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 Responses

  1. Naritsorn Pholperm

    June 25, 2019 3:23 pm

    The best day is normal day. Not a happy day not a bad day just the day that is a day which didn't make you feel attach or addict to happiness.

  2. Shellie Shimmel

    June 25, 2019 9:54 pm

    Happiness is a choice. Buddhism is a beautiful blend of spirituality and psychology, and she teaches it with a peaceful, loving spirit. Love the meditation at the end.

  3. Donna Wong

    June 27, 2019 4:51 am

    Thinking there is so much to be grateful, we will be happier , more resilient in facing challenges

  4. paulohyp

    July 3, 2019 2:28 am

    I wish I could control my mind in order to stop having desires, and that just breathing made me happy.

    That’s not possible. I see my reality, and realize how sad it has become.

    I have no pleasure in life anymore. I guess getting older and having fulfilled most of my childhood dreams contributed to that.

    I’d like my consciousness to end.

  5. Char

    July 4, 2019 1:14 am

    For me, the best way to do this is by doing Inner Bonding. It helps me connect to my inner child and figure out what exactly I'm telling myself that makes me happy or upset.

  6. Edward Fitzgibbon

    July 7, 2019 11:02 am

    You might consider not wanting/expecting "happiness" in the first place. The perception of "happiness" depends on an "I" to experience it in the first place. Consciousness comes before happiness: to understand the true nature of consciousness is the deeper "goal", not the abstract pursuit of "happiness".

  7. ASMR Muzz

    July 15, 2019 3:44 pm

    This is incrediblly calming, I'm convinced that people who find inner peace have a way of transmitting it out from themselves, like this person does.

    In Buddhist mediation class, even the moment the gelsang/monk would enter the room, the vibe would change. It's real.

  8. AJ287772

    July 17, 2019 6:37 am

    I just realized that when I see positive comments I have a negative aspect towards them as if they were just pretending.

  9. My Opinion

    July 18, 2019 3:10 am

    When I listen to this, it had helped me with my anxiety. The thought of, I have to have control of my life, is not always true. I can learn to let go and let whatever happen, happens. I have no control of people, even the ones I love.

  10. sun set

    July 19, 2019 11:35 am

    Although we meditation
    For mind to be calm.
    What can bring your
    Life for to live and overcome all your problems?

  11. Lucid Dreamer

    July 24, 2019 2:40 am

    Many feel that they must wear garb that conveys: "I am awakened!" or "I am on a path to becoming awakened!" Saffron robes, traditional indigenous clothing, adopting esoteric names, clerical outfits, sandals, beads etc. are "possibly" evidence of a partial awakening, at best. Physical locale, clothing, adornments etc., and attaining relative awareness are mutually exclusive. The most ordinary looking human, with the most ordinary name, indistinguishable from the surrounding crowd, may be the most enlightened on the planet. Namaste!

  12. Shmuel Taurog

    July 26, 2019 9:06 pm

    Great show Check out "Th Shmuel Taurog Show on You Tube episodes 1 and 2. 2 5 minute inspirational shows.Enjoy!

  13. Beyza Bilsel

    July 30, 2019 5:59 pm

    İman olmadan hakiki huzur yada mutluluğu elde edemezsin
    Yaratılış bir kulun akledebileceği bir ölçüde değildir
    Yaratıcılık taslamamak lazım, bir noktada duvara toslarsın

  14. Abe Gamb

    July 30, 2019 10:55 pm

    easy for her to say from far i can see she has no coworker. and how i become to do that exercise of meditation while im in hurry in my job. thanks wherever, bye.

  15. Ahmad Jawad Sediqi

    July 31, 2019 6:15 am

    Shave you head , escape from all responsibilities and then say happiness in in your mind haha

  16. thenatmann1

    August 1, 2019 9:37 am

    so simple yet so powerful. we don't realize it but most problems in life can be solved by finding inner peace, breathing out all the toxic thoughts and actions and inhaling all the joyful and benevolent thoughts of goodness.

  17. David David

    August 4, 2019 1:08 am

    she came to her teacher with a foundation built out of fear that was hidden from her and the teacher to build upon…..the walls that they build together are held up by fear !!! this that I speak I am not the author… the gossip within her own head is a workshop of want fullness… the things she wants she fears she can not have and the things she does not want she fears she might get …… she is the author with some help from her teacher…

  18. Lucky Ace's

    August 4, 2019 12:32 pm

    happiness is that it's extremely vital to our own goals in life and can help us achieve many other cherished personal ambitions and goals. Also, by being happy, we have the potential to change many other lives just by being ourselves.

  19. Khawa Jong

    August 5, 2019 12:08 am

    She is great teacher. thanks for the good video. i hope a lot people can learn from her to be world peace. you can visit my Youtube channel for more Buddhist teaching as well. Thanks

  20. Francis Tan K T

    August 5, 2019 2:29 am

    Happiness is knowing that deep inside you there is a wonderful character to accompany you wherever you may be. It is also knowing that if you have what you need there is nothing else that you need. I have come to realise these from personal experience.

  21. batuhan ozturk

    August 5, 2019 3:13 pm

    Think all your life, since the first opening the eye in a hospital, nature,… thru your life steps that you really did on purpose.

    Your soul's purpose.

  22. proudpinay

    August 8, 2019 5:09 pm

    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

  23. Dr. Leonardo Távora

    August 11, 2019 9:14 am

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

  24. 許一路

    August 13, 2019 8:27 am








    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。



    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。


    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。

  25. Czar Nicholas

    August 15, 2019 10:36 pm

    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.

  26. Czar Nicholas

    August 15, 2019 10:36 pm

    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.

  27. Czar Nicholas

    August 15, 2019 10:36 pm

    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.

  28. Russell Penman

    August 17, 2019 4:09 pm

    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

  29. Peter Rickman

    August 19, 2019 2:50 am

    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.

  30. Ron Averell

    August 19, 2019 6:23 pm

    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]


    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.

  31. amor vincit omnia

    August 20, 2019 9:02 pm

    You can only be happy for your self when you make that your priority. External world is full of BS.

  32. Whitney Brown

    August 22, 2019 12:35 am

    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.

  33. Matt MacCallum

    August 24, 2019 5:47 am

    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.

  34. rebecca lankford

    August 25, 2019 10:53 am

    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.

  35. neezy010

    August 28, 2019 6:53 pm

    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:)

  36. ClusterAnsh YT

    August 30, 2019 2:29 pm

    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

  37. Mary Viola

    August 31, 2019 12:05 am

    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

  38. Vatian

    September 4, 2019 12:01 pm

    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.

  39. tyler lewis

    September 5, 2019 10:32 pm

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


  40. Joana Marie Canlas

    September 9, 2019 1:00 pm

    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 🙂


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