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His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (born 6 July 1935) Head of state and spiritual leader of the people of Tibet; Awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize; born Lhamo Dhondrub, renamed Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom) upon being officially recognized as the Dalai Lama. Tibetans often refer to him as Yeshe Norbu, the "Wishfulfilling Gem" or just Kundun - "The Presence."
Born: July 6th, 1935
Quotes: 79 sourced quotes total (includes 2 misattributed, 21 about)
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If I say, "I am a monk." or "I am a Buddhist," these are, in comparison to my nature as a human being, temporary. To be human is basic.
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness … the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.
It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
My true religion is Kindness.
Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend — or a meaningful day.
It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.
Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.
If there is love, there is hope that one may have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue
I am a simple Buddhist monk — no more, no less.
Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself. It is wrong to expect some final satisfaction to come from money or from a computer.
It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice the virtues of compassion and tolerance.
If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.
I feel that the essence of spiritual practice is your attitude toward others. When you have a pure, sincere motivation, then you have right attitude toward others based on kindness, compassion, love and respect. Practice brings the clear realisation of the oneness of all human beings and the importance of others benefiting by your actions.
Because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity. We are dependent on each other in so many ways, that we can no longer live in isolated communities and ignore what is happening outside those communities, and we must share the good fortune that we enjoy.
I don't want to convert people to Buddhism — all major religions, when understood properly, have the same potential for good.
We need a little more compassion, and if we cannot have it then no politician or even a magician can save the planet.
Maybe the Dalai Lama is the only person who is totally honest, and even with him, he's skillful not to hurt anybody. He's skillful.
Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each one of us individually.
Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. True peace with oneself and with the world around us can only be achieved through the development of mental peace.
The Dalai Lama said acts of violence should be remembered, and then forgiveness should be extended to the perpetrators. But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, he said, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result. But at some other body part, such as a leg.
When I meet people in different parts of the world, I am always reminded that we are all basically alike: we are all human beings. Maybe we have different clothes, our skin is of a different colour, or we speak different languages. That is on the surface. But basically, we are the same human beings. That is what binds us to each other. That is what makes it possible for us to understand each other and to develop friendship and closeness.
The following are key elements of the proposed Zone of Ahimsa:
Reason well from the beginning and then there will never be any need to look back with confusion and doubt.
For the stability and peace of Asia, it is essential to create peace zones to separate the continent's biggest powers and potential adversaries.
His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. He urges respect, tolerance, compassion and the full recognition of human rights for all.
The time has come to educate people, to cease all quarrels in the name of religion, culture, countries, different political or economic systems. Fighting is useless. Suicide.
Fundamentalism is terrifying because it is based purely on emotion, rather than intelligence. It prevents followers from thinking as individuals and about the good of the world.
Media people should have long noses like an elephant to smell out politicians, mayors, prime ministers and businessmen. We need to know the reality, the good and the bad, not just the appearance.
Bodhicitta is the medicine which revives and gives life to every sentient being who even hears of it. When you engage in fulfilling the needs of others, your own needs are fulfilled as a by-product.
I am deeply touched by the sincere concern shown by so many people in this part of the world for the suffering of the people of Tibet. That is a source of hope not only for us Tibetans, but for all oppressed people.
Religion does not mean just precepts, a temple, monastery, or other external signs, for these as well as hearing and thinking are subsidiary factors in taming the mind. When the mind becomes the practices, one is a practitioner of religion, and when the mind does not become the practices one is not.
When I visited Costa Rica earlier this year, I saw how a country can develop successfully without an army, to become a stable democracy committed to peace and the protection of the natural environment. This confirmed my belief that my vision of Tibet in the future is a realistic plan, not merely a dream.
It is also possible within this lifetime to enhance the power of the mind, enabling one to reaccess memories from previous lives. Such recollection tends to be more accessible during meditative experiences in the dream state. Once one has accessed memories of previous lives in the dream state, one gradually recalls them in the waking state.
My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.
Today we face many problems. Some are created essentially by ourselves based on divisions due to ideology, religion, race, economic status, or other factors. Therefore, the time has come for us to think on a deeper level, on the human level, and from that level we should appreciate and respect the sameness of others as human beings.
Within the body there are billions of different particles. Similarly, there are many different thoughts and a variety of states of mind. It is wise to take a close look into the world of your mind and to make the distinction between beneficial and harmful states of mind. Once you can recognize the value of good states of mind, you can increase or foster them.
Today, we are truly a global family. What happens in one part of the world may affect us all. This, of course, is not only true of the negative things that happen, but is equally valid for the positive developments. We not only know what happens elsewhere, thanks to the extraordinary modern communications technology. We are also directly affected by events that occur far away.
I believe that in the 20th century, humanity has learned from many, many experiences. Some positive, and many negative. What misery, what destruction! The greatest number of human beings were killed in the two world wars of this century. But human nature is such that when we face a tremendous critical situation, the human mind can wake up and find some other alternative. That is a human capacity.
Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility. In that state of mind you can deal with situations with calmness and reason, while keeping your inner happiness. That is very important. Without this inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed or unhappy because of circumstances.
I would like to take this opportunity to explain the Zone of Ahimsa or peace sanctuary concept, which is the central element of the Five-Point Peace Plan. I am convinced that it is of great importance not only for Tibet, but for peace and stability in Asia. It is my dream that the entire Tibetan plateau should become a free refuge where humanity and nature can live in peace and in harmonious balance.
The Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people. The Dalai Lama has developed his philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature.
I speak not with a feeling of anger or hatred towards those who are responsible for the immense suffering of our people and the destruction of our land, homes and culture. They too are human beings who struggle to find happiness and deserve our compassion. I speak to inform you of the sad situation in my country today and of the aspirations of my people, because in our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.
Our own security is enhanced when peace breaks out between warring parties in other continents. But war or peace; the destruction or the protection of nature; the violation or promotion of human rights and democratic freedoms; poverty or material well-being; the lack of moral and spiritual values or their existence and development; and the breakdown or development of human understanding, are not isolated phenomena that can be analysed and tackled independently of one another. In fact, they are very much interrelated at all levels and need to be approached with that understanding.
Don't compare me with Jesus. He is a great master, a great master...
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was a true Bodhisatva. His humility brought tears to my eyes.
Sectarian feelings and criticism of other teachings or other sects is very bad, poisonous, and should be avoided.
Each of us has the potential to contribute … You have a great opportunity to make a new shape of the world.
I don't think China will negotiate. I think they are waiting for the Dalai Lama to die... The Chinese government feels he symbolizes the entire independence movement, and when he is gone, it will go away.
As Buddhists, while we practice our own teaching, we must respect other faiths, Christianity, Judaism and so forth. We must recognize and appreciate their contributions over many past centuries to human society, and at this time we must strive to make common effort to serve humankind.
I think the universality of His Holiness' words and teachings have made this so much bigger than just Tibet. When His Holiness won the Nobel Peace Prize, there was a quantum leap. He is not seen as solely a Tibetan anymore; he belongs to the world.
According to Buddhism, individuals are masters of their own destiny. And all living beings are believed to possess the nature of the Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra, the potential or seed of enlightenment, within them. So our future is in our own hands. What greater free will do we need?
There is a saying in Tibetan that “at the door of the miserable rich man sleeps the contented beggar”. The point of this saying is not that poverty is a virtue, but that happiness does not come with wealth, but from setting limits to one’s desires, and living within those limits with satisfaction.
Compassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment. True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other...
If there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there is no need for violence. On the other hand, when there is no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason cannot work and you have to rely on force. Thus using force is not a sign of strength but rather a sign of weakness.
On the political front, we have always pursued the path of truth and justice in our struggle for the legitimate rights of the Tibetan people. We have never indulged in distortions, exaggerations and criticism of the Chinese people. Neither have we harboured any ill will towards them. Above all, we have always held to our position of truth and justice without siding with any of the international political power blocks.
As we enter the final decade of this century I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today reaffirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century. I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.
Some say I am a good person, some say I am a charlatan — I am just a monk... I never asked people like Richard Gere to come, but it is foolish to stop them. I have Tibetans, Indians, backpackers, AIDS patients, religious people, politicians, actors and princesses. My attitude is to give everyone some of my time. If I can contribute in any way to their happiness, that makes me happy.
As a result of more contact with people from other traditions, as time passes I have firmed my conviction that all religions can work together despite fundamental differences in philosophy. Every religion aims at serving humanity. Therefore, it is possible for the various religions to work together to serve humanity and contribute to world peace. So, during these last few years, at every opportunity I try to develop closer relations with other religions.
To study Buddhism and then use it as a weapon in order to criticize others' theories or ideologies is wrong. The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others. Rather, we must criticize ourselves. How much am I doing about my anger? About my attachment, about my hatred, about my pride, my jealousy? These are the things which we must check in daily life with the knowledge of the Buddhist teachings.
It is regrettable that some Tibetan officials, who lack the wisdom and competence required for promoting basic human happiness and the short and long term welfare of their own people, indulge in flattering Chinese officials and, collaborate with these Chinese officials who know nothing about Tibetans and work simply for their temporary fame indulging in fabricating impressive reports. In reality, the Tibetan people have not only undergone immeasurable sufferings, but large numbers have also unnecessarily lost their lives.
I believe that our Tibetan ability to combine spiritual qualities with a realistic and practical attitude enables us to make a special contribution, in however modest a way. This is my hope and prayer. In conclusion, let me share with you a short prayer which gives me great inspiration and determination: For as long as space endures, And for as long as living beings remain, Until then may I, too, abide To dispel the misery of the world.
I found also that the question of His Holiness in terms of a political movement was very tricky. It's a non-violent movement, which is a problem in itself-you don't get headlines with nonviolence. And His Holiness doesn't see himself as Gandhi; he doesn't create dramatic, operatic situations. So we've ended up taking a much steadier kind of approach. It's not about drama. It's about, little by little, building truth, and I think it's probably been deeper because of that. The senators, congressmen, legislators and parliamentarians who have got involved go way beyond what they would normally give to a cause they believed in.
We must improve the relationship between China and Tibet as well as between Tibetans in and outside Tibet. With truth and equality as our foundation, we must try to develop friendship between Tibetans and Chinese through better understanding in the future. The time has come to apply our common wisdom in a spirit of tolerance and broadmindedness to achieve genuine happiness for the Tibetan people with a sense of urgency. On my part, I remain committed to contribute my efforts for the welfare of all human beings, and in particular the poor and the weak to the best of my ability without any distinction based on national boundaries.
With the ever-growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play by reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment. I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II was a man I held in high regard. His experience in Poland and my own difficulties with communists gave us an immediate ground. The Pope was very sympathetic to the Tibetan problem. Of course, as the head of an institution trying to establish good relations with China and seriously concerned about the status of millions of Christians in china he could not express this publicly or officially. But right from the start of our friendship he revealed to me privately that he had a clear understanding of the Tibetan problem because of his own experience of communism in Poland. This gave me great personal encouragement.
"The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds." -- Facebook image meme Original: "The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has defined it." -- David W. Orr, Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect (ISBN 1559632941)
There's no question that His Holiness is my root guru, and he's been quite tough with me at times. I've had to explain to people who sometimes have quite a romantic vision of His Holiness that at times he's been cross with me, but it was very skillful. At the moment he did it, I'm not saying it was pleasant for me, but there was no ego attachment from his side. I'm very thankful that he trusts me enough to be the mirror for me and not pull any punches. Mind you, the first meetings were not that way; I think he was aware how fragile I was and was being very careful. Now I think he senses that my seriousness about the teachings has increased and my own strength within the teachings has increased. He can be much tougher on me.
What is the Great Vehicle? What is the mode of procedure of the Bodhisattva path? We begin with the topic of the altruistic intention to achieve enlightenment in which one values others more than oneself. The Great Vehicle path requires the vast motivation of a Bodhisattva, who, not seeking just his or her welfare, takes on the burden of bringing about the welfare of all sentient beings. When a person generate this attitude, they enter within the Great Vehicle, and as long as it has not been generated, one cannot be counted among those of the Great Vehicle. This attitude really has great power; it, of course, is helpful for people practicing religion, but it also is helpful for those who are just concerned with the affairs of this lifetime. The root of happiness is altruism — the wish to be of service to others.
I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed. The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.
Buddhism does not accept a theory of God, or a creator. According to Buddhism, one's own actions are the creator, ultimately. Some people say that, from a certain angle, Buddhism is not a religion but rather a science of mind. Religion has much involvement with faith. Sometimes it seems that there is quite a distance between a way of thinking based on faith and one entirely based on experiment, remaining skeptical. Unless you find something through investigation, you do not want to accept it as fact. From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology and physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.
I agree with and believe in the Communist ideology which seeks the well being of human beings in general and the proletariat in particular, and in Lenin's policy of the equality of nationalities. Similarly, I was pleased with the discussions I had with Chairman Mao on ideology and the policy towards nationalities. If that same ideology and policy were implemented it would have brought much admiration and happiness. However, if one is to make a general comment on the developments during the past two decades, there has been a lapse in economic and educational progress, the basis of human happiness. Moreover, on account of the hardships caused by the unbearable disruptions, there has been a loss of trust between the Party and the masses, between the officials and the masses, among the officials themselves, and also among the masses themselves. By deceiving one another through false assumptions and misrepresentations there has been, in reality, a great lapse and delay in achieving the real goals.
The world has shrunk. Increasingly peoples and nations have grown dependent on one another. No one can any longer act entirely in his own interest. It is therefore imperative that we should accept mutual responsibility for all political, economic, and ecological problems. In view of this, fewer and fewer people would venture to dismiss the Dalai Lama's philosophy as utopian: on the contrary, one would be increasingly justified in asserting that his gospel of nonviolence is the truly realistic one, with most promise for the future. And this applies not only to Tibet but to each and every conflict. The future hopes of oppressed millions are today linked to the unarmed battalions, for they will win the peace: the justice of their demands, moreover, is now so clear and the normal strength of their struggle so indomitable that they can only temporarily be halted by force of arms. In awarding the Peace Prize to H.H. the Dalai Lama we affirm our unstinting support for his work for peace, and for the unarmed masses on the march in many lands for liberty, peace and human dignity.
From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and freedom and wants to avoid suffering. In this we are all the same; and the more we care for the happiness of others the greater our own sense of each other becomes. Many of our problems are created by ourselves based on divisions due to ideology, religion, race, resources, economic status or other factors. The time has come to think on a deeper, more human level and appreciate and respect our sameness as human beings. And to have a respect for endangered cultures that share these principles. We are at the dawn of an age in which many people feel that extreme political concepts should cease to dominate human affairs. We should use this opportunity to replace them with universal human and spiritual values and ensure that these values become the fiber of the global family that is emerging. It is not possible to find peace with anger, hatred, jealousy or greed. At every level of society, familial, tribal, national and international, the key to a happier and more peaceful and successful world is the growth of compassion. We do not necessarily need to become religious, nor even believe in an ideology. We need only to develop our good human qualities and know that love and compassion are the most essential concepts for human survival. So long as human beings live and suffer, the only world open to our present knowledge, the brotherhood of man will seem an unattainable principle. In order for us to achieve real lasting peace among one another, the effort to realize that noblest and most satisfactory moral value must be occupation of every individual intelligence.
These statements were falsely attributed to the Dalai Lama in an email hoax. They actually derive from advice in Life's Little Instruction Book: 511 suggestions, observations, and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life (1991) by H. Jackson Brown, Jr; More information is available on the hoax at Snopes.com 1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk. 2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson. 3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions. 4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. 5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. 6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship. 7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. 8. Spend some time alone every day. 9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values. 10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. 11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time. 12. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past. 13. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality. 14. Be gentle with the earth. 15. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before. 16. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. 17. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. 18. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.