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 9th, 2009
Episode 63 of 409 episodes
Dependent origination is the essence treasure of Buddha’s profound wisdom teachings. All phenomena arise relatively in dependence upon causality and imputation. The sufferings of cyclic existence do not arise from tangibilities but from the three poisonous afflictions (contaminated, distorted minds). The remedy lies in the ultimate nature of mind found through dependent origination. While causes and results must be impermanent and composite in order to change and give rise to concomitant effects, even non-composite phenomena (such as the cessations of mental afflictions that lead to Nirvana) arise in dependence upon causality. Hence, all dependently originated phenomena do not exist in the way they appear to us as objective, independent, substantial existents. Understanding the dependent origination of imputation helps clarify this disparity between appearance and reality. A deepening understanding of subtle dependent origination of causality and imputation leads to the emptiness of selflessness: none of the elements composing a person is the “self” but a functioning self cannot be imputed separately from those elements. Then all phenomena are seen as empty not existing objectively and independently but by way of dependent origination. Buddha taught vows for human beings seeking Self-Liberation (pratimoksha). The practitioners who seek the Nirvana of Arhatship are known as Hearers (Sravakas) and Solitary-Realizers (Pratyekabuddhas). Arhats realize the wisdoms of ultimate and conventional truth to eliminate their afflictive obscurations, but they do not complete the collections of merit required to eliminate the cognitive obscurations to the full enlightenment sought by Bodhisattvas. A Bodhisattva’s dedication of all of resources and activities for the benefit of all beings enhances the meritorious force of their activities. Self-Liberation vows, which last for a single lifetime, are the best basis for generating the Bodhisattva vows which are taken for this and all future lifetimes (in any realm) until the goal is achieved.
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