23 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Dalai Lama

1. The world doesn’t belong to leaders. The world belongs to the whole humanity.

“World belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader or that king or prince or religious leader. World belongs to humanity. “
“I always believe the rule by king or official leader is outdated. Now we must catch up with the modern world.”

2. Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

“I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”
“I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.” 

3. The essence of any religion is good heart.

“We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion…. This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.” 
“Love and Compassion are the true religions to me. But to develop this, we do not need to believe in any religion.”
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”
“The essence of any religion is good heart. Sometimes I call love and compassion a universal religion. This is my religion.”

4. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.”
“We need to learn how to want what we have NOT to have what we want in order to get steady and stable Happiness”

5. Your Home is where you feel at home.

“Home is where you feel at home and are treated well.”

6. In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity for growth. 

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to the teachings of Buddha, I have been able to take this second way. “
“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.”

7. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

“Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a just visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.”
“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”

8. It’s okay if you get angry from time to time.

“As a human being, anger is a part of our mind. Irritation also part of our mind. But you can do – anger come, go. Never keep in your sort of – your inner world, then create a lot of suspicion, a lot of distrust, a lot of negative things, more worry.”
“Generally speaking, if a human being never shows anger, then I think something’s wrong. He’s not right in the brain.”
“I am sometimes sad when I hear the personal stories of Tibetan refugees who have been tortured or beaten. Some irritation, some anger comes. But it never lasts long. I always try to think at a deeper level, to find ways to console.”

9. You must not lose faith in humanity.

“Out of 6 billion humans, the troublemakers are just a handful.”
“Some mischievous people always there. Last several thousand years, always there. In future, also.”

10. Love everyone, be attached to no one.

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”
“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.”

11. It’s not just your brain who needs to be developed, your warmheartedness needs that as well.

“I have always had this view about the modern education system: we pay attention to brain development, but the development of warmheartedness we take for granted.”
“If you have only education and knowledge and a lack of the other side, then you may not be a happy person, but a person of mental unrest, of frustration. Not only that, but if you combine these two, your whole life will be a constructive and happy life. And certainly you can make immense benefit for society and the betterment of humanity. That is one of my fundamental beliefs: that a good heart, a warm heart, a compassionate heart, is still teachable.”
“One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious… Even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.”

12. Underneath it all we are all good, but not everyone lives life from that place.

“Of course, when I say that human nature is gentleness, it is not 100 percent so. Every human being has that nature, but there are many people acting against their nature, being false.”

13. The best way to resolve any problem is to sit down and talk.

“Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.”
“The best way to resolve any problem in the human world is for all sides to sit down and talk.”

14. Ignorance is anything but bliss.

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”
“I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed.”
“We should reflect on the idea that since the beginning of time sentient beings have been mentally unstable because they have been slaves of delusion, they lack the eye of wisdom to see the path leading to nirvana and enlightenment, and they lack the necessary guidance of a spiritual teacher. Moment by moment they are indulging in negative actions, which will eventually bring about their downfall.”

15. You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things.

“You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.”

16. We are all different yet we are all the same.

“Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.”
“Every single being, even those who are hostile to us, is just as afraid of suffering as we are, and seeks happiness in the same way we do. Every person has the same right as we do to be happy and not to suffer. So let’s take care of others wholeheartedly, of both our friends and our enemies. This is the basis for true compassion.”
“We discover that all human beings are just like us, so we are able to relate to them more easily. That generates a spirit of friendship in which there is less need to hide what we feel or what we are doing.”

17. You can create a dynamic impression not just by using words, but also by knowing when to be silent. 

“Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”

18. Knowledge never decreases by being shared.

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”

19. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true meaning of life.

“We are but visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.”
“The ultimate source of happiness is not money and power, but warm-heartedness”

20. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

“Pain is inevitable,suffering is optional… we have bigger houses,but smaller families. More conveniences,but less time. We have knowledge,but less judgements; more experts,but more problems ; more medicines but less health.”

21. Urge people to investigate things, don’t command them to believe.

“Open-minded people tend to be interested in Buddhism because Buddha urged people to investigate things – he didn’t just command them to believe.”
“I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable to you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is of no use, then you can discard it.”

22. Your task is not to be better than anyone else. Your task is to be better than you used to be.

“The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.”

23. If we do not combine science and these basic human values, then scientific knowledge may sometimes create troubles, even disaster…

“It seems that scientific research reaches deeper and deeper. But it also seems that more and more people, at least scientists, are beginning to realize that the spiritual factor is important. I say ‘spiritual’ without meaning any particular religion or faith, just simple warmhearted compassion, human affection, and gentleness. It is as if such warmhearted people are a bit more humble, a little bit more content. I consider spiritual values primary, and religion secondary. As I see it, the various religions strengthen these basic human qualities. As a practitioner of Buddhism, my practice of compassion and my practice of Buddhism are actually one and the same. But the practice of compassion does not require religious devotion or religious faith; it can be independent from the practice of religion. Therefore, the ultimate source of happiness for human soci
ety very much depends on the human spirit, on spiritual values. If we do not combine science and these basic human values, then scientific knowledge may sometimes create troubles, even disaster….”

10 Things You Need to Stop Doing for a Happier Life

Don’t we all seem to be endlessly searching for happiness? Sometimes we blame circumstances or people for the things that make us feel otherwise, when in fact it all starts within ourselves. It all begins within our own minds.
If you feel like your search for happiness never ends, and all you wish for is to finally be happy, look deep inside yourself and examine whether you’re embracing any of the traits or thoughts mentioned below. If you are, start working to get rid of them so that you can welcome more happiness into your life.

1. Being jealous

If you are comparing yourself to others as a way to inspire yourself to work harder and become a better person, that’s a good thing. However, if you let other people’s success become a burning fire in your mind, you will feel unhappy.
Looking up to successful people can be a benchmark for success and an opportunity to learn, grow, and prosper. You can learn from their strategies and cultivate your strengths. But remind yourself not to feel envious. This does nothing but keep yourself dwelling on that envious feeling, which is only a waste of time, energy, and peace of mind.

2. Fearing change

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
- Albert Einstein
Change is scary, because it’s not what you’re used to. It’s uncomfortable, and it doesn’t make you feel secure or certain. However, the unknown that comes with change can actually bring excitement and opportunities. Take a leap of faith in yourself and believe that change will lead you to a better place than you were in yesterday.
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
- Jim Rohn
Whether it’s changing jobs, leaving people, or moving to another country, as long as you follow your intuition and do what feels right, you will be fine.
Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
- Steve Jobs
Embrace change. The best is yet to come.

3. Needing to be in control

Many people expect things to go as planned and want to be in control. However, when things don’t go as planned, they feel sad, disappointed, and unhappy.
In fact, the most certain thing in life is uncertainty. The only constant in life is change.
Therefore, if you want to be happy, you need to learn to let go. You need to learn to live without trying to control your life. Because the minute you try to control it, you become dependent on the feeling of control - which makes you lose control of yourself.
You can plan for the best. However, no matter how things turn out, you need to accept them. Be resilient. Go with the flow. That’s the way to live life with peace of mind.

4. Overworking

Because you want to be successful and rich, you work hard — sometimes harder than you should. You forget to have a work-life balance. Eventually you will regret wasting the things that you cannot get back, such as spending time with family and close friends. Remember, happiness is only real when shared. Don’t forget to cherish meaningful relationships in your life.

5. Blaming others and finding excuses

When problems arise, many of us find excuses or blame external things. Change your perspective. Instead of finding excuses, focus on finding solutions to the problem.

6. Complaining and whining

Instead of complaining, whining, or criticizing things, change your perspective. Start by taking a deep breath in. Be mindful of your thoughts, actions, and emotions. Then look at the root of the problem and think about how you can fix it. If you deal with problems in life this way, you will fill yourself with optimism and positive energy, and you will become a lot happier.

7. Believing that you’re always right

No one is a master of everything. No one is perfect. If you’re always scared that you’re not perfect, you will never be happy. Let it go. Accept all that you are. Understand that you are not and will never always be right.

8. Not believing in yourself

Some people believe in the word “can’t.” They believe that they are incapable of doing things. They always say: I can’t do this. This is all I can do. That’s it. I can’t do or get any better. This kind of thinking is the biggest obstacle in life. It’s the obstacle that blocks you from doing the things you love and from reaching your fullest potential.

9. Keeping bad friends around

Humans are social animals. We are influenced by our environment, whether we are aware of it or not. The important thing to be aware of is that good friends will lift you up and bad friends will drag you down. Pick your friends wisely.

10. Living in the past

Your past is filled with good and bad experiences which shape who you are. However, your head space should not be so stuck in the past — in past failures and disappointments — that you cannot move forward. You need to learn to let go and focus on building new beginnings and a beautiful future.

Image credit www.ae-erlebnisreisen.de

How To Be Compassionate To Enemies?

Someone asked the following question to His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
"How does a person or group of people compassionately and yet straightforwardly confront another person or group of people who have committed crimes of genocide against them?"
His Holiness: "When talking about compassion and compassionately dealing with such situations one must bear in mind what is meant by compassionately dealing with such cases. Being compassionate towards such people or such a person does not mean that you allow the other person to do whatever the other person or group of people wishes to do, inflicting suffering upon you and so on. Rather, compassionately dealing with such a situation has a different meaning. 


When a person or group of people deals with such a situation and tries to prevent such crimes there is generally speaking two ways in which you could do that, or one could say, two motivations. One is out of confrontation, out of hatred that confronts such a situation. There is another case in which, although in action it may be of the same force and strength, but the motivation would not be out of hatred and anger but rather out of compassion towards the perpetrators of these crimes. 


Realising that if you allow the other person, the perpetrator of the crime, to indulge his or her own negative habits then in the long run the other person or group is going to suffer the consequences of that negative action. Therefore, out of the consideration of the potential suffering for the perpetrator of such crimes, then you confront the situation and apply equally forceful and strong measures. 


I think this is quite relevant and important in modern society, especially in a competitive society. When someone genuinely practices compassion, forgiveness and humility then sometimes some people will take advantage of such a situation. Sometimes it is necessary to take a countermeasure, then with that kind of reasoning and compassion, the countermeasure is taken with reasoning and compassion rather than out of negative emotion. That is actually more effective and appropriate. This is important. For example my own case with Tibet in a national struggle against injustice we take action without using negative emotion. It sometimes seems more effective."
From His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective:
"One of the reasons there is a need to adopt a strong countermeasure against someone who harms you is that, if you let it pass, there is a danger of that person becoming habituated to extremely negative actions, which in the long run will cause that person's own downfall and is very destructive for the individual himself or herself. Therefore a strong countermeasure, taken out of compassion or a sense of concern for the other, is necessary. When you are motivated by that realization, then there is a sense of concern as part of your motive for taking that strong measure.


...One of the reasons why there is some ground to feel compassionate toward a perpetrator of crime or an aggressor is that the aggressor, because he or she is perpetrating a crime, is at the causal stage, accumulating the causes and conditions that later lead to undesirable consequences. So, from that point of view, there is enough ground to feel compassionate toward the aggressor."
source: viewonbuddhism

Real Charity By Ven. Dhammananda

You perform real charity if you can give freely without expecting anything in return.
The essence of true charity is to give something without expecting anything in return for the gift. If a person expects some material benefit to arise from his gift, he is only performing an act of bartering and not charity. A charitable person should not make other people feel indebted to him or use charity as a way of exercising control over them. He should not even expect others to be grateful, for most people are forgetful though not necessarily ungrateful. The act of true charity is wholesome, has no strings attached, and leaves both the giver and the recipient free.

The meritorious deed of charity is highly praised by every religion. Those who have enough to maintain themselves should think of others and extend their generosity deserving cases. Among people who practise charity, there are some who give as a means of attracting others into their religion or creed. Such an act of giving which is performed with the ulterior motive of conversion cannot really be said to be true charity.

The Buddhism views charity as an act to reduce personal greed which is an unwholesome mental state which hinders spiritual progress. A person who is on his way to spiritual growth must try to reduce his own selfishness and his strong desire for acquiring more and more. He should reduce his strong attachment to possessions which, if he is not mindful, can enslave him to greed. What he owns or has should instead be used for the benefit and happiness of others: his loved ones as well as those who need his help.

When giving, a person should not perform charity as an act of his body alone, but with his heart and mind as well. There must be joy in every act of giving. A distinction can be made between giving as a normal act of generosity and dana. In the normal act of generosity a person gives out of compassion and kindness when he realizes that someone else is in need of help, and he is in the position to offer the help. When a person performs dana, he gives as a means of cultivating charity as a virtue and of reducing his own selfishness and craving. He exercises wisdom when he recalls that dana is a very important quality to be practised by every Buddhist, and is the first perfection (paramita)practised by the Buddha in many of His previous births in search for Enlightenment. A person performs dana in appreciation of the great qualities and virtues of the Triple Gem.

There are many things which a person can give. He can give material things: food for the hungry, and money and clothes to the poor. He can also give his knowledge, skill, time, energy or effort to projects that can benefit others. He can provide a sympathetic ear and good counsel to a friend in trouble. He can restrain himself from killing other beings, and by so doing perform a gift of life to the helpless beings which would have otherwise been killed. He can also give a part of his body for the sake of others, such as donating his blood, eyes, kidney, etc. Some who seek to practise this virtue or are moved by great compassion or concern for others may also be prepared to sacrifice their own lives. In His previous births, the Bodhisatta had many a time given away parts of His body for the sake of others. He had also given up His life so that others might live, so great was His generosity and compassion.

But the greatest testimony to the Buddha's great compassion is His priceless gift to humanity?the Dhamma which can liberate all beings from suffering. To the Buddhist, the highest gift of all is the gift of Dhamma. This gift has great powers to change a life. When a person receives Dhamma with a pure mind and practices the Truth with earnestness, he cannot fail to change. He will experience greater happiness, peace and joy in his heart and mind. If he was once cruel, he becomes compassionate. If he was once revengeful, he becomes forgiving. Through Dhamma, the hateful becomes more compassionate, the greedy more generous, and the restless more serene. When a person has tasted Dhamma, not only will be experience happiness here and now, but also happiness in the lives hereafter as he journeys to Nibbana.

source: budsas.org

5 Limits That Will Launch Your Success

If you want to improve your success, consider these five limits:

1. Limit yes

We have a limited amount of time and energy, so limit yes to the instances where you can say, “Hell Yes.” Otherwise, you waste precious energy on uninspired people and activities.
If someone invites you to waste time or do the same thing with the same people, whip out that no. Don’t be shy, because no is the only thing standing between you and an extraordinary life; it is one of your strongest limits. If the thing in question conflicts with your need to grow, or your personal time, flex that no.
“Thanks for thinking of me, but no. I have other plans.” Nothing more needs to be said; no apologies required. You can’t be happy saying yes when you’re sorry saying no.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”  Albenrt Einstein

2. Limit external directives

Tired of your days being hijacked by emails, social media, and text messages? Try limiting how much time you spend looking outside for direction. When in doubt, look within. Your life and your dreams are decided by two things:
  1. The amount of quality time spent reflecting on what is best for you and the people you love. And
  2. The amount of undistracted time you have to focus and unleash creative energy in pure, productive flow.
Facebook doesn’t know what is best for you. Or at least, I don’t think they have an algorithm for that yet. Any person who emails you certainly won’t be the master designer of your life plans.  Your highest achievements are decided by you and you alone, so limit things that distract you from you.

3. Limit information

Information: what you take in shapes your formation. It is the substance of entertainment, from music, to television, to movies and books; all of which are forming who we are every moment.  
We are consuming information more rapidly than ever, but when that information is bad, it consumes us. After I looked back on my failed relationships, I saw that I regurgitated the idea of romance that is portrayed in music and movies. And I paid for that information.
So take a good look at what you want your success to be. Then compare that life to the information you consume. If there is a conflict, make the choice that favors your highest development no matter how hard that may be. Limit your information to the stuff that inspires you to succeed, to be adventurous, to take smart risks, and to improve your character.

4. Limit friendships

Limit friendships to the people who challenge you to grow, and who inspire you to be a better person. This one is extremely difficult to do, but it will lead to your greatest breakthroughs in life.
We form such devoted attachments to our friends through emotional experiences, intellectual similarity, and mutual good will. But when we become so attached to friends who live uninspired lives, their behavior informs our character.
So choose friends whose freedom you want to emulate; otherwise, they’ll restrict your potential to succeed. Choose friends you feel uncomfortable being stagnant around, and encouraged to succeed by. With good friends, you’ll create an invaluable culture of success to grow in.

5. Limit definitions

This one seems like a no-brainer because definitions, by definition, are limited. But mass opinion has a strange and morbid effect on common sense.
Take success, for instance. How many people go on to accomplish every business goal they dreamed of only to lose their families and happiness? How many millionaires “succeeded” at the cost of personal joy and satisfaction?
Take the time to redefine success (and any other important word to you). Make success holistic, and have it include your goals for family life, love, play, work, income, lifestyle, and any other facet of life that involves your happiness. Then you won’t sacrifice the good life for your business “success.”
“There’s no limit to what free men and free women in a free market with free enterprise can accomplish when people are free to follow their dream.” – Jack Kemp
If your life is an engine, then limits are the valves and pistons strategically placed to keep you moving forward. If you’ve been spinning your wheels when it comes to success, take a deeper look at the limits that can set you free.

source addicted2success

THE BUDDHIST ATTITUDE TO ANIMAL LIFE

If we believe that animals were created by someone for men, it would follow that men were also created for animals since some animals do eat human flesh.
Animals are said to be conscious only of the present. They live with no concern for the past or future. Likewise, little children seem to have no notion of the future. They also live in the present until their faculties of memory and imagination are developed.

Men possesses the faculty of reasoning. The gap between man and animal widens only to the extent that man develops his reasoning faculty and acts accordingly. Buddhists accept that animals not only possesses instinctive power but also, to a lesser degree, thinking power.

In some respects, animals are superior to men. Dogs have a keener sense of hearing; insects have a keener sense of smell; hawks are speedier; eagles can see a greater distance. Undoubtedly, men are wiser; but men have so much to learn from the ants and bees. Much of the animal is still in us. But we also have much more: we have the potential of spiritual development.

Buddhism cannot accept that animals were created by someone for men; if animals were created for men then it could follow that men were also created for animals since there are some animals which eat human flesh.

Buddhists are encouraged to love all living beings and not to restrict their love only to human beings. They should practise loving kindness towards every living being. The Buddha's advice is that is not right for us to take away the life of any living being since every living being has a right to exist. Animals also have fear and pain as do human beings. It is wrong to take away their lives. We should not misuse our intelligence and strength to destroy animals even though they may sometimes be a nuisance to us. Animals need our sympathy. Destroying them is not the only method to get rid of them. Every living being is contributing something to maintain this world. It is unfair for us to deprive their living rights.

In his Handbook of reason, D. Runes says:
'We can hardly speak of morals in relation to creatures we systematically devour, mostly singed but sometimes raw. There are men and women who practise horse love, dog love, cat love. But these very same people would take a deer or a calf by its neck, slit its throat, drink the blood straight away or in a pudding, and bite off the flesh. And who is to say that a horse they cherish is nobler than a deer they feed on? Indeed, there are people who eat cats, dogs and horses but would use a cow only as a work animal.'

Some cry over a little bird or goldfish that expired; others travel long distances to catch fish on a nasty hook for food or mere pleasure or shooting birds for fun. Some go into deep jungle for hunting animals as a game while others spend a lot to keep the same animals at home as their pets.

Some keep frogs to foretell the weather; others cut off their legs and fry them. Some tenderly tend birds in gilded cages; others serve them for breakfast. It is all quite confusing. One thought stands out in a world where man clubs man for gain or sheer gore, there is hardly time to ponder over his morals in relation to animals.

Every religion advises us to love our fellow humans. Some even teach us to love them more if they belong to the same religion. But Buddhism is supreme in that it teaches us to show equal care and compassion for each and every creature in the universe. The destruction of any creature represents a disturbance of the Universal Order.

The Buddha was very clear in His teachings against any form of cruelty to any living being. One day the Buddha saw a man preparing to make a animal sacrifice. On being asked why he was going to kill innocent animals, the man replied that it was because it would please the gods. The Buddha then offered Himself as the sacrifice, saying that if the life of an animal would please the gods then the life of a human being, more valuable, would please the gods even more.

Man's cruelty towards animals is another expression of his uncontrolled greed. Today we destroy animals and deprive them of their natural rights so that we can expend our environments for our convenience. But we are already beginning to pay the price for this selfish and cruel act. Our environment is threatened and if we do not take stern measures for the survival of other creatures, our own existence on this earth may not be guaranteed. It is true that the existence of certain creatures is a threat to human existence. But we never consider that human are the greatest threat to every living being on this earth and in the air whereas the existence of other creatures is a threat only to certain living beings.

Since every creature contributes something for the maintenance of the planet and atmosphere, destroying them is not the solution to overcome our disturbances. We should take other measures to maintain the balance of nature.

Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera

Sourcehttp://www.budsas.org


THE POWER OF CONCENTRATION

The restless mind

Thoughts claim our attention constantly, wasting our time and energy on unimportant and useless matters. They actually, rule our life. We have become so used to this condition that we regard it as natural.
While breathing, we do not need to pay attention to each inhalation and exhalation. We become conscious of the process of breathing, only when we have some difficulty with breathing, such as when our nose is clogged, due to a cold, or when we are in an unventilated room.
It is the same with thinking. We become conscious of the constant onslaught of our thoughts, and of our inability to calm them down, only when we need to concentrate, solve a problem or study. We are also acutely aware of them, when we have worries or fears.
Examine this familiar situation. You need to study something for your job or for an exam. You sit comfortably on the sofa with the book in your hands and start reading. After a while, you feel hungry and go to the kitchen to eat something.
You return to the book, but a few moments later you hear people talking outside. You listen to them for several moments and then bring your attention back to the book.
After a while, you feel restless and switch on the radio to listen to music. You continue reading a few moments, and then remember an incident that happened yesterday, and start thinking about it.
When you look at your watch, you are amazed to find out that one complete hour has passed, and you have hardly read anything.
This is what happens when one lacks concentration. Imagine what you could have accomplished, if you could control your attention and focus your mind!
A job that requires physical strength, such as carrying heavy loads, for example, strengthen the muscles. However, it is not the same as exercising daily in a gym. Reading and studying, exercise the mind, but to gain strong concentration, you need to practice exercises every day, just like training in a gym.

Inner resistance to developing concentration

To develop this ability, you have to train your mind. Most people believe that concentration is a strenuous and tiring activity, and that it involves exertion and tension, which are difficult and unpleasant. This belief, which usually starts at an early age, is not true.
Parents and teachers expect children to study, do their homework and get good grades. Sometimes, they use disciplinary measures against the children. This makes the children feel forced to do something they don't like doing.
Telling a child often, that he or she is not concentrating well enough, creates a subconscious aversion to concentration and study. These become associated with coercion, lack of freedom, and doing something they do not like to do. When children grow up, it is no wonder that their power of concentration is too weak.
Though most people would admit that good concentration is a great asset, yet, most of them, do nothing to strengthen it, because they don't know how, and because they lack the motivation to do so.
Concentration can be fun, if approached in the right way. It should be practiced with joy, positive attitude, optimism, and understanding of its great possibilities.

The benefits of developing the power of concentration

There are many benefits to developing the power of concentration. Here are a few of them:
  • Control of your thoughts.
  • The ability to focus your mind.
  • Peace of mind.
  • Freedom from futile and annoying thoughts.
  • The ability to choose your thoughts.
  • Better memory.
  • Improved Self-confidence.
  • Inner strength.
  • Stronger Willpower.
  • Decisiveness.
  • The ability to study and comprehend more quickly.
  • Inner happiness.
  • More powerful and efficient use of creative visualization.
  • -Deeper and more successful meditation.
  • And much more...
Does this seem too good to be true? Develop the power of concentration and find out for yourself!, By Remez Sasson