Cover of book The Dalai Lama's Cat

The Dalai Lama's Cat

by: David Michie

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  • wishes. But also the way we look for happiness and try to avoid discomfort is the same.
  • “Do we believe that, whatever our circumstances, we have the chance to live happy and meaningful lives?
  • “Most people think that their only
  • option is to change their circumstances. But these are not the true causes of their unhappiness. It has more to do with the way they think about their circumstances.
  • “It is the wonderful paradox,” he continued, “that the best way to achieve happiness for oneself is to give happiness to others.”
  • I would deliberately set about making some other being happy, even if it was as simple as bestowing a kindly purr, in order to shift the focus of my thoughts off myself and onto
  • Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment deliberately and non-judgmentally.’ Nice and clear, isn’t it?”
  • “Pure presence.” “Hmm,” Chogyal mused. “No mental agitation or elaboration of any kind.”
  • In the case of money or status or relationships”—His Holiness chuckled—“we can easily see these are not true causes of happiness.
  • first, the wish to give happiness to others, which Buddhists define as love, and second, the wish to help free others from dissatisfaction or suffering, which we define as compassion.
  • ‘The thought manifests as the word; the word manifests as the deed; the deed develops into habit; and habit hardens into character. So
  • as we think, so we become.’”
  • That you obsess about your clothing, footwear, adornments, and grooming, all of which have rather more to do with an image you wish to project to the world than matters of simple practicality?
  • who at some time has become so caught up in a downward spiral of self-obsession that despite all their frenetic licking, scratching, and grooming, despite all their crazed efforts to feel better about themselves, all they have succeeded in doing is ingesting such
  • large quantities of self-regarding detritus that they have made themselves sick—quite literally, perhaps?
  • There’s nothing like a good, long sleep to allow unpleasantness to recede into the past.
  • You begin at home and at work, with the people and other beings in your life.
  • You can serve them a coffee, or you can serve them a coffee and a smile—
  • Instead, I had robbed myself of that opportunity with my ridiculous self-pity.
  • “We forget that it’s only a matter of time before there is change—and, once again, a shift in perspective.”
  • “When one is angry, the first person to suffer is oneself. No one who is angry has a happy, peaceful mind.”
  • “For this to happen, you need opportunities to practice the opposing force, which is patience.
  • “But what if I … fail?” Her voice was shaky. “You keep trying. There are no instant results for a long-standing habit. But step by step you will definitely progress if you see the advantage.”
  • “When our understanding of something deepens to the point that it changes our behavior, in the Dharma we call this a realization.
  • When we see for ourselves there is a problem, change becomes much easier.”
  • “Sentient beings are killed even for a vegetarian diet. When land is cleared to make space for crops, the natural habitat is destroyed, and many smaller beings are killed. Then crops are planted, and pesticides are sprayed, killing many thousands of insects. You see, it is very difficult to avoid harming other
  • “Before we eat any meal, vegetarian or meat, we should always remember the beings that have died so that we can eat. Their lives were just as important to them as your life is to you. Think of them with gratitude and
  • “In the Dharma, there is
  • no place for guilt. Guilt is useless. It is pointless to feel bad about something in the past that we can’t change. But regret? Yes. This is more useful. Do you both feel sincere regret for what you did?”
  • “This is another reason we should behave with love and compassion toward all living beings. We never know in what circumstances we will meet up with them again. Sometimes even in this same lifetime.”
  • “One of the last things Buddha said to his followers was that anyone who believed a word he had taught them was a fool—unless they had tested it against their own experience.”
  • “Apology accepted. We all have our days.”
  • “Fear,” said Lobsang. “An instinct that prevents many people from taking actions that they know, deep down inside, would liberate them. Like a bird in a cage whose door has been opened, we are free to go out in search of fulfillment, but fear makes us look for all kinds of reasons not to.”
  • It is interesting how, once you have decided to strike out on a new course of action, events often transpire to help you.
  • Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
  • a cat is a riddle, inside an enigma, inside a delightful pelt of cuddliness?
  • Mind training is the foundation of all Buddhist activities, and we are encouraged to develop strong concentration not only when meditating but also by practicing mindfulness throughout each day.
  • “You can’t manage what you don’t monitor,”
  • Mindfulness, it seems, is a foundation practice.
  • “Without question, the most important practice is bodhichitta.”
  • We may think, Who am I fooling, trying to pretend I can become a buddha and lead all living beings to enlightenment? But step by step, we develop understanding. We find that others have done it already.
  • “Every time we do something nice for someone else, even if it is a routine thing they expect, we can do so with the thought ‘By this act of love, or of giving happiness, may I attain enlightenment to liberate all living beings.’ Every time we practice generosity, whether it is making a donation or nursing a cat, we can think the same thing.”
  • I was going to make this a positive transformation. I wasn’t going to avoid any of it.
  • there is no room for laziness or a lack of confidence. Leading an authentic life calls for big eyes and a strong voice!
  • ‘Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.’