Are you nice person?

……….What is the real source of peace, happiness and creating a nice atmosphere?

Do you want to be a nice person? Do you know why people consider you to be a nice person? Is it because you have a high job like a Doctor, Engineer or maybe you are very intelligent or wealthy or even very beautiful? People may consider you nice because you care a lot about your appearance and look fashionable and nicely dressed so they want to be with you.

If you think that you need to have any of these things to be a nice person you are under a big delusion because by having any of these things no one truly gets a nice feeling from you. To be a truly nice person you need to share your peace, kindness and happiness with others

Are you kind person towards others? You might think that you are being so nice to others but have you ever watched the nature of your mind when you are being kind to others? If you really watch your mind when you are kind to others you will mostly find that your nature of mind is very selfish, thinking about yourself all the time from morning to until bed time and sometimes even in your dreams. Always we are trying to do something for ourselves. Such a selfish mind comes naturally and without any effort like when we buy an apple we want a nice, ripe and big apple but we never think of others like “ if I took all the nice ones then the owner of the fruit shop can’t easily sell his apples and also the people who come to buy an apple after me can’t get such good ones”. Think – when you do any thing, have you ever thought of other people? No, most probably never. What ever we do our mind absentmindedly thinks just for ourselves even when we see the news, open the Facebook and even when our phone rings, we expect something interesting or nice for ourselves. Many of us are addicted to social media – Facebook, WeChat, Twitter – we are addicted not because we want to be nice and help others, it’s because we are expecting some nice comment from ‘our friends’ –isn’t it? Isn’t this and evil, selfish mind? And I think in these times, many young people when they meet, they never think “what can I do to help others” What people generally think automatically is “what can I get for myself“. So our nature of mind is always thinking of ourselves and never think of others but sometimes we do help others and are nice and kind towards others but it has to come with an effort and also there is always a very subtle expectation which actually turns all that we do for others into deception. We have created such a negative habit since our childhood. So our negative mind is so strong and our positive mind is so weak so what we should try to do is nurture our weak mind –our positive one and focus less on our selfish, negative mind. The more create a different type of habit by caring for others the more peace and happiness arises naturally in our mind.

Disadvantages of having a selfish motivation.

The selfish mind is evil and a person who has such mind logically can’t be happy at all.

If you think of others and care for others, the people surrounding you will naturally feel peace and a connection with you so in this way you are sharing your happiness and peace with others. So as long as you have a selfish mind others can’t get such a nice feeling from you. So are you a nice person? Absolutely no!

Thinking of yourself – even by 1% will bring all the problems within yourself and others. No matter whether you are rich, beautiful, handsome, a King, Prime Minister or Queen etc.. you will look terrible, like a monster because even your own lover, children, family and also your office friends will be scared of you and will keep a distance from you because there is no peace or a nice atmosphere around you. Instead there is a bad atmosphere. The increasing number of divorces, which is written about in the newspapers these days, is also because of people’s selfish motivation. Many people when meet each other for the first time seem to be ready to give their whole heart to the other person because they think they are both nice since what they can see in each other is only their care and kindness which is just on the surface. They can’t clearly see the selfish motivation, which is hidden, but once their selfish nature arises then their appearance, which was once, seen as very beautiful quickly turns into a horrible monster even though you are still wearing the expensive dress, necklace and driving a fancy car. Even your beautiful house with a magnificent flower garden turns into a horrible atmosphere. Then your husband or wife starts to go to the bar and depends on alcohol rather than going to see his beautiful partner, lovely children and nice house etc. Sometimes even the boss in the office looks like a monster although he or she comes with nice clothes and full of perfume.

Many of my friends who are not monks have told me that they used to go with girlfriends for a date many times before they got married. That they used to go on dates secretly in many different places like under the bridge, in the forest, in the cave and even in the horse house etc When they told me such stories it sounded very exciting and interesting but now whenever we meet in town we used to talk about their wife and situation but they don’t seem excited and interested anymore. I wondered why there was such a big difference in their attitude now from before! I think when they were dating, both their care and love appeared and made everything nice like the place where they went for dating could be horrible and dirty but what was most beautiful for them was the nice atmosphere which came from their caring of each other. But now the house where they live and the clothes and perfume they use are nice but the feeling and atmosphere between them is horrible. Why? I think the care and love they had disappeared and the selfish motivation like an evil monster appeared and made everything dark and gloomy.


With the selfish mind,

You will be sad even though you are healthy.

You won’t be happy even though you are rich

You will be lonely although you are living in the big city

You won’t be satisfied even though you have the nicest car, house and latest i-phone.

You will be alone although you are in the street

Being truly kind and caring to others is the true source of inner happiness and peace

– Lopen Namgay Tenzin –

Having compassion is the source of happiness

Authentic and great compassion

The form of the body of all the human beings and animals are different but the attitude of wanting happiness and avoiding suffering are exactly the same. This is obvious and clear for everyone. But since all the sentient beings are after varying degrees of temporary states of happiness (which is actually the cause of suffering) they eventually suffer a lot from this temporary state of happiness.

This arises because of our own ignorance and our lack of understanding. For example, when we feel hot, we look forward to being cold, believing being cold is the cause of happiness but we don’t realize this craving for coldness itself is the cause of the suffering experienced by being hot. Let me explain: the feeling of being hot was the cause of temporary happiness experienced when we became cold but our lack of understanding of ultimate reality causes us to feel depressed when this happiness changes (i.e when we are feeling very hot again). By contemplating such reality of the true nature of things, we will experience amazing happiness, which is difficult to express in words – just like a baby who can taste a lolly but can’t explain how it tastes.

All the highly advanced beings who have had such realizations feel sorry and have authentic compassion for all the beings who don’t have such realizations and have promised to help all the sentient beings realize such an understanding (we call these beings “Bodhisattavas”). This action is called great, pure and precious compassion because even a good mother doesn’t possess such compassion even for their own child who they love so much. I don’t think the mothers of this world concern about their childrens’ next lives – only the worldly things in this short lifetime.

Compassion we can generate

We probably don’t have such an understanding (i.e. that happiness itself is the cause of suffering) so we can’t have pure compassion for all the sentient beings at the moment. In order to increase our compassion and to have such compassion in the future we must first develop basic compassion, which is also actually not so easy to do, but it’s the source of happiness and peace in the universe.

Basic compassion consists of thoughts and actions to helping others unconditionally in any way possible and if you keep thinking of helping others, it will naturally arise and become a habit. For example, if you have a thought of giving food to a beggar, you would do this action whenever you encounter them but if you don’t have such thoughts of giving you might not be able do that even if you meet the beggars in the future. Even if you are unable to help others, try to keep thinking of helping others. A person who has such thoughts will be able to naturally help in practice one day.

The way of generating compassion

It is not easy to generate compassion or loving kindness for others but there is a way to start to develop the habit. First of all, we should get used to contemplating that all the sentient beings have an equal desire for happiness and equally don’t want to experience suffering and sorrow. If we are not used to contemplating the sameness of self and others, we won’t be able to be concerned unconditionally about others. So it is essential to contemplate on this sameness of ourselves with all other sentient beings.

How to contemplate on sameness.

In the beginning of the practice of sameness we naturally think it will be easy to concern ourselves with others just like ourselves and to treat others in the same way as we treat ourselves!! It is possible and not so difficult to give rise to such concerns and attitudes for others just like for ourselves because as human beings we have the potential but the problem is that we don’t know this and haven’t tried this and that’s why we are always getting stuck in tumultuous mental conditions and stress just like someone who has gold underneath their house but they don’t know about it and so haven’t tried to search for it so that’s why they are always poor. So it is possible for everyone to generate concern for others just like the concern you feel for yourself. For example, even though we have many different parts of our body like our legs, hands, head and stomach etc. our mind can grab all of this together as a body and we become concerned about it because of our ingrained habit of doing so. If we deeply analyze this habit we can’t find any logical reason why we label our body as “mine” and don’t grab onto others’ bodies as ourself. The only reason that our mind can’t label “I” and “mine” on other’s bodies is because of a lack of understanding of the true nature of reality and spiritual practice. It’s easy to label “I” and “mine” on self because of our habit so why can’t we label “I” and “mine” on others if we get used to it? So once we develop the habit of thinking of others as ourselves it will become easier to concern ourselves with others. What will follow will be that the suffering of others will be like our own suffering. As a result all the suffering in the world will be eliminated because ultimately no one likes to suffer.

Suffering of others affects us

Many of us don’t care of other’s suffering, as it doesn’t affect us. However if we get used to being concerned about others with compassion, it will begin to affect us just like all the Bodhisattvas (those who engage in compassionate actions and are close to becoming enlightened) and Buddhas (fully enlightened ones). Since they have a deep concern about others they help and have helped others immensely for numberless eons. It is logically possible even for ordinary people like us to engage in such activities. For example, some mothers choose to die for their child because they can’t bear to see their child suffering.

If we practice thinking of others like ourselves it doesn’t take long for us to generate deep compassion. Take for example a car. If you decide to sell your car you still own it until you find a buyer and get the money for it. So you still get upset if it gets scratched or damaged or even gets dirty because it is YOUR car. However if you find a buyer and sell it, your concern for the car disappears because it is NOT YOURS anymore. So if we analyze deeply – the car hasn’t changed – the only thing that has changed is how we label the car. YOURS and NOT YOURS, so it is our mind that changes. Similarly projecting “I” on us or on others is also exactly the same.

Some people might think it’s not fair to help someone who is suffering because the suffering is different. Does it really matter whether we suffer or others suffer – isn’t the suffering the same?

I think it doesn’t matter whether we are different or not. Just think when our leg hurts our hand helps even though it is a different part of our body.

Even though it makes logical sense, many people believe that it is impossible to label “I” on others just like on self. But our mind is definitely able to grab on others just like how we grab on ourselves. Just think that our body is not even ours – it is a combination of the blood and sperm of our parents (2 totally different people) but strangely we are so attached to our body to the point we don’t want it to get old and wrinkly and die. To experience other’s suffering with compassionate is also painful but the small pain that we experience as a result of our compassionate nature will reduce the massive pain of others because we will naturally help them.

The benefits of generating compassion for others

According to the above, if you practice it again and again it will become easier to care and have concern about others. Once you have such an attitude it will be the source of happiness for yourself and for all the sentient beings in the world.

As Buddhists we believe in reincarnation (that our mind survives physical death and is born into another life). So by generating a compassionate mind by thinking of lessening the suffering of others in this life and in their future lives is very beneficial for others and ourselves since it causes us to put our compassion into action to reduce their suffering and it also helps us to reduce our ego. Even many mothers only think of their own children’s present life but not of eliminating their suffering for future lifetimes. A truly compassionate person (from our Buddhist perspective) thinks of alleviating the suffering of many beings for many lifetimes and aims to eliminate suffering in this world fundamentally.

A person who has pure compassion (we believe) can’t generate any bad karma as he or she doesn’t possess any negative emotions towards others. Also if you have done bad things to others the bad karma which you created from that action will be overcome and disappear because of the loving kindness you have shown for many sentient beings.

Unconditional compassion is like a tree that continually reaps more fruit the more you pick the fruit. However if you have only conditional compassion (i.e. if you are kind and compassionate to someone only to get something positive in your next life) the positive result will arise but will only be short lived just like a banana tree which dies once you have picked all the fruit.

The biggest problem for us is having an ego but the more we care about others the more our ego diminishes as we think less and less of ourselves.

Everything will look different once you practice true loving kindness

If we possess unconditional compassion – whether we are ugly, poor or uneducated, we will feel beautiful, healthy, wise and peaceful. We will have many true friends and all the enemies we had before will become your best friends. So being truly compassionate is like a magnet to bring your friends closer and like a knife to cut off your enemies forever.

The house where true compassionate lives looks very enticing and everyone will want to go there and will be unhappy to leave even if the house is small in the middle of rubbish. So just think that loving-kindness is like a diamond necklace to make you beautiful. So instead of using real diamond necklaces which costs thousands and thousands of dollars and expensive face creams and stylish hair cuts to make yourself beautiful which is expensive and also short lived – try to cultivate genuine compassion for all sentient beings to make yourself beautiful.

So please try to generate compassion for all the sentient beings every morning for even a minute before you do anything. You are probably now saying that you don’t have time but you must go to the toilet at least once or twice a day – so why not generate compassion while you are using the toilet. If you could generate compassion while you are on the toilet then even the toilet is a cause of gaining a precious jewel. Your toilet could be nicer than a palace if you genuinely generate compassion as it will result in lasting peace and happiness but the happiness and peace we get from owing a palace will cause you suffering one day as it will deteriorate and you will have to abandon it when you die.

If you practice this thinking every morning the compassion for others comes naturally in your mind and it will develop automatically. Once you have generated even a little bit compassion you will be like the blind man who found the bag of gold from the rubbish bin which is very rare but possible and really wonderful.

Our advertisement for Phajoding Monastery

In our English class we have been learning about adjectives and superlatives. As part of our lessons we looked at an advertisement about Bangkok. We learnt that advertisements use a lot of adjectives to get people interested in a place so they visit it. We wrote our own advertisement for Phajoding Monastery as a class exercise to learn how to use adjectives and superlatives. We hope you like it and will come and visit Phajoding one day.

Our advertisement for Phajoding Monastery

Come to Phajoding, the most famous meditation place in Bhutan, located above Bhutan’s capital city called Thimphu. Immerse yourself in an ancient Buddhist culture. Join in the monks chanting and take a guided meditation introduction from highly revered meditation experts. Phajoding is so high at nearly 4 kilometers above the sea level, that you will feel like the King and Queen of Bhutan as you tower over the capital city of Thimphu.

Don’t cheat yourself! Come see and experience the 11 highlights that Phajoding has to offer.

1. The breath-taking environment

Enjoy the gigantic sparkling scared lakes surrounded by different types of mountain flowers. The most picturesque mountains, forest and incense trees. Trek through wild rhododendron forests and even discover the Blue poppy – Bhutan’s rare national flower.

2. Discover an ancient Buddhist culture.

Dive into a hidden land and walk away feeling amazed at all the wealth and history contained in the 14 temples here.

3. Join in the life of the monks

Immerse yourself in monastic life. Attend a prayer session, watch them playing football and even join in a friendly game with the monks. Learn about this ancient Buddhist culture and even help them to practice their English.

4. See the colourful wild life.

An array of wild life awaits you. Spot a rare red panda or snow leopard. See a yak, hear the sweet bird songs and meet many other unique creatures.

5. Taste the famous holy water (known as drub chu)

At Phajoding the holy water sprouts from a rock which has no water source. A true miracle! This water is famous throughout the whole Bhutan for containing all 8 holy properties in one. Your mind will be transformed and healed as you drink. Come taste for yourself and experience the results.

6. Take a guided meditation lesson

Come learn compassion and wisdom. Wise lamas can give you a personal meditation lesson (with a translator). When you finish meditating you will feel like you have grown wings and can fly back to your country. Save money and get a refund on your air-ticket home!

7. Experience the breathtaking view

Soar like an eagle and tower over Thimphu city. Look over the sea of clouds below and climb a little higher and feel you can touch the stars.

8. Explore the numerous treks that Phajoding has to offer

See the colourful mountain flowers, the high mountain passes and pilgrimage places. Trekking within the Phajoding area is such an amazing experience – one that you will never forget.

9. Mushroom picking in the magical Phajoding forest

Come and taste the delicious mushrooms at Phajoding. Collect the delicious varieties of mushrooms such as the flower mushroom, the cat ear mushroom, the Buddha mushroom, the golden mushroom, the happiness mushroom and even the laughing mushroom. Take a monk along with you as they know which ones are edible. Get the Phajoding cook to whip up a shamu dashi (mushroom curry) with only salt, pepper, butter and cheese. Feel like you’re in a 5 star restaurant.

10. See the hills full of medicinal plants

Bhutan is known as the land of medicinal plants and here at Phajoding we have hills covered in these plants. Be healed as you walk through the hills and inhale the aroma of these healing plants. Come back to your hotel like you’re a different person.

11. See where the dogs and cats are best friends

Here at Phajoding all the animals have compassion towards each other. Especially our fluffy white puppy “Yewong” and our kitten “Kitty”. Yewong and Kitty are always playing, licking each other and sleeping together which is very unusual for a cat and dog. Only at Phajoding – come see for yourself and be touched by the compassionate animals.

Visit Phajoding today

Put it on your journey plan
Come with no expectations – leave with wonderful memories

Call your travel agent today

* We, the monks of Phajoding, took the photos. We hope you like them.

The sacred temples

The sacred temples

The Phajoding cook - Sir Rinzin

The Phajoding cook – Sir Rinzin

The monks debating

The monks debating

The monks

The monks

The monks

The monks

The friendly monks

The friendly monks

Praciticing for a puja

Praciticing for a puja

A Phajoding monk meditating

A Phajoding monk meditating

The monkey of Phajoding

The monkey of Phajoding

On the football field

On the football field

A football game

A football game

Trekkers with the friendly monks

Trekkers with the friendly monks

Tshering trying to practice

Tshering trying to practice

View of the amazing view from Phajoding

View of the amazing view from Phajoding

Yewong and Kitty are so compassionate towards each other

Yewong and Kitty are so compassionate towards each other