The first step in attaining happiness is to cultivate tranquility of mind. And how do we cultivate tranquility? Normally, the mind in filled with all sorts of negative emotions which prevent tranquility. I once saw a book titled “You must calm down,” and without even reading it, I know that whatever it has to say about tranquility, it won’t work, because if you feel like you “must” do something, you won’t be able to relax. We often tell people to “calm down,” but it doesn’t work if we don’t also tell them how to calm down. If you just tell yourself to calm down, without actually knowing how to do it, it won’t work. To attain inner tranquility, you have to start by reducing negative emotions and ways of thinking, and this has nothing to do with religion; whether or not you do it is entirely up to you.

~Khangser Rinpoche~