Dharamshala: At the main temple in McLeod Ganj, India this morning, September 1, His Holiness the Dalai Lama concluded his three-day teachings on Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life.
His Holiness ended the teachings by conducting an intitiation ceremony involving prostrations, chanting prayers, protection cards, blindfolds, a mandala, and flowers. The intention of the ceremony was to "purify negativities and progress along the path."
Before performing the initiation ceremony, His Holiness advised attendees to be willing to put forth the effort to make changes within themselves.
"No matter how many teachings and initiations you intend," His Holiness advised, "you must make the transformation within yourself. You must practice and apply the teachings within you."
His Holiness emphasized the importance of dedicating yourself to helping others and giving up selfish attitudes, which he said were the source of all problems.
"You must take the initiation in order to help others," he said. "The main obstacles are negative thoughts and emotions like anger. " The ceremony ended with a prayer for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the offering of Tibetan greeting scarves.
In concluding the three-day event, His Holiness said that since he hadn't gotten through all of the chapters of A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, he would finish "next year." "I think the teaching may take three years," he said, laughing. "You could keep coming back, but I think could be very expensive."
He gave some parting advice to attendees. "I always read and study like a young student," he said. "That way, generate a warm heart. Then, time passes, you really change, becoming more peaceful person." People "should realize meaningful, compassionate way of life," he said.
His Holiness will leave soon to teach in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. He returns to Dharamshala in early October to teach on serenity and insight from Je Tsongkhapa's The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lamrim chenmo).