“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
Around the time I took my Bodhisattva vow (see below for more information on the Bodhisattva vow) a little book came out called "The Art of Happiness" written by the 14th Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, a psychiatrist who posed questions of the Dalai Lama.
In that book a single phrase stuck out to me as being of preeminent importance.
And, after 22 years of study since... I can honestly say... that one little phrase has become the single most influential piece of self-love information I have ever come across.
And that statement:
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
I mean... that means... my happiness is all about... me! And what I choose to think.
And for me... especially at the time... that was an absolute mind-blowing realization. Because it meant that my mind wasn't some unruly monkey that I had no control over. But instead... was merely a tool I could use to make myself... happy.
Happiness then... is a choice.
Wow. Now that's some heavy shit. I realized.
Because now... I didn't have to accept all these negative thoughts and worse... self-talk... that had become as natural to me as breathing. And I didn't have to accept what my mind was telling me as truth... rather... more like a ghost of a past I no longer wished to carry around with me.
My mind then... wasn't some uncontrollable monkey that just did whatever it wanted, and all I could do was scold it from time to time - much as my parents did most ineffectually with me.
No... my mind, perhaps still a monkey, could at least be trained into doing something... useful.
Now that was an idea I could wrap my mind around.
And since then... in the 22-years since first reading this crucial bit of information... all I can say is... thank god for the freedom of choice! And the immense power it has given me to control my own destiny.
This website is a good example of how I could have allowed my so-often-negative monkey-mind to self-talk me right out of putting together a Health & Wellness Resource for the benefit of my fellow humans. But... I didn't.
And that was simply down to the fact that I knew I didn't have to listen to that negative talk, and even-better... I could replace it with a lot of cheerleading for myself.
Now... if you know anything about the quantum nature of our reality, and/or about the Law of Attraction... you'll understand doubly... just why controlling what you think... is positively crucial to... happiness.
Happy Attracts Happy:
It's true... nothing is solid, and at the core of everything we're just energy (consciousness) locked into a fixed pattern of motion.
And yet... the implications of that scientific fact... are astronomical. In fact, too many to list here.
But... what that means for happiness... can not be over stated.
What it means is... Fake It Till You Make It
should be your motto from this day forward.
By investing in your happiness, by putting a smile on your face, by refraining from complaining, by choosing to see the best in people each and every day... or as often as you can... you can make yourself happy.
And... if you don't believe me... just google it. Or... check out some of my cool links below.
"Invest in a smile... and see if it doesn't take you that extra mile." - a momism, by Yours Truly
Happiness = Health:
At least according to the Grant Study, the world’s longest study of adult life.
"Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed."
“When we gathered together everything we knew about them at age 50, it wasn’t their middle-age cholesterol levels that predicted how they were going to grow old,” said Waldinger in a popular TED Talk.
“It was how satisfied they were in their relationships. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.”
What is the Bodhisattva Vow?
The Bodhisattva vow is a vow taken by Buddhists who wish to liberate all sentient beings.
One who has taken the vow is nominally known as a Bodhisattva.
A Bodhisattva promises to practice the six perfections of:
The aim of the Bodhisattva is the attainment of enlightenment for the sake of all beings, now and in future lives.
And... am I still a Bodhisattva now that I have removed my Buddhist label?
Helz yes! I believe most ardently in the practices of the six perfections; though I do struggle with them, as all humans do, from time to time. However... nothing I have learned since has been a better set of instructions for guiding both my heart and my mind.
However, should I find another way of being that suits my thinking better in the future... you can best believe I'm gonna follow it.
Because... LIFE SHOULD BE AN EXPLORATION OF ALL THAT FEELS RIGHT AND GOOD!
Some Cool & Interesting Links:
(zero promotional fees paid)
The Bodhisattva Vow:
"The Art of Happiness" book:
The Kadampa Meditation Centre:
Ways to Attract Happy:
The Quantum Physics of Happy:
Raena's Wellness Facts:
1. I am healthier and in better shape now, at 48, than when I was at 25.