dalai lama

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion”

Dear diary: Filed under the category of “transparent dangling carrots,” today I realized that there is a surface reason the Dalai Lama talks about practicing compassion, and also a much deeper reason. It’s really quite a trip, though with my limited knowledge, for all I know it’s turtles stacked on turtles stacked on turtles.

(A diary entry from January 21, 2015. Dalai Lama quote: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Image from this link.)

Karma means action, and you are your own master

“Karma means action and action motivated by compassion is good. To complain that what happens to you is just the result of your karma is lazy. Instead, confidently recalling the advice that, ‘You are your own master,’ you can change what happens by taking action.”

~ the Dalai Lama, on this Facebook page

The monk who broke things

In a dream this morning a bunch of people came into my apartment uninvited. All but one of them were maintenance people, and they immediately started renovating my apartment. I argued with them that a little notice would have been nice.

While that was going on, I saw that the other person was a Tibetan monk. While the maintenance people started drilling and cutting in various locations, the monk walked around breaking all of my things. He’d pick up a glass and let it drop to the floor and break, or work harder to break other things. I ran over to him and asked, “Why are you breaking all of my things?”

He didn’t reply, but broke some DVDs in his hands. For some reason this made me more lucid in the dream, so I stepped on some of the DVDs he had dropped to the floor so I could crunch them more. “I get it,” I said, “it’s the whole ‘impermanence’ thing, right?” Then I thought of something and said, “Stay right here for a moment. Break something if you need to, but I’ll be right back.”

The more you are motivated by love ...

“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be.”

~ The Dalai Lama

If you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness ...

“If you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion and respect, then you can do any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you will ultimately reach your goal.”

~ the Dalai Lama, in this tweet

Quotes from Trump and the Dalai Lama

Just days after two domestic terror attacks, here are two quotes I saw today:

Donald Trump: “There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame...”

Dalai Lama: “Violence derives from anger and anger clouds our ability to think straight and properly assess what is happening. Anger in turn is related to fear and anxiety. What we need to learn is how to cultivate the positive emotions that counter destructive emotions like anger and fear. Compassion, for example, brings self-confidence and the ability to act transparently. It strengthens trust which is the ground for friendship.”

Creating a prayer that has meaning to me

Once upon a time I lived in Alabama and had a 52-mile daily drive to work at a NASA facility in Mississippi, which gave me a lot of time to think. At one point on the trip you pass eight churches in ten miles — a friend referred to that stretch as “The highway to heaven” — and seeing weddings, funerals, and other gatherings at those churches led me to think about life, death, and spirituality.

I was very aware that I was a spiritual being since I was 16, but despite that I never cared for a religious framework; every church I’d ever been to seemed superficial compared to what I had experienced. That being said, I always thought prayer was a good thing — it helped to create a proper state of mind — so I tried to come up my own prayer, something I could believe in.

One idea I came up with was to write some sort of prayer that would honor the ancestors that led to my life on Earth. But, I thought, a problem with this approach was that my ancestors weren’t all that honorable. My mom is probably the nicest person in the world, so there was no problem there, but without getting into details, my dad, my grandparents, aunts and uncles ... there weren’t many people I was concerned about honoring.