Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week - The Preciousness of a Human Incarnation

Nice quote.

by H.H. the Dalai Lama,
edited and translated by Glenn H. Mullin

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

[Meditate on appreciation of the preciousness of a human incarnation and the human body as a spiritual vessel.]

The ordinary samsaric mind sees the human body as just a tool with which to chase material, social, and biological needs, all of which satisfy only superficial levels of the spirit. Their effects do not pass beyond the gates of death. We have to learn to appreciate the intrinsic spiritual quality of human nature, to have a subtle confidence in the positive, creative aspect of our being. It is difficult to enter spiritual training if one regards one's life as having no purpose other than the pursuit of ephemeral, transient goals, as does a rat who builds a strong nest and then drags home all sorts of trinkets to it. In order to break the mind of this vain, mundane attitude towards life, we sit in meditation and contemplate first the eight freedoms and ten endowments,* and then the meaningful and rare nature of a human incarnation. This contemplation imbues us with a sense of spiritual dignity that subtly transforms our way of relating to ourselves and our existence. We cease to see ourselves merely as animals uncontrolledly chasing after the immediate cravings of the senses in a vicious circle of jungle law; and we come to appreciate the quality of penetrating awareness and the capacity for spiritual development that distinguishes humans from animals and insects. This causes the thought of extracting the essence of life to arise with a joyous intensity.

~ From The Path to Enlightenment by H.H. the Dalai Lama, edited and translated by Glenn H. Mullin, published by Snow Lion Publications

* Generally, the eight freedoms and ten endowments are the favorable conditions of your birth and the time in which you live that have enabled you to learn the dharma in this lifetime, and be able to practice it.

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