"Sometimes when people first hear Dharma teachings on happiness and suffering they think that happiness depends upon suffering and that if they were to be completely free of suffering there would be no way to experience happiness.
I can see where the idea comes from. In a way it’s quite logical: if there’s no misery there’s no happiness; misery and happiness are interdependent phenomena. This is human experience. It’s my experience too.
When I was studying at Sera in Tibet from the ages of nine to twenty-four, I took many teachings and received many commentaries from excellent teachers. I was well looked after by my uncle, who made sure I never went hungry or thirsty and took care of me in general. It was a typical monastic life and it was really good. And from my side I tried my best to study and practice Dharma.
But still, in 1959, the Chinese kicked us out. Well, not exactly, but they did not allow people to practice Dharma, so I thought that if I want to keep practicing there was no reason to stay in Tibet. So I escaped to India. "
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