Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dalai Lama - Reflecting on Birth and on the Nature of Mind and Body

by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
trans. and ed. by Jeffrey Hopkins, PhD


Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

On top of the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death, we encounter the pains of facing the unpleasant, separating from the pleasant, and not finding what we want. The basic problem lies with the type of mind and body that we have. Our mind-body complex serves as a basis for present sufferings in the form of aging, sickness, and death, and promotes future suffering through our usual responses to painful situations.

By reflecting on birth and on the nature of mind and body, you will be moved from the depths of your heart to seek relief, thinking, "If I could only be free from a life driven by afflictive emotions and karma!" Without such reflection on pain, your knowledge of your own condition will be limited, which itself will put a limit on your compassion. As Tsonghkapa says:

"If you do not cultivate a genuine sense of disenchantment with cyclic existence--whose nature is a mind-body complex under the sway of afflictive emotions and karma--you will have no chance to develop a genuine attitude intent on liberation, and there will be no way to develop great compassion for beings wandering in cyclic existence. Therefore, it is crucial to reflect on your situation." (p.151)

--from Becoming Enlightened by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, trans. and ed. by Jeffrey Hopkins, PhD

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