What makes you happy?

What makes you happy? – Khandro-la Trinlay Chodon Rinpoche

What makes you happy? I encourage each of us to take a close look at all the things in our lives we have tried to make us happy and then answer this question deeply and truthfully.

I ask this question over and over because in America, where I lived and earned a Masters Degree in Psychology, I spent lots of time observing friends and families who, despite their vast physical comforts, had not found a real and lasting happiness that abides within no matter the circumstances. This shocked me for I grew up as a refugee in the East – in the northern Himalayas to be exact, where there was none of the material grandeur of the West – no huge houses, luxurious cars or endless electronic entertainments, yet we all felt very rich because we were very happy!

What we did have was the ancient wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings and truth, and it is this sacred and treasured “hand-me-down” of my family that is the surest prescription I know for easing the sorrows and ills of everyday life. Unlike a plastic charge card, the teachings are a true source of lasting joy and this can be with you everywhere and always.

Now I want to share this wealth of the East with the West. At the same time I want to ask the West to share its skills and resources with those in the East who are also willing to commit to preserving this precious lineage – a worldwide interchange to grow in spiritual happiness and preserve the precious dharma.

As the great granddaughter of a peerless spiritual luminary, the daughter of a renowned meditation master and the widow of a royal Rinpoche, I pray that my life’s contribution will always be to help others. I watched my late mother, an accomplished master in her own right , serve as a sort of secret teacher to my father’s students, always giving quietly in the background, never on the throne. Inspired by her unselfish motivation, homespun methods and ceaseless caring, I hope to be of similar special benefit.

May all, and this includes nuns, laywomen, children, people of the east and west, have equal opportunity to enjoy the rich, warm embrace of my precious heritage.”

– Khandro Thrinlay Chodon


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