Dalai Lama launches new course for a happier and more caring world
20 Sep 2015 | Action for Happiness
* 8-week course proven to leave people happier and more
likely to help others *
* Action for Happiness hopes to see courses run in
thousands of local communities
On 21 September 2015 (World Peace Day), His Holiness The Dalai
Lama is in London to help launch Exploring What Matters,
a revolutionary new course which helps people discover how to live
a happier and kinder life.
The course has been developed by Action for Happiness, a
UK-based movement of people taking action for a happier world,
which has over 55,000 members in 160 countries. It is secular,
science-based and open to people of all backgrounds.
Commenting on launch, the Dalai Lama said:
"As patron of Action for Happiness I am delighted to see the
work being done by members of this movement to create a happier and
more caring society. I wholeheartedly support the Exploring What
Matters course and hope that many thousands of people will benefit
from it and be inspired to take their own action to help create a
Analysis of the course has found that it leaves people both
happier and more pro-social, with participants reporting increases
in levels of life satisfaction, mental wellbeing, compassion and
social trust. Many say the course is life-changing.
Jasmine Hodge-Lake came to the course having suffered for over a
decade with chronic pain which left her unable to work. She
describes how it helped her:
"I wouldn't be where I am now without Action for Happiness and
that course. I found there were things I could do that would make a
big difference and started to feel hopeful about the future. I
still have bad days and life certainly isn't perfect. But it has
really helped me so much. Now I'm trying to be the change that I
want to see."
In Exploring What Matters, local groups meet for eight weeks,
with each session exploring a big question. They start with "What
really matters in life?" and then "What really makes us happy?".
These are followed by sessions on dealing with adversity, having
good relationships, caring for others, and creating happier
workplaces and communities. They end with "How can we create a
The course is delivered by community volunteers, with materials
and support provided by Action for Happiness. Over 300 people have
already put themselves forward to run the course and it is hoped
that many of these courses will be underway by the end of 2015,
with many more to follow over the coming years.
Co-founder of Action for Happiness, Professor Lord Richard
"A good society is one where as many people as possible are able
to live happy, fulfilling lives. We want to see this course
happening in thousands of local communities to help like-minded
people support each other in taking practical actions which are not
only good for their own wellbeing but also contribute to the
happiness of others around them too".
The course is being described as a challenge to the promotion of
materialism and individual success which is predominant in Western
Director of Action for Happiness, Dr Mark Williamson said:
"In the modern world we are bombarded with false messages about
what makes for a happy life. The Exploring What Matters course
helps people discover for themselves that real success has much
less to do with what we earn or consume - and much more to do with
our inner attitudes, our relationships with others and our
contribution to society"
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Lord Richard Layard, Dr Mark Williamson and Jasmine Hodge-Lake
are available for interviews.
- To arrange an interview please email
- Action for Happiness is funded by its members and has no
commercial, political or religious affiliations. It is part of The
Young Foundation, Registered Charity (274345) and Company Limited
by Guarantee (1319183) in England and Wales. Work to develop and
evaluate the Exploring What Matters course has been supported by
the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and John Templeton Foundation.
- His Holiness The Dalai Lama is keynote speaker at the "Creating
a Happier World" event organised by Action for Happiness at the
Lyceum theatre on the afternoon of Monday 21 September (World Peace
Day). Other speakers at that event include Lord Richard Layard, Sir
Anthony Seldon, Daniel Goleman, Professor Richard Davidson, Suzy
Greaves and Matthieu Ricard. For more information see