These Tips From Buddhist Monks Could Be the Key to Your Happiness

Scientifically speaking, Buddhist monks are happier than the rest of us. Scientists have studied their brain activity, and it shows that they are indeed happier and calmer people. But, what can we learn from them that will help us become happier ourselves? The truth is, this isn’t going to be a quick fix. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama said in his book, The Art of Happiness, that “the practice of Dharma is a constant battle within, replacing previous negative conditioning or habituation with new positive conditioning.”

So these won’t be quick fixes, but they will lead to a happier you … if you’re dedicated enough.

7. Meditate

A woman meditating

Buddhist devotees meditate during a ceremony at the Dhammakaya Temple in Bangkok on February 22, 2016, on the occasion of Makha Bucha day. | Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Meditation is the most common way to calm yourself down, or simply clear away all the stress in your life. There are multiple ways that one can meditate, and it all depends on what works best for you. Matthieu Ricard, a monk who became famous for being considered the happiest man on earth, says you can learn to meditate in 5 minutes. That’s not a bad way to start the new, happier you.

Next: You wouldn’t believe how amazing it feels to practice this simple thing. 

6. Practice compassion

Buddhist monks meditating for happiness

Compassion is something the world could use more of. Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Compassion seems like it would be a pretty ambiguous thing, and in many ways it is. But what makes compassion so great is that it makes you feel great. You can start small and practice compassion, by wishing another person happiness in their lives. You can also go bigger and build schools and hospitals for people, like Ricard has done. The point is that you can practice compassion at any level you like; just make sure you’re practicing it often.

Next: Letting this go can help you a lot.

5. Let go of attachment

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama has fewer possessions than most of us. | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The Buddha taught that attachment is one of the primary causes of suffering in the world. And not just to material things, but to ideas, people, love, hate, and a whole litany of tangible and intangible things that can affect our day to day lives. This is a hard one to give up in Western society. But, on your path to happiness, it would be wise to give up a few things along the way.

Next: Do not fear the inevitable.

4. Do not fear death

The Dalai Lama

Why fear something that is inevitable? | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Buddhism follow the teachings of Rinpoche, the man who taught the Dalai Lama, on the lessons of impermanence. Impermanence is the idea that nothing we have in this life will be permanent. Pretty straightforward, to say the very least.

The simple fact is that we will all die. So, the idea of worrying about death is a pointless one. Once you accept that, you will be happier.

Next: When was the last time you saw the sunrise?

3. Happiness can be found in the sunrise

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The sun rising over the horizon is a beautiful view to inspire happiness. | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Getting a good night’s sleep is definitely key to anyone’s happiness. Being fully rested is scientifically a big component of how you feel throughout your day. But what if you are already getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis? It might be time to make that sleep more rewarding at the end.

Ricard wakes up every morning to the rising sun. Seeing something that beautiful every day is certainly something that can lead to a much happier you.

Next: These are just more opportunities for happiness.

2. Don’t be afraid of failure

Buddhist monk preparing for a ceremony

Mistakes are no more than lessons in wisdom. | Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images

Failure is one of those concepts in Buddhism that just doesn’t exist. You literally cannot make a mistake in Buddhism. Every interaction, project, or moment in your life is just another lesson for your wisdom. Therefore, one can never make a mistake if they see the value of the lesson. Once you make this distinction, every failure is now a valuable life lesson.

Next: I think every religion in the world preaches this idea for happiness.

1. Be patient

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (L) greets Lal Krishna Advani

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (L) greets Lal Krishna Advani. | Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

The virtue of patience within Buddhism is paramount to its success. After all, how can you cultivate all this success without being patient to begin with? Showing patience whenever you can is a key aspect in showing yourself compassion. After all, all these exercises are a way to improve your inner happiness.

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