9+ Life Lessons From The Dalai Lama That Will Change the Way You Live

Last Update on February 24, 2021 : Published on February 22, 2021
Life lessons from Dalai Lama

If asked who is your happiness idol? Who would top your list? (Share with us in the comments section)

For me, the happiness and enlightenment guru that I look forward to is His Holiness, Dalai Lama. He is the 14th Dalai Lama- a spiritual leader, a head monk, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and a true source of enlightenment.

His teachings, his lessons, and his wisdom can help you find answers for even the trickiest of life situations. There are many books and videos available on life lessons from the Dalai Lama that can change your life (well they did mine personally).

Also Read: 15 Inspirational Life Lessons from Famous Leaders

So if you want a quick update of 10+ most beautiful life lessons from His Holiness Dalai Lama keeps reading.

10+ Life Lessons From The Dalai Lama

1. Be Kind Whenever You Can- Which Is All The Time

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~Dalai Lama

His Holiness further says that kindness is his simple religion. You don’t need complicated philosophy or temples outside of you to practice religion as it all lies within you. He comments on our brain and heart being the temple and kindness being the philosophy.

Many researchers have time and again shown that an act of kindness, an act of selfless act is highly linked to happiness. With an endless list of benefits to offer, opting for kindness is always a great choice and as kindness costs near to nothing, it should be a daily choice that we make. After all, kindness is something that nothing goes out of trend. So, never miss an opportunity to be kind in your life.

His Holiness further emphasized kindness with his words:

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

“Be kind whenever it is possible. It is always possible.”

2. Practice “Universal” Compassion

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time”~Dalai Lama

His Holiness advocates for a life of compassion and service. The Dalai Lama has addressed compassion as the cause of happiness. The reason being that compassion has two functions: it causes our brain to function better (smoothly) and it brings inner strength (giving us confidence). So, the more compassionate we are the happier we become. Even research shows that when we are compassionate we experience the feeling of pleasure.

Here are some excerpts from His Holiness Dalai Lama’s speeches that have focused on compassion:

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”

“When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we can recognize and forgive the ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.”

Also Read: Lessons Of Life Unfurled By ‘The Pursuit Of Happyness’

3. Success Doesn’t Depend On Luck (Alone)

We often link success to luck (and luck alone) but His Holiness demystifies this conception in his learning. He suggests that success is linked with a cause and this cause is hard work. The effect of hard work results in success. He further says that we should neither link success with the extent to which an event was fortunate or unfortunate, nor sit back and wait for success to come crawling to us. We should rather work towards success and achieve it.

In the Dalai Lama’s words from Answers: Discussions with Western Buddhists:

“It is our custom to say that someone is “lucky” or “unlucky” if they meet with fortunate or unfortunate circumstances, respectively. It is, however, too simplistic to think in terms of random “luck.” Even from a scientific point of view, this is not a sufficient explanation.

Should something unfortunate happen, we immediately think, “Oh, how unlucky!” And yet this is not sufficient to explain what happened – there must be a cause. We seem to call “luck” that factor which overrides external conditions to bring about a positive situation. But that too is a cause; it is an inner cause, which we call “merit.”

4. The Supreme Source of Happiness is Calm Mind

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.”~Dalai Lama

His Holiness has claimed that a calm mind leads to happiness. He further explains that when our mind is calm, we are better able to live a joyful life. By having a calm state of mind an individual can maintain tranquility even in the face of great agitation.

He also relates the sense of caring for others with a calm mind. So, the more you care for others the calmer you are. Plus, keeping away constant anger and fear also paves way for a calm mind and a happy life.

The Dalai Lama’s words from The Dalai Lama’s Book of Wisdom paid emphasis on calm mind:

“We often speak of the external enemy. For example, in my own case, our Chinese brothers and sisters are destroying Tibetan rights and, in that way, more suffering and anxiety develop. But no matter how forceful this is, it cannot destroy the supreme source of my happiness, which is my calmness of mind.

This is something an external enemy cannot destroy. Our country can be invaded, our possessions can be destroyed, our friends can be killed, but these are secondary for our mental happiness. The ultimate source of my mental happiness is my peace of mind. Nothing can destroy this except my own anger.”

Also Read: ‘Mamba Mentality’ : 5 Lessons To Be Learnt From Kobe Bryant

5. Conquer Anger and Hatred

“The true hero is the one who conquers his own anger and hatred.”~Dalai Lama

His Holiness has shared his wisdom thoughts on anger and hatred. He calls them afflictive emotions that can be put to an end by the mere realization of the fact that they are temporary. He further suggests replacing these emotions with compassion as they just spoil your physical and mental health. His Holiness does not ask you to dismiss the anger completely as it’s a part of our mind.

But at the same time, he suggests that we should not let anger stay in our mind, it should come and go smoothly. He also shared his views on the positive side of anger when it is linked with the sense of concern for other’s well-being. So, make sure that your anger has a positive intent and doesn’t destroy your inner peace and relations with others.

Here are some insightful words on these life lessons by His Holiness Dalai Lama:

“Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If someone is angry with you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. On the other hand, if you control your anger and show the opposite- love, compassion, tolerance, and patience- not only will you remain peaceful, but the other person’s anger will also diminish.”

Suffering Is Inevitable But How You Deal With It Can Change Your World

6. Suffering Is Inevitable But How You Deal With It Can Change Your World

His Holiness shared his personal experience and provided insight into the nature of suffering:

“Examining the ways in which I have suffered, I am astounded that I survived. By the grace of my Guru, I learned to turn within, to meditate, to forgive those who hurt me because they were acting out of ignorance, and to forgive myself as well, for the karma I accrued, ignorant of the truth.

I saw the benefit of renouncing the desire to see my enemies punished. My self-pity could not turn into compassion for my wounded inner child or for anyone else until I was able to focus on the suffering of others knowing that what they endure is the same, or much worse, than my own suffering.”

7. The Realization Of Having Enough is What Makes You 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.” ~Dalai Lama

This has to be my favorite life lesson by the Dalai Lama. Having a sense of contentment and with everything that we have in our life is what makes us rich in the true sense. With fewer personal requirements and higher involvement in community and service can rejoice calm. It is when you have this sense of having enough that life seems content and you achieve true tranquility.

His Holiness briefly talked about requirements in his book The Path of Tranquility: Daily Meditation:

“As far as your personal requirements are concerned, the idea is to have fewer involvements, fewer obligations, and fewer affairs, business, or whatever. However, so far as the interest of the larger community is concerned, you must have as many involvements as possible and as many activities as possible.”

8. Respect and Connect With Nature

“The earth is not just our environment. The earth is our mother.”~Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has highlighted the importance of the environment in our survival and growth. He also conveys through his words that our survival is tied to the survival of the natural environment and no matter how much we try to disengage ourselves this connection is inevitable.

Here is an excerpt from the Dalai Lama’s book The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness:

“If we exploit the environment in extreme ways, we may receive some benefit today, but in the long run, we will suffer, as will our future generations. When the environment changes, the climatic condition also changes. When the climate changes dramatically, the economy and many other things change. Our physical health will be greatly affected. Again, conservation is not merely a question of morality, but a question of our own survival.”

9. Enjoy Your Good Night Sleep

“Sleep is the best meditation.”~ Dalai Lama

His Holiness has always emphasized the importance of good sleep in changing your life at 180 degrees. When he was asked how he manages the demands on his time, flies around the world, and addresses people living in different time zones, how does he even manage his health?

To this, he responded with one simple answer “Sleep.” HH Dalai Lama further said that he enjoys eight or nine hours of sleep every night (which is well scheduled). So, if you are cutting on your 8-9 hours of sleep it is advised that you make necessary changes in your sleeping pattern.

Some other important life lessons by His Holiness

Some other important life lessons by His Holiness:

    Apart from these ten remarkable life lessons from the Dalai Lama here are some other important teachings by him.

    • The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
    • Judge your success by what you had to give up to get it.
    • Take into account that great love and great achievement involve risk.
    • Look within – Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.
    • When we lose, don’t lose the lesson.
    • A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation of your life.
    • Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
    • Well-being comes through action, not through prayer.
    • Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
    • Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
    • Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
    • When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
    • Share your knowledge.
    • In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.
    • Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
    • In disagreements with loved ones deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
    • When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect for others.
    • Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
    • Spend some time alone every day.
    • Follow the 3 R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions
    • More compassionate mind, more sense of concern for other’s well-being, is the source of happiness.

Beautiful, simple, yet powerful lessons.

Which out of these life lessons from the Dalai Lama inspired you the most? Share it with us in the comments below.

P.S: Enjoyed reading it? Try to imply at least one of these learning from His Holiness in your life, this week.

Ready, set, transform your life with the Dalai Lama!!!

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About The Author

Anjali Singh
Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh is a content curator in the field of Mental Health. She is currently done Ph.D. in Psychology. Her aim is to light up the world with positive vibes through her words, her idea of life is ‘Grow through what you go through’. Apart from this, she is a big-time pet lover.

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