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Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama Teachings

Below are some words by Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), who is the head of Yellow Hat order of Tibetan Buddhists. Till 1959 he was the spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet.

Dalai Lama is the fourteenth in the line of Dalai Lamas. He was born in 1935 in what is currently Tsinghai province, China, of Tibetan parents. In 1937 Tibetan lamas recognised him as the reborn thirteenth Dalai Lama. In 1940 he was placed on the throne of Tibet, and was vested with full powers as head of the state in 1950. Late that year Chinese forces occupied the country.

In 1959 the Tibetans revolted against the Chinese occupation forces and failed. Dalai Lama escaped to exile in India in 1959. 80,000 Tibetan refugees followed him into exile in agricultural settlements. Dharmasala in northern India became the place for Dalai Lama's exile government.

Meditation Practice

Dalai Lama is a practitioner of Dzogchen [Great Perfection, a direct translation of the Sanskrit term Maha-siddhi], which is a path to Enlightenment, primordial awareness. And that path involves meditation practice and a body of teachings aimed at helping an individual to recognize the Enlightenment state deep inside in order to get ancored in that state continually. Dalai Lama gives teachings on this issue, and has expounded many teachings in his many publications. He has also given many public initiations in the Kalachakra ["Time-Wheel"] teachings. The clou of the teachings describes the state of Enlightenment that results from the practice. There are lower and higher initiations.

Padma Sambhava (Guru Rinpoche) is considered the source of the Buddhist Dzogchen teachings in Tibet. Indian originators are reckoned with too.

Nobel Prizeman

In 1989 Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Price for Peace for non-violent tackling of the Chinese domination of Tibet. Also, Time Magazine in 2008 placed the Dalai Lama on its list of the world's 100 most influential people.

Books and Research

Dalai Lama has also written two dozens of books related to his brand of Tibetan Buddhism.

In May 2001 he met with a group of neuroscientists who conduct research on the effects of meditation on brain function, emotions and physical health and initiated a wave of rewarding research into Buddhist meditation methods. Results have appeared in journals and other media. [Cf.]

Twig

On Top of a Dalai Lama Interview

Some of the following sayings are verbatim; others are extracts, and then there are modified sayings too. The latter have been marked off - by with, cf, mod, and abr - to make it easier to access the lama's ideas. They are from an interview with him by Laurence Freeman on 15 May 1993 in the Samye Ling Monastery.

Meditation is the most important thing. It is essential in order to transform one's spiritual life. [Dalai Lama]

Through meditation the positive side is promoted. That is a way of transformation for all. [Dalai Lama extr]

In the Buddhist tradition meditation is very important. [Dalai Lama]

Allowing for some variety in your spiritual practice can be OK. [Cf Dalai Lama]

In certain fields single-pointedness is very, very crucial. [Dalai Lama]

All other sentient beings are just like ourselves in wanting to overcome suffering and to have permanent happiness. Meditating on that nature may increase our compassion. [With Dalai Lama]

Question: What would you say to a Christian thinking of becoming a Buddhist or a Buddhist of becoming a Christian? – Answer: You must be very cautious if you change your religion. Doing it is not an easy thing. [With Dalai Lama]

Buddha taught differently to different people. [With Dalai Lama]

An individual Christian may interpret the Creator. [Dalai Lama]

Appreciate genuine friendship greatly. [Cf. Dalai Lama]

It is not necessary to be a religious believer. Be a warm-hearted person well attuned to the innate spiritual nature of kindness and human affection. [Dalai Lama]

Kindness and loving-kindness may be important. [With Dalai Lama]

In Buddhism you find people treating tradition and custom as more important than the actual source. Buddha himself states that his words are not to be accepted just out of reverence to himself. Rather they should be tested and examined personally. There is such an explicit liberty given to the followers of Buddha. [Dalai Lama extr]

The Buddha made very clear to his followers the liberty to carry investigation even into Buddha's own words. [Dalai Lama]

Buddhists do believe in higher beings. The higher beings have a definite influence. As a result of their solitude and meditation your own spiritual experiences are enhanced. [Dalai Lama, abr]

Some vibration or energy is created in the places where deep meditation is practised. These areas are actually charged by such people. [Mod [Dalai Lama]

In front of other people I feel just a Buddhist monk. When I remain in my own home or house I am just a Buddhist monk. My way of speaking and my behaviour are the same. There is hardly any gap between my behaviour, speech or thinking in public or private. This makes it all much easier! [Dalai Lama, abr]

Other Notable Thoughts

Ecology should be part of our daily life. [Dalai Lama]

When you discover you have made a mistake, set about remedying it to your ability, preferably at once. [With Dalai Lama]

Do not compromise your innermost values. [Dalai Lama]

Share your wisdom. [Dalai Lama]

Our own heart is our temple. Our philosophy is kindness [put in action] [With Dalai Lama]

From Words of Truth: A Prayer for Peace in Tibet and Compassion in the World

Gain the Eye of Wisdom and know what is to be done. [Dalai Lama freely rendered]

Let the full teachings of Buddha blossom. [Dalai Lama, abbr]

Let the ten good ways of righteousness prevail. [Dalai Lama, rendered]

Other Dalai Lama Sayings

Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself.

Of all the modern economic theories, the economic system of Marxism is founded on moral principles.

I think the ecology problem is very serious.

If you can't help [others], at least don't hurt them.

Live a good honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

In disagreements with loved ones deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.

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

I believe in justice and truth.

Consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other.

From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind . . . there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.

Use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist.

We must consider future generations.

With confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world [Mod].

Note

Some of the uttererances above are extracts, and other sayings are modified by me in other ways. Those are marked thus: "With" after a saying suggests that this statement suits his line of thinking, and "mod" after it stands for "modified". "Abr" is abridged, and Cf. means "compare". - TK

MAHAYANA COLLECTION
Dalai Lama quotations, END MATTER

Dalai Lama quotations, LITERATURE  

Dalai Lama. An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life. E-book ed. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008.

Dalai Lama. Answers. Discussions with Western Buddhists. Ed. Jose Ignacio Cabezón. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 2001.

Dalai Lama. Cultivating a Daily Meditation: Selections from a Discourse on Buddhist View, Meditation and Action. The1996 ed. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1996.

Dalai Lama. Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1990.

Dalai Lama. Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana’s a Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment and Lama Je Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience. Tr. Geshe Thupten Jinpa. Ed. Rebecca McClen Novick, Thupten Jinpa and Nicholas Ribush. Long Beach CA: Thubten Dhargye Ling, 2002.

Dalai Lama. The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye and the History of the Advancement of Buddhadharma in Tibet. Bangkok: The Social Science Association Press of Thailand, 1968.

Dalai Lama. The Way to Freedom. Monterey Park, CA: The Library of Tibet, 1994.

Dalai Lama and Alexander Berzin. Fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism – Level 3: Lojong (Mind Training) Material. Gunzenhausen, Germany: The Berzin Archives, 2003-2016.

Dalai Lama and Laurens van den Muyzenberg. The Leader's Way: The Art of Making the Right Decisions in Our Careers, Our Companies, and the World at Large. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. 2009.

Dalai Lama, Tsong-ka-pa and Jeffrey Hopkins. Deity Yoga In Action and Performance Tantra. Tr. Ed. Jeffrey Hopkins. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 1981.

Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron. Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions. Boston, MA: Wisdom Publication, 2014.

EB: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2010 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Yearly DVD suite.

Evans-Wentz, W. ed: Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press. London, 1967.

Recent Results of Meditation Research in the Media

Law, Naomi. Scientists probe meditation secrets. BBC News. 31 mars 2008.
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7319043.stm

BBC 1. Meditation 'brain training' clues. BBC News. 13. juni 2005
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4613759.stm

BBC 2. Buddhists 'really are happier'. BBC News. 21. mai 2003. news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3047291.stm

BBC 3. Meditation mapped in monks. 1. mars 2002. news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1847442.stm

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