Tag: Spiritual Guidance

How the Dalai Lama has Influenced My Thoughts on Human Relationships

How successful are the relationships in your life? Take a moment to reflect on a few of them— are they generally happy? Which are strained? And whether good or bad, consider, do you take enough time to give those bonds the care they deserve? What keeps you from sharing more love?

Many times, we don’t even realize that we’re not honoring the commitments of the affection our friends, family and partners deserve. And as such, it makes sense; life can feel too busy, distracted or disenchanted to show a little love to those outside of our immediate circle.

In a time in humanity when it’s difficult to find much compassion in the world for each other, Lion’s Roar asks the Dalai Lama how we can begin to get it right—wondering:

“How do we convince people that in the face of their own suffering and of all of the terrible things that happen in this world, that if we touch who we are, human beings are actually good?”

His Holiness explains that in our beginnings as children we’re not concerned with differences of others. As we grow our similarities, the common core of a human experience, becomes less important than our differences, the attributes that keep us from experiencing peace with each other.

We simply forget how similar we are inside. And our differences, he stresses, are manmade and based on the “secondary level:”

“Every human, fundamentally, we’re the same. All with the same experience from their mother… I think we must now look on the fundamental level that we’re seven billion human beings—all the same human beings, basically all the same brothers and sisters. Then, on the secondary level, yes differences. Different races, countries, religions… but there are not too many differences.”

Start with your own circle. Although the secondary dissimilarities may not necessarily be race, religion or country of origin, there are elements of our own relationships that we can work on to spread more joy to all.

Begin to examine why you feel as you do and make the changes you can make individually to help your personal unions grow. To change the world, we can start by changing what’s negative in our own interpersonal daily existence and, in turn, transform more than just ourselves.

When we begin to develop a core sensibility—choosing to become in tune with peace and harmony instead of dissonance and disillusionment—we’ll find and create more peace in the universe. Is it that easy? Give it a go! Make it your quest to spread happiness and light.

A Case for Loving-Kindness Meditation

We’ve all been there—we’re having a conversation that we don’t necessarily want to have and we begin to feel defensive.  Our mind may start racing or our palms may start sweating. Anger starts rising up hot on our necks, and we’ve hit the point of either shutting down and tuning out or getting upset. Usually it’s with someone that we’ve been down this road with before.

It’s true, right? We all find ourselves falling into the cycle of washing and rinsing out one issue, yet, before we’ve even finished ironing it out, we could already be facing more trouble from the same source.  Our immediate response may be to act out of frustration or anger instead of a calm, collected place. That’s were loving kindness-meditation comes in.

As Harvard Business Review explains it:

“To understand why we get clumsy in difficult relationships, consider that habitual patterns of thinking and behavior are like the deep grooves that get carved into a dirt road by the repeated passage of tires. The deeper the grooves, the more likely we are to get stuck in them. This is why we tend to have the same argument repeatedly with certain people, and find ourselves unable to free ourselves from the familiar script. Loving-kindness meditation improves our ability to see those grooves more clearly, to lift ourselves out of them, and to intentionally choose a better, more effective pathway.”

The key is to assuage this issue before it arises internally, and we can only do that by being cool and collected—and most importantly, comfortable within ourselves.  As HBR notes, “without self-compassion it’s hard to find compassion for others.”

Now—start the practice by cultivating someone in your mind that you’re close to. One that loves, honors, and respects you for who you are. They will be the guided thought for your meditation.

Create a mantra based on that idea—and as you’re beginning to feel frustrated with a tough conversation, turn to that to help you make it through. Channel love within your mind and allow it to come through your thoughts and into your words.

Next, set your intentions on the person you’re having the conflict with—Affirmations you can use to assist in setting your intentions into compassion are:

Om, Compassion

You are love, as am I

Compassion is all

The Universe loves you

As you continue this mantra of love for yourself and love for others—you are beginning to set yourself free from the pain of difficult relationships. Changing your heart space to let light in instead of harboring darkness.

Once we find peace in ourselves, the conflicts that we have with others will seem less important to our days, and soon our lives. We learn that through self-control we can create our own existence of harmony instead of discord.

Our lives are short and precious; too short to allow others to negatively impact our days. Give yourself the opportunity to flourish through positive energy; you will change in many incredible ways.