Monday, January 7, 2013

The Dalai Lama's instructions for living

It's been a slow morning. So far nothing has got Walt's blood in a flood. And that's good. At my age, and considering the state of the world around me, keeping calm is a Good Thing.

That thought reminds me of a piece that's been circulating on the Net since at least the end of the 20th century. Here are what purport to be the Dalai Lama's 19 precepts for living a good life.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others, and Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7. When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Did the Dalai Lama really say/write those things? I could get Ed. to check on Snopes or elsewhere, but really, what does it matter? They're good ideas.

Speaking of the Dalai Lama, I'm reminded of a bit of verse by Ogden Nash

The one-L lama, he's a priest
The two-L llama, he's a beast
But I will bet a silk pyjama
You're never seen a three-L lllama.

Bennett Cerf remarked that he had indeed seen one, a terrible fire somewhere in New York. Geddit? If not, keep saying "three-L lllama" out loud. Again. And again.

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