I love books, so when I received The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World as a Christmas gift I was thrilled. The book is about conversations that took place over the course of a week between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, and centered around the topic of joy. A really great inspiring read, but what’s even better is that I have so many pages dogeared for future dharma talks. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving!
One of the subjects that came up in the book was how to discover joy in the face of suffering. The Dalai Lama says “so much of our unhappiness originates within our mind and heart – in how we react to events in our life.” He goes on to say “Mental immunity is just learning to avoid destructive emotions and to develop positive ones.” He goes on to compare mental immunity to physical immunity, “we know that a healthy immune system, [achieved by eating well, exercising, doctors visits] can protect your body against viruses and bacteria, whereas mental immunity creates a healthy disposition of the mind so that it will be less susceptible to negative thoughts and feelings.”
I absolutely love this comparison. And I would go a step further to add that doing yoga and meditating on a regular basis will go a long way to building our mental immunity. Challenge yourself to get on your mat 2-3 times a week, even if it’s only for 20 minutes, to help build your mental immunity.