Readers of my recent blogs of Hannah’s adventures on the San Ysidro Trail near Santa Barbara, California were introduced to the wisdom of David Michie in The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Art of Purring. It’s a book that Hannah and I heartily recommend and most pertinent to us after Hannah’s fall off the trail. To give you a taste of its practical suggestions for living, I include these eleven quotes. Enjoy.
In the stillness, we discover that there are other ways of knowing things than through the intellect.
[Be] uncompromising on the importance of actions over words and others over self.
Buddha himself said…It is only when we have faced the reality of our own death that we really know how to live.
Life is finite; every day is precious. And simply to wake up in good health truly is a blessing, because sickness and death can strike at a moment’s notice.
Page 89 – Formula for happiness?…The formula is H equals S plus C plus V… Happiness equals what’s called your biological set point or S, plus the conditions of your life, C, plus V, your voluntary activities.
What arises for you depends on your actions, on the karma and conditions you create.
Page 142 – The marshmallow experiment at Stanford University. The advantages of delayed gratification and self-control that signal success.
Page 143 – A study about the circumstances whether or not prisoners would be granted parole. Low blood sugar affects our judgment. Eat well and regularly.
Four tools to practice equanimity (calmness, composure)
First: impermanence. Never forget: this, too, will pass…
Second: what is the point of worrying? If you can do something about it, fix it. If not, what is the point of worrying about it…
Third: don’t judge… When it happens, you think bad. Later you may think [that’s] the best thing that ever happened.
Fourth: no swamp, no lotus. The most transcendent of flowers grows out of the filth of the swamp. Suffering is like the swamp. If it makes us more humble, more able to sympathize with others and more open to them, then we become capable of transformation and of becoming truly beautiful, like the lotus.
Happiness comes first, then success.
The Holy Secret is this: if you wish to end your suffering, seek to end the suffering of others. If you wish for happiness, seek the happiness of others. Exchanging thoughts of self for thoughts of others – this is the most effective way to be happy.