Month: May 2011

What Can We Learn from HH the Dalai Lama about Dealing With Depression?

If there was ever a man who had a reason to be depressed, it would be His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Exiled from his beloved country, he witnesses the continual suppression of the peaceful Tibetan people and their traditional way of life. Despite this painful reality, he lives his life with hope and dignity. We can see that it is not so much what happens to us, but how we interpret our circumstances. We can get lost in fictitious thoughts that generate bitter unhappy feelings; and those thoughts become memorised emotions in our bodies. If we allow negative thoughts and emotions to sweep us away and we somersault into illusions, those beliefs can become our life stories. Criticism and judgmentalism of self and others always accompanies depression, as the sufferer believes that these projections in their mind are real. Disconnecting from our greater self into false refuges can lead to depression. Why do we avoid searching mindfully inside ourselves for that humanly divine presence which is here, real, precious and vast?

Patrul Rinposhe said “You leave your elephant at home and look for its footprints in the forest.” If we tame our mind of its distractions and delusions, we can actually re-wire the brain through the guidance of love, forgiveness, compassion, prayer, meditation, chanting, mind training, dancing and many other ways which transform our thoughts and emotions.

In his article below, originally published in the Hindustan Times, India, on January 3rd, 2011, the Dalai Lama explains that “one of the mind’s most marvelous qualities is that it can be transformed.”

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Curiosity as the Key to Lifelong Learning

Curiosity begins at an early age. Children are naturally inquisitive about everything they see. Adults often find humor in the curiosity of children because once we learn certain answers to childlike questions; we develop confidence in our knowledge. But what really creates the path to further and further learning is an adherence to a continuation of that original childlike curiosity. It is those who continue to ask questions, to reach continually into unknown territories, who are responsible for the intellectual and psychological development of the world as we know it.

How do we help our children never to lose their curiosity? How do we help them accept what they are told but also to question what they are told?

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Writing as a Journey Towards Awakening

We have previously written about mindfulness by naming our days, as a metaphor to help us become more conscious of our natural surroundings and ways to create intimacy in relationships. In this way, we can decrease our distraction by consuming thoughts and increase the bodily “felt self” of the wonder and mystery of life in the present moment. Now it is time to offer some ways to pay attention to you, in a way that can bring insight, connection, and genuine self-love. We include two powerful methods: writing and meditation practice. We start this week with writing, a way to meet with yourself authentically again and again.

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