Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dalai Lama, is the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Photographed during his visit in Cologno Monzese MI, Italy, on december 8th, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whether we are suffering at present or have suffered in the past, there is no reason to be unhappy. If we can remedy it, then why be unhappy? And if we cannot, there’s no use in being unhappy about it—it’s just one more thing to be unhappy about, which serves no purpose at all. ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “Enduring the Fires”
Image by kermitlab via Flickr ~ HH The 14th Dalai Lama
When we are angry we are blind to reality.
Anger may bring us a temporary burst of energy, but that energy is blind and it blocks the part of our brain that distinguishes right from wrong.
To deal with our problems, we need to be practical and realistic.
If we are to be realistic, we need to use our human intelligence properly, which means we need a calm mind. ~ HH The 14th Dalai Lama
So while reading Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, I had to take a detour. I can’t explain why I am struggling through Rebel Buddha but I think about that later. In the meantime, I decided to read Geshe Sonam Rinchen’s commentary on 8 Verses for Training the Mind. Geshe Ngawang Phende at Drepung Loseling in Atlanta is currently in the middle of a series of teachings on root text.
I love to read Geshe Rinchen’s commentaries. I find them very straight forward and accessible for students of all levels. This teaching in particular is a wonderfully simple explanation of Langritangpa’s 8 Verses. He expounds on each verse leading us though a practice to develop our love and compassion. As Geshe-la explains:
Greater kindheartedness can transform our daily life and make all our activites meaningful. This is something we can all practice whether or not we have extensive knowledge of philosophy.
The value of these 8 verses in incalculable. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama includes them in his daily medititations. Geshe Rinchen tells us in the book to take one verses that appears to be revelant to our current circumstances and ponder it over and over until until we feel its effect. By studying all the verses in this manner and putting them into practice we begin to use every circumstance in our lives a chance to strengthen the Bodhisattva qualities, of insight, kindheartedness, and concern for others and result in greater happiness, peace and contentment on our life.
H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama
Generally speaking, the Buddhist understanding is that Birth as a human being is one the most ideal forms of existence because it is conductive to practicing Dharma. ~ “The Four Noble Truths: Fundamentals of the Buddhist Teachings” by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama
The first of the Four Noble Truths is the Truth of Suffering.
What is suffering? Buddhism describes three levels or types of suffering. This is called ‘the suffering of suffering’, the second, ‘the suffering of change’, and the third is ‘the suffering of conditioning’.
The suffering of suffering: the suffering of birth, sickness, aging, and death.
The suffering of change: things we would normally think as pleasurable.
The suffering of conditioning: What is the nature of things? Eveything happens in samsara is due to ignorance
(complied from ‘The Four Noble Truths’ by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama, fourteenth printing – 2009)