Last year, I was fortunate enough to see the Dalai Lama in Ladakh, India.
Being only 20 meters away from him was a literal dream come true. Being in his presence was enough to bring me inner peace.
When I mention to people that meeting the Dalai Lama is on my long list of hopes, they don’t seem to understand why. They say that because they’re not Buddhist, it’s not pivotal to them. But long before immersing myself in the Buddhist culture, his Holiness was a major figure in my life simply because he preaches love, compassion and kindness.
Although he is the spiritual leader of Tibet and represents Buddhism as a religion, he claims that his only religion is love. I don’t consider him a religious or political figure—I think of him as a global figure who is capable of leading the world to peace, if we listen to his words.
His quotes never fail to bring me a sense of harmony. I find myself laughing while reading his words, as I can clearly see how attached I still am to my grudges and sense of self.
I see the Dalai Lama as water to put out our unnecessary fires.
Below are 15 musing from him that can change our perspective and enhance our day:
“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
“Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.”
“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
“Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.”
“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, “oh yes, I already have everything that I need.”
“Someone else’s action should not determine your response.”
“If a problem can be solved, it will be. If it cannot be solved, there is no use worrying about it.”
“Instead of wondering “why” this is happening to you, consider why this is happening to “you”.”
“The essence of any religion is good heart. Sometimes I call love and compassion a universal religion. This is my religion.”
“Love is the absence of judgment.”
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
“Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations, you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.”
I believe the greatest lesson we can learn from the Dalai Lama is that peace is the solution. Although Tibet is still under Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama insists that the only path to freedom is through non-violence, communication and compromise.
If peace is his solution for his invaded homeland, why can’t it also be the solution for our small problems?
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Author’s own