Notes from 2017: Six ways to be miserable (and one way to be happy).

Public Doman

Public Doman

The following aphorisms on traits to avoid were written by Patrul Rinpoche, a 19th c. Tibetan master. A contemporary Tibetan lama, Phakchok Rinpoche, gave a teaching on the text that was printed in Tricycle in January, 2016. Here are the aphorisms:

The proud will never be pleased.

The jealous will never be happy.

The greedy will never be satisfied.

The hateful will never be reconciled.

The stingy will never have enough.

The ignorant will never accomplish.

By contrast, here is what the Dalai Lama advised to cultivate happiness and wellbeing:

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

4 thoughts on “Notes from 2017: Six ways to be miserable (and one way to be happy).

    • I think the key word is practice. There are quite a few meditations and affirmations in the Dalai Lama’s tradition to aid in developing compassion, so when he says “practice compassion,” he means some rolled-up-sleeve type practice, the way we learn a sport or a musical instrument or anything else. He is an optimist, but not the slightest bit airy-fairy about this kind of thing.

      I think most traditions have such paths – deeply contemplating some of the gospel stories and parables, for instance. How sad that so many self-professed Christians fail to grasp that if Jesus was telling the story today it would be “The Good Muslim,” since no one but a scholar clearly knows what a Samaritan is anymore…

      I will post, in the next day, a link to a multi-denominational and world wide meditation challenge that begins Sunday (1/15) with some specific practices along these lines.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Practice indeed. You are absolutely right. We’ve generally lost the knack of applying ourselves to learning/growing ourselves in this way, and tend to want quick-fix results in all aspects of our lives.

        Liked by 1 person

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