You don't need to shave your luscious locks or trade in your designer duds for a modest robe to learn the secrets to happiness and a better life from the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
As part of his “Non-Violence and the Effects of Compassion in the 21st Century” speaking tour, his humble holiness is traveling around the U.S. for two weeks and doling out sage life advice on happiness, spirituality, and more. He was recently in Washington, D.C., where he rendezvoused with President Obama, and is now in Los Angeles, where he held a quick live-streamed chat with the Huffington Post's senior editor Willow Bay. Here are some of his deepest thoughts to ponder while meditating on your La-Z-Boy later.
1. Reconnect with mindfulness. “For the last thousand years, people would always pray whenever they found some difficulties. Despite different philosophies, all prayers carried the same message about love, forgiveness, and tolerance. When science and technology developed over the last 200 to 300 years, certain things that people were hoping to realize through prayer could suddenly be achieved through technology. I think that's why during the late part of the 20th century people became more concerned with material value. Now the people who have all the facilities through their own experiences are beginning to feel limitations in material value. People who have a lot of money but are not necessarily happy and feel lonely deep inside will begin to ask what is lacking. Then they will start to show interest in inner value.”
2. Be compassionate. “In our blood, the seed of compassion—the sense of concern for others' well-being—is there. We've simply neglected it or taken it for granted. Scientists are now realizing that the mind, consciousness, and emotions are very important. For good health, a calm mind is a very, very important factor." [Tweet this inspiring quote!]
3. Turn off the TV. “I haven't watched much over the last 20 years. It's bad for my eyes and a waste of time.”
4. Embrace technology—to an extent. "Technology is wonderful, but it cannot produce compassion or happiness. It really depends how you use it. After all, we are the controllers of the technology. If we become slaves of technology, then it's no good.”
5. Build a better life. “Money does not measure success. I met an American who was very rich, but as a human being, he was a very unhappy one, so he was not successful. Some people use their money for a luxury lifestyle and that's not good. You must spend money on education or health. That is the proper way.”
6. A warm heart + sharp mind = happiness. “A warm heart brings inner strength and more self-confidence. It helps reduce fear and lets you find friendships entirely based on trust. In order to pay more attention to these things, you must use your intelligence. To know the reality more holistically, look, research, and analyze. Combine these two things, and your life will become healthier and wiser.”