Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Finding the Key to Happiness

Another article showing that meditation can lead to a "deep and abiding source of inner peace."

From the River Oaks Examiner (via The Buddhist News Network):
LIVING SMART: Finding the key to happiness

To scientists who tested impulses in his brain, Matthieu Ricard, a French academic turned Buddhist monk, is the world’s happiest man. Is happiness thus a skill that can be learned? They think so.

Using advanced computer graphic imagery they looked at his brain’s reward system to observe happiness at work. They found his level of mind control and happiness was astonishing.

Master Shih Jian Xiao is a Buddhist monk at the Chung Tai Zen center in Houston. He wasn’t surprised by their findings. He says Meditation can lead to a deep and abiding source of inner peace. He appears at 3 p.m. Sunday on “Living Smart” on HoustonPBS Channel 8.

1. Why do you do what you do?

We need wisdom to do things right and thus gain happiness and avoid suffering. The teaching of the Buddha and other teachings of the wise can give us such wisdom, and we need to learn from them. Success and failure are in our hands and only we can change our destiny.

2. Who motivates you?

Grand Master Weichueh, founder of Chung Tai Chan Monastery in Taiwan, inspires me the most. He is full of compassion and has the highest wisdom. Wherever he goes, delight and hope abound. Everyday, tens and even hundreds of people visit him and ask him all kinds of questions. I have not seen any question that he cannot answer, and all his answers are the best. I have also seen people go to him for help with tears in their eyes and, after 10 minutes of talking with him, come out smiling like sunshine.

3. What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement is becoming a monk of the Buddhist lineage—Chung Tai Chan Monastery.

4. What man/woman has inspired you?

Guan Yin, who is known to almost all Buddhists, has inspired me greatly. She represents and is an exemplar of great compassion. Compassion in Buddhism means: to remove suffering from and give happiness to others. A compassionate person is naturally peaceful and attracts all people to him or her like a magnet. People feel safe, serene, and joyous when near a compassionate person.

5. What do you think is the most important (tip/lesson/ideas/wisdom) people should know about your topic?

The most important lesson to learn is: causality.

Causality means cause and effect. We reap what we sow. Good deeds lead to happiness and evil deeds lead to suffering. Causality is an absolute truth that is worthy of our further learning. Do no evil, perform good deeds, and purify our mind. People who follow this guideline will be noble and blessed, their families will be prosperous and joyous, their cities will be safe and rich, their nations will be wealthy and strong, and the world will be peaceful and rejoicing.

6. What do you love about Houston?

We have a variety of cultures and all of which are respected equally. Houstonians have wisdom. People here pursue the truth and are open to things that are beneficial to life. Houston is blessed. The city is energetic and the future is optimistic.

7. How do you know you are Living Smart?

This work to me is no doubt the most important and valuable thing in life. Therefore, I know I am living smart, very smart.

For more information on this topic on Living Smart go to

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