Sunday, January 30, 2005

HOW TO BE HAPPY

Extracts from
http://www.medialens.org/

THE PLASTICITY OF PROBLEMS

By: David Edwards


The Mahaprajnaparamita Shastra states:

"When one seeks an object of desire,one suffers.

When one gets an object of desire,One fears losing it.

When one loses an object of desire,One is greatly troubled.

At each and every point,There is no joy."

Many spiritual traditions describe compassion as the ultimate bedrock of human happiness.

Only .... concern for others has the power to counteract our self-obsession.

Remarkably, experiments measuring the brain activity of Buddhist monks meditating intensively on compassion suggest that they do indeed experience a sense of well-being far beyond the norm. (See Media Alert: 'Full Spectrum Dissent Part 2 - Enlightened Self-Interest,' February, 2, 2003, under Media Alerts archive, 2003, www.medialens.org)

Reviewing the results, psychologist Daniel Goleman comments:
"The very act of concern for others' well-being, it seems, creates a greater sense of well-being within oneself." (Goleman, Destructive Emotions - And How We Can Overcome Them, Bloomsbury, 2003, p.12. See also: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43006-2005Jan2.html)

If our minds are passionately occupied with the suffering of others, in a very real sense we have no problems at that time. And if the masters of mind development are to be believed, this can come to be true even when facing extreme physical pain.

Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche's observation:

"the root of all suffering is the desire to accomplish our own benefit and our own aims, and the root of all happiness is the relinquishment of that concern and the desire to accomplish the benefit of others."


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