Wisdom of the Dalai Lama

dalai lama“As long as space remains and as long as sentient beings remain, until then may I, too, remain and help dispel the misery of the world.”

The Dalai Lama closed this morning’s conversation at the Washington National Cathedral with this prayer. I wrote down some of his statements (as best I could) – and I present them here without commentary.

  • Genuine harmony must come from the heart. Too often, we put on the externals of a pleasant face and appropriate gestures, but true harmony must be rooted at the heart level.
  • All religions carry the same message, the same practice, the practice of love. That includes forgiveness and tolerance. Anger and hatred comes from a religion with a self-centered attitude. Also greed, jealousy and mistrust. All religions teach contentment & simplicity.
  • Buddha’s own mind was not very certain. He would tell one group this, and another one that. He deliberately created confusion among his followers, because it is necessary to have different practices, different beliefs. Seven billion people need a variety of methods to promote love and compassion.
  • As a child carries some of her father’s genes, so too each creature carries the spark of God.
  • Buddhists believe in no creator, no causality. They believe in oneself as creator, through our experiences and actions. (Karma.) If we do good action, we benefit. If we do bad action, there are negative consequences. If we do not behave well, no one can save us. It is a great responsibility.
  • Even among believers (there are one billion who believe in no religion in the world) there are mischevious believers, with a lack of conviction about moral ethics. Moral ethics are very important for happiness and peace in ourselves, our community and the world.
  • We need an approach to moral ethics that is acceptable to everybody, including the non-believer.
  • Science tells us a happy mind is important for a happy body. We must cultivate a happy mind. We have too much stress, too much worry. Those who receive maximum affection as a child are happy inside. Those who do not are filled with fear and mistrust. So we have to extend to each other maximum love, to give trust to those who fear.
  • If certain religious teachings go against scientific findings, we have the right to reject those teachings.
  • Western knowledge of psychology is at a kindergarten level compared to Indian psychology.
  • We must always look at the human level. This is the fundamental level. We are all human. We tend to be too concerned about the secondary level – position, education, faith, nationality, etc. When relating to others, we must relate at the human level. Sometimes we must access the secondary level to make a tough decision, to access the resources there.
  • We must have sincere motivation and the object of our dream must be realistic and noble. Our approach must also be realistic. If there’s too much desire in our motivation, then we can’t see reality.
  • Anger is attachment, and it is destructive because then emotion comes and we can’t see reality.
  • We need constant effort to promote religious harmony.

1 thought on “Wisdom of the Dalai Lama”

  1. I wonder about Indian psychology. Theirs is such a deep and rich culture. I feel like decades of study by doctors living in their midst would only break the surface; but that maybe a scientific poet might give true insight. I want to read more!

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