Tibetan Buddhist Wisdom


"We are visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful, with our lives. If you contribute to other peoples happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.”

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.

All of Buddha's teachings can be expressed in two sentences.
"You must help others," and
"If you can't help, you should not harm others."

The more we care for the happiness of others,
the greater our own sense of well-being becomes.

Brute force, no matter how strongly applied,
can never subdue the basic human desire for freedom.

I am often asked about my Buddhist religion. Most simply, it is the practice of compassion.

Since at the beginning and end of our lives we are completely dependent on the kindness of others, how can it be that in the middle we would neglect kindness towards others?

The more you are motivated by love the more fearless and free your action will be.

I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness. It is the practice of compassion.

"I always believe that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy. This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one's own faith."

"One of the main 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."

"My message is the practice of compassion, love, and kindness. Compassion can be put into practice if one recognizes the fact that every human being is a member of humanity and the human family regardless of differences in religion, culture, color, and creed. Deep down there is no difference." "We should try never to let our happy frame of mind be disturbed. Whether we are suffering at present or have suffered in the past, there is no reason to be unhappy. If we can remedy it, why be unhappy? And if we cannot, what use is there in being depressed about it? That just adds more unhappiness and does no good at all."

"By developing a sense of respect for others and a concern for their welfare, we reduce our own selfishness, which is the source of all problems, and enhance our sense of kindness which is a natural source of goodness."

"You should respect other religions....the essence of all religions is basically the same: to achieve a true sense of brotherhood, a good heart, respect for others. If we can develop these qualities from within our heart, then I think we can actually achieve true peace.

Above all, we must put others before us and keep others in our mind constantly: the self must be placed last. All our doings and thinkings must be motivated by compassion for others. The way to acquire this kind of outlook is that we must accept the simple fact that whatever we desire is also desired by others. Every being wants happiness, not suffering. If we adopt a self-centered approach to life by which we attempt to use others for our own self-interest, we might be able to gain temporary benefit, but in the long run, we will not succeed in achieving even our personal happiness, and hope for next life is out of question."

On Compassion:
I would like to explain the meaning of compassion, which is often misunderstood. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the rights of the other: irrespective of whether another person is a close friend or an enemy, as long as that person wishes for peace and happiness and wishes to overcome suffering, then on that basis we develop genuine concern for his or her problem. This is genuine compassion. Usually when we are concerned about a close friend, we call this compassion. This is not compassion; it is attachment. Even in marriage, those marriages that last only a short time do so because of attachment - although it is generally present - but because there is also compassion. Marriages that last only a short time do so because of a lack of compassion; there is only emotional attachment based on projection and expectation. 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. Therefore we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment, and between anger and hatred. Such clarity is useful in our daily life and in our efforts toward world peace. I consider these to be basic spiritual values for the happiness of all human beings, regardless of whether one is a believer or a nonbeliever."

On Evil:
Question: "Are there not some things so evil that you should hate them?"
Answer: "Your own bad thoughts. The real enemy is not outside, but inside.

Now here, you see, it is necessary to make a distinction between external enemies and internal ones. External enemies are not permanent; if you respect him, the enemy will become your friend. But there is one enemy who is always an enemy, whom you should never compromise, that is the enemy inside your heart. You cannot change all these bad thoughts into your friend, but you have to confront and control them."

On Kindness and a Good Heart:
"The essence of Buddhism is kindness, compassion. This is the essence of every religion, but particularly in Mahayana Buddhism. I think this is very important and everybody can practice it without deeper faith. Simply you are a human being; everybody appreciates kindness. In fact when we grow up, we grow up in the kindness of our parents, and without that sort of kindness we cannot exist. This is very clear because today you find that children who are not brought up within the love of their parents, or where there is a disruption in the family, are later psychologically affected. As a human being, kindness, a warm heart ins very important . . . . If you have this basic quality of kindness or good heart, then all other things, education, ability will go in the right direction. If you have a bad heart, then knowledge or ability are used in the wrong direction; instead of helping others, it makes trouble .... Every man has the basis of good. Not only human beings, you can find it among animals or insects, for instance when we treat a dog or horse lovingly."

On Peace:
Without proper mental peace it is difficult to achieve world peace; therefore, therhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=9DAWMHl*e*c%26offerid=44283.1009940565%26type=2%26subid=0e have good qualities as well as bad ones. Now anger, attachment, jealousy, hatred are the bad side; these are the real enemy. From a certain point of view, our real enemy, the true troublemaker, is inside. So these bad thoughts remain active, and as long as you have these, it is difficult to attain mental peace . . . my suggestion or advice is very simple, that is: to have a sincere heart. I believe that this is something basic and that anyone can approach through this way, irrespective of whatever ideology he may belong to or even if he is a non-believer. Real true brotherhood, a good heart towards one's fellow men, this is the basic thing. I believe that if you have a true feeling of brotherhood, then whether you are a scientist, an economist, or a politician, whatever profession you may follow, you will always have this concern for your fellow beings. I also believe that if you have this concern for others, then whatever the affects that might result from the profession you follow, you will always be concerned as to whether it is going to benefit or harm your fellow beings. I personally feel that this concern for others is lacking today. Many people emphasize to think only of yourself and have a selfish motive. I feel that basically the cause of many problems is due to this lack of concern for others and that if we really develop this kind of sincere feeling and sense of universal responsibility, then many of the problems we face today, like pollution, the energy crisis, and the population crisis can be solved. If we have such a sincere feeling, we need not worry about the self-sufficiency of the world. What I am referring to is that today certain parts of the world we have poverty and starvation, and in other parts of the world, abundance of wealth. This is an example. So if you have a genuine concern for others, then I feel that there is no need to suffer from such problems, because the world has sufficient resources to overcome these problems. The main thing is whether you have the real sense of universal responsibility. Basically, then the most important thing is a good heart."

© 2001-2002 Bardos