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H.H. 14th Dalai Lama Quotes






Dalai Lama Quotes


"Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight" by Snow Lion Publications.

"In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"Human beings by nature want happiness and do not want suffering. With that feeling everyone tries to achieve happiness and tries to get rid of suffering, and everyone has the basic right to do this. In this way, all here are the same, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, Easterner or Westerner, believer or non-believer, and within believers whether Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and so on. Basically, from the viewpoint of real human value we are all the same."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight."

"When receiving the teachings, it is important to have the correct attitude. It is not practising the Dharma properly to listen with the intention of gaining material advantage or reputation. Neither should our goal be higher rebirth in the next life, nor should we be wishing only for our own liberation from samsara. These are all attitudes we should reject. Instead, let us listen to the teachings with the determined wish to attain the state of omniscience for the sake of all beings."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama from "The Path to Tranquillity: Daily Wisdom", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"Self-discipline, although difficult, and not always easy while combating negative emotions, should be a defensive measure. At least we will be able to prevent the advent of negative conduct dominated by negative emotion. That is 'shila', or moral ethics. Once we develop this by familiarizing ourselves with it, along with mindfulness and conscientiousness, eventually that pattern and way of life will become a part of our own life."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Live in a Better Way: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"It is our custom to say that someone is "lucky" or "unlucky" if they meet with fortunate or unfortunate circumstances, respectively. It is however, too simplistic to think in terms of random "luck." Even from a scientific point of view, this is not a sufficient explanation. Should something unfortunate happen, we immediately think, "Oh, how unlucky!" And yet this is not sufficient to explain what happened- there must be a cause. We seem to cal "luck" that factor which overrides external conditions to bring about a positive situation. But that too is a cause; it is an inner cause, which we call "merit."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Answers: Discussions with Western Buddhists", published from Snow Lion Publications.

"With a selfish attitude, oneself is important, and others are not so important. According to Shantideva's advice, a technique to help in turning this attitude around is to imagine- in front of yourself as an unbiased observer- your own selfish self on one side and a limited number of other beings on the other side- ten, fifty, or a hundred. On one side is your proud, selfish self, and on the other side is a group of poor, needy people. You are, in effect, in the middle- as an unbiased, third person. Now, judge. Is this one, single, selfish person more important? Or is the group of people more important? Think. Will you join this side or that side? Naturally, if you are a real human being, your heart will go with the group because the number is greater and they are more needy. The other one is just a single person, proud and stupid. Your feeling naturally goes with the group. By thinking in this way, selfishness gradually decreases, and respect of others grows. This is is the way to practice."


"If there is love, there is hope to have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost, if you continue to see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education you have, no matter how much material progress is made, only suffering and confusion will ensue.


"Human beings will continue to deceive and overpower one another. Basically, everyone exists in the very nature of suffering, so to abuse or mistreat each other is futile. The foundation of all spiritual practice is love. That you practice this well is my only request."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom."

"Love and kindness are the very basis of society. If we lose these feelings, society will face tremendous difficulties; the survival of humanity will be endangered."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness", published by Snow Lion Publications.

"No religion basically believes that material progress alone is sufficient for humankind. All religions believe in forces beyond material progress. All agree that it is very important and worthwhile to make a strong effort to serve human society.


"To do this, it is important that we understand each other. In the past, due to narrow-mindedness and other factors, there has sometimes been discord between religious groups. This should not happen again. If we look deeply into the value of a religion in the context of the worldwide situation, we can easily transcend these unfortunate happenings. For, there are many areas of common ground on which we can have harmony. Let us just be side by side- helping, respecting, and understanding each other - in common effort to serve humankind. The aim of human society must be the compassionate betterment of human beings."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight", published by Snow Lion Publications.

"We find that if a person lives a very selfish life and is never concerned about the welfare of others, he will have few friends, and people will not take much notice of him. At the time of his death, there will not be many people who will regret his passing. Some deceptive and negative persons may be very powerful and wealthy, and therefore some people- for economic reasons and so forth- might portray themselves as friends, but they will speak against such person behind their back. When these negative person die, these very same "friends" may rejoice at their death.


"On the other hand, many people mourn and regret the death of a person who is very kind and always altruistic and who works for the benefit of others. We find that altruism, as well as the person who possesses it, is regarded as the friend of all, and it becomes the object of veneration and respect by others."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Path to Bliss: A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation", published by Snow Lion Publications.

"Before we can generate compassion and love, it is important to have a clear understanding of what we understand compassion and love to be. In simple terms, compassion and love can be defined as positive thoughts and feelings that give rise to such essential things in life as hope, courage, determination, and inner strength. In the Buddhist tradition, compassion and love are seen as two aspects of the same thing: Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Compassionate Life", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"With the realization of ones own potential and self-confidence in ones ability, one can build a better world. According to my own experience, self-confidence is very important. That sort of confidence is not a blind one; it is an awareness of ones own potential. On that basis, human beings can transform themselves by increasing the good qualities and reducing the negative qualities."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom'

"I find that because of modern technological evolution and our global economy, and as a result of the great increase in population, our world has greatly changed: it has become much smaller. However, our perceptions have not evolved at the same pace; we continue to cling to old national demarcations and the old feelings of 'us' and 'them'. "War seems to be part of the history of humanity. As we look at the situation of our planet in the past, countries, regions and even villages were economically independent of one another. Under those circumstances, the destruction of our enemy might have been a victory for us. There was a a relevance to violence and war. However, today we are so interdependent that the concept of war has become out dated. When we face problems or disagreements today, we have to arrive at solutions through dialogue. Dialogue is the only appropriate method. One-sided victory is no longer relevant. We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep in mind the interests of others. We cannot destroy our neighbors! We cannot ignore their interests! Doing so would ultimately cause us to suffer. I therefore think that the concept of violence is now unsuitable. Nonviolence is the appropriate method."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life', available from Snow Lion Publications.

"The mind's own basic nature is ultimately neutral. It can be influenced by negative as well as by positive emotions. Take, for instance, those who have a short tempter. When I was young I was quite short-tempered. However, the mood never lasted for twenty-four hours. If negative emotions are in the very nature of our mind, then as long as the mind is functioning the anger must remain. That, however is not the case. Similarly, positive emotions are also not in the nature of the mind. The mind is something neutral, reflecting all sorts of different experiences or phenomena.

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'Live in a Better Way: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness', available from Snow Lion Publications.

"Sometimes we feel that one individual's action is very insignificant. Then we think, of course, that effects should come from channeling or from a unifying movement. But the movement of the society, community or group of people means joining individuals. Society means a collection of individuals, so that initiative must come from individuals. Unless each individual develops a sense of responsibility, the whole community cannot move. So therefore, it is very essential that we should not feel that individual effort is meaningless- you should not feel that way. We should make an effort."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Dalai Lama's Book of Love and Compassion', available from Snow Lion Publications.

"According to Buddhism, there is a commensurate relationship between cause and effect where pain and pleasure are concerned. The immediate cause is karma. Karma means action. Tomorrow's events depend very much on today's actions, this year's events on last year's, while this century's events are linked with those of the previous centuries. The actions of previous generations affect the lives of the generations that follow. This is also a kin of karma. However, there is a difference between actions carried out by a group of people or sentient beings jointly, and actions carried out by single person. In individual cases, the actions of the earlier part of one's life have an effect on the latter part of one's life."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'Live in a Better Way: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness', available from Snow Lion publications.

"Our practice of the Dharma should be a continual effort to attain a state beyond suffering. It should not simply be a moral activity whereby we avoid negative ways and engage in positive ones. In our practice of the Dharma, we seek to transcend the situation in which we all find ourselves: victims of our own mental afflictions- such as attachment, hatred, pride, greed, and so forth-are mental states that cause us to behave in ways that bring about all of our unhappiness and suffering. While working to achieve inner peace and happiness, it is helpful to think of them as our inner demons, for like demons, they can haunt us, causing nothing but misery. That state beyond such negative emotions and thoughts, beyond all sorrow, is called nirvana."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"An affectionate disposition not only makes the mind more peaceful and calm, but it affects our body in a positive way too. On the other hand, hatred, jealousy and fear upset our peace of mind, make us agitated and affect our body adversely. Even our body needs peace of mind and is not suited to agitation. This shows that an appreciation for peace of mind is in our blood."


"Just as we should cultivate more gentle and peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, we should also extend that same kind of attitude towards the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment.


"This, however, is not just a question of morality or ethics, but also a question of our own survival. For this generation and for future generations, the environment is very important. If we exploit the environment in extreme ways, we may receive some benefit today, but in the long run, we will suffer, as will our future generations.When the environment changes, the climatic condition also changes.When the climate changes dramatically, the economy and many other things change. Our physical health will be greatly affected. Again, conservation is not merely a question of morality, but a question of our own survival."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness', published by Snow Lion Publications.

"Meditation is a 'familiarization' of the mind with an object of meditation. In terms of how the mind is familiarized with the object, there are many types of meditation. In one type, the mind is generated into the entity of a particular type of consciousness, as in meditating compassion or meditating wisdom. In such meditation you are seeking to generate your own mind into a compassionate consciousness or a wisdom consciousness- compassion and wisdom not being the object on which you are meditating, but that entity into which you are seeking to transform your consciousness through a process of familiarization."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'Kindness, Clarity, and Insight', published by Snow Lion Publications.

"Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion."

--His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight" by Snow Lion Publications.

"In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"Human beings by nature want happiness and do not want suffering. With that feeling everyone tries to achieve happiness and tries to get rid of suffering, and everyone has the basic right to do this. In this way, all here are the same, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, Easterner or Westerner, believer or non-believer, and within believers whether Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and so on. Basically, from the viewpoint of real human value we are all the same."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight."

"When receiving the teachings, it is important to have the correct attitude. It is not practising the Dharma properly to listen with the intention of gaining material advantage or reputation. Neither should our goal be higher rebirth in the next life, nor should we be wishing only for our own liberation from samsara. These are all attitudes we should reject. Instead, let us listen to the teachings with the determined wish to attain the state of omniscience for the sake of all beings."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama from "The Path to Tranquillity: Daily Wisdom", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"Self-discipline, although difficult, and not always easy while combating negative emotions, should be a defensive measure. At least we will be able to prevent the advent of negative conduct dominated by negative emotion. That is 'shila', or moral ethics. Once we develop this by familiarizing ourselves with it, along with mindfulness and conscientiousness, eventually that pattern and way of life will become a part of our own life."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Live in a Better Way: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"It is our custom to say that someone is "lucky" or "unlucky" if they meet with fortunate or unfortunate circumstances, respectively. It is however, too simplistic to think in terms of random "luck." Even from a scientific point of view, this is not a sufficient explanation. Should something unfortunate happen, we immediately think, "Oh, how unlucky!" And yet this is not sufficient to explain what happened- there must be a cause. We seem to cal "luck" that factor which overrides external conditions to bring about a positive situation. But that too is a cause; it is an inner cause, which we call "merit."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Answers: Discussions with Western Buddhists", published by Snow Lion Publications.

"With a selfish attitude, oneself is important, and others are not so important. According to Shantideva's advice, a technique to help in turning this attitude around is to imagine- in front of yourself as an unbiased observer- your own selfish self on one side and a limited number of other beings on the other side-ten, fifty, or a hundred. On one side is your proud, selfish self, and on the other side is a group of poor, needy people. You are, in effect, in the middle-as an unbiased, third person. Now, judge. Is this one, single, selfish person more important? Or is the group of people more important? Think. Will you join this side or that side? Naturally, if you are a real human being, your heart will go with the group because the number is greater and they are more needy. The other one is just a single person, proud and stupid. Your feeling naturally goes with the group. By thinking in this way, selfishness gradually decreases, and respect of others grows. This is is the way to practice."


"If there is love, there is hope to have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost, if you continue to see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education you have, no matter how much material progress is made, only suffering and confusion will ensue.


"Human beings will continue to deceive and overpower one another. Basically, everyone exists in the very nature of suffering, so to abuse or mistreat each other is futile. The foundation of all spiritual practice is love. That you practice this well is my only request."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom."

"Love and kindness are the very basis of society. If we lose these feelings, society will face tremendous difficulties; the survival of humanity will be endangered."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness", published by Snow Lion Publications.

"No religion basically believes that material progress alone is sufficient for humankind. All religions believe in forces beyond material progress. All agree that it is very important and worthwhile to make a strong effort to serve human society.


"To do this, it is important that we understand each other. In the past, due to narrow-mindedness and other factors, there has sometimes been discord between religious groups. This should not happen again. If we look deeply into the value of a religion in the context of the worldwide situation, we can easily transcend these unfortunate happenings. For, there are many areas of common ground on which we can have harmony. Let us just be side by side- helping, respecting, and understanding each other- in common effort to serve humankind. The aim of human society must be the compassionate betterment of human beings."

--His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight", published by Snow Lion Publications.

"We find that if a person lives a very selfish life and is never concerned about the welfare of others, he will have few friends, and people will not take much notice of him. At the time of his death, there will not be many people who will regret his passing. Some deceptive and negative persons may be very powerful and wealthy, and therefore some people- for economic reasons and so forth- might portray themselves as friends, but they will speak against such person behind their back. When these negative person die, these very same "friends" may rejoice at their death.


"On the other hand, many people mourn and regret the death of a person who is very kind and always altruistic and who works for the benefit of others. We find that altruism, as well as the person who possesses it, is regarded as the friend of all, and it becomes the object of veneration and respect by others."

--His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Path to Bliss: A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation", published by Snow Lion Publications.

"Before we can generate compassion and love, it is important to have a clear understanding of what we understand compassion and love to be. In simple terms, compassion and love can be defined as positive thoughts and feelings that give rise to such essential things in life as hope, courage, determination, and inner strength. In the Buddhist tradition, compassion and love are seen as two aspects of the same thing: Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Compassionate Life", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"With the realization of ones own potential and self-confidence in ones ability, one can build a better world. According to my own experience, self-confidence is very important. That sort of confidence is not a blind one; it is an awareness of ones own potential. On that basis, human beings can transform themselves by increasing the good qualities and reducing the negative qualities."

--His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom'.

"I find that because of modern technological evolution and our global economy, and as a result of the great increase in population, our world has greatly changed: it has become much smaller. However, our perceptions have not evolved at the same pace; we continue to cling to old national demarcations and the old feelings of 'us' and 'them'. "War seems to be part of the history of humanity. As we look at the situation of our planet in the past, countries, regions and even villages were economically independent of one another. Under those circumstances, the destruction of our enemy might have been a victory for us. There was a a relevance to violence and war. However, today we are so interdependent that the concept of war has become out dated. When we face problems or disagreements today, we have to arrive at solutions through dialogue. Dialogue is the only appropriate method. One-sided victory is no longer relevant. We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep in mind the interests of others. We cannot destroy our neighbours! We cannot ignore their interests! Doing so would ultimately cause us to suffer. I therefore think that the concept of violence is now unsuitable. Non-violence is the appropriate method."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'An Open Heart: Practising Compassion in Everyday Life', available from Snow Lion Publications.

"The mind's own basic nature is ultimately neutral. It can be influenced by negative as well as by positive emotions. Take, for instance, those who have a short tempter. When I was young I was quite short-tempered. However, the mood never lasted for twenty-four hours. If negative emotions are in the very nature of our mind, then as long as the mind is functioning the anger must remain. That, however is not the case. Similarly, positive emotions are also not in the nature of the mind. The mind is something neutral, reflecting all sorts of different experiences or phenomena."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'Live in a Better Way: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness', available from Snow Lion Publications.

"Sometimes we feel that one individual's action is very insignificant. Then we think, of course, that effects should come from channelling or from a unifying movement. But the movement of the society, community or group of people means joining individuals. Society means a collection of individuals, so that initiative must come from individuals. Unless each individual develops a sense of responsibility, the whole community cannot move. So therefore, it is very essential that we should not feel that individual effort is meaningless- you should not feel that way. We should make an effort."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Dalai Lama's Book of Love and Compassion', available from Snow Lion Publications.

"According to Buddhism, there is a commensurate relationship between cause and effect where pain and pleasure are concerned. The immediate cause is karma. Karma means action. Tomorrow's events depend very much on today's actions, this year's events on last year's, while this century's events are linked with those of the previous centuries. The actions of previous generations affect the lives of the generations that follow. This is also a kin of karma. However, there is a difference between actions carried out by a group of people or sentient beings jointly, and actions carried out by single person. In individual cases, the actions of the earlier part of one's life have an effect on the latter part of one's life.-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'Live in a Better Way: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness', available from Snow Lion publications.


"Our practice of the Dharma should be a continual effort to attain a state beyond suffering. It should not simply be a moral activity whereby we avoid negative ways and engage in positive ones. In our practice of the Dharma, we seek to transcend the situation in which we all find ourselves: victims of our own mental afflictions- such as attachment, hatred, pride, greed, and so forth-are mental states that cause us to behave in ways that bring about all of our unhappiness and suffering. While working to achieve inner peace and happiness, it is helpful to think of them as our inner demons, for like demons, they can haunt us, causing nothing but misery. That state beyond such negative emotions and thoughts, beyond all sorrow, is called nirvana."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life", available from Snow Lion Publications.

"An affectionate disposition not only makes the mind more peaceful and calm, but it affects our body in a positive way too. On the other hand, hatred, jealousy and fear upset our peace of mind, make us agitated and affect our body adversely. Even our body needs peace of mind and is not suited to agitation. This shows that an appreciation for peace of mind is in our blood."


"Just as we should cultivate more gentle and peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, we should also extend that same kind of attitude towards the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment.


"This, however, is not just a question of morality or ethics, but also a question of our own survival. For this generation and for future generations, the environment is very important. If we exploit the environment in extreme ways, we may receive some benefit today, but in the long run, we will suffer, as will our future generations. When the environment changes, the climatic condition also changes. When the climate changes dramatically, the economy and many other things change. Our physical health will be greatly affected. Again, conservation is not merely a question of morality, but a question of our own survival."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness', published by Snow Lion Publications.

"Meditation is a 'familiarization' of the mind with an object of meditation. In terms of how the mind is familiarized with the object, there are many types of meditation. In one type, the mind is generated into the entity of a particular type of consciousness, as in meditating compassion or meditating wisdom. In such meditation you are seeking to generate your own mind into a compassionate consciousness or a wisdom consciousness- compassion and wisdom not being the object on which you are meditating, but that entity into which you are seeking to transform your consciousness through a process of familiarization."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'Kindness, Clarity, and Insight', published by Snow Lion Publications.

"Three qualities enable people to understand the teachings: objectivity, which means an open mind; intelligence, which is the critical faculty to discern the real meaning by checking the teachings of Buddha; and interest and commitment, which means enthusiasm."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom'.

"There are two types of prayer. I think prayer is, for the most part, simply reminders in your daily practice. So, the verses look like prayers, but are actually reminders of how to speak, how to deal with other problems, other people, things like that in daily life. For example, in my own daily practice, prayer, if I am leisurely, takes about four hours. Quite long. For the most part, I think my practice is reviewing: compassion, forgiveness, and, of course, shunyata. Then, in my case, the tantric practices including visualization of death and rebirth. In my daily practice, the deity mandala, deity yoga, and the visualization of death, rebirth, and intermediate state is done eight times. So, eight times death is eight times rebirth. I am supposed to be preparing for my death. When actual death comes, whether I will succeed or not, still, I don't know.


"Then, some portion of prayer is to appeal to Buddha. Although we do not consider Buddha as a Creator, at the same time we consider Buddha as a higher being who purified himself. So he has special energy, infinite energy or power. In certain ways, then, in this type of prayer, the appeal to Buddha can be seen as similar to the appeal to God as the Creator."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective', published by Snow Lion Publications.

"I think that every human being has an innate sense of "I". We cannot explain why that feeling is there, but it is. Along with it comes a desire for happiness and a wish to overcome suffering. This is quite justified: we have a natural right to achieve as much happiness as possible, and we also have the right to overcome suffering.


"The whole of human history has developed on the basis of this feeling. In fact it is not limited to human beings; from the Buddhist point of view, even the tiniest insect has this feeling and, according to its capacity, is trying to gain some happiness and avoid unhappy situations."


"We are born and reborn countless number of times, and it is possible that each being has been our parent at one time or another. Therefore, it is likely that all beings in this universe have familial connections."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom".

"Buddhism does not accept a theory of God, or a creator. According to Buddhism, one's own actions are the creator, ultimately. Some people say that, from a certain angle, Buddhism is not a religion but rather a science of mind. Religion has much involvement with faith. Sometimes it seems that there is quite a distance between a way of thinking based on faith and one entirely based on experiment, remaining skeptical. Unless you find something through investigation, you do not want to accept it as fact. From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology and physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together."

--His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness", published by Snow Lion Publications.

"As we analyze our mental experiences, we recognize that the powerful emotions we possess (such as desire, hatred, and anger) tend not to bring us very profound or long-lasting happiness. Fulfilled desire may provide a sense of temporary satisfaction; however, the pleasure we experience upon acquiring a new car or home, for example, is usually short-lived. When we indulge our desires, they tend to increase in intensity and multiply in number. We become more demanding and less content, finding it more difficult to satisfy our needs. In the Buddhist view, hatred, anger, and desire are afflictive emotions, which simply means they tend to cause us discomfort. The discomfort arises from the mental unease that follows the expression of these emotions. A constant state of mental unsettledness can even cause us physical harm."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life, available from Snow Lion Publications.

"THE UNUSUAL ATTITUDE, Your cultivation of love and great compassion should not be left in a state of mere imagination or wish alone; rather, a sense of responsibility, a genuine intention to engage in the task of

relieving sentient beings of their sufferings and providing them with happiness, should be developed. It is important for a practitioner to work for and take upon himself or herself the responsibility of fulfilling this intention. The stronger your cultivation of compassion is, the more committed you will feel to taking this responsibility. Because of their ignorance, sentient beings do not know the right methods by which they can fulfill their aims. It is the responsibility of those who are equipped with this knowledge to fulfill the intention of working for their benefit."
-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from Path to Bliss: A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation, published by Snow Lion Publications.

"We often speak of the external enemy. For example, in my own case, our Chinese brothers and sisters are destroying Tibetan rights and, in that way, more suffering and anxiety develops. But no matter how forceful this is, it cannot destroy the supreme source of my happiness, which is my calmness of mind. This is something an external enemy cannot destroy. Our country can be invaded, our possessions can be destroyed, our friends can be killed, but these are secondary for our mental happiness. The ultimate source of my mental happiness is my peace of mind. Nothing can destroy this except my own anger."-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom', available from Snow Lion Publications.


"As far as your personal requirements are concerned, the ideal is to have fewer involvements, fewer obligations, and fewer affairs, business or whatever. However, so far as the interest of the larger community is concerned, you must have as many involvements as possible and as many activities as possible."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom', available from Snow Lion Publications.

"In the Buddhist teachings on altruism and compassion, certain expressions are used such as "Disregard your own well-being and cherish the well-being of others." Such exhortations may sound intimidating, but it is important to understand these statements regarding the practice of voluntarily sharing someone else's pain and suffering in their proper context. Fundamentally, the basis on which you can build a sense of caring for others is the capacity to love yourself."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Compassionate Life', available from Snow Lion Publications.

"The most important thing is practice in daily life; then you can know gradually the true value of religion. Doctrine is not meant for mere knowledge, but for the improvement of our minds. In order to do that, it must be part of our life. If you put religious doctrine in a building and when you leave the building depart from the practices, you cannot gain its value."


"The foundation for practicing the seven-point cause and effect method is cultivating a mind of equanimity. Without this foundation you will not be able to have an impartial altruistic view, because without equanimity you will always have partiality towards your relatives and friends. Realize that you should not have prejudice, hatred, or desire towards enemies, friends, or neutral persons, thus lay a very firm foundation of equanimity."


"When I was in Tibet I had little information, through books or from personal contact, about the nature and value of other traditions. Since I've become a refugee, I have had more opportunity to have closer contact with other traditions, mainly through individuals, and I have gained a much deeper understanding of their value. As a result, my attitude now is that each one is a valid religion. Of course, even from the philosophical viewpoint, I still believe that Buddhist philosophy is more sophisticated, that it has more variety or is more vast, but all other religions still have tremendous benefits or great potential. So on both bases, I think my attitude towards other religions is greatly changed. Today, wherever I go and whenever I meet someone who follows a different religion, I deeply admire their practice and I very sincerely respect their tradition."


"One of the characteristics of karmic theory is that there is a definite, commensurate relationship between cause and effect. There is no way that negative actions or unwholesome deeds can result in joy and happiness. Joy and happiness, by definition, are the results or fruits of wholesome actions. So from that point of view, it is possible for us to admire not so much the immediate action, but the real causes of joy."


"Consciousness will always be present, though a particular consciousness may cease. For example, the particular tactile consciousness that is present within this human body will cease when the body comes to an end. Likewise, consciousnesses that are influenced by ignorance, by anger or by attachment, these too will cease. But the basic, ultimate, innermost subtle consciousness will always remain. It has no beginning, and it will have not end."


"When the days become longer and there is more sunshine, the grass becomes fresh and, consequently, we feel very happy. On the other hand, in autumn, one leaf falls down and another leaf falls down. The beautiful plants become as if dead and we do not feel very happy. Why? I think it is because deep down our human nature likes construction, and does not like destruction. Naturally, every action which is destructive is against human nature. Constructiveness is the human way. Therefore, I think that in terms of basic human feeling, violence is not good. Non-violence is the only way."


"Judging by our own experiences in this life and those of others, it is very obvious that consciousness is a phenomenon susceptible to change and transformation. Due to the force of bad companionship and different conditions, people change for the worse, becoming very aggressive. Likewise we see human beings changing for the better, becoming more gentle, kind, and so forth. This is an indication that an impermanent phenomenon is changeable, and therefore is subject to transformation."


"One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness."


"So from the Buddhist viewpoint, in our daily life we are sometimes too sensitive toward minor things. At the same time, toward other major problems that can create long-term consequences, we are not so sensitive. Because of this, we find in the scriptures that ordinary people like ourselves are described as childlike or childish. In fact, the term 'jhipa' (Tib. 'byis pa'), or childish, is used in different ways: sometimes it is used in terms of age, which is the conventional usage; sometimes it is used for ordinary sentient beings, as opposed to the Arya beings, the superior beings. Then sometimes it is used to described people who are concerned only with affairs of this life and have no interest or regard for the affairs of their future life, or life after death. So, the tendency of our childish nature is to take small things too seriously and get easily offended, whereas when we are confronted with situations which have long-term consequences, we tend to take things less seriously."


"When approaching a technique like the Buddhist training of the mind, we must understand and appreciate the complexity of the task we are facing. Buddhist scriptures mention eighty-four thousand types of

negative and destructive thoughts, which have eighty-four thousand corresponding approaches or antidotes. It is important not to have the unrealistic expectation that somehow, somewhere, we will find a single magic key that will help us eradicate all of these negativities. We need to apply many different methods over a long period of time in order to bring lasting results. Therefore, we need great determination and patience. It is wrong to expect that once you start Dharma practice, you'll become enlightened within a short period of time, perhaps in one week. This is unrealistic."

"Cyclic existence means bondage, and liberation means freedom from this bondage. .. The causes of cyclic existence are contaminated actions and afflictions. If the roots of the afflictions are eliminated and if new actions are not 'accumulated', since there are no affiliations to activate the predispositions of contaminated actions persisting from the past, the causes of cyclic existence have been eliminated. Then there is freedom from bondage. Some say that as long as one still has mental physical aggregates wrought by former contaminated actions and afflictions, one has a nirvana with remainder. When these no longer remain, there is a nirvana without remainder. 'Without remainder' means that there is no remainder of mental and physical aggregates wrought by contaminated actions and afflictions, but the continuum of consciousness and the continuum of uncontaminated mental and physical aggregates still exist."


“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals the secret of some hidden treasure.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

- Dalai Lama XIV, the Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.”

- Dalai Lama XIV, Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the World’s Religions Can Come Together

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Every single being, even those who are hostile to us, is just as afraid of suffering as we are, and seeks happiness in the same way we do. Every person has the same right as we do to be happy and not to suffer. So let’s take care of others wholeheartedly, of both our friends and our enemies. This is the basis for true compassion.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“It is not enough to be compassionate, we must act.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“We need to learn how to want what we have NOT to have what we want in order to get steady and stable Happiness”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“An open heart is an open mind.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”

- Dalai Lama XIV



“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes — I already have everything that I really need.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“We are but visitors on this planet. We are here for ninty or one hundred years at the very most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. If you contibute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Someone else’s action should not determine your response.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“The very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you cleverer, make you more ingenious… Even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Happiness doesn’t always come from a pursuit. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Anger is the ultimate destroyer of your own peace of mind”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Let us try to recognize the precious nature of each day.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Whether you believe in God or not does not matter much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“If a problem can be solved it will be. If it cannot be solved there is no use worrying about it.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“I always tell my Western friends that it is best to keep your own tradition. Changing religion is not easy and sometimes causes confusion. You must value your tradition and honor your own religion.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“If you have only education and knowledge and a lack of the other side, then you may not be a happy person, but a person of mental unrest, of frustration. Not only that, but if you combine these two, your whole life will be a constructive and happy life. And certainly you can make immense benefit for society and the betterment of humanity. That is one of my fundamental beliefs: that a good heart, a warm heart, a compassionate heart, is still teachable.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“It is very rare or almost impossible that an event can be negative from all points of view.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“We discover that all human beings are just like us, so we are able to relate to them more easily. That generates a spirit of friendship in which there is less need to hide what we feel or what we are doing.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Because we all share an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy!”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional… we have bigger houses, but smaller families. More convenient, but less time. We have knowledge, but less judgments; more experts, but more problems; more medicines but less health.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Whether you believe in God or not does not matter so much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life. And a good life does not mean just good food, good clothes, and good shelter. These are not sufficient. A good motivation is what is needed: compassion, without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their rights and human dignity.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations,you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

“Blessing must arise from within your own mind. It is not something that comes from outside. When the positive qualities of your mind increase and the negativities decrease, that is what blessing means. The Tibetan word for blessing … means transforming into magnificent potential. Therefore, blessing refers to the development of virtuous qualities you did not previously have and the improvement of those good qualities you have already developed. It also means decreasing the defilements of the mind that obstruct the generation of wholesome qualities. So actual blessing is received when the minds virtuous attributes gain strength and its defective characteristics weaken or deteriorate.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in that religion or this religion, we are all seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness…”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World

“The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Self-satisfaction alone cannot determine if a desire or action is positive or negative. The demarcation between a positive and a negative desire or action is not whether it gives you a immediate feeling of satisfaction, but whether it ultimately results in positive or negative consequences.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, the Art of Happiness

“Human use, population, and technology have reached that certain stage where mother Earth no longer accepts our presence with silence.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“My religion is kindness.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Our ancient experience confirms at every point that everything is linked together, everything is inseparable.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“I do not judge the universe.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“True spirituality is a mental attitude you can practice at any time.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“From the scientific view, the theory of karma may be a metaphysical assumption — but it is no more so than the assumption that all of life is material and originated out of pure chance”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“The enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Instead of wondering WHY this is happening to you, consider why this is happening to YOU.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“One of the basic points is kindness. With kindness, with love and compassion, with his feeling that is the essence of brotherhood, sisterhood, one will have inner peace. This compassionate feeling is the basis of inner peace.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“A good motivation is what is needed: compassion without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their human rights and dignities. That we humans can help each other is one of our unique human capacities. ”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Like a lamp, dispelling the darkness of ignorance”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“No matter what activity or practice we are pursuing, there isn’t anything that isn’t made easier through constant familiarity and training. Through training, we can change; we can transform ourselves. Within Buddhist practice there are various methods of trying to sustain a calm mind when some disturbing event happens. Through repeated practice of these methods we can get to the point where some disturbance may occur but the negative effects on our mind remain on the surface, like the waves that may ripple on the surface of an ocean but don’t have much effect deep down. And, although my own experience may be very little, I have found this to be true in my own small practice. So, if I receive some tragic news, at that moment I may experience some disturbance within my mind, but it goes very quickly. Or, I may become irritated and develop some anger, but again, it dissipates very quickly. There is no effect on the deeper mind. No hatred. This was achieved through gradual practice; it didn’t happen overnight.’ Certainly not. The Dalai Lama has been engaged in training his mind since he was four years old.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

“An eye for an eye….we are all blind”

― Dalai Lama XIV, How to See Yourself As You Really Are

“Now there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems. So when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude. It is rare. Just as having unexpectedly found a treasure in your own house, you should be happy and grateful toward your enemy for providing you that precious opportunity. Because if you are ever to be successful in your practice of patience and tolerance, which are critical factors in counteracting negative emotions, it is due to your own efforts and also the opportunity provided by your enemy.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all Beings.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we may succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Because we all share an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister. No matter how new the face or how different the dress and behavior, there is no significant division between us and other people. It is foolish to dwell on external differences, because our basic natures are the same.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, an Introduction to the Teachings and Philosophy of the Dalai Lama in His Own Words

“The essence of any religion is good heart. Sometimes I call love and compassion a universal religion. This is my religion.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a just visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Whether one believes in a religion or not and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“The motivation of all religious practice is similar: love, sincerity, honesty. The way of life of practically all religious persons is consistent. The teachings of tolerance, love, and compassion are the same.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“What we do and think in our own lives, then, becomes of extreme importance as it effects everything we’re connected to.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, the Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

“Afflictions are classed as peripheral mental factors and are not themselves any of the six main minds [eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mental consciousness’s]. however, when any of the afflicting mental factors becomes manifest, a main mind [a mental consciousness] comes under its influence, goes wherever the affliction leads it, and ‘accumulates’ a bad action. There are a great many different kinds of afflictions, but the chief of them are desire, hatred, pride, wrong view and so forth. of these, desire and hatred are chief. Because of an initial attachment to oneself, hatred arises when something undesirable occurs. Further, through being attached to oneself the pride that holds one to be superior arises, and similarly when one has no knowledge of something, a wrong view that holds the object of this knowledge to be non-existent arises. How do self-attachment and so forth arise in such great force? Because of beginning less conditioning, the mind tightly holds to ‘i, i’ even in dreams, and through the power of this conception, self-attachment and so forth occur. This false conception of ‘i’ arises because of one’s lack of knowledge concerning the mode of existence of things. The fact that all objects are empty of inherent existence is obscured and one conceives things to exist inherently; the strong conception of ‘i’ derives from this. Therefore, the conception that phenomena inherently exist is the afflicting ignorance that is the ultimate root of all afflictions.”

― Dalai Lama XIV

“The ultimate source of happiness is not money and power, but warm-heartedness”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“To remain indifferent to the challenges we face is indefensible. If the goal is noble, whether or not it is realized within our lifetime is largely irrelevant. What we must do therefore is to strive and persevere and never give up.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefiting others, one needs to be engaged, involved. This is action out of compassion.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“It seems that scientific research reaches deeper and deeper. But it also seems that more and more people, at least scientists, are beginning to realize that the spiritual factor is important. I say ‘spiritual’ without meaning any particular religion or faith, just simple warmhearted compassion, human affection, and gentleness. It is as if such warmhearted people are a bit more humble, a little bit more content. I consider spiritual values primary, and religion secondary. As I see it, the various religions strengthen these basic human qualities. As a practitioner of Buddhism, my practice of compassion and my practice of Buddhism are actually one and the same. But the practice of compassion does not require religious devotion or religious faith; it can be independent from the practice of religion. Therefore, the ultimate source of happiness for human society very much depends on the human spirit, on spiritual values. If we do not combine science and these basic human values, then scientific knowledge may sometimes create troubles, even disaster….”

― Dalai Lama XIV, Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying: An Exploration of Consciousness

“We may now have reached a point where this gap in our make-up has become unsustainable; partly because what in the past would have counted as material plenty has become the norm for the majority in much of the world; and partly because the slow retreat of religion that coincided with the spread of a capitalist economy has left a gaping hole in millions of people’s lives. (Geoff Mulgan)”

― Dalai Lama XIV, Compassion or Competition?

“Is this what you have in mind,’ I asked the Dalai Lama, ‘when you say in teachings that the Buddha’s and bodhisattvas of the world are the most selfish beings of all, that by cultivating altruism they actually achieve ultimate happiness for themselves?’ Yes. That’s wise selfish,’ he replied. ‘Helping others not means we do this at our own expense. Not like this. Buddha’s and bodhisattvas, these people very wise. All their lives they only want one thing: to achieve ultimate happiness. How to do this? By cultivating compassion, by cultivating altruism.”

- Dalai Lama XIV, the Wisdom of Forgiveness

“I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable to you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is of no use, then you can discard it.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“We should reflect on the idea that since the beginning of time sentient beings have been mentally unstable because they have been slaves of delusion, they lack the eye of wisdom to see the path leading to nirvana and enlightenment, and they lack the necessary guidance of a spiritual teacher. Moment by moment they are indulging in negative actions, which will eventually bring about their downfall.”

- Dalai Lama XIV, The Way To Freedom

“When selflessness is seen in objects, the seed of cyclic existence is destroyed.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”

- Dalai Lama XIV the Art of Happiness

“Despite all philosophical differences, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Historically, the East was more concerned with understanding the mind and the West was more involved in understanding matter.”

- Dalai Lama XIV, My Spiritual Journey

“Every human action becomes dangerous when it is deprived of human feeling. When they are performed with feeling and respect for human values, all activities become constructive.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Unless the direction of science is guided by a consciously ethical motivation, especially compassion, its effects may fail to bring benefit. They may indeed cause great harm.”

- Dalai Lama XIV, the Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

“As free human beings we can use our unique intelligence to try to understand ourselves and our world. But if we are prevented from using our creative potential, we are deprived of one of the basic characteristics of a human being.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“My religion is Kindness”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“On the philosophical level, both Buddhism and modern science share a deep suspicion of any notion of absolutes, whether conceptualize as a transcendent being, as an eternal, unchanging principle such as soul, or as a fundamental substratum of reality. … In the Buddhist investigation of reality, at least in principle, empirical evidence should triumph over scriptural authority, no matter how deeply venerated a scripture may be.

- Dalai Lama XIV in his talk to the Society for Neuroscience in 2005 in Washington.”

“I believe the twenty-first century can become the most important century of human history. I think a new reality is emerging. Whether this view is realistic or not, there is no harm in making an effort.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“We begin from the recognition that all beings cherish happiness and do not want suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically unwise to pursue only one’s own happiness oblivious to the feelings and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the same human family. The wiser course is to think of others when pursuing our own happiness.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“If there’s good, strong evidence from science that such and such is the case and this is contrary to Buddhism, then we will change.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“The world has also learned that economic growth, by itself, cannot close the gap between rich and poor.”

- Dalai Lama XIV, Compassion or Competition?

“Whether one believes in a religion or not and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Compassion naturally creates a positive atmosphere, and as a result you feel peaceful and content.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? . . . From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. . . Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Neither a space station nor an enlightened mind can be realized in a day.”

- Dalai Lama XIV,, How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life

“I always try to share with others the idea that in order to become compassionate it is not necessary to become religious.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

“Those who have little interest in spirituality shouldn’t think that human inner values don’t apply to you. The inner peace of an alert and calm mind is the source of real happiness and good health. Our human intelligence tells us which of our emotions are positive and helpful and which are damaging and to be restrained or avoided.”

- Dalai Lama XIV - 12/7/2012 on his Facebook page

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