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).
May 8th, 2009
Episode 22 of 409 episodes
Prior to his reading of Shantideva’s texts, His Holiness focussed on causality, the functioning of cause and effect. He distinguished two aspects: karma and natural law. Dependence on causes and conditions is a natural law. However, when thought and motivation are present, as is the case with the actions of sentient beings, karma comes about. Karmic actions are positive if they give rise to benefit and happiness and negative when instead they disturb other beings. His Holiness clarified that karma is complex and can be discussed in great detail, but only a Buddha understands its subtlest ramifications. He stressed that what is important in practice for monks, nuns and lay people alike, is to avoid doing the ten unwholesome actions. Among these wrong view is particularly powerful. If, however, we take the Buddhist concept of dependent arising into account we will view our situation and conduct more holistically. We will consider the consequences and implications of our actions before we do them. On the other hand, we may also appreciate that sometimes it is wise to undergo a small suffering if doing so will allay a greater pain.