I’d like to present some ideas that I think are very helpful in everyday life, to allow us to have more control over our circumstances and therefore keep a happy mind.
“In reality, our mind is the creator of all the things we experience.”
-Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
1. Our life is precious
We have a special opportunity right now to do so many things with our life. Every day we make choices in what we do and how we do it. Our life is unique, special and ours to create and guide however we choose. If we remind ourselves of this when we wake, we will begin our day with a powerful motivation and positive energy.
2. Use our time wisely
We know deep down that we have limited time in this life, but we don’t know how long. If we remember that every day is precious and each breath draws us ever closer to the inevitable conclusion, then we will naturally use our life wisely and enjoy it to the fullest.
3. Cause & effect
By thinking in these ways, we will naturally want to take more control of our everyday choices and experiences. If we make good choices and understand that doing and saying negative things makes our mind turbulent, then we naturally create the causes to be happy. A happy mind is just a peaceful mind, free from negative thoughts.
We spend most of our time trying to work out whether a person, a situation or an experience is good or bad. If we check we can see through our own experience that every situation depends upon how we view it. For instance, we might have a difficult situation or person in our life. If we change our view, we change our experience. In this way, we can gain control over our mind.
A good example is if we are jealous of someone with a lot of money. We feel terrible and it doesn’t change the situation. Yet, if we feel happy for the other person we create very positive energy in our mind and create the cause for our own good fortune or good luck.
5. The kindness of others
If we look around us, we can see that everything in our lives depends on others. We don’t really understand this until something or someone is not there anymore. A good example is when there is a strike and we cannot use public transport. Normally we take everything for granted in our lives. By thinking about all of the useful things that we use every day, we can develop a sense of gratitude and appreciate everyone and everything on a much deeper level.
6. Think of others more
A really powerful way of protecting our self from unhappy minds is to “put our self in the other person’s shoes,” In a situation where we only see our own side of things, it’s easy to get angry and suffer. Often we receive harm from someone else, but then find out that they were experiencing something really bad themselves.
When we really think about these themes deeply, we can understand that everyone really just wants two things, to be happy and not to suffer – just like us. Remembering this we can feel much closer to the people we interact with on a daily basis.
We generally think a lot about what we want in our life, a better job, more money, more recognition etc. However, we rarely think deeply about what the real causes are. Interestingly, when we act in ways that are selfless not selfish, we feel great. Who has not experienced the feeling of elation when we have chosen a present for a loved one and seen a tangible reaction that we can literally feel in our heart when they are overcome with happiness.
Meditation is simply focusing on a positive object. If we can try to change our natural way of struggling with everything, we can begin to change our view and our experience. If we can bring some meditation into our lives, we can create a space that is personal and free from everyday stresses and worries. In meditation, we can investigate how our mind really works and begin to examine our everyday experiences and how to find positive results from difficult situations.
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