Archive | September, 2016

Developing a Happier Life – 10 Steps to Help

28 Sep

Hand drawing unhappy and happy smileys on blackboard


10 Steps to a Happier Life.

Developing and leading a happier life is not only focusing on what and how you are adding to your life but also what you need to reduce or eliminate. Below are 10 important guidelines for a happier life.

1.      Control of actions and speech to avoid actions that create unnecessary conflict and regret.

2.     Not associating with immature egotistical people; not allowing ourselves to be adversely influenced by them.

3.     Proficiency in one’s work. Using and improving the skills we possess to better life for ourselves and others.

4.     Honest business pursuits, free from inherent disrespect to employers, employees and customers. A wholesome occupation that one does well and enjoys.

5.     Doing acts of responsible generosity. Giving is a source of happiness for both giver and receiver.

6.    To cherish one’s family. To support through wise and kind behaviors one’s parents, children, partner and extended family either in the biological sense or also a community of friends and colleagues.

7.      Living one’s life in an unreproachable respectful way which eliminates shame, guilt, and one has nothing to hide, nothing to regret.

8.    Gratefulness and humility. Remember fondly all the people in your life who have supported and helped you.

9.    Contentment. Do not constantly seek new stimulations and objects.

10. Refraining from doing or allowing behaviors that are disrespectful and unkind to your self/body or others.

 These are 10 important guidelines that if not already followed will create a happier life. Can you think of more?

11. Another important aspect for a happier life is – Not to consume substances likely to poison my body and in a way that they distort my sensibilities and deprive me of my self-control and powers of judgment; such as alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and so on .


“Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 percent of everything you think, and of everything you do, is for yourself—and there isn’t one.”― Wei Wu Wei

28 Sep


These are two paragraphs from my almost finished book- Realizing our Original Mind. ‘While the self seems real and substantial, our dis-identification practice helps us remember that it consists of only evolving and impermanent patterns in the mind and brain. The self exists in the way that memory allows it to exist. However, like all physical biological processes, it’s existence is transient and illusionary, and thus it is foolish to cling to it. To quote Rick Hanson, ‘Whatever of self there is in the brain, it is compounded and distributed, not coherent and unified; it is variable and transient, not stable and enduring. In other words, the conventional notion of self is a mythical creature.’ When we come to understand that the representations of self are only fictional, which we author and what they represent does not substantially exist, we then can start taking our ‘self’, as the expression goes, ‘with a grain of salt’ or not literally. So, for us to do that, and this is a revolutionary and very important discovery, our mind needs to be trained with some prolonged disciplined practice. The more we study how our mind and brain are intertwined, the more we can use the mind to change the brain, which then supports our future mind. Neuropsychology supports the idea that we have the freedom and possibility to condition and create our particular mind states supported by our nurtured brain structures.

So in the end, after the gradual ripening of the maturation and transformation of our habits, latent tendencies, dis-identification with the subjective ownership of experience, calming and stabilizing our physiology and behavior in our life patterns, we no longer respond immaturely or egotistically to our desires and aversions. Does that mean we become emotionless and detached automatons? No, just the opposite. Instead, we develop the perspective and ability to remain stable, balanced, not susceptible to the quirky ups and downs of our immature selfish emotions and wants. Even for the most accomplished meditator strong emotions can arise, when they do they are observed with the acceptance and objectivity of mindfulness and the stability of equanimity. While emotions can have an impact, it is only momentarily or at best a short time before the stability of calm and dispassion evaporate them away. Through the transformative process, there becomes a greater awareness and respect for our body, serenity of the emotions, increased kindness of the heart, flexible and realistic attitudes, more genuine human relationships growing out of a deeper awareness of our affinity with the web of life and a relinquishing of the Great Poisons of greed, anger and ignorance. We learn not only how to proceed anew but also importantly what we can simplify and do without.’ Look for publication in November, 2016.