Dalai Lama, born Tenzin Gyatso

Dalai Lama, born Tenzin Gyatso
1935

Tibetan Buddhist Leader, Awarded Nobel Peace Prize, Author, 14th and current Dalai Lama, head monks of the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism

Author Quotes

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.

The fundamental philosophical principle of Buddhism is that all our suffering comes about as a result of an undisciplined mind, and this untamed mind itself comes about because of ignorance and negative emotions. For the Buddhist practitioner then, regardless of whether he or she follows the approach of the Fundamental Vehicle, Mahayana or Vajrayana, negative emotions are always the true enemy, a factor that has to be overcome and eliminated. And it is only by applying methods for training the mind that these negative emotions can be dispelled and eliminated. This is why in Buddhist writings and teachings we find such an extensive explanation of the mind and its different processes and functions. Since these negative emotions are states of mind, the method or technique for overcoming them must be developed from within. There is no alternative. They cannot be removed by some external technique, like a surgical operation.

The real test of compassion is not what we say in abstract discussions but how we conduct ourselves in daily life.

The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others. Rather, we must criticize ourselves. How much am I doing about my anger? About my attachment, about my hatred, about my pride, my jealousy? These are the things which we must check in daily life.

There should be a balance between material and spiritual progress, a balance achieved through the principles based on love and compassion.

To be kind, honest and have positive thoughts; to forgive those who harm us and treat everyone as a friend; to help those who are suffering and never to consider ourselves superior to anyone else: even if this advice seems rather simplistic, make the effort of seeing whether by following it you can find greater happiness.

True spirituality is a mental attitude you can practice at any time.

We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. We always have the choice.

We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity. That the happiness of one person or nation is the happiness of humanity.

When I visited Costa Rica earlier this year, I saw how a country can develop successfully without an army, to become a stable democracy committed to peace and the protection of the natural environment. This confirmed my belief that my vision of Tibet in the future is a realistic plan, not merely a dream.

When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.

Wisdom is the best guide and faith is the best companion. One must try to escape from the darkness of ignorance and suffering, and seek the light of Enlightenment.

Self-satisfaction alone cannot determine if a desire or action is positive or negative. The demarcation between a positive and a negative desire or action is not whether it gives you a immediate feeling of satisfaction, but whether it ultimately results in positive or negative consequences.

Sometimes we feel that one individual's action is very insignificant. Then we think, of course, that effects should come from channeling or from a unifying movement. But the movement of the society, community or group of people means joining individuals. Society means a collection of individuals, so that initiative must come from individuals. Unless each individual develops a sense of responsibility, the whole community cannot move. So therefore, it is very essential that we should not feel that individual effort is meaningless- you should not feel that way. We should make an effort.

The important thing is that men should have a purpose in life. It should be something useful, something good.

The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.

The way to change others' minds is with affection, and not anger.

Therefore, in order to achieve more effective environmental protection and conservation, internal balance within the human being himself or herself is essential. The negligence of the environment, which has resulted in great harm to the human community, resulted from our ignorance of the very special importance of the environment. We must now help people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people that conservation directly aids our survival.

To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.

Try your best - and fail. That's the reality.

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.

We must therefore develop a sense of responsibility for each others condition, we must see that hurting someone else, or inflicting pain on other people , cannot bring happiness or peace of mind.

When I was in Tibet I had little information, through books or from personal contact, about the nature and value of other traditions. Since I've become a refugee, I have had more opportunity to have closer contact with other traditions, mainly through individuals, and I have gained a much deeper understanding of their value. As a result, my attitude now is that each one is a valid religion. Of course, even from the philosophical viewpoint, I still believe that Buddhist philosophy is more sophisticated, that it has more variety or is more vast, but all other religions still have tremendous benefits or great potential. So on both bases, I think my attitude towards other religions is greatly changed. Today, wherever I go and whenever I meet someone who follows a different religion, I deeply admire their practice and I very sincerely respect their tradition.

When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.

With a selfish attitude, one’s self is important, and others are not so important. According to Shantideva's advice, a technique to help in turning this attitude around is to imagine- in front of yourself as an unbiased observer- your own selfish self on one side and a limited number of other beings on the other side- ten, fifty, or a hundred. On one side is your proud, selfish self, and on the other side is a group of poor, needy people. You are, in effect, in the middle- as an unbiased, third person. Now, judge. Is this one, single, selfish person more important? Or is the group of people more important? Think. Will you join this side or that side? Naturally, if you are a real human being, your heart will go with the group because the number is greater and they are more needy. The other one is just a single person, proud and stupid. Your feeling naturally goes with the group. By thinking in this way, selfishness gradually decreases, and respect of others grows. This is the way to practice.

Author Picture
First Name
Dalai Lama, born Tenzin Gyatso
Birth Date
1935
Bio

Tibetan Buddhist Leader, Awarded Nobel Peace Prize, Author, 14th and current Dalai Lama, head monks of the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism