So how to make your life more meaningful? First, we should think… all sentient beings experience pleasure and pain (although some are debating about whether plants have feelings). All sentient beings wish to be happy. Because of the power of intelligence, human beings have much better ability to avoid suffering. In the mean time, somehow, that very intelligence is also the source of problems.
There’s too much stress. The more educated you are, the more expectations you have (and others have of you), your hopes and fears too are intensified because of memory and intelligence. Animals have less expectation, they deal with immediate threats.
We should use our intelligence in such a way that it is a source of happiness, not as aggravator of anxiety and stress. Real happiness comes from within and not from money and knowledge. Pay more attention to common experience, common sense and then go deep inside the mind and realise that compassion brings us all together… When we learn from one another that becomes the basis of genuine harmony.
I was in Vienna recently at a Christian monastery. Before leaving I paid my respects to the statue of Christ. I was reflecting… and my eyes turned moist! We must respect all religions. No religion is militant. Jihad in Islam refers to the need to combat our own inner negative emotions. Once I was in Portugal at the Church of Fathima. I went there as part of my pilgrimage and I prayed to the small statue of Mary there as part of my meditation practice with some Christian monks. I turned back, to see the Mary statue smiling! So! Mary does not discriminate between Christian and Buddhist! You can appreciate all religions and at the same time maintain your own practice in whatever you have chosen to follow.
– Dalai Lama