Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dalai Lama - Conception of inherent existence can be extinguished

THE DALAI LAMA AT HARVARD: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace
by H.H. the Dalai Lama of Tibet,Tenzin Gyatso
translated and editedby Jeffrey Hopkins

With regard to ordinary study, except for the fact that there is a limit to our lifetime, it is not that you arrive at a point where there is no more room in your brain. No matter how much you study, even if you study a hundred thousand million words, the mind can still retain them. This indicates that the basis of these qualities, consciousness, is stable and continuous.

The other day, I made a joke to someone who was asking about the brain. I said that if, like a computer, you needed a cell for each moment of memory, then as you become more and more educated, your head would have to get bigger and bigger!

Because of these reasons--that compassion, wisdom, and so forth are qualities that depend on the mind, and the mind is stable and continuous--they can be developed to a limitless degree.

It is from this point of view that it is said that the conception of inherent existence can be extinguished. When one removes the conception of inherent existence, one thereby also ceases the afflictive emotions generated in dependence upon that ignorance. Also, since the ignorance that drives contaminated actions has ceased, this class of actions ceases. Once the motivator of the action and the actions cease, the results of those actions will cease. That is how the third noble truth--true cessation--comes to be. (p.103)

--from The Dalai Lama at Harvard: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace by H.H. the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins, published by Snow Lion Publications

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