Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dalai Lama on Oneness of Humanity

This came to my in-box this weekend, but I didn't really read it until this morning. From Snow Lion Publications:

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

Actually, we are all part of the community of humanity. If humanity is happy, has a successful life, a happy future, automatically, I will benefit. If humanity suffers, I too will suffer. Humanity is like one body, and we are part of that body. Once you realize this, once you cultivate this kind of attitude, you can bring about a change in your way of thinking. A sense of caring, commitment, discipline, oneness with humanity -- these are very relevant in today's world. I call this secular ethics, and this is the first level to counter negative emotions.

The second level in this connection is taught by all major religious traditions, whether Christian or Muslim or Jewish or Hindu. They all carry the message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, and discipline. These are countermeasures for negative emotions. When anger is about to surface, when hatred is about to flare up, think of tolerance. It is important to stop any mental dissatisfaction when we feel it because it leads to anger and hatred.

Patience is the countermeasure for mental dissatisfaction. Greed and its self-centeredness bring unhappiness, and also destruction of the environment, exploitation of others, and increases the gap between the rich and the poor. The countermeasure is contentment. So practicing contentment is useful in our daily lives.

. . . All religious traditions talk about methods of compassion and forgiveness. If we accept religion, we should take the religious methods seriously and sincerely and use them in our daily lives. Then, a meaningful life can develop.

~ From Many Ways to Nirvana: Reflections and Advice on Right Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, edited by Renuka Singh.

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