The Wisdom Blog: Classic & Contemporary Buddhism

Mindful Monday Morsel: How to Be Happy

by Lydia Anderson
September 16, 2013
Mon, 09/16/2013 - 10:49 -- landerson

Welcome to our first Mindful Monday Morsel! Each Monday we’ll be excerpting from one of our titles. Today’s morsel comes from How to Be Happy by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. 

In How to Be Happy Lama Zopa he also gives us wonderful advice in transforming problems into happiness, and even in finding compassion for our “enemies”—those people, thoughts, and situations in daily life we find so troublesome and unpleasant. This excerpt is from the chapter “Mind.”

Everything depends on what you do with your mind.

The mind of most of us ordinary beings is like a headstrong toddler, and needs to be taken care of like a toddler. We can’t just do everything the mind says and give it everything it says it wants—just as we can’t with a toddler. That would lead to a very ill-mannered child indeed! It is very dangerous to do everything the mind says.

What is the mind? It is nothing other than what is merely imputed by the mind.

Mind is like dough, which means you can mold it into any shape. You can roll it into suffering, or roll it into ultimate happiness.

Mind is like a disciple, which means you must strive always to be the guru, always teaching.

Mind is like a child, which means you should become like parents, the father and mother carefully and lovingly watching the child and guiding her. If you too act like the child, believe everything the child says, if you become the child, you create obstacles and life becomes suffering.

Mind is a boat, and you are the captain; mind is a car and you are the driver. Learn the waters, watch the road, steer the vehicle, follow the map—letting the mind run haphazardly where it will, rudderless, captainless, driverless, is the path to great harm.

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