"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
|From Mind and Life Institute introduction video|
Happiness is a mental state, hence any solution to the conundrum of happiness will be internal, related to the mind, rather than external - "more stuff." "More stuff" doesn't lead to lasting happiness. Acquiring more stuff is like drinking salt water. The more you drink, the thirstier you get. The more stuff you acquire, the more you feel you lack. There's always more and more and more you can get. One ends up chronically dissatisfied. What's the solution?
COMPASSION is a strong wish that all beings be free of suffering, a deep and sincere concern for others' well-being. The foundation for developing compassion is the practice of universal ethics. In this context, 'universal' means: applied to all without exception, a non-biased ethics. We abandon harming others and gradually adopt a loving and compassionate altruistic outlook, extending our concern beyond the familiar, those who are near to us, to include neutral people, strangers, people we have difficulty with, even our so-called "enemies." Love is the strong wish that all beings be happy, and is a prerequisite and counterpart to compassion, the strong wish that all beings be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Expanding Your Circle of Compassion - Robert Thurman
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
~ Matthew 7:3-5 King James Version (KJV)
The more our view of reality is in accord with reality, the less anxiety and the more happiness and well-being we experience. It is said that the ordinary mind perceives: suffering as happiness, impermanence as permanence, and selflessness as self. The wisdom mind perceives: suffering as suffering, impermanence as impermanence, and selflessness as selflessness. Wisdom mind has no confusion, no mistake, no exaggeration of positive or negative projection tacked onto the perceived object - the perception of reality accords with reality. Our mistaken perception of self, of "I," is the "speck in the eye" that gets in the way of clearly perceiving self and others.
|3 Root causes of suffering to abandon: ignorance, attachment, aversion|
From Integrative Public Health Model to Heal Violence
In order to properly cultivate and internalize compassion and wisdom at the most subtle levels of mind, we must cultivate single-pointed concentration. Single-pointed concentration prepares the mind to be "serviceable and pliant." We can exercise our "mental muscle" in a way that is analogous to exercising our physical muscles. By continually bringing our wandering attention back to a consistent object of concentration - the breath, the body, the mind, or a mental image - we can train and tame our wild and unruly monkey mind, our wild horse mind, our wild elephant mind.
ETHICAL MINDFULNESS, mind training, taming the mind, is essential for happiness. Our mind colors every moment of our experience. In order to have a stable unwavering mind that perceives reality compassionately, yet without exaggeration, we must train our minds.
(See third of three meditations) Buddhist website, generic meditation by His Holiness. Site also has excellent generic intro to meditation.
|Photo from The Dharma Primary School, UK website|
- What is meditation? Why meditate?
- How to meditate on the breath?
- What did we learn experience or discover?
Mind and Life Institute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o6_KB7tDbc
- The more we give to others, the happier we get.
- The more we help others, the happier we get.
- The kinder we are to others, the happier we get.
- Generosity buys happiness. http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_norton_how_to_buy_happiness.html
- Others before self.
- Loving kindness and compassion.
A Mindful Nation for Our Children:
- Ethics of Altruism free online course http://learning.dalailamafoundation.org:8000/101/ethics0.htm
- Ethics for the New Millennium Study Guide http://www.dalailamafoundation.org/programs/study-circles/study-guides/
- The Technology of the Heart (interactive transcript in several languages) http://www.ted.com/talks/his_holiness_the_karmapa_the_technology_of_the_heart.html
- Never Give Up trailers 6:17 min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZuvOhU7oTA 4:11 min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ep40w_Doj0
Becoming Your Own Therapist by Lama Yeshe - wonderful book, free download http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/becoming1.pdf
Congressman Tim Ryan - A Mindful Nation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sZDM93HFGs
- Schools Kill Creativity http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html
- RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
- Educating the Heart and Mind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1A4OGiVK30
Compassion Research - Contemplative Neuroscience:
DeSteno, D. The Morality of Meditation. New York Times. July 5, 2013
Weng et al. Multi-Voxel Pattern Analysis of Brain States After Compassion Training Predicts Charitable Donations. Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) 2012.
Take Compassionate Action:
Begin a daily meditation practice.
Start or join a Study Circle for Ethics http://www.dalailamafoundation.org/programs/study-circles/study-guides/
Sign the Charter of Compassion http://charterforcompassion.org/
Participate in the Compassion Games http://compassiongames.org
Share with others.