Monday, July 30, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
-Dalai Lama

My daughter’s habit of declaring “this is the best day ever” almost every day combined with my memory of seeing the Dalai Lama speak planted the seeds for this Be More Childlike experiment. His Holiness told a story about his childhood and suggested that we all be more like children to an audience in Miami several years ago. Other than happening to be present for his speech, I knew next to nothing about the exiled Tibetan leader. I am currently reading In My Own Words. An Introduction to My Teachings and Philosophy by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. 
The man, who was recognized as the 14th reincarnated Dalai Lama at the age of 2 , has been the political and spiritual leader of his people since the age of 15. There is no way to summarize his thoughts in a blogpost. Just like dedicating only one month to the focus of awareness is like expecting a lonely drop of water to fill an Olympic size pool. This is clearly the beginning of a lifelong journey.  Even The Dalai Lama concedes that he has not yet fully developed an awakening mind.
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who is also famous for his ever present smile, encourages practice. Reading a holy book is good. Practice is better. Meditation is good. Practice is better.
What will you practice today?

Post Script-
I finished the book this weekend and would recommend it to anyone looking for a broad introduction to Buddhism. The Dalai Lama successfully relates to western readers with his universal message of love and compassion. The parts in the later part of the book that describe mind training are a little like learning how to ride a bike from a book. This is a good companion to taking a meditation class and actually trying to practice some of the principles.

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