Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a worldwide network of Buddhist centers, monasteries, and affiliated projects. In the introduction to this paperback, the Dalai Lama states: "These simple but far-reaching techniques for training the mind, particularly those that deal with concern for others and turning adversity to advantage, have virtually become part of the Tibetan character."
The art of transforming problems into happiness is a spiritual practice that could change our lives once we admit that both contentment and suffering are created by our minds and reflect our interpretation of the way things are. We are dissatisfied when things don't go our way and so we make mountains out of molehills. For example, we've organized a big party for relatives and friends in the backyard, and it rains. The dark clouds outside mirror the unhappiness that descends upon us like a shroud.
Mahayana mind training puts the emphasis elsewhere: seeing the benefits of problems and actually rejoicing in them. Perhaps the rain will bring you and your family and friends closer together in the intimacy of meeting indoors. It is possible to turn problems and suffering into vehicles for enlightenment. Or as Zopa Rinpoche puts it: "To transform problems into happiness, it is not sufficient simply to see that problems help your practice of virtue. This alone is not enough. You must clearly recognize that your problems are actually necessary conditions for your practice of virtue, and you can derive continual, stable happiness from this."
Zopa Rinpoche's wisdom shines brightly as he keeps expanding the circle of benefits that accrue from these mind-training techniques. He also presents insights into patience, compassion, rejoicing with others. Near the end he writes: "The power of atomic bombs is completely insignificant when compared to the power of one good heart."