The Dalai Lama’s teachings have inspired people around the world for decades. His wisdom on forgiveness, compassion, and inner peace creates a life full of happiness, joy, and fulfillment. Oprah Winfrey once asked the Dalai Lama if he had ever had to forgive himself for something, and his response was surprising. His Holiness replied, “My attitude towards mosquitoes is not very favorable, not very peaceful. Bed bugs also.” Despite living 78 years of life, he had nothing else for which he had to forgive himself. This demonstrates that forgiveness and compassion for all living beings are the two pillars of the Dalai Lama’s teachings.
The following are ten life-changing teachings from the Dalai Lama that can transform anyone’s life.
1. Be compassionate.
Compassion is not just a religious act but a human one. It is crucial for human survival. Studies show that when you are compassionate, you experience pleasure akin to having sex, eating good food, or having a relaxing holiday. Comprehending a person’s feelings and emotions requires emotional involvement, and compassionate action provides a “giver’s high.” This benefit reduces stress, improves heart rate, and boosts the immune system. You can show compassion by talking and empathizing with them, along with offering genuine help. Some examples are helping a friend that is ill, someone who has lost their job, a relative who is grieving, a person who is going through a separation, or even a homeless individual.
2. Be kind and help others.
Kindness and generosity have significant advantages that bring happiness and satisfaction to individuals. Research at Harvard Business School shows that volunteers who give money away are happier than those who spend it on themselves. No matter how little the help may seem, it can make a difference to someone. “Be kind whenever possible,” the Dalai Lama says. “It is always possible.”
3. Find happiness.
The source of happiness is an essential factor for surviving in the race of life. In an interview, the Dalai Lama stated that individuals are bombarded with messages about material possessions, and there are very few messages for forgiving, being compassionate, patient, tolerant, and kind. Prioritizing these values is vital to obtaining happiness. As the Dalai Lama aptly puts it, “Happiness is not already made – it comes from our actions.”
4. Discover inner peace.
Taking a little time to reflect each day and chasing away negative thoughts can do wonders for the mind. Instead of anger, resentment, jealousy, and tiredness, replace them with positive emotions like optimism, gratitude, love, and peace. Inner peace guarantees happiness and good health.
5. Do not harm others.
Harming others through actions such as gossiping, spreading rumors, or bullying is unacceptable. The negative fallout from these actions eventually haunts you. Never resort to those actions to avoid causing harm to others.
6. Nurture your friendships.
Friendships need the proper care and affection as they lead to the development of trust and affection. Real friendships are based on values and the connection shared, not on social status or wealth. Neglected or dead friendships lead to loneliness, which might contribute to depression.
7. Don’t let technology rule your life.
Social media and other technologies have advanced communication in numerous ways. Although the Dalai Lama has over 8 million followers on Twitter, he warns against its overuse. Social media can hinder real interaction, control an individual’s life, and have a negative impact on their relationships. People should strive to remain in control of technology and use it responsibly.
8. Don’t argue or fight; just negotiate.
Non-violent ways of solving conflicts, including dialogue, involve compromise while advocating for the parties’ rights. In this way, peace can be reached, and there are no clear-cut winners or losers.
9. Be gentle with the earth.
It is everyone’s duty to sustain the planet for survival. There are various ways to achieve this, including recycling and investigating alternative energy options.
10. Learn from your failures.
Mistakes are inevitable in life, and reflecting on them and examining what caused them fuels learning. Failure is not permanent but a temporary setback, and taking corrective measures leads to progress.
In conclusion, the teachings of the Dalai Lama provide valuable insights into different aspects of life. The ten teachings mentioned above are just a few ways to improve and transform one’s life. These teachings, when practiced with honesty, kindness, compassion, and self-reflection, can bring an individual peace, happiness, and fulfillment that is beyond measure.