For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I too abide
To dispel the misery of the world.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Dalai Lama, Tibet, Tibetan monks and the buddhist philosophy. Reading Merlin’s Keep by Madeleine Brent (I still have to try tsampa) and seeing the movie Kundun sealed my fate.
My heart also breaks for the Dalai Lama and for the trials of his country, the monks and its denizens.
I’m not buddhist, but I’ve long respected its principles and teachings. Buddhist thought has always reminded me of the best poetry, the kind that illuminates both the human condition and the glimmer of greatness within us all.
But, I digress. I came across the Dalai Lama’s list, today, while searching for news on how His Holiness was recuperating from exhaustion in July, followed by gallbladder surgery in October. Issued at the start of the new millenium, his list once again reminded me of why I admire this man.
18 Rules for Living:
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
— Respect for self
— Respect for others
— Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
And, if I may be so pretentious, I would add three more:
19. Find evidence of something greater than yourself in nature and its creations.
20. Be beautiful for what you do, not for how you look.
21. Never underestimate the power of a good nap.
Photo by Emily Murdoch