Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 2 January 2014 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet met with a group of more than a hundred neo-Buddhists and a group of Bhutanese. He stressed that one of the principal aims of Buddhism is the transformation of our disturbing emotions and urged them to study, which means reading or listening to teachings and thinking about them until you understand them.
He said that among the three turnings of the wheel of Dharma, the Perfection of Wisdom teachings, the second turning of the wheel is supreme. The Heart Sutra describes both the Buddha and Avalokiteshara as absorbed in concentration. Initially the Buddha taught how we are propelled into cyclic existence, but not who is propelled. The Heart Sutra teaches not only that the person is empty, but that the five aggregates that are its basis are also empty. This indicates that phenomena as well as persons are empty of inherent existence. The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras teach that there is no essence in anything, everything is empty of inherent existence and is merely designated, nominally existent.
His Holiness remarked that the Compassionate One led sentient beings to understand that we are bound in cyclic existence. He taught about dependent origination to make it clear that things lack inherent existence. Great Indian masters wrote that understanding emptiness is essential to overcome ignorance and the suffering that flows from it. To understand this we must study, and he urged them to read the Three Seats of Learning where logic and epistemology are studied intensively.
His Holiness stressed that we have the potential to reach enlightenment, essential to which is an understanding of emptiness. In our contemporary world, he added, we have all kinds of distractions. Understanding the Dharma and its structure will enable recognition of the nature of cyclic existence and he urged them when faced with distractions to view them as aspects of suffering.
His Holiness then began a reading of the 'Essence of Nectar' about how to pay respect to the spiritual master. The important thing, he said, is to implement the teachers advice in practice and in so doing make this human life meaningful.
The final hour was dedicated to debate with groups of monks exhibiting their skills.