‘All the happiness in the world arises from wishing others to be happy’

August 23, 2014

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All the happiness in this world, arises from wishing others to be happy’ Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Shantideva, Indian Buddhist Master c 600 BC


Try giving not getting and see what happens’  ‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’ Susan Jeffers


Try cherishing others, really wanting them to be happy. Notice the effect it has on your day. Most of the time we are thinking about our own needs, our own happiness, which seems to be supremely important. It is part our programming to be looking out for ourselves, looking after ‘number one’, after all achieving great things in this life means not letting the other guy get one over on you, doesn’t it? Really? Has this truly served to make you happy? Maybe a fleeting sense of being right can make us happy for a short time. But long term – has it helped to give you the life you want? Isn’t it true that this sort of happiness quickly turns to frustration, disappointment, as another scenario comes up which catapults us out of that happy space and into another struggle.

When we think that others are just as important as us (after all, there is one of us and billions of other people on this planet – so who is more important?), we start to perform actions that will cause others them to be happy. Cherishing others is the real path towards being happy. When we are loving and kind to others our daily life becomes peaceful, happy, harmonious and meaningful. We can start by practising with friends and family – and see what happens. We can gradually extend these loving feelings towards everyone whose life comes into contact with ours. Everyone, not just those people who are easy to love and be well-disposed towards.

It takes a lot of practice, but it’s worth it. The effect is that many of our problems such as anger, jealousy, and selfish behaviour disappear, and our mind becomes calm and peaceful.The mind that cherishes others and wishes them well is a very precious mind, and is very rare in our society. But, let’s all give it a go today, and see what effect it has on our lives. If everyone did this on one day, on that day all disputes would cease, and war would be impossible.

As the Buddha said ‘The mind is everything. What you think you become’

A loving mind towards everyone makes us the embodiment of love.



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  1. Thanks, but how can we reach and cherish others who are fighting and killing? How can we reach out to bring all peoples together in live and harmony.?

    1. Hello Roger, thanks so much for this first comment on this site.

      In reply – good questions! Just been re-reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books. He writes about directing loving-kindness to others, saying in ‘Wherever you go, there you are':
      ‘If I become a center of love and kindness in this moment, then in a perhaps small but hardly insignificant way, the world now has a nucleus of love and kindness it lacked the moment before. This benefits me and it benefits others.’

      He goes on to write about ‘purposefully directing loving kindness toward people you have a hard time with, toward those you dislike or are repulsed by, toward those who threaten you or have hurt you…..toward all those who are…caught up in war or violence or hatred, understanding that they are not different from you – they too have loved ones, hopes and aspirations, and needs for shelter, food and peace……Loving kindness is an ongoing, ever-expanding realization of interconnectedness.’

      This just about says it all. Not easy to do, but if we all did loving-kindness meditation like this every day – what a different world we could create one moment and one practice at a time. Slow, steady work. Personally, cherishing others, when I remember, feels great – and when I’m happy I become a better person which can only be a good thing!

      Best wishes

  2. Strange nobody else has commented on this. Maybe they don’t find this imbalance in life a problem. It worries the heck out of me at times. And I am afraid I don’t always find it easy to focus on my mediation, whether it is loving, or not. I haven’t even managed to incorporate meditation into my daily routine. Has anybody got any tips for me?

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