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).
July 2nd, 2009
Episode 88 of 409 episodes
Quoting the great Indian master Chandrakirti, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recommends that we should use our sophisticated intelligence to benefit others rather than harming them. Being self-centred and doing harm will bring us no good in the long run. Whereas even predatory animals are calm and peaceful once their hunger is satisfied, human beings seem able to engage in relentless harm and slaughter. Look at the appalling sophistication of modern weapons, technology. Although these weapons systems are allegedly for their defensive and deterrent purposes, they are actually employed to destroy others. Just as we examine physical objects to see how they would be useful to us, we should investigate our mental states. Some mental characteristics lead to calm and satisfaction, while others are clearly disturbing. Think about the result of generating anger, which generally yields no benefit. We should distinguish between those mental states whose affect is useful or neutral and those that are disturbing and therefore harmful. Afflictive or disturbing doubt can cause us to lose direction. On the other hand, only by questioning on the basis of curiosity and doubt do we find things out. The opposite, blind faith is not very useful. Faith needs to be employed with intelligence and wisdom. The Buddha encouraged his followers not to accept his words at face value, but to examine them shrewdly the way a goldsmith examines gold. His Holiness reads chapters of the Udarnavaga / Dhammapada concerning beauty, ethics, fine conduct, action, faith, the ordained and so forth.
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