Be good, be happy
"Sometimes, if people want to have a good time, they have to be good. At other times, whenpeople look at goodness, it means you have to be unhappy or you have to give up yourhappiness. But the truth of the matter is that the more virtuous you are, the happier you are.Being a good person increases your happiness. “I don't mind telling you this story because we live in a modern age. When I was a younguniversity graduate, I used to drink alcohol at parties where you meet a nice girl and afterdancing with her you kiss her, sit in a dark corner, whatever. When I was drunk, I was not awareof that last part of the party which was the most enjoyable part. When I gave up alcohol, not onlycould I know what I was doing when I was kissing the girl, I could enjoy remembering it. Thatincreased my pleasure. Even that way you can see that the more virtuous you are, the happinessand the awareness increase. “Kindness is part of goodness. Because, as the Buddha once told His son Rahula, whatever isharmful to another person and harmful to yourself, is what is unvirtuous. Whatever is helpful toanother person and helpful to yourself, that is called virtuous, good Kamma. So it is obviouslybeing kind to yourself, is to be virtuous, to be good. There is no difference being kind and beinggood. Immoral people are unkind to themselves and unkind to others,” he said.
How to relax
With so much of talk about everyone being busy, Ajahn Brahm insisted that meditation is ideal forbusy people. “Even if you are a busy person, it is more important to be able to spend some timebeing peaceful. If you don't learn how to be peaceful, you soon get very, very tired.” To explain how meditation helps you, he used a simple exercise lifting the half-filled glass of water he had in front of him. "Say I am lifting up this glass of water and you ask me how heavy itis. If I keep holding the glass of water for five minutes, it appears quite heavy. If I continue tohold the glass for half an hour, I will be in quite a lot of pain. If I keep on holding it for two hours,I would be a stupid monk. When it starts to get heavy, what should I do? Put it down — let it go. Idon't need to throw the glass of water away — I just put it down for, may be for 20 seconds.When I pick it up again, it feels lighter because I have rested. “The problem of stress in our modern world is not because we do too much — it's because wedon't know how to put our burdens, our responsibilities down for a few minutes and rest andrelax. All we need to do is to rest for 15 or 20 minutes in meditation and afterwards we findourselves so relaxed, we can carry the burdens of life without so much stress. That is whatmeditation is — learning how to relax so that you can do more with less stress,” he said.Pointing out that meditation is the heart of Buddhist tradition, he said the Buddha becameenlightened when He was meditating and that it was part of Buddhist heritage. “Learn the basicsfrom a monk or a lay teacher and you will find it wouldn't harm the quality of your life. You will bea happier person. A Harvard professor last year published a paper after following meditation forseven years and found that your brain increases in size in meditation. You become moreintelligent when you meditate. Find a place and just learn how to relax the mind. Bring somepeace into your mind and increase your intelligence - for no charge!" he advised.
Human resources conference
Ajahn Brahm has been invited to conduct one of 11 master classes at the 2007 Human Resourcesand Development Conference in London in April. He will join a galaxy of top level businessmen
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