expected or desired. Instead of wondering “why me?” or being disappointed, have a little faith that things are working out just right. Believe that the universe is conspiring on your behalf, even if you don’t quite get it.
World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.
We are always looking outside ourselves for the solutions to problems. Looking within is the place to start. Whatever you feel the world needs, begin creating that within yourself. If we all did that, wouldn’t the world be a different place?
Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black white or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture and language make no difference.
If we can simply remember that we have this fundamental common ground, and the rest is just details, then everything becomes possible in the world.
In honor of this special birthday, His Holiness is asking people to share photos, videos and quotes depicting people simply treating one another kindly, along with the hashtag #withcompassion on social media accounts.
So please share a comment or quote at the bottom of this article.
And then feel free to share a comment, quote or photo on the Dalai Lama Birthday post on my Stone Circle Facebook page HERE
and/or on my Twitter feed HERE