July 16, 2010

Tiny Buddha: Simple wisdom for complex lives

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Tiny Buddha: Simple wisdom for complex lives from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaWe live in fast times, and what we gain in gadget-obsessed, always-on hyperconnectivity we often lose in life balance and meaningfulness.

Lori Deschene, founder of Tiny Buddha, gave a keynote at the Wisdom 2.0 conference in Mountain View, Calif., not long ago to address just that: how to lead a more balanced, purposeful and meaning-driven life.

Lori is a writer and speaker who runs TinyBuddha — the website and the Twitter handle with 92,000 followers. The site, she says, is “focused on what I call simple wisdom for complex lives.” Readers there can relate their own stories about how they applied wisdom in their lives. On Twitter it’s a quote of daily wisdom from all the world’s major religions, philosophies and “sages through the ages.”

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“Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”
— Swedish proverb

Why has TinyBuddha become so popular? Because, says Lori, it does one small thing well: It offers a simple daily thought. Like the Swedish proverb: “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” Or Cheng Yen: “Happiness does not come from having much, but from being attached to little.”

A lot of celebrities now follow TinyBuddha, and every time they retweet one of the quotes, that helps it grow. But for the most part, TinyBuddha just grows organically through retweets.

A lot of what Lori writes about is how to find personal happiness within yourself. That has a ripple effect into what you do in the world — an approach that resonates particularly with young people. “It’s not always easy to know what your core values are and then to have the courage to create a life that aligns with those,” she says. She quotes Gandhi: “Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.”

To achieve harmony, sometimes it comes time to put away the mobile devices, iPads, laptops and other modern distractions. Sometimes a young person needs to say to a friend, “Hey, tomorrow let’s not do Facebook together.”

In the end, we all need to do our “homework for being a good human being,” she says. Do what you need to do for yourself, and when you come into a space with other people you’ll naturally be happier and more peaceful. JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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