H.H. the Dalai Lama, the most prominent contemporary figure in Tibetan Buddhism, teaches regularly on a variety of topics ranging from entry level lectures to profound oral commentaries on seminal texts covering subjects such as Wisdom, Compassion, Ethics, Nature of the Mind, Buddhism and Science, and Meditation and Psychotherapy. His office does a great job making the teachings available through its official webcast. Now they are available in a podcast here as MP3 audio files encoded at 64Kbps mono. If you rather see video, check out the “Dalai Lama Video Teachings” podcasts (available in Standard Quality and High Quality).
June 26th, 2009
Episode 85 of 409 episodes
The two texts His Holiness the Dalai Lama is to teach belong to the Six Major Texts of the Kadampa Tradition: the Jatakas and Udarnavaga (Dhammapada); Asanga’s Bodhisattva Grounds and Maitreya’s Ornament of Sutras; finally, Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life and Compendium of Trainings. His Holiness clarifies that his approach to presenting the Buddhadharma is first to describe its benefit and second how to put it into practice. All sentient beings yearn for happiness, but not all know how to achieve it. Clearly, material development counts for a lot, but not if it increases your anxiety. More important is having a calm mind. Recently doctors have demonstrated that medication alone does not affect a cure; calmness of mind also has a role to play. Cultivating love and affection, warm-heartedness in our relations with others is a source of inner calm. His Holiness contrasts religious views of a creator god, the self and so forth. Buddhism has no use for a creator god, seeing instead that everything is subject to dependent arising, the existence of causes and conditions. Likewise, the self does not exist the way it appears, that is, as a singular, independent entity apart from the body and mind. The self is described as a merely designation on the basis of these. With regard to the Four Noble Truths, the existence of suffering, its causes, of which ignorance is principal, its cessation and the path to that; it is clarified that whereas mind has no beginning or end, ignorance does have an end. Beginning to read the Udarnavaga, a compilation of the Buddha’s advice that, as the Dhammapada is a major text of the Pali tradition, the first chapter concerns impermanence.