His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama urges us to consider otherwise.He says, “What is the purpose of the Dharma?Just like other spiritual traditions, Buddha Dharma is an
instrument for training the mind – something we use to try to work out the problems that we all experience, problems that originate mainly at the mental level.”
For me juggling work, home, and family commitments was extremely stressful. When I added daily swims at the local pool, and bicycling to my routine to keep in shape, instead of feeling relaxed I became tenser. I felt that I was on a racetrack that never ended.
“Today, there is increasing recognition, as well as a growing body of scientific evidence, that confirms the close connection between our own states of mind and our happiness.
”The Embodiment of Compassion says, “On the one hand, many of us live in societies that are very developed materially, yet among us are many people who are not very happy. Just underneath the beautiful surface of affluence there is a kind of mental
unrest, leading to frustration, unnecessary quarrels, reliance on drugs or alcohol, and in the worst case, suicide. There is no guarantee that wealth alone can give you the joy or
fulfillment that you seek.”
I can personally vouch for that. The more money I acquired, the less happy I was. Affluence could not stopmy mental unrest. The wealthier I became, the more fake friends
I acquired and the people I attracted simply wanted meto invest in their dreams.
I was often angry, but I did not knowwhy. His Holiness explains that when we do not train the mind to be an asset, it can mislead us. For instance, he points out, “The same can be said of your friends, too.When you are in an intense state of anger or hatred, even a very close friend appears to you as some how frosty, or cold, distant, and annoying.”
Finally, I came to a point in my life that I realised I could not make progress as a human being, be of use to others, or reach realisation on the spiritual path unless I disciplined myself and practised Dharma in all of my affairs. Knowing what Dharma (right action) is and practising it, are two different things.
But Our Beloved Lama from the Roof of theWorld guides us.Heexplains, “However, as human beings we are gifted with this wonderful humanintelligence.
Besides that, all human beings have the capacity to be very determined and to direct that strong sense of determination in whatever direction they like. So long as we remember that we have this marvellous gift of human intelligence and a capacity to develop determination and use it in positive ways, we will preserve our underlying mental health.”