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

There are two kinds of satisfaction or happiness: one mainly through mental peace; another physical comfort

Those who believe in the theory of rebirth would say that we are here because of our past actions. It can also be said that the essence of life is the search for happiness and the fulfillment of one’s desires. All living beings strive to sustain their lives so that they might achieve happiness. As to why the self, wishing for happiness, came into being, Buddhism answers: This self has existed from beginningless time. It has no end but for it to ultimately achieve full enlightenment.

Today different ethnic groups and different nations come together due to common sense.

War is out of date, obsolete.

We don't need more money, we don't need greater success or fame, we don't need the perfect body or even the perfect mate. Right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness. World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.

We should reflect on the idea that since the beginning of time sentient beings have been mentally unstable because they have been slaves of delusion, they lack the eye of wisdom to see the path leading to nirvana and enlightenment, and they lack the necessary guidance of a spiritual teacher. Moment by moment they are indulging in negative actions, which will eventually bring about their downfall.

When the only bond between close friends is attachment, then even a minor issue may cause one's projections to change. As soon as our projections change, the attachment disappears, because that attachment was based solely on projection and expectation. It is possible to have compassion without attachment, and similarly, to have anger without hatred.

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.

World belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader or that king or prince or religious leader. World belongs to humanity.

So from the Buddhist viewpoint, in our daily life we are sometimes too sensitive toward minor things. At the same time, toward other major problems that can create long-term consequences, we are not so sensitive. Because of this, we find in the scriptures that ordinary people like ourselves are described as childlike or childish. In fact, the term 'jhipa' (Tib. 'byis pa'), or childish, is used in different ways: sometimes it is used in terms of age, which is the conventional usage; sometimes it is used for ordinary sentient beings, as opposed to the Arya beings, the superior beings. Then sometimes it is used to described people who are concerned only with affairs of this life and have no interest or regard for the affairs of their future life, or life after death. So, the tendency of our childish nature is to take small things too seriously and get easily offended, whereas when we are confronted with situations which have long-term consequences, we tend to take things less seriously.

The deep root of failure in our lives is to think, "Oh how useless and powerless I am." It is essential to think strongly and forcefully, "I can do it," without boasting or fretting.

The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life.

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.

There are two types of prayer. I think prayer is, for the most part, simply reminders in your daily practice. So, the verses look like prayers, but are actually reminders of how to speak, how to deal with other problems, other people, things like that in daily life. For example, in my own daily practice, prayer, if I am leisurely, takes about four hours. Quite long. For the most part, I think my practice is reviewing: compassion, forgiveness, and, of course, shunyata. Then, in my case, the tantric practices including visualization of death and rebirth. In my daily practice, the deity mandala, deity yoga, and the visualization of death, rebirth, and intermediate state is done eight times. So, eight times death is eight times rebirth. I am supposed to be preparing for my death. When actual death comes, whether I will succeed or not, still, I don't know.

Three qualities enable people to understand the teachings: objectivity, which means an open mind; intelligence, which is the critical faculty to discern the real meaning by checking the teachings of Buddha; and interest and commitment, which means enthusiasm.

Today more than ever before life must be characterized by a send of universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.

War seems to be part of the history of humanity. As we look at the situation of our planet in the past, countries, regions and even villages were economically independent of one another. Under those circumstances, the destruction of our enemy might have been a victory for us. There was a a relevance to violence and war. However, today we are so interdependent that the concept of war has become out dated. When we face problems or disagreements today, we have to arrive at solutions through dialogue. Dialogue is the only appropriate method. One-sided victory is no longer relevant. We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep in mind the interests of others. We cannot destroy our neighbors! We cannot ignore their interests! Doing so would ultimately cause us to suffer. I therefore think that the concept of violence is now unsuitable. Nonviolence is the appropriate method.

We find that if a person lives a very selfish life and is never concerned about the welfare of others, he will have few friends, and people will not take much notice of him. At the time of his death, there will not be many people who will regret his passing. Some deceptive and negative persons may be very powerful and wealthy, and therefore some people- for economic reasons and so forth- might portray themselves as friends, but they will speak against such person behind their back. When these negative person die, these very same friends may rejoice at their death.

What is important is to see how we can best lead a meaningful everyday life, how we can bring about peace and harmony in our minds.

When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we are able to recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.

Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.

World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.

So our future is in our own hands. What greater free will do we need?

The enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience.

The prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage and determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated. Our struggle must remain non-violent and free of hatred.

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