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Sep 05
Dharma Teachings, Sakyong and Family
The Power of Being Cheerful

By Sakyong Mipham

I recently asked a Tibetan lama friend, “Who seems happier—the nomads in Tibet or people you have met in America?” He told me that since America is famous for its wealth and technology, in the beginning he was sure that he would find happier, more cheerful people here. But after the initial phase of simple awe for what the West has accomplished, he began to see people as people, and he had no doubt that the simple nomads of Tibet are happier and more cheerful.

Tibetans do, as a people, seem very cheerful. Is their cheer due to living in a rural culture, or do they owe it to practicing the Buddhist teachings of meditation? In either case, I think their cheerfulness has something to do with simplicity. Simplicity allows us to experience our mind in a raw and naked state. In my own experience one of the most welcome and important aspects of practicing and studying the Buddhist teachings is that we begin to trust our mind and discover the inherent goodness in it. The result is feeling cheerful.

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