How The Dalai Lama Gets Rid Of Guilt (Spoiler: He Doesn’t)

Here’s how the Dalai Lama gets rid of regret, guilt, and shame: he doesn’t.

Wait, what?

An elderly monk asked the Dalai Lama about his physically active yoga practice and if it should be continued at his advanced age. The Dalai Lama advised, “Nah bro, you’re too old for that stuff. Act your age” (or something like that, I assume).

A few months later the Dalai Lama finds out the monk had committed suicide. Without the yoga practice, life wasn’t worth living anymore. The Dalai Lama said he felt a deep sense of regret, guilt, and shame set in immediately.

When asked about these feelings in an interview, he told this story. When asked how he got rid of the regret, guilt, and shame he said, “I didn’t. They’re still there. I just don’t allow it to drag me down and I pull it back.”

Now that’s some stuff.

Hard stuff happens to all of us. Moving on doesn’t have to be forgetting, it just has to be letting go so it doesn’t drag us down anymore.

Pull it back.

It takes practice. Nobody is immune from it, not even the Dalai Lama. If this is how he does it, maybe we can learn something from it.

Want more on this topic? I got this story from Pema Chodron’s audiobook “Getting Unstuck.”