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3 Tibetan Tools to Increase your happiness today...

Photo by Vicky Christell on Pixabay

Tibetan Buddhism is an ancient tradition that has spanned the centuries helping its practitioners to overcome suffering, increase compassion and find true, lasting happiness within.
  The Dalai Lama (world-renowned leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddism), has won hearts around the globe for his warmth, down- to- earth wisdom and gentle social and political activism. Today I would love to share a few techniques he mentions in his book- The Art of Happiness (co-written with psychologist Howard Cutler), as well as to share with you a form of yoga that is alleged to have originated in Tibet over 2500 years ago.

1. Re-train your brain for happiness...

“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
In Buddism, it is common to reflect upon the causes of the good and bad circumstances in one's life and thus to take full responsibility for ones own thoughts and actions.  
   If someone wants to avoid a particular outcome then they are advised to avoid the conditions that lead to it. This method can be used in many ways. From avoiding the most simple of things such as avoiding thirst on a hot day by bringing a bottle of water with you when you travel (!!),  all the way to much deeper and more complex things such as the avoidance of suffering. 

   We can seek to avoid suffering by looking at the conditions that make it more likely- such as generating states of greed, ignorance, impatience, and anger.  
     The same techniques that can be used to eliminate suffering can also be used to gain more happiness. If one learns to seek happiness by going within (rather than looking for external things to fill the void), then they will find that training oneself to become more compassionate, patient, generous and loving will increase happiness exponentially.  The bonus of this work is that it will not only impact oneself but will also bring benefit for all the other beings that cross one's path! 

Short self-reflection practice...

  • Are there any thoughts or behaviours that have led you to suffering in the past? OR
  • Are there any thoughts or behaviours that have led you to happiness? 
  • How can you use this information to help you in the here and now?

2. Change your perspective...

“Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations,you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.”Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
Sometimes there is really nothing we can do to change our external situation, it is in these moments that we have a powerful tool that will help us: to change the way we view things. 

 Every downside has a potential upside. Challenging moments give us opportunities to practice patience, equanimity, inner strength and unconditional love. 
You can't practice patience if you always get what you want immediately!
You cant practice equanimity if everything always goes your way!
you can't practice unconditional love with people that you like!

 Every bad moment is a lesson in disguise and a chance to work on the skills that will make you stronger, wiser and happier in the future. 

  For sure bad situations should be avoided as much as possible, but when the inevitable strikes; you can find the lesson in the moment until things change and/or the situation can be overcome or avoided.  

3. Move your body...

The benefits of exercise are well known to all of us, there is now reams of research on the effect of moving the body on ones health and happiness, and I think that everybody has felt the difference in how one fells after a walk,, a swim, a yoga class, or a good dance! 

   The Five Tibetan Rites are a movement sequence alleged to have their foundations in many centuries of practice by Tibetan monks. They work all the main muscle groups in the body and can be used as a standalone practice or as a warm-up before other yoga or meditation. They are said to bring about health and longevity and if during practice the practitioner keeps their attention on their breath and internal life-force it can be utilised as a moving meditation. 

  You can practice the 5 Tibetan Rites Here:

I hope these little tools of wisdom from Tibet bring you more ways to be happy today,
 :) Sacha 

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