The Secret to Happiness? Be Warm-Hearted

Tenzin Gyatso is better known as the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. He was the first Dalai Lama to travel out of Tibet, and has become an ambassador for Buddhism worldwide. His answer to an interviewer who asked for the secret to happiness? “Be warm-hearted.”

“Be warm-hearted. Compassion gives you inner strength. More self-control. That really changes your attitude.” – Tenzin Gyatso

The Dalai Lama’s secret to happiness

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life.”

On religion

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

On economics

“Of all the modern economic theories, the economic system of Marxism is founded on moral principles, while capitalism is concerned only with gain and profitability. Marxism is concerned with the distribution of wealth on an equal basis and the equitable utilization of the means of production. It is also concerned with the fate of the working classes—that is, the majority—as well as with the fate of those who are underprivileged and in need, and Marxism cares about the victims of minority-imposed exploitation. For those reasons the system appeals to me, and it seems fair.

The failure of the regime in the former Soviet Union was, for me, not the failure of Marxism but the failure of totalitarianism. For this reason I still think of myself as half-Marxist, half-Buddhist.”

On sexuality

“If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not, I will ask ‘What is your companion’s opinion?’ If you both agree, then I think I would say ‘if two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay'”

On friendship

“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.”

Learn more about the secret to happiness

Read more about His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his official homepage. Or read his books:

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Art of Happiness: 10th Anniversary Edition

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