"Adversity, illness, and death are real and inevitable. We choose whether to add to these unavoidable facts of life with the suffering we create in our own minds and hearts. The more we can make a different choice, to heal our own suffering, the more we can turn to others and help to address their suffering with the laughter-filled, tear-stained eyes of the heart. And the more we turn away from our self-regard to wipe the tears from the eyes of another, the more—incredibly—we are able to bear, to heal, and to transcend our own suffering. This was their true secret to joy." (305)

"Joy is a by-product."

"The recognition that we are all connected—whether Tibetan Buddhists of Hui Muslims—is the birth of empathy and compassion." (37)

"'Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.' [...] Distinction between our 'feelings of pain' and 'the suffering that comes as a result of our response' to the pain: 'When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed, ordinary person sorrows, grieves, and laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical and mental.' [...] The Dalai Lama was suggesting that by shifting our perspective to a broader, more compassionate one, we can avoid the worry and suffering that is the second arrow." (38)

Fear, Stress, and Anxiety

"Through self-inquiry and meditation, we can discover the nature of our mind and learn to soothe our emotional reactivity. This will leave us less vulnerable to the destructive emotions and thought patterns that cause us so much suffering. This is the process of developing mental immunity.”

"So when you realize your own part in the other person's criticizing or attacking you, the intensity of your frustration and anger automatically reduces. Then you also realize that basic human nature is good, is compassionate, and that the person does not want to harm you. So therefore you see their emotion is due to some misunderstanding or misinformation. You see that this person's actions are due to their own destructive emotions. [...] Instead of frustration or anger, you feel sorry for the other person and concern for them."

"When we see how little we really need—love and connection—then all the getting and grasping that we thought was so essential to our well-being takes its rightful place and no longer becomes the focus. We must try to be conscious about how we live and not get swept away by the modern trance, the relentless march, the anxious accelerator. The Dalai Lama was urging us to be more realistic so we can come to some sense of inner peace now, rather than always chasing after our expectations and ambition for the next." (97)