The Art of Happiness – by the Dalai Lama

‘Whenever I associate with someone, may I think myself the lowest among all and hold the other supreme in the depth of my heart!…

When I see beings of wicked nature, pressed by violent sin and affliction, may I hold these rare ones dear as if I had found a precious treasure!…

When others, out of envy, treat me badly with abuse, slander and the like, may I suffer the defeat and offer the victory to others!…

When the one, whom I have benefited with great hope, hurts me very badly, may I behold him as my supreme Guru!

In short may I, directly and indirectly, offer benefit and happiness to all beings; may I secretly take upon myself the harm and suffering of all beings!…

This is a prayer by the Tibetan saint , Langri Thangpa, which is the Dalai Lama recites daily.

One of the Dalai Lama’s teaching is to venerate our enemy and wish them the best. In order to be patient and compassionate, we have to learn to love our enemies. As most of us do not have many enemies in our life, when we find one we should even be grateful as it will give us a chance to grow spiritually.

We should try and see the good in our enemies, and search for positives. For example the enemy’s actions might have given us new opportunities. We should try and see them as another human being and realise that like all humans, they are also searching for happiness, just like us. Or if we really can’t find anything positive we should just ignore them, because hatred only lead to ours and others suffering.

I love the first line of the prayer:

‘Whenever I associate with someone, may I think myself the lowest among all and hold the other supreme in the depth of my heart!…

It’s often true, that sometimes we would not make such an effort to listen to someone, or pay attention to someone if we thought they were below us in some way. On the other hand we would go to great lengths to try and please someone who we think is above us or in the same position as us in terms of social or occupational status. But really, what this verse tells us that we are all human and we are all the same. One day all our status, money, job, youth will be gone and all that will remain is what we all have in common together.

Note: this post is based on my reading of the book The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for living, by the Dalai Lama and Howard C Cutler.

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About Maia

My name is Maia, I live in London, UK, and I originally come from the Czech Republic. Maia's World is my blog where I write about life in general, personal development, and about ideas, beliefs and discoveries on how to live a fuller life.
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