Monday, March 22, 2010

The Dalai Lama - Subduing One's Mind Completely

Commentaries by
H.H. the Dalai Lama XIV
on the Jatakamala
translated by Tenzin Dorjee
edited by Dexter Roberts

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

Many Buddhist and nonBuddhist teachers have taught us in their traditions not to do negative actions but to do positive actions, and that doing one or the other is the consequence of our thinking.

How does Buddha's teaching distinguish itself from the teaching of others? Buddha's teaching lays emphasis upon doing positive rather than negative actions through subduing one's mind completely.

To be able to understand what mind is and how our environment and its inhabitants, as well as the pleasurable and painful feelings of these sentient beings, relate to our mind, we have to think vigorously about his. Dependent arising is the Buddhist view, that all phenomena which are beneficial or harmful to us, including pleasurable or painful feelings, arise merely depending upon their respective causes and conditions. To explain this further: it is said that all phenomena in cyclic existence which cause pleasure or pain are not the premeditated creations of a God; they are the creations of their own mere causes and conditions. In the Sutra of Dependent Arising, Buddha said:

Because this exists, this also exists.
Because this has arisen, this also has arisen.

Because causes and conditions exist, from them arise different types of pleasure and pain. And because causes and conditions exist, they too must have been produced by their causes and conditions, as permanent (unchanging) causes cannot produce pleasure or pain. This speaks about how things are produced, from impermanent conditions. Even the causes of pleasure and pain must have been produced by their own conducive conditions, not others. For instance, karmic action is produced by ignorance as its condition. According to dependent arising, Buddhism tells us, things have not been produced by an external agent such as a creator God; rather, happiness or suffering arise from whether or not our mind has been subdued.

...When we subdue our mind, positive actions increase, and negative actions diminish, due to which we are able to have the happiness we are seeking and to decrease unwanted problems. Putting aside consideration of future rebirth, which may be far off, people who have subdued their minds and are calm are happier than others in this life. Such people can taste food better, sleep better and have more friends, or at least find people less disturbing to them.

--from Generous Wisdom: Commentaries by H.H. the Dalai Lama XIV on the Jatakamala translated by Tenzin Dorjee edited by Dexter Roberts

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