If anyone has the justification to feel hopeless, we might imagine it would be the spiritual leader of Tibet who was run out of his own country nearly sixty years ago and has been in exile in northern India ever since.
However, the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of compassionate understanding of the ways of the world, and his thoughtfulness is reflected in every message, speech and teaching he offers us. What can we learn from his words? To look at each situation not from the perspective of finding the pain in it, but to find the seeds of growth and optimism.
It is always our own choice how we view every incident in our lives, both private and public. We can take the position of fearing that the world is falling apart and there is no hope for future generations, or we can realize that we are always in a time of growth and evolution and change. When we look to ways to evolve in an upward direction, we make world peace an eventuality instead of simply a wistful wish.
Please enjoy the following excerpt from The Washington Post, Opinions, dated June 13, 2016.
Why I’m Hopeful About the World’s Future
by The Dalai Lama
“While it would be easy to feel a sense of hopelessness and despair, it is all the more necessary in the early years of the 21st century to be realistic and optimistic.
“There are many reasons for us to be hopeful. Recognition of universal human rights, including the right to self-determination, has expanded beyond anything imagined a century ago. There is growing international consensus in support of gender equality and respect for women. Particularly among the younger generation, there is a widespread rejection of war as a means of solving problems. Across the world, many are doing valuable work to prevent terrorism, recognizing the depths of misunderstanding and the divisive idea of “us” and “them” that is so dangerous. Significant reductions in the world’s arsenal of nuclear weapons mean that setting a timetable for further reductions and ultimately the elimination of nuclear weapons — a sentiment President Obama recently reiterated in Hiroshima, Japan — no longer seem a mere dream.”
The following excerpt is from the book Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts.
“Your rate of learning depends entirely upon you, however. Limited, dogmatic, or rigid concepts of good and evil can hold you back. Too narrow ideas of the nature of existence can follow you through several lives if you do not choose to be spiritually and psychically flexible.
“These rigid ideas can indeed act as leashes, so that you are forced to circle like a tied puppy dog about a very small radius. In such cases, through perhaps a group of existences, you will find yourself battling against ideas of good and evil, running about in a circle of confusion, doubt, and anxiety.
“Your friends and acquaintances will be concerned with the same problems, for you will draw to yourself those with the same concerns. I am telling you again, therefore, that many of your ideas of good and evil are highly distortive, and shadow all understanding you have of the nature of reality.
“If you form a guilt in your mind, then it is a reality for you, and you must work it out. But many of you form guilts for which there is no adequate cause, and you saddle yourselves with these guilts without reason. In your dimension of activity there appear to be a wild assortment of evils. Let me tell you that he who hates an evil merely creates another one.
“From within your point of reference it is often difficult for you to perceive that all events work toward creativity, or to trust in the spontaneous creativity of your own natures.”
We get confused between compassion for someone we like who is easy to get along with and loving, and a higher level of compassion that invites us to remain compassionate for all people, no matter how they behave. Often, the love and compassion we feel for our family members and spouse get tested when challenges arise, and we realize a lot of the things we believed about the other people were just part of a façade. Here is how the Dalai Lama explains compassion:
“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively.”
With our cultural emphasis on instant gratification, if the people around us don’t act the way we think they should, the relationship usually falters or the marriage ends in the divorce courts. However, here is another way to look at compassion, from the perspective of learning our lessons in the real world. The Dalai Lama says, “I must emphasize again that merely thinking that compassion and reason and patience are good will not be enough to develop them. We must wait for difficulties to arise and then attempt to practice them. And who creates such opportunities? Not our friends, of course, but our enemies. They are the ones who give us the most trouble, so if we truly wish to learn, we should consider enemies to be our best teacher!”
Is there some person or situation in your life right now that is an opportunity for learning? It doesn’t mean we are supposed to stay in an abusive or unpleasant or detrimental relationship purely for the reason of practicing our principles of love and compassion in a difficult situation, but rather to use the situation for growth. I think it feels natural to want to shut the door on a bad relationship or experience, but take time to extract the lessons it came to teach you, and with this practice, you’ll find an easier way to detach from the pain and upset feelings.
One of the core principles of using the law of attraction to our advantage instead of unconsciously magnetizing results that we don’t really like or want, is to understand the power of focusing our thoughts so that we appreciate what we want to experience even before we get it.
When we enter into a practice of being appreciative of all that we already have, we set up an internal vibration that brings us into harmony with a higher quality of circumstances. We thus draw those conditions and circumstances and relationships into our life, simply by being grateful. And then, to take the practice even further, if we start being grateful in advance for all that we desire, being thankful we have already received it, the law of attraction will match our energy with what we want to get.
Here’s an excerpt from my book GET HAPPY TODAY: No More Excuses! that explains more about building up an attitude of gratitude.
Chapter 5 – Action Steps: Cultivate gratitude
- Don’t expect yourself to be a magical mystical being who doesn’t have fear and who dances through life with a song on your lips every moment of every day. That’s not what being “happy no matter what” means. Happiness is an intention to accept the ups and downs with good humor.
- Be grateful for every chance to love someone who is, at this point in time, acting in an unlovable way. Isn’t that what love is all about?
- There’s no mystery to how I went quickly from panic to acceptance in the dentist chair. But there is indeed a secret that I will share with you, and here it is: I used gratitude as my path.
- Make gratitude a habit in your daily life. It works.
- From now on, in everything you do, even the mundane tasks, find ways to say to yourself, “I am grateful for this situation because…” Try it. With practice, it leads you to feel more empowered about your life. As well as happier.
Here’s a quick secret: Appreciating what you’ve got opens the door to more. More what? More of whatever is in harmony with what you are being grateful and appreciative about. So if you’re feeling dissatisfied with your old car that keeps needing service, it’s a really bad idea to grip about it to yourself and others, and to diss the car itself (e.g. cursing it when it won’t start, etc.)