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

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


Translator: Adrienne Lin
Reviewer: Hannah Ximenes 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 busyness, 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)

100 comments

  1. She is what you need when you are restless, but when you are having a normal day I don't think so. She's gonna make you fall asleep. Hahah

  2. It's easy being calm without a wife complaining ALL the time…and a complaining wife is not a state of MIND…

  3. 在一個村莊裡,有一個充滿了憤怒和好攻擊的人,他那麼的暴力,因為極瑣碎的小事,他殺了他的妻子。整個村莊都對他感到恐懼因為他只知道暴力且毫無理性。在他殺他的妻子的那一天,他把他的妻子扔到井裡面,一個耆那教僧侶正好路過。

    周圍聚集了很多人,這個耆那教僧侶說道,「這顆充滿了憤怒和暴力的心將帶著你進入地獄。」當時的情況是這樣的,這個人說道,「我也想變得像你那麼寧靜,但是我能怎樣呢?我什麼都不知道。

    當憤怒抓住我時,我幾乎是無意識的,現在我殺了我的心愛的妻子。」這個耆那教僧侶說道,「要使這顆充滿憤怒、暴力與狂怒的心安靜下來,唯一的方法就是棄俗退隱。」耆那教是一個棄世的宗教,他們最終的放棄甚至是穿衣。

    耆那僧過著裸體的生活,因為他甚至是不允許擁有衣服的。這個人是個妄自尊大的人,這件事對他來說很具挑戰性。當著人群他把他的衣服扔到和他妻子一樣的井裡。整個村莊的人都無法相信,甚至連這個耆那僧也有些害怕,「他是瘋了還是怎麼了?」這個人跪倒在他的腳下說道,「也許你花了好幾十年才到達了棄世的階段。我宣稱棄世了,我放棄所有的一切。我是你的門徒––請傳授我。」

    他的名字是香提那薩,香提的意思是「和平」。經常是這樣的……如果你看到一個醜陋的女人,通常她的名字會叫薩戴柏,它的意思是「美麗的女人。」在印度有著奇怪的命名方式……稱瞎子為「納楊蘇克」。納楊蘇克的意思是「一個人的眼睛帶給他極大的愉悅。」這個耆那僧說道,「你有一個很美的名字。我不會改變它,我會留下它,但從這一刻起你必須記得和平就變成了你的震動。」

    這個人訓練自己,靜止頭腦,長期禁食,折磨他自己,不久他變得比他的師傅更有名。憤怒的人,妄自尊大的人,利己的人能夠做的一些事,平和的人們需要一些時間才能做到。他變得非常有名,成千上百的人只為了碰觸他的腳而來。二十年之後當他在首都的時候。

    一個來自他的村莊的男人為了某些目的來找他,他想:「最好去看看在香提那薩的身上發生了些什麼樣的轉變。那麼多的故事––他變成了一個全的新人,舊的自我消失了而一個全新、嶄新的存在在他的裡面誕生了,他真的變成了一個平和,寧靜,安穩的人。」

    所以這個人帶著極大的敬仰來見他。但當他看到穆尼香提那薩時,看著他的臉,他的眼睛,他無法相信他有過任何轉變。從這顆變得寧靜的心裡看不到任何優雅的流露。他的眼睛仍然自大––事實上變得更妄自尊大。他比過去更醜陋。 這個人還是走近他。香提那薩認出他,這個人曾經是他的鄰居––但是現在認出他有失尊嚴。

    這個人也看出來香提那薩認出了他可是裝做不認識。他想,「這就足以證明。」他走近香提那薩問到,「我能問你一個問題嗎?你叫什麼名字?」 當然,香提那薩非常憤怒,因為他知道這個人絕對知道他的名字。但是他依舊克制著自己,說道,「我的名字是穆尼香提那薩。」 這個人說,「好美的名字––-但是我的記憶力非常差,你能再說一遍嗎?我忘記了……你說是什麼名字來的?」 這太過分了。

    穆尼香提那薩以前總是攜帶著一根棍棒。他拿起這根棍棒……他忘記了所有一切––二十年來控制著的頭腦––他說,「再問一次,我會讓你看看我是誰。你忘記了嗎?––我殺了我的妻子,我就是同樣的那個人。」直到這時他才意識到發生了什麼……在無意識的一瞬間他領悟到這二十年是白白的浪費了;

    他一點都沒有變。但是無數的人在他身上感覺到了極大的寧靜……是的,他變得非常的自制,他不斷的壓抑自己,而且成功了。他倍受敬重,雖然他沒有任何資格受到敬重––如此的殊榮,甚至連國王都來碰觸他的腳。

    你所謂的聖人只不過是受控的動物而已。頭腦只不過是你過去所有動物世的悠久的繼承,而不是其他的什麼。你能夠控制它,但是受控制的頭腦並不是覺醒的頭腦。 控制、壓抑以及克制的過程被所有宗教所教導,而就是因為他們扭曲的教導,人類寸步未動––仍舊是未開化的狀態。人們任何一刻都會開始自相殘殺。

    不用片刻的時間他們就會迷失自己;他們完全忘記他們是人類,還有某些被期待著,更多更好的事情。

    只有極少數人能夠避免這個控制頭腦並相信他們到達了無念狀態的欺瞞。 到達無念涉及到完全不同的過程;我稱它為終極煉金術。它只由一個要素組成––就是觀照。

  4. Buddhist must avoid happiness as well as sadness. Emotions are
    distractions from the true Dharma. Namo Amitbaha, Namo Avalokitesvara,
    Namo Mahstamaprata. Chant Amitabha's name for rebirth in His Pureland.

  5. Buddhist must avoid happiness as well as sadness. Emotions are
    distractions from the true Dharma. Namo Amitbaha, Namo Avalokitesvara,
    Namo Mahstamaprata. Chant Amitabha's name for rebirth in His Pureland.

  6. Buddhist must avoid happiness as well as sadness. Emotions are
    distractions from the true Dharma. Namo Amitbaha, Namo Avalokitesvara,
    Namo Mahstamaprata. Chant Amitabha's name for rebirth in His Pureland.

  7. But the Angels like to look into the little things that you have things like your Faith. And if the angels are looking into this then we are being tested. Xo

  8. This child-level lecture is so cringe-worthy and banal, I couldn't stand longer than six minutes of hoping to hear something original. My problem is that I am a happy person. I'm happy for no reason in particular—and I'm content this should be the case. If this woman's talk and demeanour helps you to feel happy then good luck with that. I'm happy for you.

  9. I just thought to share what I have learned on my journey: I just thought it fit this topic.

    "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'" [Isaiah 52:6 NASB]

    How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news,

    Who announces peace

    And brings good news of happiness,

    Who announces salvation, [And] says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" [Isaiah 52:7 NASB]

    My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, "My strength has perished, And [so has] my hope from the LORD." [Lamentations 3:17-18 NASB]

    Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me.

    This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. [Lamentations 3:19-21 NASB]

    Because of the LORD's great love

    we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

    They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

    I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;

    therefore I will wait for him." [Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV]

    When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands.

    But my love will never be taken away from him,

    as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.' " [2 Samuel 7:12-16 NIV]

    For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all [the spoils,] was first of all, by the translation [of his name,] king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. [Hebrews 7:1-3 NASB]

    This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. [Lamentations 3:19-21 NASB]

    This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a [hope] both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. [Hebrews 6:19-20 NASB]

    "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'" [Isaiah 52:6 NASB]

    Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND [sacrifices] FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE. "THEN I SAID, 'BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.'" [Hebrews 10:5-7 NASB]

    But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting [Him] to grief; If He would render Himself [as] a guilt offering, He will see [His] offspring, He will prolong [His] days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see [it and] be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. [Isaiah 53:10-11 NASB]

    Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, [even] Jesus our Lord, [Hebrews 13:20 NASB]

    Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. [Romans 5:1-2 NASB]

    In rendering His Son a guilt offering on His Mercy Seat: God restores and is restoring us to peace & happiness: what was lost by our sin.

    He is our meditation: we recall & turn our mind toward Him and have hope, peace & happiness.

  10. Yes, silence and calmness is great. But, on the same end of those things is falling asleep. My answer was my day is good because that's how I've decided to frame it. Happiness or inner peace are a moment of meditation or positive thinking away but JOY is different.

  11. After reading about Taoism and the duality between sports and getting into the zone as what Taoism explains, somewhat, as the flow. This talk helped me realize that focusing and getting into the zone while meditating is the true state of meditation. Your mind is clear, you are listening to sounds and thoughts but letting go as they come. I know this video really didn’t cover much on meditation, but everything that was talked about just made a bunch of gears click into place. Thank you.

  12. This is true to an extent. Tell the abused and starving it is in there mind. These people are removed from the secular world. All childless and unmarried who have had years of stable isolated study.

  13. Diss liking this is pretty sad I believe.. On the other hand, how are people in bad and dangerous and little way's out places like ghetto's going to find positivity and happiness..Guess we'll all have to work together so eiter way it's a good way to start:)

  14. If we are happy and some one. Close of us dies then we will lose our happiness .Plz Explain bcoz here death is external circumstances

  15. i do not believe you…..your acting as if this is a fad………. know you feel it, believe it, BUT YOU WERE not exposd to the real issues beind thi……………it goes back yrssssssssssssss ago…………….i DO NOT LIKE WHEN AMERICANS TAKE ON THESE FORMS OF SPORT FOR PROFIT

  16. The simple answer: "Beingness" is all you ever had, and you will ever have. Become disinterested in what's going on in your mind, and just be. This effortless beingness is one's true nature, it is the source of infinite bliss and happiness.

  17. Also nothing like a white old woman with previllage telling everyone else how to be happy lol FU

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    LlLlLlLlLlLlLlLlLlLlLlLl
    BbBbBbBbBbBbBbBb

  18. Happiness is what your heart dictates in your mind, Peace of mind comes when your heart is whole, Youth is a state of mind not a time of life 🙂

  19. Mind is the information that we gathered over a period of time…we recycle.the information stored in mind . so-called thoughts…

  20. Wait a minute.
    We cannot possibly be happy or unhappy regardless what others say/think/behave.
    We’re social animals in our DNA.
    Humans exist as a group of interacting individuals.
    We survived so far cooperating and blending.
    Teaching your mind to be always peaceful whatever happens, it would be like pulling the plug.
    People with Alzheimer’s do that.
    Autism forces people into that.
    I don’t know…she’s peaceful, adorable and all but the message here is quite weird.

  21. It's absolutely wrong. It's monkey mind.. the more u try to control the more it wanders… Don't try to dictate your mind… Just clear the clouds… Sunshine will fall upon you. An analogy… Suppose you want flowers… So u don't think about flowers , u just take care of seed, manure, water and sun light.. flower is the consequence. Peace ! Love from India..

  22. This Ted Talk is så calm, clear, profond and felt … it is making me fall awake as Jon Kabat-Zinn puts it – thanks ever so much

  23. Acılarımı geride bırakıp herşeyden uzak bir manastıra çekilip rahibe olarak yaşasaydım ben de mutlu olurdum

  24. Such ideas appeal to the old, the weak – all they want is peace & quiet
    Terrible advice for the young, the dreamer – there is value in pain & suffering

  25. listening to this is such a good way to start the day. it is pretty amazing she is calm enough to sit while giving her ted talk. Love it.

  26. Happiness and unhappiness are the states of mind and therefore, their real causes can not 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 we have very good circumstances, we will find it impossible to be happy.

  27. SHE IS AMAZING!! I felt that bright ray of light in my whole body right before she said i will 🙂 i started cracking up because i just realized i feel so dark inside

  28. If you are meditating to strive for some goal, to attain something, to "better yourself", you are not meditating. Meditation, like dance or music, is done for its own sake. What Nyema says is certainly helpful but just know that it is not meditation. Attempting to focus or converge your thoughts on one particular thing is just thinking. Meditation, on the other hand, is being an observer of your own thoughts and feelings. Just to watch and listen to what is going on around you, to let your mind ripple out into silence. Calmness is a result of experiencing reality without the ego, without thought.

  29. Not really, Happiness is not as simple as that shaved yoga lady. it depends on a lot of things, quality of your friendships, quality of your connection with your community, quality of connections to family, your ability to progress in your dreams and ambitions, your physical health the list goes on all of which are external etc. You can sit in a corner for 70 years meditating, I guarantee your mind will turn on itself without the above. Peace.

  30. I start to practice listening el and el is really good choice for beginners. She speaks slowly and the content of this video is also meaningful

  31. I am finding some beautiful thoughts out there in the comment section… brilliant thoughts over life…I hope we can together help those people who are suffering ❤️

  32. i have practised this example to calm my mind and as it worked i thought "oh god my head is empty". so its really fantastic being free of tormenting thoughts…

  33. I have examined all the meditation techniques only one of them in the real sense of the application of the application is very enjoyable automatically mind your mind as time goes on and more quiet mind points, and the mind itself, adding this silence and intelligence is the name of this technique transcendental meditation

  34. Although this speaker has the best intentions, her message is overly simplistic and she entirely misses a basic tenet of Buddhism, which is that: LIFE IS SUFFERING. Instead of trying to be "happy" all the time, we should instead be embracing the whole RANGE of human emotion. LOVE is the actualization of aliveness in that it involves the whole spectrum of human emotion. This includes happiness, joy and gratification, but it also includes sadness, loss, fear and anger. Such is the infinitude of LOVE. LOVE encompasses the entire RANGE of human emotion. "Happy" is merely one aspect of aliveness. We should instead strive to understand what LOVE truly is.

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