How to be happy when things go wrong: a Buddhist approach to staying calm!

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Information about How to be happy when things go wrong: a Buddhist approach to staying calm!
Spiritual

Published on January 29, 2014

Author: kerryprest

Source: slideshare.net

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One of the six perfections of Mahayana Buddhism is called "Patience" which doesn't just mean gritting your teeth and waiting. It has a much wider context here. It's more about staying open and relaxed in the face of difficulties.

This was a presentation given at FPMT UK Buddhist groups in 2013. It follows and Indian Master Shantideva and Tibetan Master Lama Tsong Khapa (lamrim).

To see the video, visit my YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rtfBolaQvoY8Ffom0uBKg

My website: www.joyous-effort.com

How To Be Happy When Things Go Wrong the power of patience Jamyang Leeds, June 2013

What is patience? How to begin the cultivation of patience Divisions of patience

The Six Perfections Generosity vs. Miserliness Ethics vs. Wanting to Harm Patience vs. Hatred Joyous Effort vs. Laziness Concentration vs. Distraction Wisdom vs. Ignorance

What is Patience? Keeping a calm and open mind in the face of difficulties.

N T R LI A N O ETA TI G

AC C EPTI N G SU FFER N I G

I N T O TH TEN N E DAM HRA

1. Hatred/Hostility 2. Discouragement 3. Dislike/Disbelief Patience is: not allowing these factors to arise.

1. Not retaliating 2. Accepting suffering 3. Intent on the Dharma 1. Hatred & Hostility 2. Hostility & Discouragement 3. Dislike & Disbelief

Nature: exaggerates the bad qualities of an object

Function: the wish to be separate from the object

Aversion Hate Rage A mental factor that…agitates the mind through being unable to bear or through intending to harm the object. Dissatisfaction Frustration Anger

Aversion Attachment thwarted Attachment Ignorance

"Off the pitch I am nothing like the way I am on it. The passion I have for football, it's very different, I've always expressed it like that, that's the way I play, but I also understand that I need to change.“ Striker Luis Suarez

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.7 Having found its fuel of mental unhappiness In the doing of what I do not wish for And in the hindering of what I wish for, Hatred develops and then destroys me.

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.8 Therefore I should totally destroy The fuel of this enemy; This enemy has no other function Than that of causing me harm.

Aversion Patience Hate Rage Love/Compassion

How to cultivate patience 1) The benefits of patience 2) The drawbacks of anger

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.6cd Whoever works hard and overcomes anger Is happy in this and future lives.

Greater peace of mind Greater happiness Contentment Not apathetic, insensitive or spaced out.

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.133cd Why do I not see that there will be great glory, Fame, and happiness in this very life?

Lamrim Chenmo Volume 2 pg. 153: Bodhisattva Levels: “Persons who have patience will not have many enemies later on and they will not have many separations from those to whom they are close. They will have much happiness and contentment. They will have no regret at the time of death…”

Lamrim Chenmo Volume 2 pg. 153: Compendium of the perfections: “Patience is the best approach for dealing with the inclination to disregard others’ welfare… The greatest strength for those who practice asceticism...”

Healing Anger by HH Dalai Lama “…patience becomes very important, because only through patience is one able to overcome the obstacles to compassion.”

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.134 While in cyclic existence patience causes Beauty, freedom from sickness and fame. Because of these I shall live for a very long time.

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.127 It delights the tathagatas And perfectly accomplishes my own purposes as well. It dispels the suffering of the world. Therefore I should always practice it.

How to cultivate patience 1) The benefits of patience 2) The drawbacks of anger

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.1 Whatever wholesome deeds, Such as generosity and making offerings to the sugatas Have been amassed over thousands of eons, Will all be destroyed by anger.

The 10 Non-Virtuous Actions Body: Killing, Stealing, Sexual Misconduct Speech: Lying, Divisive Speech, Harsh Speech, Idle Speech Mind: Covetousness, Ill Will, Wrong Views BASIS, OBJECT, ATTITUDE (perception, affliction, motivation) & COMPLETION

Harmful Intent (Malice, Ill Will) 1) Ripened result: rebirth in one of the three lower realms. 2) Results similar to the cause: a) Experiences similar to the cause: you will be a person who easily becomes frightened and panicky. b) Actions similar to the cause: having the tendency to hurt others; your anger and hatred increases. 3) Environmental results: having to live in a violent place where there is war and contagious diseases.

Destroys fully ripened result Destroys results similar to the cause

Delays positive results or lessens a positive result.

Destroys from the root = never gives a result, even if it meets the conditions

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.3 My mind will not experience peace If it holds painful thoughts of hatred. I shall find no joy or happiness; Unable to sleep, I shall feel unsettled.

Healing Anger HH Dalai Lama “…when such intense anger and hatred arise, it makes the best part of our brain, which is the ability to judge between right and wrong and assess long-term and shortterm consequences, become totally inoperable.”

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.4 Even those who depend on a master Who cares for them with wealth and services Will overcome and kill A master who gets angry. 6.5ab By it, friends and relatives are disheartened; Though he gathers people with gifts, they will not serve him.

Garland of Birth Stories When your complexion is spoiled by the fire of anger, You cannot look good, though adorned with jewellery. You may sleep on a good bed, but Your mind suffers the sharp pains of anger.

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.5cd In brief, no angry person is happy.

“You always hurt, the one you love.” words by Allan Roberts and music by Doris Fisher You always hurt the one you love The one you shouldn't hurt at all You always take the sweetest rose And crush it till the petals fall

Khen Rinpoche Lobsang Jamphel “It is not possible for anger to become happiness.”

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.2 There is no negativity like hatred, And no fortitude like patience. Therefore, earnestly cultivate Patience in a variety of ways.

The Divisions of Patience 1) The patience which doesn’t retaliate 2) The patience which accepts suffering 3) The patience which is intent on the Dharma

Developing the patience of disregarding harm done to us by others OBJECT  Does the object have self control?  Adventitious or inherent?  Is the harm direct or indirect?  What is the cause that impels harmdoers? SUBJECT  Contradictions

Lamrim Chenmo Volume 2 pg. 160-161: What would be reasonable grounds for anger towards harmdoers?

“They first had the thought of wanting to harm me, prepared the method, and then either prevented my happiness or inflicted unpleasant physical or mental suffering, so my anger is justified.”

Are you angry because … (a) They inflicted harm while they had the self-control not to harm you? (b) They were utterly without any self-control and hurt you while helplessly impelled by something else?

Causes + Conditions = affliction arises Seeds = no affliction arises Incomplete or no causes + conditions Object Unrealistic thinking Regardless of if they think “I will cause malice.” AFFLICTION

Are you angry because … (a) They inflicted harm while they had the self-control not to harm you? (b) They were utterly without any self-control and hurt you while helplessly impelled by something else?

We are willing to help someone if we know they are sick.

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 109: Just as a doctor does not fight but helps Patients who are possessed by spirits, though they get angry, So the Sage sees that the afflictions are at fault Not the persons who have the afflictions

Four Hundred Verses 6.34: If all beings could achieve results According to their wish, then, Since no one wants suffering, No one would suffer.

Lack of self-control? If we think, “Other-powered? It is not true. It was he who got angry. It is nothing to do with whether or not he was put up to it by the afflictions in his continuum. He willingly got angry at me. That is how he wanted it.” The reply is, “So, when he suffers, is it because he first thought, “I need some suffering.”?” Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tegchok

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.35: If, when under the influence of the afflictions, People will even kill their treasured selves, How can they not cause harm To the bodies of others?

Developing the patience of disregarding harm done to us by others OBJECT  Does the object have self control?  Adventitious or inherent?  Is the harm direct or indirect?  What is the cause that impels harmdoers? SUBJECT  Contradictions

Lamrim Chenmo Volume 2 pg. 162: The fault of doing harm to others either is or is not in the nature of living beings.

“If it is in their nature, it is wrong to get angry…”

“If it is adventitious, it is also wrong to be angry…”

“This is not the case, as it is the person who harms me, so it is correct to be angry with this person.”

Developing the patience of disregarding harm done to us by others OBJECT  Does the object have self control?  Adventitious or inherent?  Is the harm direct or indirect?  What is the cause that impels harmdoers? SUBJECT  Contradictions

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.41: The stick and so forth directly cause the harm. But if I am angry at the one who throws it, Then, since hostility impels them, It is better to get angry at hostility.

 We don’t get angry at the gun, but what caused the gun to go off.  Same logic applies to the person and the affliction which caused the person to “go off.”

Who to blame? Pollution Sky Factories Gun Person Affliction

Developing the patience of disregarding harm done to us by others OBJECT  Does the object have self control?  Adventitious or inherent?  Is the harm direct or indirect?  What is the cause that impels harmdoers? SUBJECT  Contradictions

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.42: I, at a former time, inflicted Harm such as this on living beings. Therefore, it is fitting that I, who hurt others, Should receive this harm.

Lamrim Chenmo Volume 2 pg. 164: Sha-bo-ba: “When you say, ‘I am not at fault,’ it indicates that you, in fact, have not internalised even a bit of the teaching.”

Primary cause my action Secondary cause the harmer/sentient being

Developing the patience of disregarding harm done to us by others OBJECT  Does the object have self control?  Adventitious or inherent?  Is the harm direct or indirect?  What is the cause that impels harmdoers? SUBJECT  Contradictions

Don’t want suffering? Stop creating the causes!

The harmer is so kind Helping you exhaust your bad karma!

What is patience? How to begin the cultivation of patience Divisions of patience

How to cultivate patience 1) The benefits of patience 2) The drawbacks of anger

The Divisions of Patience 1) The patience which doesn’t retaliate 2) The patience which accepts suffering 3) The patience which is intent on the Dharma

1. Not retaliating 2. Accepting suffering 3. Intent on the Dharma 1. Hatred & Hostility 2. Hostility & Discouragement 3. Dislike & Disbelief

Discouragement = giving up a spiritual life Spiritual life = virtuous life Virtuous life = happy life

Why must I accept suffering?

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.12ab: The causes of happiness sometimes occur, Whereas the causes of suffering occur frequently.

This is samsara – suffering will occur, it’s not surprising.

What would not accepting suffering be like?

The way to develop acceptance 1) Rejecting the idea that when suffering occurs it is absolutely unpleasant 2) Showing that it is appropriate to accept suffering

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.10: Why be unhappy about something If it can be remedied? And what is the use of being unhappy about something If it cannot be remedied?

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.9: Whatever befalls me, I shall not disturb my mental joy. Having been made unhappy, I shall not accomplish what I wish for And my virtues will decline.

Healing Anger HH Dalai Lama “Mental joy refers to a state of calmness and stability…by being unhappy and discontented, one will not be able to accomplish what one wishes. So in a way being unhappy is quite pointless.”

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.16: I shall not be impatient with Heat, cold, wind, and rain, Illness, bondage, beatings, and so on; If I am, the harm increases.

Why must I definitely accept suffering?

Why Impatience will not change the suffering

Why must I Impatience will increase the suffering

Why must I definitely Impatience will lead to more unskilful actions

Why must I definitely accept Unskilful actions will lead to suffering in the future

Why must I definitely accept suffering? We will give up and stop creating causes for happiness

The way to develop acceptance 1) Rejecting the idea that when suffering occurs it is absolutely unpleasant 2) Showing that it is appropriate to accept suffering

Showing that it is appropriate to accept suffering 1) The good qualities of reflecting on suffering 2) The advantages of bearing suffering’s hardships 3) It is not difficult to bear with…

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.12cd: Without suffering there is no definite emergence. Therefore, mind, you should stay firm.

Definite Emergence “If we think the house we are living in is a squalid, claustrophobic hovel, we will not want to carry on living in it and we will want to move elsewhere.” Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tegchok

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.12cd: Furthermore, suffering has good qualities: Through being disheartened with it, arrogance is dispelled, Compassion arises for those in cyclic existence, Negativities are shunned, and joy is found in virtue.

Lamrim Chenmo Volume 2 pg. 174: From these five and what they indicate, recognise other good qualities on your own and then repeatedly train your mind to think, “This suffering is a condition that I want.”

Showing that it is appropriate to accept suffering 1) The good qualities of reflecting on suffering 2) The advantages of bearing suffering’s hardships 3) It is not difficult to bear with…

Lamrim Chenmo Volume 2 pg. 175: Think, “I know that in the past while passing through cyclic existence I suffered for the sake of trifling desires and minor needs, yet I disregarded the many sufferings…”

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.75: But now since great purpose will be established From harm which is not as much, I should solely be joyful Towards such suffering that dispels the harms of all beings

Hardship – for more suffering Hardship – for an end to suffering

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.72: Is it not excellent if a man condemned to death Is released after having his hand cut off? Is it not excellent if I am spared from hell By way of human suffering?

SHORT TERM LONG TERM SUFFERING

Showing that it is appropriate to accept suffering 1) The good qualities of reflecting on suffering 2) The advantages of bearing suffering’s hardships 3) It is not difficult to bear with suffering if you gradually grow accustomed to it, starting with the small

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.14: There is nothing whatsoever That does not become easier through habituation. So by becoming used to small harms You will bear great harms as well.

Problems like ice-cream “…applying the idea of joy to these experiences.”

Array of Stalks Sutra “Daughter, in order to destroy all afflictions, you should develop a mind that is hard to defeat.”

Everyone in the world has problems

I should take it on and stay calm with the powerful mind of patience

Bodhisattva’s Deeds 6.17: Some, seeing their own blood, Become especially brave and steady, But some when they see the blood of others Fall unconscious 6.18ab:These come from the minds fortitude Or from its timidity.

The Divisions of Patience 1) The patience which doesn’t retaliate 2) The patience which accepts suffering 3) The patience which is intent on the Dharma

Steps on the Path to Enlightenment Geshe Lhundub Sopa “Not liking a practice, not wanting to do a practice, or – even if we do it – feeling uncomfortable and having reservations about the practice, are all aspects of impatience.”

Steps on the Path to Enlightenment Geshe Lhundub Sopa “In order for religious practitioners to be comfortable and inspired to practice, they must understand the causes, the nature and the results of each practice.”

Misdeeds the two selflessnesses Reality of and there effects Conviction 6) Meditation goal 3) The desired object EnlightenmentBuddhas and Bodhisattvas Powers of the 7) Meditationto be adopted 4) The object method Six perfections good effects Good causes and 8) Study to see the reality of the Dharma.” “Using wisdom and practice Khen Rinpoche Lobsang Jamphel The twelve branches of scripture

How To Be Happy When Things Go Wrong summary

KNOW and MEDITATE on the reasons before we encounter the real thing

No one wants to suffer For ourselves…  Suffering should be understood  The causes should be abandoned  Cessation of the causes should be realised The path to the cessation should be practiced

No one wants to suffer For others…  All religions teach love and compassion as a foundation  Hatred is the opposite  Therefore patience becomes the most important topic

Steps on the Path to Enlightenment Geshe Lhundub Sopa Patience is… “accepting whatever happens because we understand the nature of the situation and its causes.”

love is understanding

Music: "Om Mani Padme Hum" "Mahakala" by K-liv http://www.jamendo.com/en/list/a80270/himalayan-mantra Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported "Tibet" "Kewl" by Grumpy http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/365125/grumpy Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

For more info email kerrynprest@gmail.com

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