This book has a bit of a story behind it. I bought a copy months ago at Half Price Books . During my busy time of Spring cleaning, packing, moving, writing my memoirs, editing, and settling into my new place this poor book sat in a moving book waiting to be loved.
In June, when Amara and I traveled to Tennessee for a weekend, I brought it along. Instantly I fell in love. Unfortunately, there was little time for reading in between driving, sleeping and enjoying Nashville 😉 Once home again I eagerly set out to finish what I had started…but the book was gone. GONE. Vanished. Without a trace.
So I headed back to Half Price Books with Victoria and purchased a new copy. Paperback this time (my personal preference). Only to find out a week later that I had left my original book in the car we had borrowed for our Nashville Trip. So now, Amara’s uncle has a copy of this magical book. And I’ve fallen in love with the Dalai Lama.
I mean, who couldn’t love this man?? With remarks subtly placed throughout the book from Victor Chan describing the Dalai Lama’s character, quirks and personality it’s impossible not to…
“The Dalai Lama, however, wears his soul on his face.”
“He gave me a bear hug and then he was off”
“But he is also a very strong-willed person…”
“His facial muscles were vital and supple; they seemed to belong to someone in his twenties….When he is happy, he is one hundred percent happy. No other sentiments creep in to adulterate the sensation…the Dalai Lama was totally at ease with displaying his emotions. He was not ashamed of his feelings; he saw no reason to be self-conscious or embarrassed about them….He doesn’t get too attached to things- including his own emotions.”
Then I fell in love with his words….
“The Dalai Lama replied, ‘I analyze like this: if I develop bad feelings toward those who make me suffer, this will only destroy my own peace of mind. But if I forgive, this will only destroy my own peace of mind. But if I forgive, my mind becomes calm. Now, concerning our struggle for freedom, if we do it without anger, without hatred, but with true forgiveness, we can carry that struggle even more effectively. Struggle with calm mind, with compassion. Through analytical meditation, I now have full conviction that destructive emotions like hatred is no use. Nowadays, anger, hatred, they don’t come. But little irritation sometimes come.”
“I feel that I have no right to send them out with an extra burden of my own.”
“Compassion is something like a sense of caring, a sense of concern for others’ difficulties and pain,” the Dalai Lama said. “Not only family and friends, but all other people. Enemies also. Now, if we really analyze our feelings, one thing becomes clear. If we think only of ourselves, forget about other people, then our minds occupy very small area. Inside that small area, even tiny problem appears very big. But the moment you develop a sense of concern for others, you realize that, just like ourselves, they also want happiness; they also want satisfaction. When you have this sense of concern, your mind automatically widens. At this point, your own problems, even big problems, will not be so significant. The result? Big increase in peace of mind. So, if you think only of yourself, only your happiness, the result is actually less happiness. You get more anxiety, more fear.
So this is what I think of as the compassionate effect: if you really want genuine happiness, then whatever method you use to get it is worthwhile. And the best method is: when you think of others, you’ll be the first to get maximum benefit.”
Read the book. If nothing else, read the book.
It will change your life.
It will challenge your relationship with yourself.
It will make you uncomfortable.
It will demand attention in areas of your life long left unattended.