By adopting a realistic approach to problems, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said one can transform tragedy into strength no matter how big the obstacle is. “With a calm mind, we see reality more clearly but a disturbed mind destroys inner peace because it cannot utilize human intelligence properly,” His Holiness said. “The enemies, the destructive emotions, are inside you and only you can destroy your inner peace.”
Defining happiness as the state of deep satisfaction, His Holiness said happiness can be achieved on sensorial as well as mental level. Even animals experience sensorial satisfaction which is physically-attuned and therefore short-lived. But human beings can achieve a deeper, genuine sense of satisfaction on the mental level by using human intelligence.
Sometimes listening to devotional music or looking at holy images provide sensorial satisfaction that complement the deeper practice of attaining deeper satisfaction on the mental level, said His Holiness.
He said he has always found the image of Mother Mary carrying a baby (?) in her arms as a very powerful symbol of compassion, love and kindness. Once when he was on a pilgrimage to visit a small Mary statue in Fatima, His Holiness had a very profound experience. “We were coming back after holding a silent meditation and for no apparent reason I looked back and saw Mary’s statue smiling at me,” His Holiness said.
Different religious traditions whether theistic or non-theistic practice different methods to reduce extreme self centeredness or ego. Theistic traditions such as Christianity believe in total submission to God which in some ways reduce self-centered acts. Non-theistic traditions such as Buddhism and Jainism believe in the law of causality which essentially means cultivating positive Karma or actions to achieve long-term satisfaction. Buddhists believe that through positive actions, one can prevent future negative actions without relying on external factors.
Cultivating positive qualities of warmheartedness and a genuine sense of concern for other’s well-being has nothing to do with being a believer or a non-believer, His Holiness said. These are inner secular qualities necessary for a happy life, not some abstruse concepts of next life or heaven and hell, he added.