Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week from Snow Lion Publications.

The ability to look at events from different perspectives can be very helpful. Then, practicing this, one can use certain experiences, certain tragedies, to develop a calmness of mind. One must realize that every phenomenon, every event, has different aspects. Everything is of a relative nature.


lt seems that often when problems arise, our outlook becomes narrow. All of our attention may be focused on worrying about the problem, and we may have a sense that we're the only one that is going through such difficulties. This can lead to a kind of self-absorption that can make the problem seem very intense. When this happens, I think that seeing things from a wider perspective can definitely help--realizing, for instance, that there are many other people who have gone through similar experiences, and even worse experiences. This practice of shifting perspective can even be helpful in certain illnesses or when in pain. At the time the pain arises it is of course often very difficult, at that moment, to do formal meditation practices to calm the mind. But if you can make comparisons, view your situation from a different perspective, somehow something happens. If you only look at that one event, then it appears bigger and bigger. If you focus too closely, too intensely, on a problem when it occurs, it appears uncontrollable. But if you compare that event with some other greater event, look at the same problem from a distance, then it appears smaller and less overwhelming.

~ From The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

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