The Peaceful Mind

A conversation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

From Spirituality & Health -- The Soul/Body Connection

Despite exile and persecution, His Holiness the Dalai Lama maintains a buoyant spirit and the low blood pressure of a child. In this conversation with T George Harris, the founding editor of Psychology Today and American Health, held at the Trappist monastery Gethsemane in the hills of Kentucky, the Dalai Lama reveals the spiritual practices that sustain him.

In one of your books you talk about a secular spirituality. How much of a health component does that have?

Everybody wants a happy, successful life. Of course, external conditions are important, but I think that for a happy life, a happy family, and a happy community, much depends on our mental attitude. The key factor, I feel, is human compassion, a sense of caring for one another.


Sometimes, when we talk about the value of compassion and forgiveness and love, people get the impression these are religious matters: When people have religious faith, these things are important; otherwise, they aren’t relevant. That kind of attitude, I think, is due to ignorance or lack of awareness, and I feel it’s dangerous.

"Basically, a human being is a social animal. So, if you create some short moment of happiness for people, you get deep satisfaction."

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