Lama on life's rules

I have never been a fan of rules. But the game of life certainly doesn’t work, especially for me, without them.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, regarded by many as Kundun, the Presence of the Buddha, prescribes remedies for the dis-eases of modern living. At the turn of this century, he issued 18 rules for living in keeping with his vow: to work towards the happiness of all sentient beings.I don’t have these rules pinned up on my refrigerator. It’s more like they are etched in my heart. I find they work for me. They are:

Rule 1. Take into account that great love and achievements involve great risk.

Rule 2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

Rule 3. Follow the three Rs: 1. Respect for self. 2. Respect for others. 3. Responsibility for all your actions.

Rule 4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.

Rule 5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

Rule 6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

Rule 7. When you realise you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

Rule 8. Spend some time alone every day.

Rule 9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

Rule 10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Rule 11. Live a good, honourable life. When you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

Rule 12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

Rule 13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

Rule 14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

Rule 15. Be gentle with earth.

Rule 16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

Rule 17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other
exceeds your need for each other.

Rule 18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Later, the god king of Tibet said, “Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected. One such type arises from the conflict of ideologies, political or religious, when people fight each other for petty ends, losing sight of the basic humanity that binds us all together as a single human family.

We must remember that the different religions, ideologies, and political systems of the world are meant for human beings to achieve happiness. We must not lose sight of this fundamental goal and at no time should we place means above ends; the supremacy of humanity over matter and ideology must always be maintained.
I wish I could know your favourite “rule”. Mine is: Once a year, go to a place you’ve never been before.

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