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  • Alright, my friends. Hello.

  • (Audience) Hello.

  • So I want to start off with a few questions.

  • And I know a lot of other presenters

  • have already asked you questions,

  • and they've been kind of hard questions.

  • But the questions I'm going to ask you

  • are very, very simple.

  • And I promise you'll be able to answer these.

  • Alright, are you ready? For your first one?

  • Okay.

  • Your first questions is --

  • you don't have to answer out loud:

  • Are you having a good day?

  • Okay, got your answer?

  • Alright.

  • My second question for you is:

  • Why?

  • If you're having a good day,

  • why are you having a good day?

  • Or if you're having a bad day,

  • why are you having a bad day?

  • So I have one more question for you.

  • This should be the easiest one of all.

  • My last question is:

  • Tomorrow,

  • would you rather have a good day,

  • or would you rather have a bad day?

  • Do you have your answer for that one?

  • What about the day after tomorrow?

  • What about Sunday?

  • Let's see. Yeah, that's right.

  • Tomorrow's Saturday. Sunday.

  • How about Monday?

  • Would you like to have a good day or a bad day

  • on Monday?

  • Tuesday?

  • Wednesday? Thursday? Friday?

  • This time next week?

  • A good day or a bad day?

  • So that last question,

  • like I said, is probably the easiest one

  • for us to answer,

  • because we know the answer to that, don't we?

  • We want to have a good day,

  • everyday.

  • Did anyone in the room answer,

  • "Yes, I want to have a bad day on Monday"?

  • Of course not.

  • We all want to have a good day everyday.

  • So this is really speaking to the type of happiness

  • that we all wish for

  • in our heart of hearts.

  • We have a good day when we're happy,

  • and we want to be happy everyday.

  • There's never a day

  • when we don't want to be happy.

  • But whether or not we have good days or bad days

  • really depends upon how we answered

  • the second question.

  • Do you remember the second question?

  • What was the second question?

  • "Why?"

  • Why am I having a good day?

  • Why am I having a bad day?

  • So one thing that my teacher says

  • -- his name is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso --

  • and he says that,

  • "Much of the time

  • our mind is like

  • a balloon in the wind,

  • blown here and there

  • by external circumstances."

  • Do you know that feeling?

  • He says when things are going well,

  • when they're going our way,

  • we feel happy.

  • But then if something goes wrong,

  • for example, he says,

  • "If we're forced to work with a colleague that we dislike,"

  • but I'm sure none of you have colleagues you dislike, right?

  • (Laughter)

  • He says if we're forced to work with someone we dislike,

  • or if something doesn't go our way,

  • then our happy feeling disappears.

  • So as long as our answer to the question

  • "why am I having a good day?", or "why am I having a bad day?"

  • Because you know, this is a question people ask us

  • like, maybe when you get home today,

  • someone will go, "So how was that TED thing?"

  • "Did you have a good day?"

  • And we'll say, "Yeah, I did."

  • "There's this lady, and she talked to us about

  • how we need to be compassionate towards former inmates,

  • and there's this performer who did this awesome beat-boxing thing with his mouth,

  • you know, this person, and that person."

  • As long as our reasons

  • for why we had a good day are a list of external conditions,

  • then we're not going to

  • have this stable happiness that we all want.

  • Does that make sense to you?

  • Because if that's what our happiness depends upon --

  • because we cannot control

  • people and circumstances

  • every single day --

  • then our happiness will be in the hands of others, won't it?

  • It'll be at the whim of our circumstances.

  • So if you really wish

  • to have a good day everyday,

  • we've got two things we need to do.

  • So the first thing that we need to do

  • is we need to stop

  • outsourcing our happiness

  • and outsourcing our unhappiness

  • on the people and circumstances.

  • In other words,

  • we need to stop attributing our happiness

  • to what's going on externally,

  • and we need to stop blaming others,

  • -- especially blaming others --

  • for our unhappiness.

  • So for as long as we do that,

  • as long as we're making it

  • the job of people and circumstances

  • to make us happy,

  • or as long as we're making it their fault when we're unhappy,

  • our happiness will be very unstable,

  • and illusive.

  • Our second job

  • is to actively cultivate

  • a source of peace and a source of happiness

  • coming from inside our own mind.

  • So here's something I want you to commit to memory.

  • Are you ready?

  • This is another line

  • from one of my teacher's books,

  • where he says,

  • "Happiness and unhappiness

  • are states of mind;

  • and therefore their real causes

  • cannot be found outside the mind."

  • So if we have a peaceful state of mind,

  • we will be happy

  • regardless of people and circumstances.

  • If our mind is unpeaceful or agitated,

  • then even if we have very good circumstances,

  • we'll find it impossible to be happy.

  • So, in other words,

  • it's not what is happening

  • that is making us happy or unhappy;

  • it is how we are responding to those things

  • that determines whether we're happy or unhappy.

  • It is what our state of mind is like

  • that determines our happiness or unhappiness.

  • So how are we going to do this?

  • So we can all understand this intellectually.

  • It's not rocket science, is it?

  • It's not hard to understand.

  • And maybe, to a certain extent,

  • as I tell you these things,

  • you're like, "Yeah , I knew that already."

  • "I knew that already."

  • But how do we actually do it?

  • How do we actually cultivate

  • this stable peace of mind

  • that we can rely upon,

  • regardless of the external circumstances?

  • So this is really where meditation comes into play.

  • And I would say I would need a whole other TED talk

  • -- hint, hint -- (Laughter)

  • in order to really do this subject of meditation justice.

  • But for our purposes today,

  • we can say that meditation

  • is a mental action.

  • It's the mental action of concentrating

  • on a peaceful positive state of mind.

  • If we do that, we concentrate

  • on a peaceful positive state of mind,

  • then we can say we're meditating,

  • whether that's like this, right?

  • See, actually, you don't know if I'm meditating or not,

  • because I could be thinking about my grocery list.

  • (Laughter)

  • It's only meditation

  • if I'm actually focusing on a positive peaceful state of mind.

  • But the trick is, I can do it like this.

  • This is called formal meditation.

  • But we can also learn to do this all the time

  • in our daily life.

  • See, here's a perfect opportunity.

  • (Laughter)

  • We concentrate on a mind of patience.

  • We're not disturbed, not unhappy.

  • So why don't we try it now?

  • Are you up for it? Just a short meditation.

  • According to the clock, I've got three minutes left,

  • so this is going to be a very brief one.

  • But let's actually try it, let's try

  • to tap into our own potential

  • for a peaceful positive state of mind.

  • So now, I'll ask you to just sit comfortably,

  • and place your feet flat on the floor,

  • and your hands within your lap.

  • And then you can lightly close your eyes

  • and become aware of the sensation of your breath,

  • at the tip of your nose.

  • And as you breathe out,

  • you can imagine

  • you're breathing out any agitation,

  • any mental business,

  • any frustration

  • or unhappiness in your life.

  • Breathing it all out,

  • like dark smoke.

  • And as you breathe in,

  • you can imagine and believe

  • that you're breathing in a clear, bright light,

  • which is a very nature of inner peace.

  • And you can imagine that this clear, bright light

  • fills your entire body and mind.

  • And for a few seconds,

  • simply enjoy

  • this inner peace coming from within.

  • And now, as we finish,

  • just be determined to bring this inner peace with you

  • into the rest of your day

  • to benefit yourself

  • and others.

  • So now, we rise from meditation.

  • Thank you very much.

  • (Applause)

Alright, my friends. Hello.

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【TEDx】Happiness is all in your mind: Gen Kelsang Nyema at TEDxGreenville 2014

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    Cindy Wen posted on 2015/09/13
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