Before we begin, please note that this text is written from a Buddhist perspective and for this text to be of any practical benefit to you, you need to answer the following questions honestly –
Is there room for improvement in my life?
Do I want a change the quality of my life?”
Obviously – if your answer is NO, to either or both of these questions, meaning that you feel that your life needs no improvement, or that the quality of your life is perfect – you should not read on. As we say in Italy ciao! Or as they say in a Galaxy far far away My the Force be with you.
However if the answer is YES, or MAYBE, or even “Hmm, I am not so sure I know how to answer,” then carry on to read the following advice from The New 8 Steps to Happiness.
According to this profound text, life has a meaning, but the meaning of life is not about amassing material possessions, or becoming famous. The meaning of life is to reach the pure happiness that comes when our consciousness is pure – a mind that finds harming others disgusting. It might sound surprising, but this is the best way to genuinely and profoundly improve the quality of your life.
In our General Program classes at Compassion Centre we’ve been reading the chapters on Learning to Cherish Others and Enhancing Cherishing Love, from The New Eight Steps to Happiness. There are many profound insights in these chapters but we can condense them into 2 steps that are easy to remember and to put into practice.
- Be warm and friendly towards people. Regarding their happiness and freedom as important. Train in being like that constantly.
How do we do this?
By active recognition.
- We need others for our physical mental and spiritual well being.
Repeatedly exploring whether the above points are true will lead to an understanding that we are all connected, and that the happiness and freedom of others certainly matters.
The training: keep this understanding at the for front of your mind .
- Deepen your ability to regard others as worthy of being happy and free.
How do we do this?
By honest self-questioning.
- How much do I think about myself?
- How much mental energy do I spend on seeing faults in people around me?
Like the previous step – repeatedly and honestly explore the answers to these questions. Finally you will come to realize that:
- Constant preoccupation with oneself is painful.
- This realisation will naturally cause a decisions to arise in your mind – I must reduce my obssessive self concern.
- Focusing on others’ faults destroys my relationships with them, and is a massive waste of my mental energy. Therefore :
- I will stop focusing on the faults I see in others.
- I will focus on their good qualities.
Through careful contemplation of the above two steps – and then application in your daily life, in time you will find that your mind is more peaceful and happy.
This has been the experience of all those who have trained like that in the past and provided you practice there is no reason why this should not be your experience as well.