All living beings have the same basic wish to be happy and avoid suffering, but very few people understand the real causes of happiness and suffering. We generally believe that external conditions such as food, friends, cars and money are the real causes of happiness, and as a result we devote nearly all our time and energy to acquiring these. Superficially it seems that these things can make us happy, but if we look deeper we shall see that they can also bring us a lot of suffering.
Happiness and suffering are states of mind, and so their main causes cannot be found outside the mind. The real source of happiness is inner peace. If our mind is peaceful, we shall be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions, but if it is disturbed or troubled in any way, we shall never be happy, no matter how good our external situations may be. External conditions can only make us happy if our mind is peaceful. We can understand this through our own experience. For instance, even if we are in the most beautiful surroundings and have everything we need, the moment we get angry any happiness we may have disappears. This is because anger has destroyed our inner peace. If we want true, lasting happiness we need to develop and maintain a special experience of inner peace. The only way to do this is by training our mind, gradually reducing and eliminating our negative, disturbed states of mind and replacing them with positive, peaceful states.
This course is based on teachings given in Tibet in the 11th century by an Indian Buddhist master called Atisha. It was a very dark time in Tibetan history & people’s minds were very disturbed & uncontrolled. The king of Tibet invited Atisha to come from India to give teachings that would help the people tame their minds. These teachings were very successful & Atisha decided he no longer needed to stay in Tibet. As he was leaving he was asked to give one final teaching. That teaching was called Advice from Atisha’s heart., It is one of the most profound teaching on training the mind ever given. It helped people to control their minds & find deep lasting happiness then & one thousand years later it is still just as effective.
Odiyana Kadampa Meditation Centre will be running an 5 week course entitled Advice for a Happy Life in local areas. For details of evenings and venues please click on the location from the drop down menu or click on the area you wish to attend – Chester, Crewe, Holmes Chapel, Knutsford, Northwich and Warrington.