Monday, September 23, 2013

Dalai Lama & Eastern Philosophies

He was struggling with concepts of happiness, purpose and meaning of living. The old Judeo concept of an eye for an eye didn't bring him peace. This was dealing more with revenge than finding resolutions to problems. The Christian philosophy of suffering being a way of bringing peace to the world when this suffering was in conjunction with Christ's suffering also seemed somewhat negative in the process of finding joy and happiness. Some who wanted to follow this thought actually succumbed to self flagellation so they could actually suffer in union with Christ and in this way they would bring ultimate peace and joy to the world. Somehow this didn't give the answer to his troubled soul. He asked himself how all this could bring peace, contentment and happiness to those he loved, those he held close much less to the whole world which always seemed to be struggling in some part of the universe with man's inhumanity to man.

He came across two quotes from the Dalai Lama that struck a chord that resonated deep within him:

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." AND
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."

This made sense. Happiness does not come from the outside but from within. If he saw someone who was hurting his main purpose would be to help them or at least don't make their situation worse. So he reasoned happiness comes from the action of helping others. He thought "I am happy when I forget about myself and do something that makes others happy or at least less hurting. Money, wealth power means nothing in the pursuit of happiness only actions of giving service to the people I meet who can use whatever I might have to help them.". 

This whole thought process led him to understand that this power from within is spiritual, some might call it Karma. Karma is an Eastern concept of cause and effect. Any action has a reaction and this action comes from within. There is good and bad Karma. If one holds grudges and hate not letting go of past hurts the negative effect is let out and causes suffering in the world. Whereas if one loves and seeks to serve, the Good Karma's effect is felt throughout the universe. But he thought, "How do I bring this down to the level of where I can attain happiness by releasing this spiritual effect on those I love?".  After all the thought of affecting the universe is great in concept it is somewhat too large a view to understand but to send this power, this feeling of good, happiness, love to those he knew seemed well within the concept of his understanding. However, in order to do this he had to have some sort of understanding of the problems and worries affecting the person he wanted to send this Good Karma. He was driven to research this and found what satisfied his question as to what he should do to effect the power of good Karma. 

"Communication is a way of obtaining UNDERSTANDING. We understand by talking, listening, asking questions, looking and listening. We learn to BE the other person. And we resolve conflict through UNDERSTANDING."

With this new found understanding of Eastern thinking he found new understanding of Christ's sermon on the mount and what Christ meant when he said, as related in St. Matthew's gospel, "Whatever you did for the least of these (visited in prison, fed when hungry, clothe when naked, cried when sorrowful, laughed when happy) you did for me. Come into the Kingdom prepared by my father.".

Now to put into practice by communicating, listening, helping others in anyway He could (perhaps all he could do is lend an ear) and in doing this he knew he would find true happiness.

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