Osaka, Japan, 09 April, 2014: - The spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama said our Ignorance is described as the source of suffering and we can overcome it not through prayer, but by increasing our understanding and wisdom.
"I am pleased to be here once more. It makes me very happy to hear you recite the Heart Sutra. I recite it myself every day and reflect on what it says," His Holiness said, after expressing his greetings to his old friend Hiroko, staff and students
"Some of the thoughts that arise in our minds are conducive to peace of mind, while others disturb it. "This is why it is said that the disturbing emotions are a cause of suffering. Our disturbing emotions latch on to qualities that things appear to possess," he explained .
His Holiness said that "thinking about emptiness helps us understand that things don’t exist the way they appear. His Holiness mentioned the American psychiatrist Aaron Beck who told him that when we are angry about something or attached to something, the concerned object seems 100% negative or 100% attractive, whereas in fact 90% of the qualities we see in the object are a result of our own mental projection. We exaggerate. In reality, objects are empty of such exaggeration."
“One of human beings’ distinguishing characteristics is their intelligence. By studying, as you do here at school, you increase your wisdom. You belong to the 21st century and if you are Buddhists, you should be 21st century Buddhists. This means coming to understand the thought on the basis of which we develop faith. The Buddha encouraged his followers to analyse and investigate his teachings. All major religious traditions teach about love and compassion, but Buddhism also teaches wisdom; the ability to overcome ignorance.”
“Human beings are social animals living in communities. If you think only of yourself, ultimately you’ll be the loser. You’ll tend to be suspicious and anxious about others. Without trust, your mind will not be at peace. Scientists have shown that constant suspicion, fear and anger also undermine our physical well-being.”
"Modern education tends to be focussed on material development, not on inner development, with little room for peace of mind."
Asked about war His Holiness remarked that war results from a negligent attitude to problems when what is needed is dialogue and compromise. He clarified that he is a Buddhisyt monk, a follower of the Nalanda tradition, and asked what 'life' is he said that as long as there is a link between body and consciousness, there is life. Ignorance, he added, is overcome not through prayer, but by increasing our understanding.
Asked why Tibetans have faced such trouble he pointed out that they had created negative karma in the past and failed to use their intelligence at the appropriate time.
At the Myodo-kai Lay Buddhist Centre His Holiness first performed a brief consecration ceremony before addressing the audience. “We are all followers of the same Buddha Shakyamuni. We recite the Heart Sutra that includes the mantra ‘Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha’, which outlines how we make progress in the spiritual path. Dharma brothers and sisters, you have given steady support to Gyumey Tantric College, which for the last 600 year or so has been upholding the practice of both Sutra and Tantra, and I’d like to thank you.
"Some of the thoughts that arise in our minds are conducive to peace of mind, while others disturb it. "This is why it is said that the disturbing emotions are a cause of suffering. Our disturbing emotions latch on to qualities that things appear to possess," he explained, adding that "thinking about emptiness helps us understand that things don’t exist the way they appear."
“One of human beings’ distinguishing characteristics is their intelligence, His Holiness said. By studying you increase your wisdom. You belong to the 21st century and if you are Buddhists, you should be 21st century Buddhists. All major religious traditions teach about love and compassion, but Buddhism also teaches wisdom; the ability to overcome ignorance.” He told the students that belonging to the 21st century they had the opportunity to shape the future. Where the 20th century was marred by violence, it is still possible to ensure that the 21st century is an era of peace.
His Holiness was asked about the meaning of true existence. He said: “When you look at me you see the Dalai Lama. You see the Dalai Lama’s body and hear his voice and he seems to truly exist. And yet if you examine what you see and hear more carefully in the light of Nagarjuna’s observation that ‘The Tathagata is neither one with nor completely different from his psycho-physical aggregates; It is not the case that the Tathagata exists separately from the aggregates and he has no ultimate existence because he is not different from the aggregates,’ there is nothing you can pinpoint that is the Dalai Lama.
The community of the Rinnanji Temple, welcomed His Holiness in the afternoon. He said:
“I am now nearly 79 years old. At the age of 16 I took responsibility for Tibet at a difficult time and in so doing I lost my freedom. At the age of 24 I lost my country and became a refugee. I have met all kinds of difficulties, but as the Tibetan saying goes: ‘Wherever you are happy, you can call home, and whoever is kind to you is like your parents.’ I lost my country, but I’ve been happy and at home in the world at large. Living a meaningful life is not about acquiring money and other facilities; it’s about dedicating your life to helping others as much as you can.
“If you think only of yourself, you’ll be anxious, suspicious and full of fear. Such feelings create a distance between you and others. On the other hand, the more you think about others and try to benefit them, the easier you feel. The more compassionate you are, the better your health. Since I became a refugee 55 years ago, I’ve met all kinds of people, from leaders to beggars. All of them were the same as human beings; none wanted suffering, all wanted to be happy. Of course, there are differences between us in relation to country, language and faith, but these are secondary. If we pay them too much attention we divide ourselves into ‘us’ and ‘them’. If each of the 7 billion alive today thought of themselves as members of the same human family there’d be no grounds to include some and exclude others.”
He spoke of the positive results that have emerged from 30 years of dialogue between modern science and the Buddhist science of mind. He said we train the mind by transforming it and we do that by employing the mind itself. Knowledge of this is inspiring increasing interest among modern scientists.