These last 4 four days assisting to the Dalai Lama teachings have been some experience. To begin, the whole Temple is full of people expecting to see him. The camaraderie between them is noticeable. Tibetans, Taiwanese, Europeans, Americans…. All there with only one goal: listen to what this man has to say.
The moment of his entrance to the Temple is shocking. People stay astonished and at the same time the intensity of their fervour can be almost touched, as real as it is. I think the first time I actually felt like crying, I was moved by all these. But I was mostly moved because despite the guys with huge guns before and behind him that would not impede him to come closer to absolutely everybody, touch people, chat with them and even make jokes. He is a happy man despite all the events against his people and the sad Tibetan history.
The atmosphere was love and happiness wherever you looked at (and some sleepy faces as well). People were sharing everything. We were sitting next to a group of Europeans and Americans a bit older than us and it was obvious it wasn’t their first time. The amount of food that circulated in the group and towards us was overwhelming. But if I had any weakness, it would be my incapability to say no to chocolate and/or sweets. So I went with it. After 20 minutes sitting down, the monks started giving away Swiss rolls. And I went with it. Then, chai tea. Even better, I need another Swiss roll for the chai. Or a piece of chocolate… You can see where this is going and how I felt more in a picnic with the Dalai Lama more than a teaching.
But there was a teaching happening and a thing or two might have been learnt. In spite of the food. Oh, wait, did I say that there was rice & dhal (lentils prepared in some Indian way) after the teaching? Yeah, that was around 11.30 or 12. It was more of a second or third breakfast, I suppose, but I preferred to introduce myself to an early lunch, so it sounds better in my head.
Anyways, it is clear that one’s brain works better with the sugary feeling. And it is so kind of the Dalai Lama to actually serve this to everybody that comes to hear him… It was also hilarious to see him stop talking to take his time to eat his own breakfast. In the mean time everybody is quiet, translators included and you can hear him sipping tea.
But doubtless what was a whole revelation for me is the way he calls for the use or reason, and logic, and Science. How he encourages to test everything and to look for the truth and the logical thing. He appeals to Physics, to Quantum Physics! At the same time he also uses easy clear examples so every person can understand him. Ultimately, he pursues the knowledge and therefore, he encourages to the study.
Lastly, I am just going to share some notes, verses and sentences he used during these days and that had seem important to me. By the way, the pictures were absolutely forbidden! That’s why there are no “relevant” pics in this post! Sorry!
- Develop the concentration, then the wisdom inside. Combat the ignorance. You need to develop understanding through reflexion and the study of the text. Then, the obstacles will be reverted and we can then combat the three poisons: attachment, rage and hate, that affect the emotions and make negative emotions.
- Use REASON to establish things. If something goes against reason, we need to reject it. Analysis, examination and experiment, not devotion! It’s reasonable to reject something that goes against empirical experience.
- Buddha was a philosopher, a great thinker who used REASON & LOGIC and explained things. He teaches that all this unhappiness that we have needs to be combated through reason & logic. We need to examine his teachings through them.
- By eliminating afflictions and Karma, there is liberation and therefore we stop suffering and eliminate suffering. Things arise from causes and conditions. When Buddha talked about suffering, he talked about overcoming the disturbing emotions and karma to reach the higher liberation.
- 90% of the negativeness we perceive comes from our own conception and our own mental projection. Attachment, anger and ignorance arise from our conceptions. For example, we see something attractive and we become attached, or we see something negative and we become angry. Our own projection brings us negativeness. Through our mind we need to overcome this and then we’ll reach happiness.
- The base of the nature of human beings is COMPASSIONATE, according to many experiments carried out by scientists in children using cartoons. Everybody wants to be in peace and reach happiness. Therefore, we all should be compassionate with each other.
- First commitment: Human values. Second commitment: Religious harmony. It’s possible, India is the example. Many religions have lived together in harmony for over 5000 years!
- Conventional truth is reached by practising love and compassion and turning the mind away from attachments. The ultimate truth or reality is reached by the understanding of the emptiness. The Enlightenment is reached by these two and the help of others, such as meditation.
- It’s very important to eliminate ignorance from our minds. People deliberately don’t want to cause problems, but because of ignorance they do.
- The minute we are born, we are going to die. We move towards death continuously.
- 5 elements constitute the body: wind, fire, water and earth. And they dissolve into space, the fifth element. There is a sixth element: The mental consciousness, where the empty space is.
- Material development doesn’t give us spiritual development therefore, it can’t make us happy. Spiritual development can’t happen through material development.
Some verses translated to English that called my attention:
- “If meeting is a joy to you why is parting not also a joy? Do not meeting and parting both seem to go together?”
- “Fool, because you fear separation, you do not leave home. Who that is wise does under punishment what must certainly be done?”
- “Desire is painful because of not getting; anger is painful through the lack of might, and confusion through not understanding”.
- “Desire should be driven like a slave because severity is its cure, and anger looked upon as a lord because indulgence is its cure”
- “When there is no end at all to this ocean of suffering, why are you childish people not afraid of drowning in it?”
Overall, I just learnt that the people that have less is happier. And when they have nothing, they are even happier than the ones before. Because they have nothing to lose. Those that have many things, won’t stop suffering, worrying, wanting more… But those who know what it is like not to have anything…those can be truly happy. And it’s something I am having the chance to see in India.