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If You Want to Be Happy -Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

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"If You Want to Be Happy" The next aspect of the practice which I always try to encourage, is that stabilizing is one of the basic ones, we talked about in the beginning. Developing the clarity of the mind, the strength of the mind. Feeling good about that. Being able to stabilize. And we enter into our life. Later in meditation the practice of contemplation is very, very important. And I have encouraged people, as much as I can, to say this is an important aspect of the meditation practice. Take a contemplation. Now in particular I have tried to introduce the principles of compassion, and the principles of love. And one thing is is that with the practice meditation saying, these are innate in us, these qualities are innate in us, and we need to develop that. And what we mean by contemplation is that, before we're trying to get a separation from thoughts, we were trying to let thoughts go, stay present. Now what we do is we utilize certain thoughts, certain thoughts that are helpful. In one for compassion or love. The wish for love, the notion of kindness. And within the context of the meditation tradition, we say what is the definition of love in this particular way? It's wishing all sentient beings to have happiness. Whoever we encounter, we look into their eyes and our intention for them is saying "Oh, I hope that person has happiness. I hope that person is able to achieve what they want in life." Whatever it may be. If it's a small thing, or it's a big thing. You know, if they have a cut on their finger may it heal. May they, may they, in the larger context. "May they be buddha, may they achieve enlightenment." But it's interesting because what we're trying to do here is, is that we are trying to switch something. We are trying to switch something that's very interesting. When we begin to do this in meditation, what we begin to find is that, as we begin to follow our thought pattern, as we begin to see what's happening, we realize all our thinking, you know, or most of our thinking, is about ME. And that we realize that as we get up in the morning, it is usually how we define a good day or a bad day is, what happened for me. If things work out well for me today, it's a good day. If I got the right parking spot, and I got the right thing, and they had my favorite thing on the menu, whatever it was, we say "Oh, it was a good day for me." And what we begin to realize is that actually our life, you know, is always, always kind of involved with ME. The search for happiness in this particular way, the search for satisfying me. In Buddhist language it is called samsara. And samsara is a word that means circular. And what that means is is that we're spinning our wheels. We think, you know the way I like to think about it sometimes is, samsara is, you know there's a lot of complicated ways we can talk about it. But we can say that samsara is that feeling, that sense in the mind saying, "Oh just one more thing." "Just one more bite." "Just one more word." "Just one more thing and then I'll be fine." And we realize that twenty years later it's just that one more bite, its the one more thing. And we began to realize, what is this leading to in my life, what is this... how.. what kind of fruition is coming about. So at a certain point we are saying, "Oh, maybe I need to change the perspective of how I am living. I need to now put others first." And that's a notion of compassion and love. And what's interesting with the notion of compassion and love, is that when we sit there and contemplate "may all sentient beings be happy" or the definition of compassion -- "may all sentient beings be free from suffering," "may people not suffer; may beings not suffer," and having that as the intention of our life, it's very simple. It's very simple, and people say "Oh that seems so simple." But then we kind of flip it around saying "What else is our attitude? What else is going on our mind?" Usually "I hope it works out for me." "What about me?" "What are you going to give me?" And we begin to look and say, you know, we have these two choices: What about me and what about others. And what's interesting with the practice of "What about others" is that what kind of feeling is that leave us with? You know, how do we feel? We usually feel happy, we usually feel joyous. And what I like to think is that -you know one of my favorite sayings is, "If you want to be miserable think about yourself. If you want to be happy, think about others."

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 37 seconds
Year: 2003
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Views: 1,128
Posted by: hmaclaren on May 14, 2010

The Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche. From In Teachings Library -Video Teachings at
Copyright © 1994-2009 Shambhala International (Vajradhatu).
From Turning the Mind into an Ally DVD, © 2003 by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Centre Productions. Available at

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