Dalai Lama on contentment

“The fast-paced lives we lead today do not allow for much leisure time. How can we possibly do service work?” Some of us lament.

Our Beloved Dalai Lama suggests we make time. He says, “Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment and taught in India over two thousand years ago, yet his teaching remains refreshing and relevant today. No matter who we are or where we live, we all want happiness and dislike suffering. The Buddha recommended that in working to overcome suffering we should help others as much as we can. He further advised that if we cannot actually be of help, we should at least be careful not to do anyone harm.”


The teachings seem simplistic until we try to live by them. Being careful not to harm anyone is a full-time commitment. It takes more energy than daily workouts at the gym, for instance.

His Holiness is emphatic, “Part of Buddhist practice involves training our minds through meditation. But if our training in calming our minds, developing qualities like love, compassion, generosity and patience, is to be effective, we must put them into practice in day-to-day life. Being more concerned for the suffering of others instead of your own is truly to follow the spirit of all the great religions including Buddhism.”


By his explanations, we come to understand that human values are not innate. They come to fruition only when we are properly educated. If we learn to fight back rather than forgive, it will take some re-programming to accept that practicing non-violence, and loving others is a better way to achieve contentment.

Tenzin Gyatso, assures, “The purpose of Buddhism is to serve and benefit all sentient beings, including human beings. And therefore it is more important to think of what contribution we Buddhists can make to human society according to our own ideas rather than trying to convert other people to Buddhism.
The Buddha gave us an example of contentment and tolerance, through serving others unselfishly.”

The King of Tibet remains firm. He explains, “I am often asked whether the teachings and techniques of Buddhism continue to be relevant in the present day and age. Like all religions, Buddhism deals with basic human problems. So long as we continue to experience the basic human sufferings resulting from impermanence, attachment and wrong view, there is no question of its relevance.

The key is inner peace. If we have that we can face difficulties with calm and reason, while keeping our inner happiness.

The teachings of love, kindness and tolerance, the conduct of non-violence, and especially the Buddhist theory that all things are relative are a source of that inner peace.”

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