His Holiness the Dali Lama spoke yesterday at UT and I got to hear him. One of the many perks of my new job as a college minister! He was adorable, putting on a red visor half-way through the event cause the lights were too bright. He remarked on Americans' ability to laugh at his jokes (whereas Britain just sat in silence).
Here are my personal notes from this "humble monk" who spoke on "Individual Responsibility in the Global Community." Some of the language is funky cause I was writing what he was saying and translating a little here and there on my own. Mostly, these notes are all in his own words however...
"I am one of you. I am the same. We are both human. Physically, emotionally we are the same."
What is the thing we call "I"? We desire a happy and substance-filled life - to overcome problems. Our purpose is happiness.
Animals and plants have certain rights to exist. But our unique intelligence is helpful to achieve happiness. They also hurt us . . . Expectations, doubts, fear, etc. Intelligence should not cause more problems.
"We" and "They" language is no longer relevant. We need to broaden our worldvision - broaden our minds so our problems as individuals become much easier to bear. People who use the words I, me, my, mine are more prone to have heart attacks... think "other."
When you broaden your vision beyond yourself, you develop inner strength and more self confidence and less fear. This brings about peace of mind. Thinking globally is a huge benefit to the self. Prayer trains your mind. Peace of mind brings physical health.
I (Dali) have nothing to offer you buy my personal experience.
Reality is, everything is interdependent. Our approach (picking one factor) is in reality, unrealistic. This is not a holistic view.
Materialism is false hope.
Look inward and feel the emotion. Some emotions are useful to bringing inner strength and happiness and others don't. We must make distinctions between emotions and understanding the reality of our emotions better. Some emotions are instinctual and some come through training and reason.
For example, attachment. Often what you feel is an exaggeration. Same with anger.
We explore outer space, spending billions of dollars, but perhaps it would be better to explore our inner self. We can only understand happiness experientially, not externally. Stop thinking about your houses and jobs and start thinking of your inner self. A basic stability of the mind and calmness protects you because when disaster strikes, it is not so traumatic.
Look at events from different angles. On the one hand things may be painful, on the other, more positive. Then we learn and grow out of that and it becomes an actual opportunity. Creatively, we transform these tragedies into opportunities.
1. Inner value/strength brings peace of mind which brings a substantial life.
Our intelligence can help us overcome every obstacle. But that obstacle may be our intelligence - that we can't see reality.
We need more gentleness and compassion. We are not taught affection - we do it naturally from the day of our birth. Why is human affection natural? Because it is crucial to survival. Nature requires the butterfly to exist as an individual, but birds and mammals instinctually rely on each other, like humans.
Therefore our teachers and parents MUST show affection to their children. This will give them clear minds and the ability to learn more. At a young age affection is crucial not only to survive but to create quality human beings.
Sometimes anger protects you (ex: a mosquito - anger will kill it and protect you from further suffering, whereas patience may give you malaria). But decisions in the heat of the moment are not your normal mind. It is blind energy, self-destruction.
Compassion affection and caring are opposed to anger, hatred, etc.
Since WWII, humanity is becoming more unified and more opposed to wars. But we still need to work for world peace. Mechanisms for peace are inner strength, confidence, etc.
Distinctions between rich and poor result from lack of concern for others - same with ecological problems.
2. Religious harmony - religions have different issues and stories, but the same message of love.
There are two aspects of every religion: Theology and Experience/Practice/Ethics. The theology is different, but the ethics are the same. All religions can help humanity and all are needed to strengthen basic human values.
After some questions, he made the following comments...
Terrorism indicates negligence in the past.
Solve your problems with dialogue. Tell your children. Equip your children to talk.
Violence is unpredictable.
Suggestions for the world...
1. No more nuclear weapons
2. Reduce armed forces
Solve your problems with humility and dialogue...