Finding Happiness Within the Buddhadharma
With the growth of a new generation, people are faced with a new set of problems that need to be solved. In spite of the changes brought about by the modern world, the Tibetan people still live as happily as they have throughout the ages. It is the Buddhadharma that gives them the strength to face and overcome suffering.
People of the 21st century should not only accept new ideas that are in keeping with the times, but also need to understand the traditions and religions of previous centuries. This is very essential. New ideas alone cannot solve all humanity’s problems. That is why we want to explore the subject of happiness from both the western and the eastern perspectives and also from both the Buddhist and secular points of view. So I believe this discussion is a very good opportunity for all of us.
Speaking of the Tibetan Code of Happiness, we Tibetan people, in some aspects, do enjoy more inner happiness than either the Han Chinese or the Western world. Our inner happiness is admired by, and attracts many people who over time have been influenced by us. At first, they might be curious: How is it that such an exotic people can handle all kinds of pain in their lives and yet retain the appearance of strength in the face of great suffering or even the relatively minor pains of illness, frustrated passion, failure to attain elevated social status, or disappointment in business? No matter what we run into, it is the power of the Buddhadharma, the teachings of the Dharma that gives us strength. We rely on its extraordinary guidance to handle and overcome suffering, and are proud of the courage and wisdom that it imparts to us. Even though I am a Tibetan, I am not just standing here heaping empty praise on my own people; I truly believe that as a people we have been a positive influence to others all over the world.
What are the main reasons for this? Generally speaking, we Tibetans have a natural inclination towards Mahayana practice. For more than 2,500 years, the Dharma, taught by Buddha Shakyamuni, has been preserved intact in the Land of Snows, and every Tibetan, from a very young age until death, takes refuge in the Three Jewels and then continues to practice them for the rest of their life. The power and blessing of the Buddhadharma is deeply embedded in everyone’s heart, and because of this, the Dharma plays an important role in facing the suffering that we all have in our daily lives.