HIS HOLINESS THE FOURTEENTH DALAI LAMA A FEW SHORT EXCERPTS FROM HIS HOLINESS’ TEACHINGS
Eight Verses for Training the Mind, Ex. 3.
Whenever I associate with others I will learn to think of myself as the lowest among all, And respectfully hold others to be supreme From the very depths of my heart.
“If you cultivate love, compassion, and so forth for your own welfare, seeking happiness only for yourself, you are bound within a selfish viewpoint, which will not lead to good results. Rather, you should have an attitude of altruism, seeking the welfare of others from the very depths of your heart.
Pride in which, cherishing yourself, you view yourself as superior and others as inferior is a major obstacle to the development of an altruistic attitude respecting and cherishing others. Therefore, it is important to rely on the antidote to pride and, no matter whom you are with, to consider yourself lower than others.
If you assume a humble attitude, your own good qualities will increase, whereas when you are full of pride, there is no way to be happy. You will become jealous of others, angry with them, and look down on them, due to which an unpleasant atmosphere will be created and unhappiness in society will increase.”
Eight Verses for Training the Mind, Ex. 8. I will learn to cherish beings of bad nature, And those pressed by strong sins and sufferings, As if I had found a precious Treasure which is very difficult to find.
“When you meet with persons of bad character or those who have some particularly strong sickness or other problems, you should neither neglect them nor create a distance between yourself and them, feeling them to be alien, but rather generate an especially strong attitude of cherishing them and holding them dear. In the past in Tibet, those who were engaged in this type of training of the mind took on themselves the burden of serving persons who had leprosy much as the Christian monks and so forth do nowadays. Since it is in relation to such persons that you can cultivate the altruistic intention to become enlightened as well as patience and the voluntary assumption of suffering, coming in contact with them is to be viewed as like finding a precious treasure.”
“Patience guards us against losing our presence of mind so we can remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult.”
“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation."
Source of happiness is in our mental attitude:
“So, as far as our contact with fellow human beings is concerned, our mental attitude is very crucial. Even for a non-believer, just a simple honest being, the ultimate source of happiness is in our mental attitude.”
“Even if you have good health, material facilities used in the proper way and good relations with other human beings, the main cause of a happy life is within.”
“On the whole, we naturally tend to trust our everyday perceptions; we assume their validity without it even occurring to us to question them. We naïvely believe that the way we perceive things is identical with the way things are. And so, because events and things, including the self, appear to have objective reality, we conclude, tacitly and often without any reflection at all, that they do in fact have an objective reality. Only through the process of careful analysis can we see that this is not so, that our perceptions do not accurately reflect objective reality.”
“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” “We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.”
“To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.” “Anger and hatred cannot bring harmony. The noble task of arms control and disarmament cannot be accomplished by confrontation and condemnation. Hostile attitudes only serve to heat up the situation, whereas a true sense of respect gradually cools down what otherwise could become explosive. We must recognise the frequent contradictions between short-term benefit and long-term harm.”
“If your engagement with others is tainted by strong attachment, craving, aversion, anger, and so forth, then that form of grasping is undesirable. But on the other hand, when you are interacting with other living beings and become aware of their needs or suffering or pain, then you need to fully engage with that and be compassionate. So, there can be positive attachment in this sense of active engagement. Buddhist masters have long used the term attachment to describe the quality of compassion for others. For example, a verse from Haribhadra’s Clear Meaning Commentary refers to compassion that is attached to other living beings. And as we have seen, Nagarjuna teaches that attachment for other living beings will arise spontaneously in the person who realises emptiness.”
“I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this Earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”
“From my own limited experience, I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquillity comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease.”
“As long as we live in this world, we are bound to encounter problems. If at such times, we lose hope and become discouraged, we diminish our ability to face difficulties. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is not just ourselves but everyone who has to undergo suffering, this more realistic perspective will increase our determination and capacity to overcome troubles. Indeed, with this attitude, each new obstacle can be seen yet another valuable opportunity to improve our mind! Thus, we can strive gradually to become more compassionate; that is, we can develop both genuine sympathy for others’ suffering and the will to help remove their pain. As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase.” His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso