the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.
He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, at the hamlet of Taktser in north-eastern Tibet.  At the age
of two the child named Lhamo Dhondup was recognized as the incarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten
Gyatso.  From 1959 to 1999 His Holiness has received over 57 honorary doctorates, awards, prizes, etc., in
recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and
compassion.  His Holiness has also authored more than 50 books.  His Holiness describes himself as a "simple
Buddhist monk".  In his lectures and tours around the world, his simplicity and compassionate nature visibly
touches everyone who meets him.  His messages are of love, compassion and forgiveness.

 thinkers home

Every major religion has similar ideas of love, the same goal of benefiting through spiritual practice, and the same effect of making its followers into better human beings.  All religions teach moral precepts for perfecting the functions of the mind, body, and speech.  All teach us not to lie or steal or take others' lives, and so on.  The common goal of all moral precepts laid down by the great teachers of humanity is unselfishness.  Those teachers wanted to lead their followers away from the paths of negative deeds caused by ignorance and to introduce them to paths of goodness.  All religions can learn from one another; their ultimate goal is to produce better human beings who will be more tolerant, more compassionate, and less selfish.

      
The source of peace is within us; so also the source of war.  And the real enemy is within us, and not outside.  The source of war is not the existence of nuclear weapons or other arms.  It is the minds of human beings who decide to push the button and to use those arms out of hatred, anger or greed.
   
   
Compassion is not religious business, it is human business; it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability; it is essential for human survival.
  
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.
   

Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person.  I will not propose to you that my way is best.  The decision is up to you.  If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself.  If you find that it is of no use, then you can discard it.

  

Let me explain what we mean by compassion.  Usually, our concept of compassion or love refers to the feeling of closeness we have with our friends and loved ones.  Sometimes compassion also carries a sense of pity.  This is wrong--any love or compassion which entails looking down on the other is not genuine compassion.  To be genuine, compassion must be based on respect for the other, and on the realization that others have the right to be happy and overcome suffering just as much as you.  On this basis, since you can see that others are suffering, you develop a genuine sense of concern for them.

As for the closeness we feel toward our friends, this is usually more like attachment than compassion.

Genuine compassion should be
unbiased.  If we only feel close to
our friends, and not to our enemies, or to the countless people who are unknown to us personally and toward whom we are indifferent, then our compassion is only partial or biased.

Genuine compassion is based on the recognition that others have the right to happiness just like yourself, and therefore even your enemy is a human being with the same wish for happiness as you, and the same right to happiness as you.  A sense of concern developed on this basis is what we call compassion; it extends to everyone, irrespective of whether the person's attitude toward you is hostile or friendly.

  

 

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

 

We live very close together.  So, our prime purpose in this
life is to help others.  And if you can't help them,
at least don't hurt them.

 

Genuine human friendship is on the basis of human affection, irrespective
of your position.  Therefore, the more you show concern about the welfare
and rights of others, the more you are a genuine friend.  The more you remain
open and sincere, then ultimately more benefits will come to you.  If you forget
or do not bother about others, then eventually you will lose your own benefit.

  

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In olden times when there was a war, it was a human-to-human confrontation.
The victor in battle would directly see the blood and suffering of the
defeated enemy.  Nowadays, it is much more terrifying because a person
in an office can push a button and kill millions of people and never see
the human tragedy that he or she has created.  The mechanization
of war, the mechanization of human conflict,
poses an increasing threat to peace.

 

Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care
and kindness of our parents.  And then later on in our life,
when we are oppressed by sickness and become old, we are
again dependent on the kindness of others.  And since at
the beginning and end of our lives, we are so dependent
on others' kindness, how can it be in the middle
that we neglect kindness towards others?

 

It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice
the virtues of compassion and tolerance.

 
One of the basic points is kindness.  With kindness, with love and compassion,
with this feeling that is the essence of brotherhood, sisterhood, one
will have inner peace.  This compassionate feeling is the basis of inner peace.
   

  

I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy.  From the very core of our being,
we desire contentment.  In my own limited experience I have found that
the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own
sense of well-being.  Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others
automatically puts the mind at ease.  It helps remove whatever fears or
insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles
we encounter.  It is the principal source of success in life.  Since we are
not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for
happiness on external development alone.  The key is to develop inner peace.

   

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

   

In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that
someone else will solve their problems.  Every individual has
a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction.
Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.

   

  
An excerpt:

Attitude
the Dalai Lama

It is therefore important that human intelligence be utilized in a constructive way.  That is the key.  If we utilize its capacity properly, then not only human beings would become less harmful to each other, and to the planet, but also individual human beings would be happier in themselves.  It is in our hands.  Whether we utilize our intelligence in the right way or the wrong way is up to us.  Nobody can impose their values on us.  How can we learn to use our capacity constructively?  First, we need to recognize our nature and then, if we have the determination, there is a real possibility of transforming the human heart.

On this basis, I will speak on how a human being can find happiness as an individual, because I believe that the individual is the key to all the rest.  For change to happen in any community, the initiative must come from the individual.  If the individual can become a good, calm, peaceful person, this automatically brings a positive atmosphere to the family around him or her.  When parents are warm-hearted, peaceful and calm people, generally speaking their children will also develop that attitude and behavior.

The way our attitude works is such that it is often troubled by outside factors, so one side of the issue is to eliminate the existence of trouble around you.  The environment, meaning the surrounding situation, is a very important factor for establishing a happy frame of mind.  However, even more important is the other side of the issue, which is one's own mental attitude.

The surrounding situation may not be so friendly, it may even be hostile, but if your inner mental attitude is right, then the situation will not disturb your inner peace.  On the other hand, if your attitude is not right, then even if you are surrounded by good friends and the best facilities, you cannot be happy.  This is why mental attitude is more important than external conditions.  Despite this, it seems to me that many people are more concerned about their external conditions, and neglect the inner attitude of mind.  I suggest that we should pay more attention to our inner qualities.

There are a number of qualities which are important for mental peace, but from the little experience I have, I believe that one of the most important factors is human compassion and affection: a sense of caring.

The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom
The Dalai Lama
Very nice teachings on what it means to be a human being, to have compassion, to love, to see the rest of the world as something that we're a part of, not separate from.  These are "simple but profound teachings and advice to all those who want to bring more love, compassion, and understanding into their lives." 
    

Human potential is the same for all.  Your feeling, "I am of no value", is wrong.
Absolutely wrong.  You are deceiving yourself.  We all have the power of thought --
so what are you lacking?  If you have willpower, then you can change anything.
It is usually said that you are your own master.

    

If one's life is simple, contentment has to come.  Simplicity is extremely
important for happiness.  Having few desires, feeling satisfied
with what you have, is very vital:  satisfaction with just enough food,
clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.

   

To be aware of a single shortcoming within oneself is
more useful than to be aware of a thousand in somebody else.
Rather than speaking badly about people and in ways that
will produce friction and unrest in their lives, we should
practice a purer perception of them, and when we speak
of others, speak of their good qualities.

   

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

   

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