Everyone has to go through suffering sometime in their life, but how people get over it shows how strong that person is. How someone perceives life as a whole plays a huge role in a person's attitude about pain and suffering. There is a possibility of freedom from suffering. That is possible by removing the causes of suffering and living a happier life. The chapter starts right off with lots of quotes from the Dalai Lama. He talks about how you can always change your perspective of something if you just step back and change your view. Also in this chapter he goes on to talk about your enemies in life.
The Dalai Lama talks about how having enemies in life in the end helps you out, you just have to change your view or perspective. The author also goes on to talk about how all this stuff is still practical in today's world. In this chapter the Dalai Lama keeps stressing the importance of practicing patience. One big part of this chapter was the talk about finding balance. The Dalai Lama goes on to talk about how living well has to do with a big part of having balance in your life.
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He also talks about how you need both physical and emotional balance in your life. He also goes on to say that one should not go to extremes with anything; if you have a balanced life you will not go to extremes with anything.
He thinks that narrow-minded people are the ones who go to extremes and this results in trouble and danger. While chapter ten talks about shifting your perspective, chapter 11 talks about finding the meaning in pain and suffering, turning them into something you can reflect upon yourself. Victor Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist and was imprisoned by the Nazis. He had a brutal experience in a concentration camp and gained insight into how people survived the atrocities He observed that those who survived did so not because of youth or physical strength, but the strength derived from purpose.
Being able to find meaning in suffering is powerful because it helps us cope even during the most difficult times in our lives. Being able to feel the rewards, we must search for meaning when things are going well for us too For many people the search starts with religion.
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They give some examples from Buddhist and Hindu models. For our faith and trust in His plan allows us to tolerate our suffering more easily and trusting His plan he has for us. They give an example on how pain can be a good thing such as childbirth. It is very painful to give birth but the reward is having the child. Having suffering can strengthen us in many ways because it can test and strengthen our faith, it can bring us closer to God in a very fundamental and intimate way, or it can loosen the bonds to the material world and make us clever to God as our refuge Clever to God means being or feeling closer to him and knowing what you should do.
They talk about the Mahayana visualization practice, it's where you mentally visualize taking on another person's pain and suffering and in return you give them all of your resources, good health, fortune and so on When doing this you reflect on yourself and look at your situation and then look at the others and see if their situation is worse and if so you tell yourself that you could have it as bad as them or worse. By realizing your suffering you will develop greater resolve to put an end to the causes of suffering and the unwholesome deeds that lead to suffering.
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It will increase your enthusiasm for engaging in the wholesome actions and deeds that lead to happiness and joy. When you are aware of your pain and suffering it helps you to develop your amount of empathy. Allow you to relate to other people's feelings and suffering. Our attitude may begin to change because our sufferings may not be as worthless and as bad as we may think. Paul Brand went to India and explored over there and looked at how people suffered physical pain. He says it is a good thing we have physical pain because if we didn't then how would we know that something is wrong with our bodies?
Not every practice may work for everyone. Everyone just has to try and figure out their own way of dealing with suffering and turning it into a positive feedback. The beginning of the chapter discusses how the art of happiness has many different components. It talks about what the book has established so far about happiness—how we need to understand the truest sources of happiness and set our priorities in life based on the cultivation of those sources. Then it introduces us to the final chapter about spirituality.
The author goes on to talk about how when people hear the word "spirituality" they automatically think it goes with religion. He says that despite the Dalai Lama having a shaved head and wearing robes, they had normal conversations like two normal people. The Dalai Lama says that having a process of mental development is key.
We need to appreciate our potential as human beings and recognize the importance of our inner transformation. He talks about how there are two different levels of spirituality One level is to do with religious beliefs; he says that he thinks each individual should take their own spiritual path that best fits them and their mental disposition, natural inclination, temperament, and cultural background Lama says that all religions can make an effective contribution for the benefit of humanity; they are designed to make the individual a happier person and the world a better place and we should respect them At the end of the chapter he talks about how deep religious faith has sustained countless people through difficult times.
He tells a story about a man named Terry Anderson who was kidnapped off the streets in Beirut in After seven years of being held as a prisoner by Hezbollah, a group of Islamic fundamentalist extremists, he was finally released. The world found him a man overjoyed and happy to be reunited with his family and he said that prayers and religion got him through those seven years This is the main example Lama used.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the animated film, see The Art of Happiness film.
The most important thing I want to say about friendship is that at its deepest it goes beyond support and comradeship and camaraderie. It is about intimacy. It is a meeting of souls. In the Irish Christian tradition the anam chara soul friend was an important figure. There are two rather different categories of person with whom I can open up in this way, revealing what is most personal and intimate in my life. The first of these is a spiritual director or guide, or a personal spiritual guru.
My relationship with this guide is an unequal one. There is not, normally, a mutual or two-way sharing of deep secrets. The focus is very much on my spiritual journey. The guide or director is fully present to me, with the specific purpose of helping me to articulate what is happening in my life and to have a better sense of where God is leading me.
In this sense, the relationship is a professional one. I go to this director because I see him or her as in some sense a trained expert, a person who has learned how to do this difficult and challenging work. Down through the ages, the value of such a relationship has been recognized, not only within the Christian tradition but also in various other religions and spiritual traditions.
Much has been written about it; and training programmes for spiritual directors have been devised and are widely available. It is more interesting, in some ways, to look at the other kind of person with whom I can reveal my soul. This is a close personal friend. The relationship here is not a professional one — even if the friend happens to have been trained in spiritual direction.
In this case there is an equality, a two-way opening up, where the friend reciprocates my sharing — either immediately or perhaps at some later time. Quite frequently it is both more profound and different in tone from the sharing that occurs within families. Needless to say, there are various degrees of friendship — and even degrees of soul-friendship. Timeless One of the ways in which a meeting between soul-friends of this kind differs from a meeting with a spiritual director is that the clock seems to become irrelevant.
These friends are likely to be oblivious of the time. There always seems to be more to share, no matter how long the dialogue goes on. Furthermore, the communication often takes place in ways that go beyond words.
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With a spiritual director one looks for clarity and some degree of guidance. But sharing with a friend has no other purpose than the joy of being heard, of hearing the other, and of the new creation that emerges in the sharing. We are rescued from the practical, almost utilitarian, thinking which is the basis for so much of our everyday interpersonal communication. I recall here the sharing of Mary and Elizabeth which I described in the previous chapter.
What happens when two such friends share deep spiritual experiences is more than just a deeper understanding by both of them of their own experiences, and new insight into the spirit-life of the friend.
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There is also the emergence of something new — a dismantling of barriers so that the two souls seem to have touched each other. On very special occasions it may go even further. Personal boundaries may seem to dissolve to a point where it seems there is almost a merging of souls. What happens could be compared in some respects to a mystical experience. Trust and acceptance Soul-friends love each other. But perhaps what defines the relationship between them is not so much their love as their trust of each other. Each time they share deeply, that trust grows.
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This growth in trust deepens the connection with the other person and opens each of them up to give and receive nourishment for the soul. Furthermore, even apart from its value in this particular relationship, increased trust brings about a change in the way a person approaches other people and other situations. It makes this person more open and transparent.
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